TORONTO - From the Oscars to the recent Met Gala, Cristina Ehrlich has played a pivotal part in dressing several of Hollywood's leading ladies for marquee events.
Tina Fey, Penelope Cruz, Julianna Margulies, Margot Robbie and "Girls" star Allison Williams are among the actresses on the stylist's client roster.
"I think it's really just about having that understanding that you're there to make them feel super comfortable, make sure that you're hearing what they're saying," said Ehrlich, who was ranked among the top 25 power stylists by The Hollywood Reporter.
"I think it's really important not to push a client into something she doesn't want to wear, or if she's not sure and you're not sure to be honest about it and say, 'Let's move on.' Because at the end of the day, there's always another dress."
Ehrlich was recently in Toronto for a showcase of the Marshalls spring-summer collection, which highlighted fashions inspired by her star clients. She revealed how women can channel the trends into their warm-weather wardrobes.
THE POWER DRESSER
Embodied by stars like Margulies and Williams, the trend incorporates menswear-inspired pieces that can pair well with chic, feminine designs.
Ehrlich suggested teaming sleek separates like a blazer or flared trousers with bold statement accessories.
She said a prime example of the trend is sporting a jacket slung over a little black dress. Her choice LBD selection? The peplum, the ruffle or short overskirt which attaches to the waistlines of garments.
Ehrlich said an updated one-shoulder version with architectural details offers a fresh take on the popular style.
"I think a woman who has a longer neck and who has nice, broad shoulders and is not too big in the chest — it's going to look a little bit more sophisticated on that type of a body type.
"But you could also have something that's very, very similar for women that have a bigger bust that has a halter neck.... I think it's about proportion."
Robbie doesn't shy away from mixing seemingly clashing prints, like wearing a leopard print coat atop a checked shift dress.
Ehrlich said it's an art form to team disparate prints within one ensemble but it can be done by finding commonality in the colours, such a dominant white base found in a graphic print bomber jacket and a patterned skirt.
"I think it's a matter of taste," said Ehrlich.
"Sometimes you see people who mix certain prints and you say: 'Wow, I really, really like that.' Then sometimes people do it and you're like: 'Does that work or does that not work?'
"I think you have to look at the colour palette that you're mixing, and if you're doing baby blue and cream, maybe grey and purple will work.
"I think it's just one of the things where your eye looks at it and it makes sense or it doesn't."
The fun approach to feminine fashion comes to the fore in outfits worn by "Mad Men" star and Montreal native Jessica Pare.
While showcasing time-honoured styles and silhouettes, the trend also draws on incorporating bold prints and finishes.
Ehrlich suggested opting for a form-fitting sheath dress adorned with a vibrant floral print.
"This season there has been an exceptional amount of print exploding everywhere and some have been more in this neon family.... Any lines that are going to bring in the waist and these darts are always going to be very flattering in the chest. It's a dress that's going to look good on most."
Ehrlich said women also don't need to shy away from mixing metallics, notably in accessories.
"A couple of years ago, I would have thought the biggest no-no in the world is ... a gold evening bag ... paired with silver shoes. That's really just to show you now that there really are no rules and you can mix metal colours, too."