"I am constantly told 'no' for girls who are average size and bigger."

By Samantha Sutton
Updated: Apr 12, 2019 @ 2:43 pm
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There were plenty of standout moments at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards, from Miranda Lambert shading Blake Shelton to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman kissing on the red carpet. But when it comes to fashion, we need to talk about Kelly Clarkson. Not only did the singer show up in a sexy-sophisticated lacy black dress, she also had two outfit changes throughout the night — and somehow each look was better than the last.

The credit for that goes to her stylist, Candice Lambert, who exclusively spoke with InStyle about everything Kelly wore throughout the show. "To me, the gown we chose for the red carpet is pretty much Kelly in a dress,” she revealed via email about the Alexander McQueen design. "It is her favorite color, it has lace, it’s a little rock 'n' roll, a little country, a little pop, strong, and sexy.” She also noted that when it comes to dressing Kelly, she's really digging throwback trends. "I love a good shoulder pad right now. The ‘80s comeback is a favorite.”

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For the singer’s on-stage performances, the stylist looked at song choice and other performers for inspiration, putting Kelly in something sequined, furry, and blue for a duet with Jason Aldean, and a black, mini Dolce & Gabbana dress for her song with Dan + Shay. "They tend to have fun with their fashion and are very colorful,” Candice said about the duo. “I kept [Kelly] slick, fresh, young, and simple in a dress that would complement them.” 

Of course, it was hard to miss a common theme with all three of these jaw-dropping looks: big, bold accessories. "I love a statement earring,” Candice said, referencing the YSL pair from the red carpet and a single drop Kelly wore later on. “We [also] love to wear belts to show her figure and shape. I always think the more accessories the better. I am opposite of Coco [Chanel] — do it all!”

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Still, while Candice has no problem helping The Voice judge shine in every situation, she did admit that getting clothes for clients (she dresses everyone from Danica Patrick to Pentatonix) isn’t always easy. "I am constantly told 'no' for girls who are average size and bigger,” she said, when asked to weigh in on designers refusing to dress certain stars. "It is very frustrating. I don’t understand why you would be a designer if you don’t want to dress all-sized women and all ethnicities. It can get very shallow in the fashion industry; it is gross and shameful. I also think everyone should be able to access clothes. Not sure why some artists can wear clothes and others can’t.”

Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2019/Getty Images

Candice isn’t above going to great lengths to put together perfect look, however. She begins planning one or two weeks ahead of time, and for the ACM Awards in particular, found Kelly’s dresses in various places. “One I got online, one a designer sent, and the other I bought in a store."

The good news is that Kelly isn’t tied to one specific style or trend, which Candice said makes her job fun. "Kelly really just wants to have fun with fashion. She wants to explore different styles and brands, and really likes to try something new each time.” So, what can we expect to see the star wearing next? "Now, we are doing a lot of pink for Ugly Dolls [events], and as for The Voice, it’s whatever we feel that day!"

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