Fashion Secrets from Celebrity Stylists: Jeanann Williams
Meet the woman responsible for Naomi Watts' stellar Oscars gown.
New York City-based stylist Jeanann Williams started her career by spending 10 years working with fashion brands in a much different way. Williams—who was recently named one of Hollywood's most powerful stylists—spent 10 years doing PR before becoming the primary stylist for Naomi Watts. Now Williams is expanding her influence even further by partnering with Los Angeles-based denim line, NYDJ. We sat down with Williams to chat about her new role, how she decides what to dress Naomi Watts in and what part of the star's body they love to show off!
How did your partnership with NYDJ come about?
"They reached out to me and I met with them and I just think there was good synergy. Most of my styling and how I dress personally is quite relatable and wearable and generally I style a lot of mothers and I am a mother so I style with comfort always part of the conversation. I think the NYDJ business model, their growth and their prices points are impressive. And the technology behind their jeans, you see it the minute you try them on and it makes you just feel good. Buying jeans can be really scary, you put it off and you put it off—trying on jeans even in your own closet can be scary. So we decided to team up and I’m coming in as an ambassador and supporter of the brand and a consultant."
What is your go to outfit:
"I actually wear a lot of denim in my day-to-day life. Denim and flats, black leather jackets and comfortable tees. I wear what I can move in and do in. I am always balancing a thousand things. I’m not in head-to-toe couture. I just look undone. I’m a big Isabel Marant fan, that’s more me. I live in my Chloe studded boots and I love the Marant Dicky bootie. Those kinds of booties are good for winter and I love a Repetto ballet slipper which is chic and easy."
What’s your favorite cut of jeans to wear?
"I wear a lot of skinnys and a lot of high-waisted jeans."
You started in PR how did that help or inform you when you moved to styling?
"All these worlds interconnect and it’s good to see the other side. I actually started first in retail and it’s good to be on the floor and see what is affecting the client. And then in PR I know now what they need—designers and contacts—it’s been nice. In the PR world they’re super supportive. In general in PR you’re selling and packaging something and celebs are the same way, you have ot know what the magazines want and how stories are developed. So when I style I still see things in a PR package."
What led to the Oscars moment with Naomi Watts?
"She doesn’t like to jinx anything so for the Oscars we wait until a movie gets nominated or she is asked to present. I had been thinking about it and I saw the Armani couture collection and I loved three of the looks. Oscars is something special so we like to work with designers we have relationships with. So we tried two looks off the Armani runway and we loved both of them. I arrived in LA the week of the Oscars and we were going to try a third dress and the Armani team happened to bring us two more looks that didn’t walk in the runway show and the one we picked was one of those extra dresses. We just loved it. She is modern and sporty and she has an insane back—we love a back moment. The color was the color of her eyes and we felt, yea it’s risky, but we’d gone a bit safe with the Gucci and the Balenciaga moments—those were understated. So this was a fun moment—you have to do something that’s more fashion to surprise people. It’s a feeling you get, so we didn’t look any further."
Your favorite look you’ve done recently?
"I loved the Oscars look but one I really love is the Gucci we did in the fall. We had that dress for award season and we loved it. It felt perfect. It’s romantic with the vintage-y lace, it’s very her."