This awards season’s breakout style star is ruling the red carpet, with help from power stylist Karla Welch. “I do have an interest in fashion, but it’s not very straightforward. I like things that are a bit off kilter, a bit different, slightly odd or peculiar,” Negga says.
Moments before Best Actress Oscar nominee Ruth Negga sits down to chat withThe Hollywood Reporter at the Gemfields party Friday night, we catch her telling Rodarte designer Laura Mulleavy how much she loves the line. It just so happens Negga is wearing a Rodarte ensemble — a spring 2017 sequin deep v-neck with bell sleeves and black high-waist trousers.
“I’ve been wearing Rodarte throughout this season, so it’s a thrill for me,” Negga says of meeting one half of the sister act behind the L.A.-based brand.
The intimate gathering, hosted by Gemfields in honor of Negga and her stylist, Karla Welch, was held at the Chateau Marmont and drew Busy Phillips, Michelle Dockery and Kat Graham, too.
Indeed, Negga wore Rodarte at the L.A. premiere of Loving and W Magazine’s pre-Golden Globes party. She’s also made the rounds in Valentino, Miu Miu and Monse, landing on a number of best-dressed lists with the help of Welch.
Turns out, she found her stylist through THR.
“She was featured in the top 25 stylists [list] and this was before I ever started this campaign, I was reading and going through and was like, 'I pick that girl.' There was something about her energy, even just her pose. That fierceness,” explained Negga, who was also wearing a Fred Leighton 24K ruby choker.
“I read what she had said and looked her up on her Instagram and I thought 'I know that that person will understand me' because I do have an interest in fashion, but it’s not very straightforward. I like things that are a bit off kilter, a bit different, slightly odd or peculiar,” added the 35-year-old star. “I thought, 'I won’t have to explain myself to her.' And that's exactly the relationship we’ve engendered. It’s very rarely that we disagree. She pulls things for me and it’s very rarely that I go 'no.'”
Welch, who also counts Philipps, Justin Bieber and Olivia Wilde as clients, called their meeting “complete serendipity.”
“The day before I got the call to work with Ruth, I read about her movie and I thought, 'oh my gosh, that sounds so interesting,'” recalled Welch, clad in a black Celine ensemble.
For proof that the dynamic duo know how to have a good time when getting ready for events, look no further than Welch’s Instagram, which documents their partnership. One memorable shot featured Negga posing like a badass in a Monse strapless pinstriped pantsuit.
“I was having fun,” Negga said with a smile. “That’s the thing, I love fashion because it can really give you a [sense of] confidence and playfulness. It gives you humor, joy, confidence, drama, individuality. It makes you stand out from the crowd. That’s what you see in those photos — a genuine joy.”
Welch added: “I blame that on Vernon [Francois], her hairdresser, because he’s always like ‘we need to do pictures!’”
As for those poses? Negga shared that she gets nervous on the red carpet so “before we go out, we do what I call pose practicing, because I don’t know how to do this. I'm not a model.”
Don’t be surprised to see more power poses on Sunday when Negga gets ready for the Oscars. When asked if there was anything she could reveal about her red-carpet look, she teased, “I would be murdered. How can you even ask that question.”
Welch, meanwhile, offered up some clues.
“She's going to look beautiful. It’s going to be simple and elegant and perfect for the Oscars,” said Welch, adding that she'll be wearing the ACLU blue ribbon. “There’s a quietness to the look, but it's major.”
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