Celebrity stylist Law Roach has delivered looks worthy of Best Dressed lists all year long. But the stylist and judge on America’s Next Top Model continued to push his own limits — and successfully so — in 2017: He gained new client in Demi Lovato, he further deepened his impact and development of his “little sister” and style protégé, Zendaya and he continued his relationship with singer Celine Dion to great acclaim.
So when we caught up with him last night at the Bloomingdale’s holiday window unveiling — as he was on hand to support Zendaya — we had to ask, which looks stood out the most this year?
Starting with Demi Lovato, he says his approach was not to change her look when he came on board as her stylist. Rather, “I just really try and get into the DNA of who they are and who they want to be, then maybe try to find a little something in them that they didn’t know they had,” he says. “For me it’s not about changing anyone. It’s about cultivating who they are and trying to elevate that.”
And since he’s been working with her in the past few months, he says, “me and Demi have hit our stride,” noting that it doesn’t always happen right away between a star and a stylist. “Girls sometimes hire stylists and think that from the first look it’s going to be magic. And it’s not always like that. I don’t even want it to be like that. I don’t want people to say, ‘Oh, Demi has a new stylist.’ I want people to say, ‘Oh, something’s different.’”
Sunday’s look at the American Music Awards solidified their new relationship, he says, when he put her in a strapless gown by emerging Russian designer Ester Abner. “For me, it’s important to find the emerging designers who don’t have a huge voice yet and try to help them find that. We found that designer on Instagram and reached out and they did that dress for Demi. She looked incredible.”
For Zendaya, his favorite was obvious: The custom Ralph & Russo gown she wore to the premiere of Spider-Man: Homecoming in June. “I thought that was such a glam ‘60s Barbie moment,” Roach says. “My first client was Barbie, so for us to have that full circle moment — her with her first big premiere and me taking it back to my roots and playing with a life-size Barbie — I think that was a dream come true for me.”
And putting Celine Dion in Stéphane Rolland Couture for her memorable performance of “My Heart Will Go On” from Titantic at the Billboard Music Awards in May gave him a reaction he never expected. “For me, that was probably the highlight of my entire career,” Roach says.
“After I did that look, I stepped back to watch, and as she’s performing and I cried, I literally cried,” he continues. “It was such a powerful moment, and for me to have such a big moment in someone’s career who has such a big career — I almost felt like I had to retire. I was like, ‘What could I possibly do to top that?!’ It was such a beautiful moment.”
It was the first time a look he created ever moved him to tears. “It was very emotional because I didn’t get into this business with any expectations,” he says. “I just wanted to make women feel beautiful and the fact that my career has taken me to so many places and given me so many amazing moments and a moment with Celine Dion? For me to have a small little piece in that legacy is incredible.”
Tell us: What was your favorite red carpet look this year?