Being a party-hopping Hollywood starlet during Awards Season is pretty glamorous, right? Yes. But it’s also a lot of work.
In fact, “it’s insanity,” says Ashley Greene, who’s known for playing Alice Cullen in the Twilight franchise and is Mia in Rogue, which premieres March 23 and is available to DirecTV and AT&T U-verse customers. “Being an actor, for me, it means something” to honor nominees, she said. Of course, celebrating talented movie stars means more than just saying “Congrats.” Oscar week has become “an influx of events and parties and fittings,” Greene says.
We joined Greene, who’s attending Elton John’s exclusive Oscar party on Sunday, at one such dress fitting.
Here are five things we learned about what it takes a celebrity to prep for an Oscar soirée:
1. It’s a lengthy search for ‘heroes’
Greene, who first had access to designer clothing during the Twilight years for premieres, says she was a jean shorts-and-T-shirt gal growing up in Jacksonville, Fla. “I still like to keep things simple,” she says about her style. “You should wear what makes you most comfortable. Fashion should be fun.” But finding that perfect piece of clothing is a lengthy process.
Greene starts the selection by, in this case, going to a hotel room and sorting through a rack of dozens of outfits (worth thousands of dollars) that are handpicked by her stylist, Cristina Ehrlich (who also dresses Brie Larson and Tina Fey). Ehrlich helps Greene choose about 10 “heroes” — which are the dresses that immediately excite both of them — before Greene goes through rounds and rounds of trying on the garments, examining them in a mirror, eliminating options, taking photos and looking at those pictures again on the computer. The rounds of deliberation all take place before there’s any discussion about hair, makeup, accessories and shoes.
Consider everything, including carpet color
Not only does Greene plan outfits for specific events, but she and her stylist think about carpet color (the Elton John party has had a white carpet in the past), backdrop (for photos) and event space, so Greene can wear the appropriate, complementary colors and cuts for her environment. Here are just a few of the many questions Greene and Ehrlich tried answering during their fitting: Did Greene wear something by that designer recently? Did she wear something similar to the same party last year? Should she wear something sexy now, because she’s at the right age (29) to do it? Should she wear a tea-length dress, because that cut is “having a moment,” as Ehrlich says? (They wouldn’t have the answers by the end of the fitting.)
Think about tomorrow’s headlines … if you dare
Years ago, Greene took media critiques of her outfits “into account a lot,” but “at this point it’s become easier not to (care),” she says. However, Greene says that she does try to avoid participating in “Who wore it best?” contests, by trying not to wear the same thing another actress has worn. And she’s admittedly thinking twice about wearing a purple Amanda Wakeley number with a plunging neckline Sunday, after a recent Daily Mail storyclaimed she “flaunted her assets” at another party.
Alterations aren’t always possible
Even with tailor Pasha (he goes by one name) on hand to sew up the winning picks, Greene wasn’t confident that all of her “heroes” would be ready by party time for two main reasons: one, not all designers allow alterations to their clothing, which Greene will return after she borrows the dress for a night, and two, not all dresses allow for easy resizing. In Greene’s case, one hero, a beaded Naeem Khan gown was potentially too complicated to have altered by the end of the week. (By the end of the fitting, she was still deciding between wearing that Naeem Khan, the Amanda Wakeley dress and a red off-shoulder Safiyaa gown.)
Parties are exhausting
After getting a facial and her nails done Saturday, Sunday calls for a gym class (specifically, a Rise Nations climb class), brunch, hair and makeup, going to the event, running into “a thousand people” that she rarely sees, going to an after party, and spending “six hours at a time in five-inch heels,” Greene, who’s going to the Elton John party solo, is spent by the time she gets home, which might be 12 hours after makeup was first applied. “I walk in and immediately take off the dress, take off the shoes and the sweatpants go right on,” she says.