Styling Stories: The Devil Wears The Row

My first day working for a mega-stylist in Los Angeles began with a 4:30 a.m. meeting in the dark parking lot behind her studio in Beverly Hills.  Said stylist had hired me as her second assistant per a recommendation from a very important publicist  friend. Earning a reputation of  an accomplished assistant in New York City speaks volumes in LA, where the average assistant is a 20-year old blonde from Calabasas who drives her mom's old BMW and can't find her way out of a paper bag. I was hired without so much as a phone call. 

I briefly (and coldly) shook hands with my new employer, and was ordered to stuff as many of the human-sized duffle bags of clothes and accessories into her Range Rover, and fit the rest in my Ford Focus. (By the end of my tenure in LA I was an expert in maximizing the interior space of that car) "Ok, maybe she's cranky because it's so early." (By the end of my tenure in LA, I would also learn that I was wrong, and this was usually her demeanor) 

As I frantically packed her SUV, a terrified young man pulled into the parking lot in his beat-up Jeep. It was her first assistant who had broken down on the 405 on his way, I watched in awkward silence as he went almost catatonic as she reamed him out. 

We headed to the shoot location, the stunning rose gardens at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, me chasing her Range Rover Sport and trying to follow my GPS at the same time (I swear she was trying to loose me, this became a pattern)

Typically, assistants are not consulted for their opinions by their bosses or the client, and are expected to be as silent and invisible as possible. The nervous assistant couldn't help himself, and chatted casually with our talent- Emma Stone, who was having a major fashion moment thanks to our chic bitch boss. I knew I would quickly eclipse him and become the first assistant when she sent him off-set on a wild goose chase for double stick tape (it was 6:30 a.m.) He arrived back to set around noon, tape-less. 

I saw the nervous assistant only once more, a week later, when I was instructed to busy myself by organizing sample shoes in the assistants' office while he was excused, and left in tears. 

"So, should we just say that you're going to be working here full-time now?"  

So commenced my first year of working in LA for one of the best, and most difficult stylist in Hollywood. 

Stay tuned for more Styling Stories... 


The Scent of an Old Flame

I have a very strong scent memory. Coco Mademoiselle still reminds me of the family cruise to the Bahamas in 10th grade, where I bought it duty-free in international waters. I still have that bottle (it's turned a little yellow, maybe it's time to re-purchase) There are a few scents that trigger moments in time for me, some of which I'd rather forget, some I fondly remember, and some I avoid whenever possible as to not induce myself with stress. 

Oil of Oregano WTF. My first messy foray into relationships, with an older grip/actor/hippie/30-something manboy who lived in Queens. He swore by the health promoting properties of pure oil of oregano, and once persuaded me to put one single drop under my tongue. Do not do this. Unless you're into tasting liquid fire. 

Bleu de Chanel During a liquor-fueled, post-wedding rampage in Vegas with my male cousins, I met a very handsome, very good-smelling British man. We spent one night together, and for that night, it was love. We closed down the club (quite a feat in Las Vegas), made out in front of slot machines, and then I shut the taxi door and sent him back to The Wynn (What a tease) We stayed in contact for quite a while, I swear there was a time that this guy bought a plane ticket and was planning on pulling up to my Hollywood apartment in a vintage Jaguar to profess his love. But then his wife probably found out. 

Gain Fabric Softener A dangerously common scent that often has me avoiding laundromats and aisles. A great love who's laundry was always so fresh and so clean clean. You know a man respects you when you lend him some socks and he returns them smelling like a crisp mountain stream. 


The Torment of Liking Justin Bieber

As my dad once said after watching Selena Gomez on Entertainment Tonight, "She dated that Justin Beaver? Even with all his jack-assery?". But, just try and resist the new music. You can't. It's like junk food. Junk food that makes me want to dance on the elliptical machine. Plus, he's kinda hot now. 

I like to give celebrities the benefit of the doubt- if you're in the public eye, it's easy for people to take cheap shots at you. And while I have never worked with Bieber myself, I have heard several stories of his horrendously childlike behavior. 

My former boss, a contributing editor for THAT mens' magazine, styled JB for a shoot. Justin scoffed at the sneaker selection (roughly 100 pairs- from Nike to Givenchy) "Have those. Had those. Hate those....". He then proceed to tell my well-groomed boss "Bro. You gotta clean your nails man!" I assure you, this fashion editor was the definition of well-groomed. 

During my time at the SNL studio I made friends with the wardrobe team (obviously). I asked them, "Who is the worst celebrity guest you've had to deal with?" Resounding answer: "Justin Bieber." He had recently bombed as the guest, and left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. 

And there was the time Justin cut me off in his leopard-print Audi R8. Yup. At Cahuenga and Franklin, flying off the 101.


Since you're reading this, please stop being a douche bag. We all love your music now. No need to over-compensate with chair flipping and audience abuse. Maybe go get your GED*, leave Selena alone, and just fucking chill bro. 


Erin Hughes

*I don't know if he has his GED or not... I can't be bothered to research that. 

Photo by Steven Klein for Interview Magazine 

Photo by Steven Klein for Interview Magazine 

The Kendall-Gigi Thing

I am a grown woman with an expensive education and an aversion to all Real Housewives-type programming. That said, I can work for hours with the Kardashians on in the background. It's a guilty pleasure. That, and ghost hunting shows, but I digress... 

Forgetting for a second that they are reality porn gypsies, Kendall (I'm pretty sure it's Kendall that I'm talking about here, the one with the Estee Lauder contract) and her BFF Gigi Hadid just have a style thing going on that I have to respect. They're like Cher and Dione, but with Instagram accounts and agents. 

Mixing Balmain with Adidas, and Stella with Wang, Kendall and Gigi have created a unique chasm in the fashion trend space, driven by hashtags and selfies. For a couple of 20 year old millionaires, they possess a sense a style that is akin to the minimalist supermodels of the early 90's, a refreshing turn away from the glitz and glam of the Kardashian-era. I have no desire to hear them speak, but damn these girls can dress.