Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

The Styled Side: red carpet styling when you're not size 0

by Take Two®

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Actress Leslie Jones arrives at the Premiere of Sony Pictures' 'Ghostbusters' at TCL Chinese Theatre on July 9, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

If you're wearing something strange and it don't look good, who you gonna call?

The Styled Side!

Ghostbusters is the theme this week because, ahead of the premiere for her new movie, actress Leslie Jones tweeted that he had a sartorial problem.

Designer Christian Siriano stepped up to the plate and delivered a stunning off-the-shoulder crimson gown.

But Jones isn't the only woman who has had problems dressing up for the red carpet.

"The good news is that Hollywood is getting better at embracing the fact that women come in all shapes and sizes," says Lauren Stillman, VP of Film Fashion, a firm that specializes in matching fashion and accessories brands with celebrities. "But the gowns we have to work with are often the sample sizes that fit the models."

Those dresses come in size 4 or smaller.

"The economy has hit fashion hard, so there are not a lot of designers who have the budget to have multiple sizes on hand," says Stillman.

Michelle Dalton Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily explains that finding the right outfit for a gala or premiere is already a complicated and lengthy process for celebrities.

"Stylists do the heavy lifting for the actors by reaching out to individual designers themselves and also to fashion showrooms and PR houses that represent multiple designers," she says.

As part of their usual process throughout the year, designers will create samples – or real-life creations – of dresses they have in mind.

Those samples are only created in a limited number of sizes before going into mass-production, if at all.

Who has access to those samples is a political jockeying game.

"Fashion publicists and designers consider a variety of things: what is the event, who else will be at the event, does the celeb represent our brand well?" says Tyree.

"You have to protect the pieces that brands lend out," adds Stillman, "Once something is worn by a celeb on the red carpet, it's basically red-carpet Kryptonite for anyone else."

A celebrity then may have several designs to choose from before heading out for the red carpet.

But an average- or fuller-sized woman is generally locked out of that process.

Tyree adds that Jones might have had another roadblock for her: being a comedienne.

"One fashion insider I spoke with behind the scenes confirmed some brands' hesitation with dressing comediennes," she says. "Brands don't want them doing crazy things in their gowns."

One example is when Amy Schumer pranked Kim Kardashian and Kanye West at a gala by faking a fall in front of their feet on the red carpet.

"After that some brands were more hesitant to loan," says Tyree.

For celebs who do want to dress up for a red carpet – and the rest of us who might be attending a gala, wedding or other luxurious event – Tyree says several designers are coming up with dresses with different body shapes in mind.

"Christian Siriano, obviously, but also designer Elizabeth Kennedy, who dressed Mindy Kaling for the Oscars last year and got a ton of press," she says. Tyree adds that L.A.-based Kevan Hall and Jovani are great local options, too.

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