Lupita Nyong’o’s Stylist Micaela Erlanger Talks About Her Client’s Fashion Approach

Jasmin Rosemberg

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Stylist Micaela Erlanger nodded to horror film “Us” with Lupita Nyong’o’s press tour wardrobe: “It was just the right amount of spooky, but we kept it fashion-forward.”

March 8

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“With Lupita, we always like to have a narrative and tell a story through the fashion choices,” Erlanger says. “‘Us’ is a horror movie and she has this dual personality, so we had fun with the dichotomy of character and juxtaposition.” Nyong’o wore this white Honayda suit to the film’s SXSW premiere. “It had cutouts and this really interesting detail on the shoulder, but a subtle detail was that her earrings were a pair of scissors — a nod to the character.” Vernon Francois styled her hair in sectioning clips and Nick Barose added ’80s-inspired makeup. “Her hair and makeup were really the standout for that outfit,” Erlanger says. “It just took it to another level.”

March 14

Erlanger thought there was a “harlequin feeling” about this sequin dress by the Attico that Nyong’o wore to the “Us’” U.K. premiere. “It could have gone one of two ways, but we really amped it up,” she says. “It was this gorgeous wrap dress; it had this plaid print. Red is a color throughout the movie and quite symbolic.” Nyong’o’s beauty teams completed the look with dramatic hair, dark makeup and red contact lenses. “We really wanted to be tasteful in the way that we played with the character and the narrative and the storytelling of this press tour. It’s not wearing a costume; it’s about promoting your work and having fun with it.”

March 19

“That was so Patrick Bateman,” she says of Nyong’o’s transparent look for the New York premiere. “We pulled references from just about everywhere, and ‘American Psycho’ is a classic.” Erlanger had just seen this studded jacket on the runway at the Balmain show. “It had this PVC, clear, raincoat vibe that reminded me of that one scene in that film, and here we are promoting another incredible horror movie. It resonated, and she made it fashion. She wore glittery shoes and a metal belt; it was a look.” Her ring boasted a tiny pair of scissors. “You can honor a movie or character in small ways, like in your jewelry, so that was how we tied it in.”

Oct. 27

Erlanger deemed this floral Givenchy dress perfect for the Governors Awards. “It’s an important awards show and really sets the stage,” she says. “[After] promoting your film with premieres and then entering into awards, there has to be some sort of crescendo. You have to keep building on what you’ve done in the past. This felt like a breath of fresh air and a bit of a surprise.” Throughout the tour, they’ve kept people guessing. “One of the things I love most about working with Lupita is we’re always doing something different. You can play between soft and hard, or spooky or serious. And we’re continuing to do that now as we enter awards for that film.”

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