13 Fashion Designers and the Celebrity Muses Who Inspire Them
After each completed collection, designers are faced with one question that never goes unasked: "What was your inspiration?" The talents that lead both top global fashion companies and innovative new brands often respond with a specific reference to a historic piece of art or iconic film. But in spite of their seasonal inspirations, there’s always one thing that stays on their radar: their muse.
It’s the singers, actresses, socialites, and indisputable beauties that help bring life to the clothes these designers create. And while the designers of yore may simply have had just one muse, those working today collaborate with several bold-faced names on the regular. Stars bounce from working with one fashion house to the next, and designers, similarly, often turn their heads to find exciting new talent. Before the tide turns again, we’ve listed 13 of the most notable and unbreakable celebrity-designer relationships today.
MOSCHINO'S JEREMY SCOTT AND KATY PERRY (ABOVE)
Talk about a perfect pairing. Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott is known for colorful collections that celebrate everything from Barbie to American fast food favorites, so it's no surprise that bubble gum pop fixture Katy Perry is who he turns to give his clothing a hit of quirky-cute eccentricity. The singer, who stars in Moschino's fall 2015 campaign, is a front-row fixture at his Moschino and namesake shows, and has tapped the designer to create over-the-top pieces like the flame-adorned dress she sported earlier this year during her Super Bowl halftime performance.
GIVENCHY'S RICCARDO TISCI AND KIM KARDASHIAN
Not all of us know how to keep up with Kim Kardashian, but Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci is definitely an exception. The formidable designer first became acquainted with Kardashian through her beau, Kanye West, and now she never misses a front-row seat at his show. Tisci is so close to the star, he even designed her wedding dress, and he's a regular at VIP parties, like the recent bash Kris Jenner held in celebration of her 60th birthday.
TOM FORD AND JULIANNE MOORE
Tom Ford, best known for his meticulous and unmatched attention to detail, has a knack for working with A-list stars, like Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus. His relationship to Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore is one to envy, however. Ford regularly dresses her for the red carpet—her plunging crimson-red column from the 2015 BAFTA Awards comes to mind—and her starring role in A Single Man, his directorial debut, is as glamorous as it gets.
Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghesquière and Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams was on hand to present Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghuesquière with the award for Designer of the Year at our first-ever InStyle Awards last month, but this wasn't, of course, their first public appearance together. Ghesquière, who is no stranger to the concept of celebrity muses (others include Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jennifer Connelly, and Alicia Vikander), has worked with the blonde beauty on Vuitton projects like the spring/summer 2014 "city" handbag campaign and almost exclusively dresses her for megawatt red carpet events and star-studded parties.
Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy and Kirsten Dunst
The Rodarte sisters are known for dreaming up cinematic creations (who can forget their Star Wars-themed ready-to-wear collection). And the star to welcome their whimsical designs with open arms? Kirsten Dunst. She has rocked the New York brand's styles, both on and off the red carpet, and has developed a close friendship with the siblings. Together, they jet off to places like Jamaica for vacation and, most recently, the Mulleavys have tapped the actress to star in their directorial debut, Woodshock.
Adam Selman and Rihanna
Former CFDA Fashion Icon Award recipient Rihanna has a thing for slipping into daring ensembles that very few artists can pull off—and that's exactly why her connection to Adam Selman makes sense. The bold New York-based designer debuted his namesake collection in 2013 after working with Rihanna's stylist Mel Ottenberg and with the star herself on her River Island designs. Together, they've collaborated on unforgettable, completely sheer dresses and custom on-stage pieces.
Michael Kors and Kate Hudson
Michael Kors is a man of many muses, citing red carpet favorites like Blake Lively and models with an all-American glow, like Gigi Hadid, as those he turns to for inspiration. Most recently, however, the beloved designer has tapped Kate Hudson as his celebrity inspiration. Kors and Hudson arrived hand-in-hand to the 2015 Met Gala—she rocked a gilded Kors creation, of course—and have continued to showcase their strong connection across charitable initiatives like Kors's #WatchHungerStop campaign.
Balmain's Olivier Rousteing and Kendall Jenner
Balmain Creative Director Olivier Rousteing's crew of high-profile models make up his #BalmainArmy, and though he maintains close ties with headline-makers like Gigi Hadid, Jourdan Dunn, and even Jennifer Lopez, it's Kendall Jenner who never leaves his side. The newly minted Victoria's Secret Angel and the 30-year-old design talent are frequently spotted together over the span of Fashion Month, and they also celebrate birthdays and other milestones with the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan.
Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld and Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart and Karl Lagerfeld's relationship has solidified over the years—the star was the face of Chanel's eyewear campaign this past spring, and also posed with the brand's cool-girl 11.12 handbag. In addition to wearing the French house's sporty and futuristic designs, she has also pulled off one-of-a-kind creations, like this haute couture piece she rocked at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. This December, the actress is set to portray Coco Chanel in a short film directed by Lagerfeld himself.
Brandon Maxwell and Lady Gaga
Brandon Maxwell has been a part of Lady Gaga’s creative inner circle, the “Haus of Gaga,” for years, but he officially took over as the star’s lead stylist in 2013. Since then, Maxwell has helped the singer and actress slip into stunning elegant red carpet gowns, like the oversized Azzedine Alaia dress she sported at the 2015 Oscars and the Maxwell-designed frock she wore at this year’s Emmys. The two frequently call each other their "best friend," and Gaga also made an emotional front-row appearance at the spring 2016 debut of his namesake collection.
Salvador Pérez and Mindy Kaling
Pérez cut his teeth working on the costumes for hit shows like Veronica Mars, but he's most recently made headlines for giving Mindy Kaling the ultimate glam treatment. The Mindy Project costume designer has helped piece together custom creations for Kaling to sport on-screen, and has extended his venerable talent into the real world, crafting collections inspired by her character's style. Off camera, he's dressed the star in his own perfectly tailored gowns like the gorgeous yellow piece she rocked at the 2015 Emmys and the two-toned ensemble she donned at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Alexander Wang and Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson's role as Empire's Cookie Lyon has kept her busy in 2015. So who does she turn to for a killer camera-ready dress? Alexander Wang, of course. Wang dressed her in a custom black-and-white number for this year's Met Gala, and she nailed it in one of his chain-strapped dresses for the 2015 Emmys. Wang also presented Henson and Empire's costume designer, Paolo Nieddu, with the joint Influencer Award at this year's Ace Awards.
Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola
Even though Marc Jacobs turns to fashion and pop culture icons like Kate Moss and Cher for inspiration, it's filmmaker Sofia Coppola who remains a fixture in his life. Recently, Jacobs took to Instagram to explain how they first met—their relationship dates to 1992 when Jacobs premiered his "grunge" collection for Perry Ellis. "Not only was I attracted to how she looked, her sense of style, I was drawn to her manner," he wrote. Coppola directed the film for Jacobs's first-ever fragrance, "Daisy," in 2013, and Jacobs later gave her a starring role in the campaign for his final collection as Louis Vuitton creative director.