Walking down the slender hall in the direction of stylist Harry Lambert’s studio, I can’t be the primary particular person to marvel if Harry Types – Lambert’s most well-known consumer – has trod the identical blue carpet. Not that Lambert would inform me. Getting him to speak about Types is like getting blood from a stone. “OK, look,” he says. “In terms of questions on Harry, I simply think about our relationship too non-public to go too deep. It’s a must to keep in mind I’m there in essentially the most intimate instances with folks I work with. I’m usually the final particular person they see earlier than they go on stage. It’s an intimate house! I’m conscious that plenty of the eye I get is due to him, however I wish to be very cautious. However let’s attempt. OK. Go.”
Harry met Harry across the time of One Path’s 2014 album, 4. Rumours of a solo profession had been circulating, and Types was going by means of his “Jagger interval”, sporting black Saint Laurent fits, Chelsea boots and leonine hair tamed by brilliant bandanas – style filtered by means of NME fairly than GQ.
Lambert was largely styling journal shoots and style reveals after they had been launched to one another. He offered a wardrobe (“playful stuff, Gucci and JW Anderson, stuff like that”), and Types agreed to offer it a whirl. What emerged is greatest described as Nineteen Seventies man, resurrected – flares, with a aspect of camp. Types was all the time recreation, he says, “however when it occurred, it was nonetheless like: ‘Fuck, that is wild.’”
The style business devoured it up. From the sheer black shirt and single pearl earring on the 2019 Met Gala, to the tight crimson Arturo Obegero jumpsuit within the video to As It Was, Types grew to become mainstream pop’s most decided subverter of gender stereotypes.
Lambert has been central to this, a kind of Thomas Cromwell to Types’s Henry VIII, however dissolving binaries as a substitute of monasteries. Not that that’s how he sees it: “Look, in relation to this [gender stuff], I want I might be all: ‘I wished to alter the world!’ However it’s extra that it’s a byproduct of what we’re doing,” he says. “Should you take a look at pop icons over time, style is such an integral a part of their picture, like Björk within the swan gown, Britney within the schoolgirl outfit. I’m conscious that what I do is having an impression, however is that high of the agenda for me? No.”
We’re sitting on a bench within the communal backyard behind his two-room studio in Hoxton, east London. In a single room, platform footwear spill out of an Ikea Kallax unit. Within the different, rails of garments sit. Lambert, 35, is heat and chatty, with a mild East Anglian accent and quick bleached hair. He’s sporting wide-legged Marni trousers in chequerboard brown, massive black pearls and a T-shirt frivolously stained with breakfast.
Superstar stylists are comparatively new. In Hollywood’s golden age – Lambert’s favorite period – actors had been styled by costume designers from the studios. By the early 70s, the studio system was over, so stars dressed themselves, which didn’t all the time go effectively (Google any Oscars ceremony within the Eighties).
It wasn’t till the mid-00s and Rachel Zoe – who turned her cadre (Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan) into avatars of her stick-thin self, and is rumoured to have commanded $10,000 a day – that stylists grew to become as well-known as their shoppers.
At the moment, the crimson carpet is an financial system unto itself, constructed on the (usually false) concept that what celebrities put on is an extension of their persona fairly than, say, a mutually helpful advertising software brokered between label, celeb and stylist. Nobody is aware of how a lot cash adjustments fingers, however provided that many celebrities require stylists as a lot off stage as on (the walking-to-the-car-holding-a-juice outfit, could be as thought of as what’s worn to the Grammys) the celeb stylist has by no means been extra highly effective. Which explains why among the huge Hollywood ones – Regulation Roach, say, who put Zendaya in a sizzling pink breastplate, or Karla Welch, who put Justin Bieber in extra-long sleeved T-shirts – are family names, for those who stay in that kind of residence.
Unusually for a stylist, Lambert has simply 4 shoppers: Types, Everton footballer Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and The Crown actors Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor (every of whom has a physique double who tries on outfits the day earlier than). Lambert will get approached lots, however often says no. “I solely fashion individuals who – sorry to sound all LA – I join with, or who I can rework. I as soon as styled Kylie [Minogue] – however what do you even do with Kylie?”
It’s cheap to say that O’Connor’s look is essentially the most typical. Standouts embody a navy double-breasted sailor swimsuit with ceramic buttons by SS Daley, worn to final yr’s TV Baftas, “however there’s all the time just a little twist, or flourish”, says Lambert “It might by no means be typical – I hate that.”
