Confessions of a Celeb Stylist: Leslie Fremar Takes Us Behind the Scenes of Julianne Moore's Met Gala Fitting

05/08/2013 at 09:00 AM ET

Met Gala beautyCourtesy Leslie Fremar(3); Splash News Online; DPA

Please welcome the newest addition to our PEOPLE StyleWatch blog lineup, Leslie Fremar. She’s Hollywood’s top stylist (literally — The Hollywood Reporter just said so!) with clients from Julianne Moore to Reese Witherspoon. And now she’s bringing her considerable talents to our site to share behind-the-scenes scoop, styling tips and much more. For her inaugural blog post, she gives us all the backstage dish on Moore’s stunning emerald Met Gala look — and what it’s like to have every piece of your outfit made entirely custom for you.

A question I get asked all the time is “How do you get your clients ready for a major event?” I think the reason that people are so interested in this is because it feels very out of reach for most. Many women in their everyday life don’t have the need to dress that way, unless they are going to their own wedding. To this day I still find the process of getting ready for a major red carpet event extremely fascinating. Even though I do this for a living, I truly believe it can be applied to every woman getting ready for a special occasion.

The Met Gala was last night and it’s pretty much a “Who’s Who” of Hollywood, music and fashion all in one room. Everyone is trying to do something memorable, interesting, and fashionable. It’s fascinating how it all comes together and how many people are really involved in creating one look; you have the designers, the artist, the stylist, the jeweler, the hair and make-up people, manicurist, tailor, assistants.

Just to walk you through what it takes to get ready for The Met Gala: Last night I dressed Julianne Moore in Balenciaga. We started the process when Julianne accepted Alexander Wang‘s invitation to attend as his date to the event. Once the pairing between actor and designer is made, you can go ahead and start creating the look for the evening.

After going through images from the Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2013 show, Julianne and I had relayed our favorite looks from the season. Balenciaga then presented us with sketches, transforming some of the looks from the show into evening gowns. We ended up choosing a version of a cocktail dress, which he showed in black. They suggested making it long and in green. We loved it, we approved the sketch and they started making the dress.

The Balenciaga team flew in from Paris three times. The first fitting was to fit the muslin. A muslin is the shape of a dress made out of fabric (not the finished product) so that we can perfect the fit and do all the pinning and cutting. Once they understood her body and how the dress fit, they went back to Paris and made the real dress based off this muslin.

The second fitting was to check the length of the dress, the fit of the dress and to make sure that all of the parts were hitting in the right place. The shoes that we had seen were black, and Balenciaga suggested we make them in green so everything would be monochromatic (see the finished product below). When they said that, I had an idea to keep her entire look monochromatic, which is why we decided to go with emeralds for her jewelry.

Met Gala beautyCourtesy Leslie Fremar

The next day I was having breakfast with Irene Neuwirth, who is one of my favorite jewelry designers, and she showed me a picture of the most beautiful emerald necklace she had made. I thought it would look incredible as a pair of cuffs! I asked her if she was able to make them in time for the Met. She loved the idea, went home, came up with different settings for the bracelets and sent me images, including the stones laid out on a piece of paper (see the whole process, above). I knew once I saw the picture of the bracelets that they were going to be incredible.

I have never made custom jewelry before for a look. She kept texting me images of the different stages: When the setting was finished, when the cuff was complete, etc. We decided to make matching earrings. We originally thought to make a stud, and Julianne suggested we hang it on the wire.

Once the cuffs were finished, Irene sent me a picture of the final product on her own hand, and I sent the picture to Julianne. She loved it — and she fell in love with the ring that was in the picture on Irene’s finger, which was her own personal ring. Irene ended up sending the ring, which Julianne wore to the Met (that’s her getting into the limo, above)!

Check back next week to see how Fremar translates the haute couture experience into shopping for the average girl, and tell us: What did you think of Moore’s look? How badly do you want to borrow those custom Irene Neuwirth bracelets?

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Abigail on

Love this!! So fascinating to hear about the red carpet prep process from start to finish. Julianne looked gorgeous at the Met! Thanks for sharing Leslie.

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