3 Stars, 1 Stylist: How Leslie Fremar Got Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron Ready For the Big Night

By catherinekast
March 03, 2016 11:29 PM

It takes a village to create a killer red carpet look, and at PeopleStyle we love finding out what goes on behind the scenes. Stylist superhero Leslie Fremar had a crazy day on Oscars Sunday: She had to pull together looks for three huge stars. She let us in on what it took to get Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron red-carpet-ready. “They’re all very different women,” Fremar tells PeopleStyle. “I have a vision for each of them. It doesn’t get blurred. I just have to keep it separate and not think of it as one project. It’s three projects.”

Clockwise from left: Ethan Miller/Getty; Courtesy Leslie Fremar (3); Courtesy Oscar de la Renta

Witherspoon looks amazing in purple (remember her sleek BAFTAs dress from August 2015 and her Nina Ricci gown from 2007?).  But this regal shade wasn’t the original choice for this look. “Her dress used to be lavender,” reveals Fremar. “We changed it a week before the Oscars.”

Fremar points out that the intricate details make the look. “Some of the front shots you’re just like, ‘Oh, it feels familiar.’ But there’s that bustle on the back, and the exposed black corset. It’s sexy,” says Fremar. “In person it’s really such a spectacular dress.” The bust line (with a peekaboo bustier) is “like origami,” she says. “It’s like a beautiful fan.” And “up close, all of those bones across her torso are stitched in black so you can actually see them from the outside.” They ended up going with geometric Tiffany & Co. Blue Book earrings and a bracelet to play off of the angular draping, and a sleek side-part hair style to let the dress stand out.

Steve Granitz/WireImage; Courtesy Chanel; Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty; Frazier Harrison/Getty; Courtesy Chopard; Courtesy Leslie Fremar; Courtesy Oscar de la Renta

Die-hard Chanel fans (and our intrepid reporters) immediately recalled that Kendall Jenner wore a similar look on the Paris runway just a month earlier. Moore was lucky enough to have Karl Lagerfeld ship a portion of the collection to New York City for her to try on right after the show, and he created this piece based off of the runway version.

Fremar points out the differences: “Julianne’s dress is a gown, which means that it hits the floor. The one on the runway floated above the shoe,” she says. “And we actually changed all the stonework; the stone details around the chest are dark stones wrapped in tulle. And the beading on the dress on the runway went all the way down the skirt. We stopped it at the waist and filled in that point.” The tulle-wrapped gems are also on Moore’s custom clutch.

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The Chopard jewels added two different dimensions to the look: Circular earrings play off the triangle shapes at the neckline and the nature vibe of her diamond cuff echoed the nature vibe of the Haute Couture show (the runway was grass and surrounded by zen lily ponds). It “felt very ‘Adam and Eve,'” Fremar said. And since the diamonds were set in titanium, “It’s light as a feather.”

Clockwise from left: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Courtesy Dior; Courtesy Leslie Fremar (3)Mayer/WireImage;


The Mad Max star was so busy filming in Berlin leading up to the Oscars that she didn’t have time to dress shop. “We’ve worked together so long, she was like, ‘Honestly, Les, just do whatever you want. You’ve never let me down before,’ ” says Fremar. “That was so cool. That’s rare.” So Fremar went back and forth with Dior designers to create this scarlet show-stopper. Theron saw the dress just two weeks before the big night. “I literally showed up at her house with the dress and was like, ‘This is it!’ ” Fremar says. “And she was like, ‘Okay!'”

And the finished product was a little different from the original concept; The placement of the strap around the neck changed. “In the first fitting, I had them switch it to go around the back,” says Fremar. All the better to show off all 48.8 carats of her Harry Winston necklace!

For more exclusive details on all the best style and beauty moments from the Oscars, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.

–Catherine Kast