Left: Donatella Versace’s sketch for the star. Right: Jane Fonda at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Right:Photo: Getty Images; courtesy of the designer
“Before I work with a client, I study their image both on and off screen to understand their body shape and personality,” says London-born, L.A.-based stylist Tanya Gill who has been working with Jane Fonda since 2010. She calls her client “timeless” and says that some of her greatest style tricks (monochrome ensembles, two-inch heels for the right amount of height, strategically-placed cutouts) can be adapted no matter whatever your age. So how does she do it? Easily! “There are no rules,” says Gill. “Have fun with your style. This is only fashion!”
Read on to find out how she makes the sample-sized septuagenarian look so flawless.
Yahoo Style: Are you ever amazed that you’re working with a woman in her 70′s who is sample size?
Tanya Gill: The fact that she can fit samples means there are more options to pull from. Couture and ready-to-wear samples are famously tiny so to request something straight off the runway for an important red carpet appearance and have it fit is very helpful.
YS: That green Balmain jumpsuit that she wore to the 2015 Grammys was amazing.
TG: That was Jane’s favorite recent look. It was one of those moments where there is this perfect synergy of persona with the look. The silhouette, color, choice of modern accessories, her composure, the hair and the makeup and when all of these factors lineup everyone notices. All the details added up.
YS: Do designers want to dress Ms. Fonda?
TG: Yes they do! There is a wonderful respect for her from designers from around the world. It’s refreshing to work with someone new like Olivier Rousteing at Balmain with that green jumpsuit. This year at Cannes, Ms. Fonda was honored at the “Women in Motion Awards” and wore Saint Laurent that Hedi Slimane custom made for her with fittings in Los Angeles and Cannes. Donatella Versace has also been very kind over the years and her design team is not only very creative but also very professional.
YS: Did you have a certain plan of attack for the recent run in Cannes?
TG: Yes, it was two months in the making collaborating with the couture teams at Versace, Saint Laurent, and Schiaparelli.
Left: The 1952 Schiaparelli gown that inspired Fonda’s look at the Youth premiere. Photos: Corbis; Getty Images
YS: The Schiaparelli dress at the Youth premiere was a departure from her usual form-fitting looks. Was that gown just a matter of wanting to switch things up?
TG: It was the perfect opportunity to try something new while being playful and glamorous. Ms. Fonda liked the idea of going with a different designer and recreating a vintage gown from 1952. The Schiaparelli custom gown was a black, form-fitting design with a theatrical, slightly baroque and Fellini-esque draped bustle and train in shocking pink silk taffeta.
YS: How many outfits do you usually go through before landing the right ones? What role do accessories play in these looks?
TG: I edit by looking at all the fashion shows, discussing and visiting designers and their showrooms. I then select and bring the best choices for Jane. Accessories are the icing on the cake. They have a very important role and have the power to change an entire look. They should never be underestimated.
YS: What’s the best style advice that you could give for a woman of a certain age who wants to dress in a more sophisticated way?
TG: Take the time to know what your best attributes are and play those up. For day, try a new silhouette. Instead of a classic suit Ms. Fonda will favor a two-piece look with a belted peplum top in a Bordeaux shade. A statement necklace in a complementary color can really set off the look. For evening, you can look effortless and elegant in one color, which help to elongate your torso. Don’t be afraid to try a dress or a jumpsuit for evening. The Atelier Versace red column gown that Ms. Fonda wore to the 2015 Golden Globes shows how to play with sheer cutouts that still cover. Remember age is just a number and women of any age should be confident in their fashion choices.
Related: Jane Fonda Is Still a Sexpot at 77