In depth with Celebrity Stylist Tara Swennen
Tara Sweenen dishes on this season's fashion must-haves, plus investment pieces worth the splurge and what every girl should have in her wardrobe.

Click here to see Tara's Celebrity Styles

With her increasing presence on the Hollywood scene, Fashion Stylist, Tara Swennen's celebrity clientele are pushing the boundaries of fashion with their elegant and edgy looks on the red carpet. We had the good fortune to interview Sweenen before the Canadian Walk of Stars Gala, where she styled the gorgeous, Elisha Cuthbert.  

TRB: What's your style philosophy?

Swennen: I believe styling is an art form and you have to respect the client's personality, the trends and obviously the fit on the body. Following a trend that doesn't work, for instance a skinny jean on my body type, I am 5'10" and have hips, won't work for me. Not every trend is for every body type.  


TRB: Do you style for your clientele the same way?

Swennen: I do, but I also want to make them stand out and feel beautiful. I want them to push the fashion envelope to get people saying 'Wow, I never would of thought of that.' I think it also depends on the personality of the person wearing the outfit. For example, Kristen Steward from Twilight, loves wearing flats so we put her in a pair of Converse at the MTV awards a few months ago. That's what she likes and it's definitely her own personal thing, which makes her stand out.  

TRB: What does every girl need in her wardrobe?

Swennen: Jeans that suit your body type are a must. A good quality white shirt and a classic pencil skirt will take you from the office to cocktail hour. Every woman should have a little black dress. Invest in a great coat with a classic cut. As for shoes, one great pair of pumps with a peep toe and a pair of boots that just cover the knee are fantastic.  

TRB: Any other investment pieces worth splurging on?

Swennen: A great watch, a pair of diamond stud earrings and a pearl necklace. No matter what you're wearing, they show you have good taste for quality. Another great investment is a designer handbag. A classic Channel bag will last you for years and even if you're tired of it, hold on to it because it may be the latest style again in 10 years.  

TRB: What are the fashion must-haves for this season?

Swennen: You're going to see a lot of navy and purple on the red carpet.I do think we're going back to that classic sort of Channel black and white. The edgy rocker style is still going to be very prevalent, as people look to musicians for inspiration  

TRB: What are your fashion predictions for spring 2010?

Swennen: Colour will definitely be prevalent and we'll also see a return to lighter colour palettes. People are taking more risks and you'll see it in patterns and interesting shapes. Spring will continue to bring a return to feminine styles and romantic floral.

TRB: What accessories will be in fashion this season?

Swennen: The high waist belt is a classic that works year-round and will be the trend this season over the low boho look. Shoes on the runway keep getting bigger, bolder, crazier and more architectural, but coming into the fall, I can see it moving back into a more classic heel like a Christian Louboutin pump or platform. I do think instead of crazy shapes, you're going to see people venture into fun colours like purples, oranges and yellows; making the statement more about the shoe colour than it's shape.  

TRB: Favourite jewellery this season?

Swennen: Chunky jewellery goes along with the edgy rocker scene. Women are willing to be simple with their clothes; therefore they can play a little more with jewellery. There's definitely a comeback to costume jewellery; it’s what women can afford in a recession. They don't have to spend thousands of dollars for a statement piece.  

TRB: What are your budget tips for this season?

Swennen: Shop less; look for sales and buy costume jewellery instead of real jewellery. If you're able, re-work an item in your wardrobe by dying it or shortening it to change the style. There are simple ways to update an outfit without spending exhorborant amounts of money. Go out and buy some beads and rhinestones and put them on a dress.Just be selective, you don’t have to purchase every new trend that comes out.  

TRB: Comfort and fashion often don't mix - most of us sacrifice comfort for those sexy red carpet looks on the runway. I understand you have a different sensibility in regards to this - as you're the spokesperson for Airplus Foot Products - can you tell us a little bit about these products and how you use them for your clientele?

Swennen: Comfort is key, especially because my clients are walking down the red carpet and on their feet for hours on end. Most of them go to events nightly and it's very important to be comfortable. No matter what client I have, I send them out on the red carpet with Airplus Sure Steps, which are textured sticky pads that stick onto the bottom of the shoe. They essentially prevent you from slipping and falling. Other great products I suggest are AirplusSteppies, a clear gel pad that can be cut to fit any shoe and is targeted for relief on the ball of the foot and Airplus Hug My Heels, a contoured heel gel that sticks to the back of the shoe and prevents your shoe from rubbing your heel.

Click here to see Tara's Celebrity Styles

More Wedding Fashion 101

Related Articles
Celebrity Hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan
In depth with Bethenny Frankel