For the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards (Mar. 5), pop singer and Billboard cover star, Shawn Mendes, wore a black floral tux fresh off the Armani Fall 2017 runway. "He loved it right away," says his longtime stylist Tiffany Briseno. "It reminded me of my secret obsession, 'Say Yes to the Dress', where the bride immediately loves the first dress she tries on. It's like where do you go from here when the tux is so spectacular? It's the clear winner." Billboard exclusively spoke with Briseno, who is currently in France for Paris Fashion Week, to learn more about the "Mercy" singer's head-to-toe award show look.
You've been styling Shawn since his "Stitches" video in 2015. Now that it's two years later, why do you think you both work so well together?
My relationship with Shawn is really great. It's such a treat to work with him because he's such a kind, humble and down-to-earth guy who lets me do my thing. We trust each other, and that allows us to be in-sync. Having a client like that as a stylist allows for endless possibilities and I'm excited to see where we can go.
How would you describe Shawn's style?
Shawn is an approachable guy, and that's really where I draw my inspiration from. He favors a neutral palette, and I think it's a perfect backdrop to that welcoming approach he has. With menswear, it's about those anchoring pieces, more so than womenswear. It's not necessarily about color, but rather the fit, the texture, the fabrication of something, or the way that you layer it. Shawn has this way of taking that under the radar, everyday kind of look--like jeans and a t-shirt--and making it look special again.
What's a fitting between you two like?
Most of our fittings are done in his home in Pickering, Ontario, Ca. It starts off with my team and I unloading racks of clothing onto his driveway; which sometimes confuses the neighbors, who think we're hosting a pop-up shop. When we walk in, Shawn has an amazing playlist--from Chance the Rapper to John Mayer--playing. I have some looks pre-styled for him, so he tries those on, let's me know what he likes, dislikes, etc. But it feels like we're just hanging out.
What's the difference between styling for the red carpet versus a performance?
With performances, you're constantly moving, so you want the fabric and fit to have agility and elasticity or breathability. Most of the time you won't catch Shawn wearing a blazer when he's performing. He wears a signature ring, but bracelets and that sort of stuff is out of the question. He's a young guy (18-years-old) and I want his style to grow organically in small increments. I think that's key to allowing his genuineness to shine through.
So what is Shawn wearing tonight at the 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards?
Shawn's dressed in a black brocade slim-fit tux with silver floral detailing from the Fall 2017 Armani collection. When he tried it on, it's as if the piece was conceptualized for him. It's out of this world. True to Shawn's style, we paired it up with a slim dark denim, a nicely tailored black collared shirt and black leather Chelsea boots, all from Armani. It's not overly styled because it still has to feel genuine to him. You never want it to be where the clothes are wearing the celebrity; the talent has to be wearing the pieces.