Celebrity Stylist Gabriel Langenbrunner on How to Style CJ Pieces Like a Star
It’s common knowledge that red carpets are just a prelude to the main event at any awards show or screening, but very few of us understand the extent of preparation that goes into them. And not only into red carpets, but into photo shoots and press tours, too. Endless conversations and work between brands and stylists are an integral part, and stylists often find themselves being explorative and constantly communicate with designers in order to create flawless, effortlessly-looking outfits for their celebrity clients.
To celebrity stylist Gabriel Langenbrunner, styling is an art. “[Styling] is something you just have and you’re good at.” Langenbrunner is the mastermind behind the looks of Australian swimmers Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson, and Georgia Bohl for Caterina Jewelry’s exclusive campaign photo shoot. And it takes just a split second of looking at the girls’ outfits to realize just how admirable and confident Langenbrunner’s manner is. With a certain affinity for texture and color and a considerable repository of questions that are meant to contour the bigger picture of a client’s style, Gabriel Langenbrunner made a name for himself soon after breaking into celebrity styling.
Here, the celeb stylist talks about the musts of creating extraordinary looks, trends to watch out for, and how to style Caterina Jewelry pieces like a star.
Caterina Jewelry: What’s your earliest fashion memory?
Gabriel Langenbrunner: I started to sketch clothing at the age of 15 while in high school. My aunt is a jewelry designer, so her designing pieces gave me a sense of inspiration.
CJ: What’s your approach when you start styling someone? Do you ask questions or go through their wardrobe?
GL: Whenever I style a new client, my number-one priority is communication. We chat a bit, and bounce ideas back and forth. Part of my repository is asking about their three favorite designers, what they do and don’t like, whether or not they’re vegan, etc. This gives me a better idea of their style and helps contour a clearer vision of the look I want to create. It’s also a great way of assessing the wardrobe pieces they would never think of getting.
“I think the most fun part about my job is just meeting those clients that you don’t want to stop styling, ever.”
CJ: What’s the key factor in deciding on the look you want to create?
GL: It depends on what kind of event you are going to, but I think two of the most important aspects when styling a look is the client’s personality and mood. Understanding the their brand is extremely important as you want to make sure that every look you style embodies it perfectly.
CJ: Would you say styling based on personality is important?
GL: It’s key! If your face doesn’t light up when you’re wearing an outfit, or if you hesitate at all when I’m picking a piece or look for you, then I’ll move on to the next option.
CJ: Do you have any major style icons that inspire you and your work?
GL: Alexander McQueen, hands down. I bow down to him. If I had to pick a few designers for my entire wardrobe, it would be AllSaints, Gucci, Tom Ford, and Theory. I mean, there are just too many. I actually see myself collecting certain pieces.
CJ: Who are some of your go-to designers for styling now?
GL: AllSaints is surely my first go-to designer. My clients are in love with the brand, so it’s a no-brainer for me. I’ve also been using Caterina Jewelry for many of my red-carpet events and editorials!
CJ: What’s the most fun part of your job as a stylist?
GL: I think the most fun part about my job is just meeting those clients that you don’t want to stop styling, ever. There are a lot of people in this industry, but not many who stick with you every time. In the end, my goal is just to have a group of amazing clients and be one big happy family. The more fun you have, the more fun the job is.
#RedCarpet: Actress Christina Wren wearing the White Opal Confidence Silver Earrings
CJ: And the most challenging?
GL: A client who is never happy, no matter how many different looks you create for them. Everyone has their rough days, but there are some clients that you can never please.
CJ: When it comes to styling celebrities for photo shoots, are there certain types of looks that photograph best?
GL: Looks that incorporate texture and color tend to photograph much better. Same for red-carpet looks. I’m of the opinion that you can definitely create monochromatic looks that are classy and timeless, but I feel texture goes a long way. As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of mixing black and white together — it’s possibly the worst, most unflattering combo ever.
#RedCarpet: American actress Vella Lovell wearing the White Opal Expression Necklace
CJ: What’s your favorite look you’ve styled to date?
GL: This is a very hard one, but I’d say Shannon Purser’s look for ELLE Magazine and the Emmy Awards. I love collaborating with her – she’s so effortless! But all of my clients are a different experience. I like each look in different ways, so it’s quite difficult to pick one favorite.
CJ: You also styled Australian swimmers Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson, and Georgia Bohl for Caterina Jewelry’s photo shoot in Australia. How did you pick their outfits and jewelry?
GL: To be honest, I’ve never seen any photo of them at the time I picked their outfits or jewelry. The looks I created were based off sizing only and that’s pretty much it. I have female friends who were athletes at the Olympics, so I kind of knew their bodies and what garments would be the most flattering.
CJ: What’s your under-rated but highly-versatile clothing item that every woman needs to have in her closet?
GL: A leather jacket. Not just for women, but for men, too. They all shy away from purchasing a really nice leather jacket. You will have it for the rest of your life — or for the most part of it anyway. Wear it several hundred times, and it has already paid off big.
CJ: As a stylist, how do you incorporate color in what you do?
GL: I don’t think it comes down to incorporating color in what you do, but rather incorporating it in the right away and in the right amount. But I do love a photo shoot where you can go wild.
CJ: Do you generally style for day-to-day, events, or photo shoots?
GL: I style for anything I get an email or phone call for. Generally, there are pros and cons to each of them. I prefer styling for red-carpet events and press tours. I think they are more fun. Still, photo shoots last longer and you get to hang out with your client more. It’s all about developing a productive relationship.
CJ: What’s your go-to piece of styling advice for this season?
GL: Just be true to who you are.
CJ: What are three words that would best describe the Caterina Jewelry line?
GL: Simple. Feminine. Chic.
CJ: What is the one CJ item that every woman should have in her wardrobe?
GL: The Minimalista Rose Collection. Even from a man’s perspective, I would wear a piece from that line! The Minimalista Collection is so versatile that just anyone can wear it. The Kiss Kiss Collection, on the other hand, is better suited for a younger audience and generally for girlfriends.
CJ: What would you style it with for a day event?
GL: A sundress would coordinate very well with the timeless aesthetic of the pieces. Or even a really great denim-on-denim or denim-and-t-shirt look.
CJ: And for a night event?
GL: A nice tuxedo or a pant suit. The masculinity of the tux or suit blends nicely with the feminine quality of the jewelry. It’s a great balance.
CJ: How do you recommend wearing CJ pieces for various occasions?
GL: When you work with Caterina Jewelry, the experience is classy and feels very luxurious. You can still have fun with prints and colors, but always make sure to match it with the bigger, more opulent pieces from the CJ collection. I styled actress Hannah Kat Jones for the company’s campaign photo shoot and we used really fun prints.