Q&A with Rock Star Stylist Candice Lambert
Brands and Bands: Q&A with Rock Star Stylist Candice Lambert
Candice Lambert is an LA based stylist who probably sees more celebrities in a week than most people see in a lifetime. Ranging from working with metal bands like Asking Alexandria to R&B vocalists like Andra Day, Lambert has brought her sense of fashion to all corners the modern music world. Growing up in the underground rock and punk scenes, Lambert found a way to develop her own styling aesthetic through her clothes, accessories, music taste and even some ink. So it comes as no surprise that some of Lambert’s greatest accomplishments have been found in styling video shoots, music magazine covers, and even tailoring a punk band for something as lavish as the Tony Awards.
How do you think tattoos and fashion relate to one another?
Fashion is an outward expression of you. Tattoos are the same. You are speaking to others without words but images and art that you have on your body. Anyone who sees your tattoo will get a sense of who you are without you even having to explain it; just like fashion, it is an outward expression of your statement to the world and your artistic vision of yourself.
How would you describe your personal style and aesthetic when styling your clients?
My personal style is eclectic. It is hard to narrow it down because multiple facets influence me. I am a girl so it does depend on the day and my mood. I like to think I have quite a few different styles: sometimes it’s a bit Rock ‘N’ Roll, other times it’s more girly and feminine. I would say I am a mix of Debbie Harry, Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss and Joan Jett…and Joe Strummer. As far as my aesthetics go, contrasting styles are the most fun and interesting for me. I like the grit with the clean, sharp lines but with some distortion. I don’t like to have things too perfect. I want a touch of chaos in there and something a bit off balance that has an element of surprise. I like to do things that don’t make sense and make people question or give that second glance or think, “I would never have done that, but I get it.” Fashion is supposed to be fun and an interesting experience. However, don’t take it too seriously or you miss the point. I want to challenge myself, challenge my clients and challenge my styling. I always want to be on the cutting edge and help my clients express themselves through their own individual style. This takes really understanding your clients, their particular needs, and their vision.
What sets you apart from other stylists?
One thing that sets me apart is that I want the best for my clients/artists. I see many celebrities and artists who have these teams around them who don’t seem like they have their client’s best interest in mind. I see these artists on stage or on red carpets and I am sometimes shocked. I think to myself, “How did this happen and shame on your stylist!” I am also a reservist in US Coast Guard…not only do I style but I serve my country as well.
You have worked with a lot of bands and celebrities, who have been some of your favorite people to work with?
Oh, this is a really hard question. I have worked with so many talented and beautiful people. Atlas Genius: I have worked with these wonderful Aussies from the beginning and they are the nicest guys. They have this effortlessly cool, rock vibe. They are really into fashion which is always fun for a stylist.
Green Day: I have had some of the best times in my life with them and they are like family to me. All three of them have these beautiful electric souls. They are so talented, smart, fun, and they know fashion. They know exactly who they are and what they want to represent.
The Offspring: All the guys in the band are just amazing people. The band has this SoCal/Huntington Beach punk vibe that is different stylistically than other punk artists. They like to keep to their roots and represent their scene while having fun with their clothes while not taking themselves too seriously.
Music seems to be highly influential to your style. What bands/music inspire the looks you create?
Music obviously impacts and influences my craft. I listen to a wide variety of artists. I love The Clash, The Beatles, Ramones, Blondie, Janis Joplin, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Hole, Generation X, The Specials—I can go on and on. These artists have definitely influenced me stylistically.
You have a partial sleeve adorned with butterflies on your arm. What made you want that piece?
I was an army brat growing up and I have lived all over the world. One of my favorite memories was living in the Republic of Panama. We lived outside of the jungle and I used to go play in it with my brother. There were these swarms of Monarchs that used to swirl around us. We would get so lost in that jungle, in our imaginations and the lovely colors of those butterflies; it is one of my favorite memories. I have been obsessed ever since and the meaning behind the butterfly is freedom and that word means a great deal to me for many different reasons.
Who did it?
Paul Dhuey did my ¾ sleeve from Katana Tattoo. He is a specialist in Japanese tattoo art. I have always been a fan of that style and Paul had done a sleeve on my best friend, Toni. I saw her sleeve and I just had to get a piece done by him.
Do you have any future plans for more tattoos?
I don’t have a plan for a huge piece as of yet, but I am sure I will get some little ones here and there. I get the itch every so often and I have to go in and get something.
You have close connections with brands like John Varvatos and Vivienne Westwood, both key fashion icons in the punk and Rock ‘N’ Roll scenes. What drew you to these styles and scenes?
As a kid I grew up in the punk scene. I escaped from my reality through music. I expressed myself through my clothes, dying my hair any and every color. I think John Varvatos and Vivienne get that part of the music world; they grew up in the music scene. I think they understand how fashion and Rock ‘N’ Roll correlate, and you really can’t have one without the other. So, my point is fashion speaks; it expresses who you are. John and Vivienne know this; they are the best at what they do and they understand music to the core.
You styled Green Day for the Tony Awards for their musical American Idiot. What was your approach to styling rock stars for a Broadway award show?
I think the overall importance was to keep Green Day…Green Day. They were getting honored by the Tony Awards but they still wanted to represent the punk/Rock ‘N’ Roll scene, which I think they did. Billie Joe [Armstrong] wore this beautiful skinny black Lad Musician suit, with a touch of red for the American Idiot colors, with a pair of beat up boots that he personally owned. They kept it sharp but cool and true to their aesthetic and their unique image. They brought Rock ‘N’ Roll to Broadway. It was an exceptional time and I was honored to be a part of it.
Do you approach styling for photo shoots, music video shoots, and award shows differently?
Photo shoots: If I have never worked with the band, I go and listen to their music so I can get a sense of who they are and create an image in my head just through that. Then, I will go look at previous photos, look for things I like, things I don’t, where they need to go, get a real feel for the band. I usually have a creative meeting with the band and we have a discussion about where they see themselves as artists, where they want to go with their image and fashion, and most importantly where they don’t want to go. Music videos vary depending on the treatment of the video director and the mood of the video. I will get the treatment, read over it, listen to the song and get a real good feel for the lyrics and overall vibe, read the directors notes, have a call with the band and discuss all entities. Award Shows: It all depends on the show.
One of your goals for the future is to start a shoe line. What can we expect to see from you or look out for in the future?
Yes! I have this obsession with shoes: boots, creepers, heels, stilettos, Converse; you name it and I have it. I really want to start a shoe line that is current with today’s trends but affordable for the teenagers/young adults and those who can’t afford to buy $1,200.00 pair of heels.
Margaret Maldonado Agency: margaretmaldonado.com/category/styling/artist/candice-lambert