Ryan Jamaal Swain’s Dress From the Pose Premiere Is Actually a Cape
FX’s Pose may be known, in part, for its over-the-top fashion, but in real life, the cast's red carpet looks have been pretty spectacular, too. At Wednesday night’s season two premiere, the stars once again showed up dressed to impress, with three of those jaw-dropping looks having been styled by Andrew Gelwicks.
The stylist definitely had his hands full dressing Ryan Jamaal Swain, Dominique Jackson, and Hailie Sahar ahead of the event, but somehow, he found the time to answer a few of our questions. Fom revealing behind-the-scenes struggles to pointing out must-see details, Gelwicks had no problem spilling all what we wanted to know, and shared a few pics of the process as well.
The Overall Vibe of the Night:
"Pose is such an over-the-top, fantastical show and really lends itself to having fun with fashion. For the season 2 premiere, each client I dressed had a very different vision for what they were wanting."
Going Big vs Less Is More:
"The exciting part of styling is that each carpet brings an opportunity to do something different — whether it's keeping it minimal one day and then really doing something fabulously grandiose the next. Certain occasions don't warrant something ‘big,’ so I think it's important to pay attention to the event and what the client's purpose is there. Are they accepting an award, promoting their own new project, or simply just supporting another show? It all determines how they will dress."
“Ryan and I opted for a vintage Ungaro cape from New York Vintage that we last-minute turned into a dress. We were going back and forth between whether or not to use a headpiece, but decided that we should let the hair he was doing stand alone. It's such a fun look and really captures Ryan — playful, sophisticated and daring."
Working Through Dilemmas:
"A lot of people don't realize the grueling hours, physical labor, and planning that goes into celebrity styling. There are always designers saying no. It can be extremely frustrating and disheartening. It's a constant push to really make sure your clients are getting the absolute best pieces. Even for this premiere, I was told ‘no' by a representative for a certain designer. I knew in my heart that the designer would be perfect for my client, so I pushed and talked to different people. Through that, another person I spoke with actually talked to the designer himself and it turns out he was a big fan and immediately sent over options."
All About the Dress:
"The look Ryan is wearing is actually a cape that we switched into a dress. We thought it was better to wear it alone, rather than draping over something else. The look was pulled together in the very last minute. We were originally envisioning a very different aesthetic, but then, during our fitting the evening before, we changed our minds. It was down to the wire but we pulled it off. We collaborate extremely well and he really trusts me."
Collaboration Is Key:
"Collaboration is critical between the stylist and talent. It's an incredibly personal relationship and you have to be able to understand your client on a very visceral level — not just what colors they like and their favorite brands, but what they represent, their goals, how they want to be seen by the world. Having an open dialogue and really being able to have a truly collaborative relationship, in every aspect of the word, make for the best fashion moments."
Expect the Unexpected:
"I try to always be prepared for the unexpected. Because, more often than I would like, the ‘unexpected' actually happens. Whether the client changes their mind last-minute about what they want, or a look that was promised by the designer gets pulled or not delivered, there are so many variables that can put a wrench in your plan. In moments like that, the relationships that you as a stylist and the talent themselves have built really come into play, because they will usually go the extra mile to make some magic happen for you in those desperate occasions."
The Pressure of Dressing Multiple People:
"When dressing multiple people for the same event, organization and timing is everything. Today, I had three clients going to the same premiere, leaving at the same time, from different locations. In order to make sure each person was taken care, every minute of the day was planned out to put the final touches together, and then be with them as they head out. My amazing assistant, Emily, as well as my interns, are hustlers and go above and beyond in helping.
"Dominique wanted to lean into classic, sexy glamour, and is wearing a stunning Vivienne Westwood couture gown. As soon as I showed it to her, I think we both immediately knew that was it. It fit perfectly and was everything we were looking for. We kept it subtle and accented it with a pair of blue Mio Harutaka earrings, Ilene Joy rings and Emm Kuo clutch."
Keeping It Simple:
"For Dominique, I wanted to really let her shine through and not cover her up with too much jewelry. The accents of blue and white diamonds really brought out the crystal pendant on the gown, and I love how elegant she looks. The Stuart Weitzman heels she's wearing also give a bit of shimmer and glamour when she walks. As a rule, if the accessory doesn't truly add something or really bring the look together, then I think better not to wear."
His Go-To Brands:
"I'm constantly on the lookout for new brands. I always want to be surprised by something or someone, and a lot of times I get bored just seeing the same designers. Instagram has been a great tool for me in discovering new brands."
Something He Wishes He Styled:
"I have a major fashion crush on Elle Fanning. Her Cannes looks this past month were drop-dead, out-of-this-world stunning. Not only did they deliver pure glamour, which is what all Cannes looks should be, but you felt they were very special and particular to Elle herself. Elle and her stylist, Samantha McMillen, seem to have a strong bond, where Samantha is able to really understand Elle. One of my all-time favorites is actually from the 2018 Cannes carpet when she wore the purple Rodarte."
On Using the Characters as Inspiration:
"I binge-watched the show in two days. I'm obsessed! The characters, the costumes, the music — it's all brilliant. And watching the show absolutely does make me think about how the actors will represent themselves on the red carpet. Dominique is so completely aware of herself, and we definitely try to make sure there is a difference between Elektra, her character, and Dominique Jackson. It's nice to sometimes lean in to the character a bit, but you don't want to rely on it. When they are stepping out in public, especially on a carpet, they are representing themselves, not their character."