Yes, it was one evening, but for stylist Trish Townsend the ACMs meant creating three different looks for her star client, Carrie Underwood. A red carpet arrival requires something stunning that photographs well close up. A performance look is an entirely different matter because you really need to capture a whole room--and be able to move without a wardrobe malfunction. And then there's the after party ensemble---a more wearable look appropriate for dancing and letting loose. We headed down to Nashville to meet Trish---country music's most sought after stylist--to get the scoop on how she and Carrie chose each piece for the occasion, and how they have carefully crafted her country glam style since her early post-“Idol” days.
When we met Trish in her "wardrobe closet," it was any girl's dream come true. Dozens upon dozens of gorgeous gowns--ranging in color, cut, length, fabric and designer--filled the racks, and were all hand-picked by Trish for a fitting with Carrie. So what were the ultimate picks? For the red carpet, Carrie and Trish had it down to two. The first contender was a bold choice that required no accessories except a pair of bright pink Swarovski crystal-encrusted Ryan Haber heels: a stunning and funky tulle Oscar de la Renta. The second option, which ended up the one the stylish duo went with, was a gorgeous Abed Mahfouz long strapless butter yellow gown with a high slit. Carrie looked so glamorous on the red carpet---with those Oscar de la Renta shoes and diamonds by Johnathon Arndt. When it came to selecting a piece that Carrie could comfortably perform in however—something that allowed her to breathe and rock out, but something that was eye-catching enough to ensure her small frame would hold the focus on a large stage— the task was more complicated. They created a sexy custom-made black-and-fuchsia number by Kymerah. The black fringe was a nod to the fringe dress (also by Kymerah) she wore in her latest music video, “Good Girl." The delicate spaghetti straps were to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions. Trish added her own spice to the piece---with rhinestones, sequins and additional fringe. The leg-baring look was accentuated by sky-high Giuseppe Zanotti booties.
But the night didn’t end there. For the after party, where stars can ostensibly relax and enjoy themselves, Trish selected a fitted Mandalay mini dress with mirrored embellishment plus bead-work up top. Sparkle and more sparkle, as Trish explained, has not only become Carrie’s trademark, but it was her first request back when she was shooting the video for “Jesus Take the Wheel,” for which Townsend bedazzled a pair of Seven jeans. As they were just getting to know each other, Townsend asked Underwood for her style input. “She said, I love sparkle and I don’t want to be seen in anything my dad would be embarrassed to see me in,” Townsend remembered. “I was like, ‘Okay, we will do that the first year. But then I have plans!’” Even today, though, Carrie manages to bare some skin while remaining demure and glamorous. Even with all the sparkle, Carrie never looks like she's trying too hard. After all, she's a "good girl" who likes to have a lot of fun with fashion. We can't wait to see what the next Trish-Carrie collaboration is on the red carpet!
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