Jason Rembert is responsible for the viral style revolution you may have witnessed on the red carpet these past few months. He’s the stylist behind the looks worn by some of the most eccentric and enigmatic celebrities, like the out-of-this-world ensembles showcased by Ezra Miller during his Fantastic Beasts press tour, Rita Ora‘s risk taking red carpet style, and the refreshing and bold statement pieces worn by Issa Rae. His clients’ wild fashion moments tend to go viral because Rembert constantly reinforces the notion of having a little fun, whether that be on the red carpet or at home for the holidays. Here, the stylist breaks down his ideal holiday look, offers tips on how to DIY a festive outfit, and explains why you should embrace any fashion faux pas you might make this season.
What’s your first memory of getting all dressed up for the holidays?
When I was 7 years old, my family—my mom and my three siblings—grew up in the Far Rockaways in New York. Every holiday we spent in Queens at my grandparents’ house, and my brother and I had matching sweaters. It was the one time I was able to dress like my brother, and for me that’s my earliest holiday fashion memory. I looked up to my brother and his style, so I was able to be as cool as him for one day.
Your ideal holiday look in three words—how would you describe it?
Fun, festive, and sparkle.
How much glitter or sparkle is too much? What would you recommend for incorporating glitter into a holiday look?
Is New Year’s included? Do it all! Do it all. Have fun. Do not hold back!
What is the most chic and appropriate sort of outfit to wear to an office holiday party?
With office parties, if you are an executive, I don’t expect you to wear a miniskirt with an oversize ugly sweater; but if you are, let’s say, a stylist or an assistant stylist, or a market editor, you can have a lot more fun. The way you make your look fashion is to pair it with a pair of leather pants or leather miniskirt, overalls, a long trench—an oversize sweater with a trench, and a belt to give you more of a waist. There are ways to make things more fashionable this holiday season.
What about at a family gathering, or a house of worship for a religious holiday this season?
If you’re going to a family gathering, definitely keep it fun, but you might have to make it more modest. Your grandma might say something. Your dad may be like, “That’s too short.” I’m definitely one of those dads. When my daughter gets older she’s probably going to be like, “Dad, leave me alone.” At home, it’s all about being cozy. When I’m home, I’m cozy, I’m comfortable, I’m not doing too much. I’m probably watching TV.
This year, three things where I was like, “Wow,” outside of my work, of course: Zendaya as Joan of Arc at the Met Gala, Sarah Paulson at the Ocean’s 8 premiere wearing the green Prada, and then Ezra Miller in Moncler!
Do you have any favorite textures, patterns, or colors to play with for the holidays?
Anything that’s fuzzy, for sure. I like fuzzy things. I like to feel whatever I’m wearing to keep me warm. Red and green are my top two, it’s always a win. Especially red. It’s bold, it’s fun, and it stands out in the room and is always a talking piece. I like ugly sweaters, so I love texture. If there’s yarn on it or something ridiculous, I’m really into it.
Let’s say you want to stand out at a New Year’s Eve or Christmas party, but you also want to wear whatever outfit you chose again at a later, less festive date. What are some of your tips for striking that balance?
There are two ways you can go about it. One way, you can go and buy something that is so outlandish you can only wear it during the holiday season but is more affordable. So instead of going to buy a Dries Van Noten sweater or Dior sweater, maybe you go to H&M, where you get a sweater for $10 or $15. Or go to a vintage store and find a sweater for $4. Maybe you go to a store where they have a “dollar Monday” and get a sweater that works for your holiday party. The second way is that you can buy a sweater that you really like, or find something in your closet, and instead of permanently sewing or gluing things onto it to make it an ugly sweater or festive sweater, maybe you use double-sided tape or applicators to hold things onto the sweater to make it your own, and then you can take it off and have your regular sweater again. DIY is definitely right for the holiday season.
What is on your holiday wish list this year?
There are a lot of things! I want this Raf jacket, this puffer coat which is like $6,000. Anybody out there, if you want to buy me it. I take anything from Calvin Klein men’s. I need it in my closet. I don’t know if it’s going to be in the stores yet, but anything from that Kim Jones Dior collection. For footwear, I want the Prada Cloudbust sneakers. I think they’re really cool and I don’t have a pair. And the Craig Green Moncler coat. I want that.
What is your biggest holiday fashion regret?
I think every holiday look is a regret. [Laughs] But that’s what I love so much about holidays! You just don’t care! It’s about being fun. Having a fun time with people who will be the people that matter most to you. I love holidays when I’m able to just be myself, and I’m able to be fun. Do I have sweaters in my closet where I’m like, “Why do I have this sweater?” Yes! But I look at those sweaters and have so many memories that all of those sweaters are worth it. This year, I have sweaters that are super cheap, and I have one that’s really expensive—and all of my Raf Simons oversize sweaters that I’m able to wear during the holiday season because red is a really great holiday color.