Celebrity stylist Law Roach first met Celine Dion at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. A fan of her music, he went to her dressing room postshow and made quite the impression — Dion called him the next day to ask if he would travel to Paris to be with her for a month. A month turned into a year and things came full circle on Sunday, when Roach styled Dion for this year’s awards show.
Dion delivered an emotionally charged performance of “My Heart Will Go On” in honor of the 20th anniversary of the film “Titanic.” Standing underneath a giant chandelier, the songstress wore a white gown by Stéphane Rolland that featured dramatic shoulders and a plunging neckline.
“If someone asked me if there was a dress that embodied who Celine was, it would have to be that dress,” shares Roach. “Not only was it elegant, but it was so much drama. I knew in my heart of hearts that that would be the dress.”
Roach reveals that he reached out to Rolland on a whim after running into some difficulty with designers due to the Cannes Film Festival. Rolland agreed to send Roach two dresses, and Roach brought about 13 others with him to his fitting with Dion.
“What I did was I kind of hid [the dress] from her for a while,” he says. “We went through five or six dresses and then I pulled it out and I saw her eyes get big. She was like, ‘What is that?’ She tried it on and she didn’t want to take it off. I had already seen a mockup of what the stage would look like and I was just like, ‘God sent me this dress because this woman is supposed to look like an angel under these lights.’ And that’s exactly what happened.”
Roach, who also doubles as a judge on VH1’s “America’s Next Top Model” reboot, calls Dion’s performance “breathtaking” and says it brought both male and female audience members to tears. “I cried,” he admits. “When we were walking backstage, people were crying — and it wasn’t just girls. It was grown men wiping away that shameful tear. There was so much power and love in that room. It was spectacular.”
Roach says Dion is “the epitome of what a diva is supposed to be: someone who carries herself with elegance and class.”
“She reminds me of the way women used to be,” he continues. “When she meets people, she speaks to everyone in the room and when she leaves, she says ‘thank you’ and shakes everyone’s hand. Even at her level, she doesn’t feel like it’s a privilege for people to meet her, she still feels that it’s a privilege for her to meet people. You cannot have a bad day around Celine Dion. It’s impossible.”
See more from WWD’s The Aftermath series: