STYLE

Canadian star stylist Brad Goreski leaves imprint on and off the red carpet

03/09/2012 04:44 EST | Updated 05/09/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - From styling Barbies to getting decked out as Madonna for Halloween, it was evident from childhood that Brad Goreski had a penchant for playing dress-up.

The Port Perry, Ont., native now makes a living playing fashionable fairy godfather to the modern-day belles of the ball: Hollywood stars hitting the red carpet.

After landing an internship and later working at Vogue magazine, Goreski eventually ended up as an assistant to Rachel Zoe. He was also featured on the celebrity stylist's reality series "The Rachel Zoe Project."

Since parting ways with Zoe, Goreski has faced countless questions about a feud between the pair, after his former boss accused him of ditching her right before the Oscars and trying to steal her clients when he struck out on his own in 2010. He has denied both accusations in the past.

"How am I dealing with it? I have no comment about it. That's how I'm putting it to rest. I wish her all the best," he told The Associated Press during New York Fashion Week last month.

Since branching out, the bespectacled, bowtie-sporting Goreski is assembling his own celebrity client roster. He helped dress a number of stars during awards season, including "Bridesmaids" star and "Saturday Night Live" alum Maya Rudolph for the Oscars and Jessica Alba for the Golden Globes. Swedish actress Noomi Rapace and "Pan Am" star Christina Ricci are also clients, and Goreski has also landed a gig styling for Kate Spade New York.

"I get excited walking my clients to the car and putting them in their cars when they go off to the carpet. It's such a beautiful thing for me," Goreski said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

"I always have that flashback to being a kid in my room in Port Perry looking through fashion magazines. Now I'm getting custom gowns from Gucci and putting them on beautiful women and millions of dollars worth of diamonds — it's a fantasy come true."

While putting his fashionable imprint on the red carpet, Goreski is earning recognition in his own right.

The Los Angeles-based stylist recently returned to Canada for an appearance at a Target pop-up shop in Toronto. He served as a February guest editor for On The Dot, the U.S. discount retailer's online magazine, creating videos and offering style tips on assembling looks from their collection.

His Bravo TV reality series "It's a Brad, Brad World" recently aired its first season, and Goreski has written his first book, "Born to Be Brad: My Life In Style So Far," which he describes as a part memoir, part style guide.

"It's going into (the) fourth year now that I've been on TV and I thought, `You know, people have one picture and version of me that I really wanted to round it out because I've been through a lot in my life — as we all have — and we all have our stories to tell," he said.

"I've been wearing bowties since I can remember.... At two years old I'm wearing a bowtie," he added with a laugh. "But there's also been a lot of fashion don'ts.

"I'm here to tell people it's all about experimentation, and also that if I can make it from Port Perry, Ontario to L.A. doing the job that I've always dreamed of doing that ... if you put your mind to it and work really, really hard that you can make dreams reality because that's been my case. I'm still living it and it's crazy."

Goreski said there's considerable work behind the scenes in assembling the glam ensembles splashed across TV and computer screens and the glossy pages of magazines.

In the days before the Oscars, Goreski said he had to duck into the bathroom during a dinner out with family to make a call about a dress, and later went home to make jewelry selections.

"I just hired a girl, and she was like, "I had no idea it was going to be this hard." And I'm like, "Yeah, it's constant."

"We're constantly working, but we have fun," he added. "I feel like I'm a good boss, I try to keep things light. It really is just clothes and I still try to keep that joy in everything that I do."

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Here are some of Goreski's spring style trends and tips:

WOMEN:

From vibrant hues to florals, Goreski said prints are big for the new season.

"What we're seeing for spring is a return to the lady. There's a lot of romanticism, lot of chiffon, lot of flowy fabrics, pastels; and I think that return to feminine dressing, but also with a bit of sexiness to it," he said.

MEN:

Goreski said colour is one of the big trends for the new season, and guys shouldn't shy away from incorporating it within their spring wardrobe.

"It can be as simple as a belt, it can be a pair of socks, it can be a bowtie, a different coloured shirt — instead of wearing a white shirt wear a blue shirt," he said. "I think for guys, too, just kind of kicking it up a little bit, just putting that extra little bit of thought into what you're wearing because the resources are there now."

"I think designers are making things that appeal to men and I think taking that extra little time in the morning to make sure you look good will pay off."

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Online:http://www.whosay.com/bradgoreski