Meet Micaela Erlanger: The Stylist Behind Luptia Nyong’o’s Prada Oscar Dress

AKA, now one of the most powerful women in Hollywood


by Hattie Brett |

With her passionate speeches, cute instagrams (think snapping selfies of her with Leonardo DiCaprio) and that red caped Ralph Lauren dress she wore to the Golden Globes, it’s safe to say Lupita Nyong’O has been the breakout star of this year’s awards seasons.

Designers like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen have apparently been ‘begging’ Lupita to wear their creations to the Oscars. But the actress ultimately decided to wear custom made Prada and that decision will have been largely down to her stylist Micaela Erlanger – aka, now one of the most powerful women in fashion.

By Lupita’s own admission, she’s turned to the stylist to help dress her throughout this awards season. ‘Until all this, I hadn’t been a student of the fashion industry as a formal industry,’ Lupita told The Daily Beast last week. ‘I wasn’t the girl who bought the fashion magazines, I’d always just worn what appeals to me.’ And that, it turns out, is bold, solid block colours. ‘I like clean lines and a classic look, but I also like to have a sense of humour and wear things that put a smile on my face.’

Micaela Erlanger
Micaela Erlanger

So who is the woman who’s been helping put a smile on Lupita’s face – and the actress firmly on the top of every best dressed list? Here’s what we know about Micalea:

**She didn’t originally want to be a stylist – but liked interning for one **

Micaela graduated from Parsons university with a degree in Art History, Fashion Marketing and Graphic Design but when she started interning with stylist Annabel Tollman she decided she wanted to get into the industry. As she now puts it when asked for career advice: ‘Turn your internship into your job. Make yourself INVALUABLE and IRREPLACEABLE.’

**She’s got a pretty ace motto in life: **

‘You can have everything you want in life, if you dress for it,’ is the Edith Head quote Micaela is guided by. Even an Oscar, perhaps?

**She also styles Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery and Winona Ryder – and puts her success down to having fun with them **

When asked what gave her the edge over her competitors she said: ‘My attention to detail, my ability to turn what for many is a dreaded task of getting dressed. I love taking away the anxiety and making it fun, not to mention, landing my clients on every best dressed list! It’s a combination of knowing how to be the problem solver and outfit maker.’

**She calls herself a ‘vintage-a-holic and glamour girl’ – but always tailors her dress choices to her client’s specific personality **

On that Lupita red Ralph Lauren number for example: ‘I had a gut reaction with that gown… she is the only person who could have worn that dress and she did it beautifully.’

**She’s not nervous about Lupita’s Oscar debut: **

‘I’m so excited. It’s like a dream,’ Micaela told People magazine of her first experience of Oscar dressing. ‘Sure, it’s set the bar really high and all eyes are on her, and as a result all eyes are on my work, but the success that we’ve had is because we’ve been trusting our gut and doing what we love … I’m so lucky that I have someone who I can dress who showcases wardrobe beautifully, but above and beyond, is a force to be reckoned with as an actress.’

Ain’t that the truth!

Follow Hattie on Twitter @hattiebrett

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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