Stylist to the stars Ali Levine is the latest expert to contribute to our ‘Influencer & Expert‘ series. You can spot her work lighting up the red carpet during awards season, her vibrant and recognizable styling signatures bringing personality and boldness in abundance as she adorns our favorite celebrities with glamorous ensembles that define red carpet dressing at its best.
This is one girl boss who knows no limits – from film to commercials, her skilled sartorial touch knows no boundaries – so Ali Levine Design was born – her own styling company that utilizes her fashionable prowess wherever needed. With many years of diverse styling experience, Ali has graciously agreed to share some of her top star style secrets with our readers and tell the story of how she got her start in the fashion world. Read on if you’re hoping to bring some red carpet glam to your next formal occasion!
JOVANI: How did you get started working as a celebrity fashion stylist?
ALI: I started working as a celebrity stylist in a very different fashion from most stylists anyway. After going through their executive training program, I started in retail with Target and decided to venture out into corporate and design. I worked for the coach Lacoste, fragments, a private label jewelry company, and much more. I realized corporate wasn’t for me, and I started interning and assisting wherever I could for shoppers (stylists didn’t have that name yet), working for MTV, VH1, etc.
Shortly after I worked on a movie ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps’ in NY with the famous Oliver Stone and Ellen Mirojnick, I started to find my passion and calling. I had amazing mentors who took me from that movie onto other amazing projects where I ended up on ‘Big Momma’s House in Atlanta, that eventually led me to LA. Yes, a long story. The team there was from Lalaland, so I shortly followed and began working with amazing people like Colleen Atwood, Kanye West’s team, and so forth. Eventually, I started having my own celebrities and projects to style and now I am grateful to say Ali Levine Design is my own and my company.
JOVANI: You’ve dressed many celebrities for the red carpet – can you tell us a little about the process?
ALI: Everyone always wants to know a quick process for dressing, where there isn’t one. However, I can say that it takes a lot of sourcing looks, trends, fittings, and hard work to create the best look, and every celebrity is different.
JOVANI: Do you have tips or tricks for ensuring a dress looks perfect once it hits the red carpet?
ALI: My tips and tricks depend on the client, but one thing I always say for all clients, especially, is “confidence is your best accessory” if they own it, you can see it, and they beam it! That was the happiest moment for me. Other quick tricks are the right posing, top stick to keep the girls in place, and static guard, so nothing sticks to you!
JOVANI: What are some of the biggest fashion trends this awards season?
ALI: Going through awards season, we see so much texture and detail! I love it. Structure in dresses, deep necklines especially plunging V’s, slits, skin is very in. Pastels are monochromatic as well. Prints too! It is geometric and very pattern-like. Florals. I’m excited to see it carried into the spring and even at the Daytime Emmy Awards.
JOVANI: Do you have a styling signature or particular look that you always find flattering?
ALI: One of my styling signatures is a pop of color! Always! Whether in your shoe, your lip, a pop of color dials your whole look up!
JOVANI: For someone looking for the perfect event dress (prom, ball, etc.), do you have any shopping advice? What’s the best way to get started?
ALI: When someone is looking for the perfect event dress, whether it be prom, a gala, etc. I always say don’t shop for a trend. Shop for you! Shop for your body and what will flatter you. Shape and fit are everything! Then worry about color, details, and so forth!
JOVANI: What is your favorite way to finish an evening look (accessories, jewelry)?
ALI: My favorite way to finish off a look is accessorizing! I always say more is more, and I love jewelry and glam. However, not everyone does :) So one of my signatures, whether it’s dainty or oversized and glamorous, I always stack my client’s hands with rings and sometimes bracelets as well. Or I stack their neck.
Perfect example, my stunning client Julie Lake & her cast from ‘Orange is the New Black won SAG awards and received best dressed. I stacked her neck in Charlie Lapson diamonds to look like all one piece. I love that look!
JOVANI: We love classic designs – what are your favorite timeless wardrobe staples?
ALI: Classic is always fabulous. I love great nude heels, the perfect little black dress. Even the perfect white tee or blazer. All are great and must-haves for your closet.
Thank you so much to Ali for sharing her expertise with us! To stay in the loop with her work, don’t forget to follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also catch Ali on her digital video channel, where you can subscribe for more insider styling advice or view her recently curated jewelry collection – the perfect pieces to complete any formal look.
Missed the rest of our ‘Influencer & Expert’ series? Read our previous Expert Interview with celebrity hairdresser Sunnie Brook – she shared some amazing tips and tricks to improve hair health and her must-have hair products; some of her picks are surprisingly budget-friendly and easy to try at home. Sunnie also spoke on the best formal hairstyles for evening events, revealing the key to creating a balanced beauty look that shines. Check back for the next interview – we have makeup experts and nail technicians ready to share their secrets!