“Everything’s pretty wrapped up,” stylist Law Roach told me over the phone the morning of the MTV Movie Awards. “We just need to make sure everything fits into the timing of the show. Everything is logistical at this point. The looks are decided. We just may have to edit. We just don’t know.”
VIDEO: Host Tiffany Haddish Dazzles at the MTV Movie And TV Awards Red Carpet
Roach, who is best known for styling A-listers like Zendaya (the actress has worked with him for her entire career), Celine Dion, and Ariana Grande has been up since 6 AM PST prepping for his newest client. Tonight, he’ll be responsible for dressing Tiffany Haddish, who will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards show.
The two first officially began working together back in April when Roach dressed her for a For Your Consideration Red Carpet Event for TBS' Hipsters and O.G.'s where Haddish plays Shay, the girlfriend of ex-con Tray, played by Tracy Morgan.
The first dress Roach put her in was markedly more refined than what Haddish had been seen wearing to events prior: a memorable off-the-shoulder black satin cocktail dress with dramatic sleeves by Jonathan Simkhai replaced what once would have been a something that simply “just worked” for the night. But that dress isn't necessarily a signal of how Roach will dress her forever. He's constantly evolving his clients, changing with them, and experimenting, even when he has a hit.
“It’s always a lot of work with me, but it shows,” Roach says over the phone about his approach to working with his clients. “Every person I dress has their own DNA and their own identity. The research part of it takes a little bit of time to figure it out, but I’m happy to invest that.”
When starting to work with Haddish, Roach looked at everything she had ever worn on a red carpet—from hair and makeup choices to accessory preferences—and accessed what he felt worked and what didn’t. “She’s a comedian,” Roach beings. “She’s animated. You always have to keep that in mind [and pull] things that are going to move with her.”
As the host of the MTV Movie Awards, Haddish will be moving around even more than usual. Only about three months into their sartorial partnership, Roach is responsible for dressing Haddish not only for the red carpet but for the entire show.
“It’s just more clothes,” he says with a laugh.
Roach, who defines himself more as an “image architect” than a traditional stylist, doesn’t have a singular goal in his mind for the evening outside of making sure his client can do her job. Award shows, he explains, are a different kind of beast from, say, The Met Gala, which he dressed Haddish for last month. Simple red-carpet events are one outfit productions. This, is something entirely different.
“In the quick changes [backstage in between sets] you have hair and makeup, and everyone’s pulling and tugging and trying to zip or close shoes and trying to get her out, so she’s still in a good mood and in a place where she can go on stage and perform because that’s really what the important part of it is.”
As of 10 AM PST the day of the MTV Awards Show, Haddish will be wearing seven costumes. And yes, the McQueen dress that she's worn multiple times, is one of them.
“It’s been a long running joke about her getting her money out of that dress,” Roach said about the decision to include the $4,000 dress in tonight’s wardrobe repertoire. “So she came to me and was like, “I definitely want to wear the McQueen dress.” I thought it would be cool for her to wear something that she wore again but also things that other people have worn before.”
So the two collaborated and every costume in the show features an iconic look that’s been worn by someone else; in a movie, on a red carpet, during an important moment of pop culture. “It’s gonna be really hilarious,” Roach says laughing.
“I proposed the idea to her because I thought it was hilarious and she came back with ideas that she wanted to do.” For instance, Haddish wanted to recreate Carol Burnett in her parody of Gone With The Wind: “That Bob Mackie [costume], when he she wore a dress out of curtains but forgot to take the curtain rod out. That was one where Tiffany was like, “I have to do this. I have to pay homage to Carol Burnett,” which is great because it’s also me paying homage to Bob Mackie who I adore and worship.
Another highlight: a recreation of one very specific royal gown. “She’s re-wearing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress,” he says. “That’s my favorite one. I thought it was easier to find, but it took a little bit of a hunt. Finding something as close to the original as possible was a bit harder than we thought it would be.”
“It’s gonna be hilarious,” Roach says for the third time. Because, genuinely, he knows it will be.
The MTV Movie Awards film on Saturday, June 16th. The show will air on Monday, June 18th on MTV.