Charlize Theron's Stylist Busts the Myth Behind 'Dressing Your Age'
A-list stylist Leslie Fremar spills the secrets about dressing the star
Last night, I headed to the Crosby Street Hotel for a screening of Atomic Blonde, a two-hour, action-packed film in which Charlize Theron kicks serious ass. Sheer strength and brain power make her the ultimate double (triple?) agent, and it doesn’t hurt that decked out almost entirely in Dior, she looks freaking amazing. Her body moves through fight scene after fight scene in ways I did not think were humanly possible, and—even bruised and bloodied—she remains absolutely stunning. I am not an action movie kind of gal, but I am all for any film that features a woman killing a criminal with a red Dior stiletto.
Theron, like her character Lorraine, has also been sporting a lot of Dior. As a longtime brand ambassador, the actress has walked red carpet after red carpet in stunning gowns, perfectly tailored pantsuits, and yes, a bra or two c/o the French luxury house, all under the auspices of her A-list stylist, Leslie Fremar.
For the world premiere of Atomic Blonde, Fremar enlisted the House of Dior to custom make her client a logo bralette and a white, high-waisted mini skirt. Her abs looked like they could serve as her security detail, and her legs appeared to be about 15 feet long. She looked incredible, sexy, and like she was having fun. Everyone could feel it: At 41, she was radiating hotness.
At least that’s what I thought. Crazy, but true, Fremar was getting trolled on Instagram, accused of dressing Theron “too young for her age.” Seriously? Is that a thing?
“Everyone is entitled to have their opinions,” Fremar told me over the phone, having just deboarded a flight. “Fashion is art, and you can like it or dislike it, but when it starts to feel personal, that’s when it’s pushed a little bit too far for my comfort. There was one comment that I read that said, ‘Your stylist must not like you at all.’ I was like, ‘Actually, I love her, and she looks amazing.'”
Fremar continued, “I usually never read the comments [on my Instagram]. It’s kind of indifferent to me. But, for some reason, I was reading them and felt like: This is crazy! As the stylist, you have to take ownership of your decisions and stand behind them, so you can’t let the comments get to you.”
But these remarks did get to Fremar—not because they made her second-guess her choices (they didn’t) but because she found them ageist, sexist, and irrelevant to the bigger picture of what Theron has been up to. I mean, does dressing your age really mean anything anymore? Here, we chat with Fremar about fashion’s “rules” (or lack thereof) and what exactly goes into dressing a star for a movie tour.
There used to be these unofficial rules of fashion: You can’t mix black and navy, and you can’t wear white after Labor Day. I feel like we don’t live in a world with those rules anymore, right?
I think living by [fashion] rules is restricting. Those rules don’t really exist. If you want to wear white in the winter, wear white in the winter! Who is that hurting? For me, if she feels good, if she looks great, why is age even a factor? There really shouldn’t be any rules at all.
How much did Theron’s role in Atomic Blonde play into how you approached dressing her for the carpet? Having seen the film, I feel like her premiere look is exactly what Lorraine would wear.
Right! Is she going to come out dressed as a princess? We were really taking the movie into consideration. She’s very passionate about this movie. She worked extremely hard and wants this women’s empowerment message to ring through. That’s who she is. So, that’s reflected in her clothes. She went into this tour feeling excited and proud, and the choices for her clothes were a reflection of that.
Are there any age-related styling rules that you do think people should follow? Skirt length minimums, for example?
I work with women of all different ages, and it’s really all about what you’re comfortable with. If I was in the fitting and someone said to me, “I don’t feel this is age-appropriate,” that would mean something different. That would mean they’re personally not comfortable with it, not that the next woman can’t wear it.
Do you think the mean comments can be explained by the old “they’re just jealous” adage?
It is jealousy. [Charlize] is phenomenal. She’s exceptionally smart. She’s exceptionally charitable. She’s exceptionally successful. She supports women … But if I looked at her, I’d say, “You look like a badass.” That’s what she is! She is a badass.
As a stylist, your job isn’t just throwing a dress on someone and sending them out the door. What else was involved in dressing Theron for this tour?
You have to think about all the people that made these clothes for her. There’s so much craftsmanship and time and effort that goes into making these looks. Not everyone has to like it. Not all the comments have to be nice, but, you know, the nasty ones … you’re just like, “Why?”
Talk to me about the rest of the tour. Will the remainder of her looks be completely unaffected by these comments?
Forever and ever, yes.
This article originally appeared on Instyle.com