‘I Shop A Lot Of Vintage For Kourtney’ – A Day In The Life Of A Hollywood Stylist

Ever wondered what goes into creating a celebrity look? Jennifer Lynn spent a day in LA with Dani Michelle, stylist to Kourtney Kardashian, to find out

dani michelle kourtney kardashian stylist

by Jennifer Lynn |
Updated on

Celebrity stylist Dani Michelle is easy to spot when I meet her on LA’s Rodeo Drive. Wearing a neon green MSGM sweater, MOTHER Denim jeans and loafers, she looks super chic yet relaxed after initially thinking that she wasn’t in the right outfit for today’s unexpected event – an intimate presentation at Burberry’s Beverly Hills flagship. Turns out, Michelle needn’t have worried; I count no less than nine compliments for her jumper over the course of our afternoon together. One woman likes her crystal Alexander Wang handbag so much that she takes photos to source it later. Michelle is clearly in the right line of work.

‘I’m styling Nazanin Mandi [the actor, model and wife of Miguel] for the iHeartRadio Music Awards next week,’ Michelle tells me as we wait for the Burberry show to start. ‘After this we’ll go and pull some jewellery for her.’ While the bulk of awards season is over, Michelle's schedule clearly hasn’t slowed down, with everyone from Kourtney Kardashian to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne on her client list.

‘I really enjoyed awards season this year, because I love my clients,’ says Michelle. ‘This season, I had Edgar Ramirez, who was nominated for his work on The Assassination of Gianni Versace, plus Erika went to some events, Kourtney went to events and I dressed Shanina Shaik for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. I always try to pull what I love for them to wear, but at the end of the day this is their life, it’s whatever makes them feel confident. That’s my job; to make them feel confident, and proud, and cool, and sometimes their first choice might be my second choice. I was really lucky this season that they always had the same first choice as me.’

We pause our chat to take in Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry, which was previously shown at London Fashion Week in September 2018. While Michelle snaps photos of the cow print miniskirts and chunky T-bar shoes, it’s a pair of gold-plated nut and bolt earrings that really catch her eye. As she contemplates purchasing them for herself, I enquire about her own buying habits versus the shopping she does for her clients.

‘I enjoy buying things in this kind of situation the most, because I’m in the stores every day for a living and that experience is lost on me,’ she says. ‘With moments like this, it’s a memory of that time when I was at the show or that time I met the designer. It’s an experience and it’s fun.’

Leaving the shop, we hop in Michelle’s car to our first client jewellery appointment, with Michelle calling to check in with her first assistant on the way. ‘I have a team of three girls who really are supportive,’ she says. ‘Two are full-time assistants, the other is a full-time intern. I always tell people not to DM me and ask for a job, but all my girls are from direct messages! It’s all about timing; people can send me a great CV with all the things they’ve done and if I’m busy working I don’t read it. Someone can send me a short little blurb and they just say the right thing, and I’m like, “Cool, when do you want to meet?”’

The girls, as she calls them fondly, are back at Michelle's Sunset Boulevard HQ ensuring returns and appointments are under control. She and I head into our first showroom of the day intending to do ‘a small pull – jewellery, mostly earrings’ – and leave with several colourful trouser suits, plus a bigger-than-planned jewellery haul for Mandi’s fitting.

As we drive to our next appointment, talk turns to Michelle’s upcoming wedding to fiancé Ian Morrison, a photographer she’s been dating for six years and engaged to since April 2018. Just how does a stylist as busy as she is find time to choose a wedding dress? ‘I tried on dresses for four months. I went to Oscar de la Renta in LA and in New York. Vera Wang here [in LA], Vera in New York. Carolina Herrera. Danielle Frankel. Big people, small people, new people, iconic people. I had custom sketches done for me from London, from Israel… I looked at every option. And I’m excited for my dress.’

Aside from her wedding dress, Michelle’s usual approach to getting ready is much more simplistic. ‘I stand in the shower, I think about what I’m going to wear, I put it on, look down and rarely do I change my clothes. I don’t even look in a full-length mirror. Even with my engagement photos, I just picked out one dress online, from Net-A-Porter, and it was fabulous. I put it on, shot it and those are some of my favourite photos in life.’ The perks of knowing what suits you as well as your clients.

I’m keen to know which brands Michelle recommends for the essentials: jeans, white T-shirts and underwear that’ll remain hidden under even the tightest of outfits. ‘My favourite jeans are vintage. Go to the flea market and then get them tailored,’ she recommends. ‘Or, for new denim collections, I love MOTHER and AGOLDE. I have a Helmut Lang white tee that I’m obsessed with, I love Acne’s T-shirts, Cotton Citizen’s T-shirts and the Hanes tees by Karla [Welch, sylist to the likes of Olivia Wilde, Amy Poehler and Justin Bieber]. For shapewear, I think Commando is the most seamless.’

Next stop, West Hollywood’s Andaz Hotel, where we’re selecting pieces for Erika Jayne and Michelle to wear to Christian Cowan’s International Women’s Day fashion show. The temporary showroom in the hotel is a sea of sequins, neon vinyl and feathers, with invited guests and their stylists stopping by to pull looks. We leave with options; Jayne is rarely seen in less than a six-inch heel, but is still recovering from knee surgery, so Michelle has selected pieces to work with various shoe styles. She sends photos of the looks to Erika’s agent, who confirms the oversized sequined shirt will work, while Michelle is planning to wear a black feathered sweater.

Throughout the day, it’s evident just how proud Michelle is of her clients’ work, while constantly remaining humble about her own. ‘There was a point when Kourtney was on E!, Kristin [Cavallari] was on E!, Erika was on Bravo and Edgar was on FX. Most nights of the week I could watch a client on TV,’ she says. ‘The first time I watched Real Housewives with Erika I was so excited, because when I watch it at home I’ll rewind her scenes and replay them, and I’ll scream hysterically at the TV. Then my fiancé will come running into the room asking what’s happened.’

‘I had a funny moment recently, because I shop a lot of vintage for Kourtney and there was a dress Mischa Barton had worn on a red carpet back in The O.C. days that I was trying to find. My best friend is a producer on the new series of The Hills [which Barton is set to appear in], so I had her text a picture of the dress to Mischa and she said, “I wanna say it’s Altuzarra.” If you had told me ten years ago that any of this would be happening I’d be like, “Uuuuuh?”’

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us