Who knew there were so many shoes involved in picking one gown?

January 18, 2014 10:30 PM

Courtesy Tara Swennen

When you see a star hit the red carpet at the SAG Awards tonight, it’s easy to assume that the look came together effortlessly, guided by a stylist who races through a showroom, picking the perfect pair of shoes here and the ultimate multi-carat necklace there. But as celebrity stylist Tara Swennen shows us, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Like, 21 pairs of shoes more complicated.

Swennen, who is dressing Modern Family star Julie Bowen for tonight’s awards, gave us a glimpse into what outfits look like in the days before a big red carpet. For Bowen, Swennen has two looks in mind, with all the different pumps, sandals and clutches that entails. “For SAG Awards red carpet we are narrowing it down between two dresses with two very different looks,” she tells PEOPLE. “One of them is a super-sleek and sexy-yet-elegant black ensemble. The other theme is modern and colorful, architectural and edgy.”

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Both of those are definitely in Bowen’s wheelhouse — she’s done dark and sexy and bright and bold before — so she’s going to knock it out of the park either way. But what we’re really excited for is to find out which of the nearly two dozen sets of shoes ends up being the final pair to grace Bowen’s feet. (We see a few front runners already!)

Though we asked nicely, Swennen, who has paired with Kay Jewelers to bring tips and styling tricks to YouTube, wouldn’t give hints about which ensemble was in the lead. “You’ll have to watch the awards show to see which one we choose!” she teased.

Tune in to tonight’s SAG Awards at 8:00 p.m. EST for the winners, and join us on PEOPLE.com starting at 6:00 for all the red carpet glitz, glamour and gossip. And follow @peoplemag and @peopleredcarpet for live commentary on all the action.

–Alex Apatoff

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