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Stylists' star-making, brand-building power feted

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 15, 2013 at 6:38 am •  Published: March 15, 2013
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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Dianna Agron may be a sought-after actress, but she'll admit to a little stalking. Not for a plum role — for a stylist.

"Not outside her house like a creepy person," the "Glee" star said of her pursuit of stylist Samantha McMillen, "but I knew some of the people that she was dressing and I said I want her."

McMillen was among those honored on the Hollywood Reporter's list of the industry's top 25 stylists. The trade paper doesn't rank the most powerful directors or producers in the industry, but it does recognize the top stylists, whose ability to effect image may be on par with those other big shots.

Stylists aren't just indispensable to stars, they're integral to the whole Hollywood marketing machine. They're curators of living, breathing, world-famous billboards; the key link between fashion brands and actresses and a critical component in how both are seen. In an industry that trades on image, stylists are the most powerful image makers.

This year's style-makers were celebrated at a luncheon Wednesday with Zoe Saldana, Naomi Watts and Reese Witherspoon on the rooftop patio of the private Soho House. Most of those on the list don't have famous names (except maybe for Rachel Zoe, who's third), but their work is seen worldwide in the form of glamorous looks on the most admired stars.

Saldana started working with Petra Flannery while filming "Avatar." The actress said having a stylist is "paramount to a person's image, especially when they work in this business."

"Not only are you respected by what you say, you're also respected and admired and reviewed on how you look, so that said, this is my office," Saldana said, pointing at herself. "You have to kind of see it that way and have fun with it."

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