The 2021 Venice Film Festival red carpet saw a return to the pre-pandemic grandeur and high-fashion moments spectators have been used to in years past, with many of the standout fashion looks coming together thanks to trademarked image architect and fashion stylist Law Roach.
Many of Roach’s clients took to Venice’s famed Lido in the last week for the annual film festival in custom looks, including Zendaya in a formfitting Balmain dress, Anya Taylor-Joy in a pink satin Dior look and Tiffany Haddish in two-tone Christian Siriano dress.
Roach approached each actress’ look with similar strategies, paying homage to the movies they were promoting. For Zendaya, who stars in the sci-fi movie “Dune,” Roach took inspiration from the film even though he hadn’t seen it yet. Instead, he used the trailer and descriptions from Zendaya to create her red carpet look.
“The custom Balmain haute couture was very much supposed to feel like armor and for her to feel like some type of warrior,” Roach said in an exclusive interview with WWD. “The color was reminiscent of the sand from sand dunes, so when we started this we came to the conclusion that we wanted everything to feel like it could have been a costume in the movie.”
Zendaya’s Balmain look was inspired by a leather top presented in the design house’s fall 2020 ready-to-wear collection and was transformed into a gown. The actress followed up the Balmain look with another standout fashion moment at the next “Dune” premiere in Paris, wearing a plum-colored Alaïa set from the design house’s recent spring 2022 collection.
Roach said the look came together in a serendipitous way, as he had placed a request for the look while he was watching the runway show’s livestream. It was after he had placed the request that he saw a viral Twitter post where Zendaya’s fans were saying that only she should wear the look.
“Zendaya is one of the girls who can do almost anything and loves to take risks,” Roach said of the actress’ style. “She really is a student of fashion. I bring her clothes that are emotional to me, and because it makes me feel something, it makes her feel something.”
Following Venice’s “Dune” premiere, Roach dressed “Last Night in Soho” actress Anya Taylor-Joy in a custom pink satin Dior dress with a matching fascinator, a look he said also paid homage to the film.
“The whole feeling of it was supposed to be a throwback,” Roach explained. “The movie is set in London in the ‘60s. What we did was more ‘50s, but it was just a throwback to the starlets of that day arriving in Venice.”
Taylor-Joy has become a breakout star over the last year, starring in projects like the film “Emma” and limited series “The Queen’s Gambit,” for which she won a Golden Globe. The actress has gotten recognition as much for her style as for her acting, thanks in large part to Roach’s styling.
Roach started off the Venice Film Festival by styling Tiffany Haddish, who he dressed in a custom Christian Siriano two-tone gown for the premiere of “The Card Counter.” The actress’ dress was inspired by a similar look Siriano presented in his pre-fall 2019 collection, which featured a lilac-colored bodice.
“We wanted something that was really streamlined and sophisticated,” Roach said. “We had a bunch of other dresses, but Christian worked hard at his studio to make that one really special for her.”
While Roach has gotten used to styling his clients for virtual awards shows and appearances, he welcomed the Venice Film Festival’s in-person format.
“I love the chaos of the cameras, the screaming of the names and the flashes,” he said. “To be back in such a big way at the Venice Film Festival, it just felt like we were back to our old lives for just a minute.”
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