Corrin, whom he met by means of a good friend, got here out as queer final yr, and makes use of garments to speak this. “There’s a strain on women in appearing to be attractive, to be a bombshell, to have [their] boobs out. Emma is attractive, however it’s about taking part in with folks’s perceptions of what’s lovely,” says Lambert. I say the Loewe gown and balloon bra she wore to the Olivier awards in April definitely felt like an in-joke. “The Oliviers are a bit stuffy, so we thought: ‘Let’s do one thing that most individuals aren’t going to get,’” he says with amusing. “It’s a dialog, however in a gown. Even the Each day Mail liked it.”
As with all stylists’ muses, there’s an obligation to put on designers if they’re linked with them – Corrin was the face of Miu Miu, Types of Gucci, and O’Connor of Loewe. However in utilizing classic items in addition to pushing smaller designers equivalent to Daley, Edward Crutchley and Harris Reed, whose gender-fluid designs have since ended up on the Met Gala, Lambert is making an attempt to redress the ability stability.
Earlier this yr, he turned down the possibility to look on the quilt of The Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t get into this job to be on a [magazine] cowl. Style is frightening, style week is frightening,” Lambert says. “There are ‘faces’, like Anna Wintour, after which there are folks like me.”
However due to his job – and due to social media – he’s a face of types. “Somebody took my image on the bus and tagged me this week. So I’m well-known to a specific group of individuals.” The Harrys have nicknames for one another (Lambert is Susan, and Types is Sue) and the web has enjoyable with their relationship, with Reddit threads dedicated to to unpacking what these names imply. Once more, Lambert received’t remark, however it appears an environment friendly option to differentiate between two folks known as Harry.
Rising up in Norwich, Lambert was into garments, not style. He cycled by means of tendencies acquainted to a millennial (the skateboarding emo part, the Abercrombie & Fitch ripped free denims part) and, in school, drifted in the direction of artwork. He studied images at Rochester College and whereas he liked the narrative aspect, he tripped up on the technicalities, and as a substitute spent his summers interning at numerous magazines.
He then moved to east London, simply on the finish of nu-rave. “I received into the business proper on the finish, simply after [the recession], when everybody had cash, but additionally simply earlier than styling grew to become a factor,” he says. He received work as a business stylist – together with a stint at quick style “manufacturing unit” Asos, and later Topman, however his Damascene second was “bejewelling Little Boots’ curler skates on a shoot”.
His most up-to-date consumer is Calvert-Lewin, one of many few footballers who doesn’t gown as if he has been vomited on by a financial institution. Final winter’s Enviornment Homme+ cowl, wherein he wears a flared quick swimsuit and a glittery pink Prada purse, was a blue-tick Lambert look – excessive style with an androgynous twist. Is Lambert a soccer fan? “No. I needed to do half a season at Norwich Metropolis – Delia Smith’s group – once I was a child, however solely to escort my little brother.”
You solely want to have a look at Little Richard, David Bowie or Prince to see that androgyny has been a part of pop for the reason that starting. But in soccer, outward expressions of so-called femininity are few and much between. Is Lambert attempting to drive a dialog about gender by introducing this style to the Premier League? Lambert laughs once more. “I didn’t carry the purses to Dominic. He has three or 4 Chanel purses of his personal. However simply because somebody is a masculine straight man within the soccer group, and has a purse, it shouldn’t be a giant deal.” However it’s a huge deal, I say, in a great way. “OK, yeah, I perceive how poisonous the [football] business could be, so to see a person with a Chanel purse is … one thing. However everyone seems to be attempting to faucet into that market,” he says of style and sport. “Again within the day, for those who had been into garments you had been homosexual. Now caring about the way you look – it’s virtually regular.”
It’s unsurprising then that Gucci just lately signed pomade-loving footballer Jack Grealish to entrance a future marketing campaign. On the point out of his identify, Lambert shifts round, then denies all data of the signing. I’d put a tenner on him being concerned.
“I feel how males gown is altering,” he says. “The Loewe aesthetic goes to be the subsequent super-brand for youth in the best way that Balenciaga and Vetements [two of the brands responsible for luxury logo streetwear] rewrote what was cool. You may see it occurring.” To translate, Lambert means garments which might be fairly and surreal, logo-free knitwear and many color. Like Types’ well-known rainbow cardigan – effeminate and enjoyable. “It’s the vibe shift, yeah.”
“Once I’m gone,” Lambert says, “I simply hope it’s foolish issues equivalent to placing Harry [Styles] in pearls and that males can put on necklaces and it not be a factor – that’s the stuff I wish to be remembered for. That and when folks gown up as Harry for Halloween.” He claps his fingers. “It signifies that we’ve executed one thing that has had cultural impression. It means we’ve received by means of.”