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Stylin' and Profilin'

Liz posing on set.

Unless you're living a Thoreauvian existence, or simply don’t care, you're probably familiar with the term stylist. Thanks to Rachel Zoe and her drones, the profession of prettifying celebrities has become a hot occupation. I count myself among them.

While my day-to-day life is less BA-NAN-AS than Ms. Zoe’s, it is a really sweet gig. Typically, my role within our cover shoots is acting as a liaison between the celebrity’s stylist (yes, they typically request their own wardrobe/hair/makeup) and our magazine, making sure that our creative vision is maintained within the wardrobe selections. Our April issue made this task a bit more daunting than usual: Shooting eight larger than life LA personalities into one Back to the Beach scene.

The fact that we were shooting so many people over the course of two days forced us to streamline our efforts. Between super-stylist George Kotsiopoulos and myself, we lined up two dressing rooms worth of clothes, shoes and a few vintage bikinis for our rotating cast of characters.


How do we get the clothes, you ask? Well, in industry speak it’s called “pulling” which loosely translates to borrowing. To cover my bases, I tapped into some of my NYC resources and made a slew of appointments pour moi throughout LA: hitting DVF and Chan Luu for Gabby, John Varvatos for Anthony and Hugo Boss for Mr. Grazer (I couldn’t bring myself to call him Brian). Along the way, I ran into Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) from Modern Family (for the second time), pulled from a showroom next to Taylor Jacobson (Ms. Zoe’s former assistant, who it happened to compliment my sky-high suede platform boots... eek!) and was offered a personal styling gig for a man named Ari while at John Varvatos. LA is strange like that, this weird über networking vortex of beautiful people all trying to “be someone” (or at least dress like it).

The ping-pong table kept us entertained.

After four days of appointments and navigating the LA freeway system—which I will now avoid at all costs—it was go time. Milk Studios was our home base over the next two days, complete with a fake beach scene and a ping-pong table for our enjoyment between acts. I could go into immense detail about the shoot, but here are a few highlights:

  • Kathy had us listen to Justin Bieber's “U Smile” on repeat for nearly three hours. Eventually the entire crew was singing along.
  • Giada embraced her inner Mary Ann (à la Gilligan’s Island, see below).
  • Photographer Jeff Lipsky mastered his ping pong skills
  • Anthony did a stage dive off the lifeguard stand. He also took to calling me Minnesota, reigniting my high school crush.
Giada De Laurentiis posing for the camera.

Things I discovered:

  • Kathy is just as funny in person, and tinier than I ever imagined.
  • Giada is so much cooler than I thought she would be, and doesn’t over-pronounce things in real life.
  • Anthony takes his coffee with an extra shot of espresso.
  • My Coach platform boots are NOT two-day shoes.


We wrapped after 48 hours, cleaned up the sand, slugged down a few beers (courtesy of the studio) and called it a successful shoot. Buuuuut, it’s not all work and no play—check back next week for my blog on my after-hour romps around the City of Angels. And no, they did not involve Anthony Kiedis.

To see more from behind-the-scenes, watch our exclusive video of the photo shoot.


Miss you Doyle! Great blog.

Suzy Martin on 4/4/2011 12:35:23 PM
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Next: "Jeanne Moreauvian"

Bruce Kinsey on 11/10/2011 12:01:25 PM
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About Sarah Elbert

Sarah Elbert

As executive editor of Delta Sky, Sarah Elbert lassos the best writers she can find to cover the world—as well as contributing some prose of her own. Before coming to Sky, Sarah was editorial director of magazines including Northwest WorldTraveler and Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Postcards. She has been a newspaper editor, a freelance writer and an Associated Press reporter, riding with the White House travel pool (back in the Clinton days) and covering everything from natural disasters to a cat kidney transplant. Sarah has written for The New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Sun—but not the NY Daily News. She now lives in Minneapolis, which she finds lovely and underrated, but does occasionally miss Manhattan and the Staten Island Ferry. Sarah would like to think she could again go backpacking across Europe, and she still loves to travel, but she knows that train has left the station. It's just so much quicker to fly.

About Deborah Caulfield Rybak

Deborah Caulfield Rybak

Senior editor Deborah Caulfield Rybak interviewed the Who’s Who of Hollywood during her years as an entertainment industry reporter at the Los Angeles Times. She still prefers writing about the arts to almost any other journalistic activity, so it’s a good thing we’ve got her on that beat at Sky. She’s pocketed numerous journalism awards and co-written three books.

But that’s just her journalistic cred: she’s also worked as an FM deejay in Aspen, a speechwriter in Washington and an environmental film festival director in Colorado. She considers herself happiest when she’s out of town—and out of cellphone range. She’s hitchhiked across Kenya, spent the night atop a pyramid in Central America, hovered face-to-mandible with giant manta rays during a night dive in Hawaii and hiked the High Atlas mountains in Morocco. Still left on her to do list: Bhutan and marlin fishing.

About Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle

After a few years navigating the trenches of New York's fashion scene as a stylist assistant at Harpers Bazaar, fashion editor Liz Doyle is excited to be back in her childhood hometown of Minneapolis. When she isn't scouting the latest trends in fashion and travel, she moonlights at a local Parisian brasserie where she says "welcome" and "enjoy" a lot and occasionally tries to improve her French. Though her foray to the editorial side of the magazine industry is a new one, she welcomes the challenge and can't wait to see what this new adventure holds.

About Amanda Welshons

Amanda Hoffstrom

Associate online editor Amanda Welshons maintains the web and social media presence of Delta Sky. She enjoys using new media and exploring how different platforms enhance the reader experience. Based in Minneapolis, Amanda has several destinations on her bucket list including London, Paris and Sydney. She just spent a blissful week in St. Lucia for her honeymoon, and can't wait for upcoming trips to Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver and New York. When she’s not in the office, she's a pop culture junkie, soaking up as many movies, television shows and magazines as possible.