Sartorial Showoff

Brad discusses the difficulties of starting your own business and his "Diana Ross" look for the red carpet.

Thanks so much for tuning into the premiere episode of It's a Brad, Brad World. I'm so happy that it’s FINALLY on the air! I don’t really know where to begin as it seems like there is so much to cover. 

I'm happy to introduce you to my little family: my boyfriend, Gary, and our two dogs, Jasper and Penelope. Gary is probably the most important person in my life. I have no idea where the ten years have gone that we have been together, but they have been filled with adventure, love, laughs, and a lot of bad hairstyles (and we still managed to stay together). When we met in Greece over ten years ago, I knew from the first night that I had met someone incredibly special and I was right. He is more than I could've ever asked for in a boyfriend: handsome, extremely funny, bright, and above all that, he is a great person. You will get to know him more as the season goes on, so I don’t want to spoil it. 

As you can see, we are obsessed with our dogs. Jasper (the black one) is a miniature schnauzer. He’s the grandpa of the group, and Penelope is our little angel that we found through the organization Dogs without Borders, which rescues dogs from kill shelters and finds foster homes for them until they are adopted. Penelope and I have an intense bond: wherever I am, she is. She sleeps pressed up against me every night. I love them both so much. 

I had no idea that starting my business would be so hard. I really hadn’t thought anything out. I just knew that it was time to leave my previous job and go out on my own, because my gut was telling me to. I did not picture myself working out of my garage, that’s for sure. But we do what we have to do, and I thank god that Gary was so understanding. It worked for a while, but trust me, it had its time limit. 

At this point, every single job was extremely important to me. Not only financially but also because in order to get work from magazines, other celebrities, and designers, they want to see a portfolio of your work. I had not accumulated enough to really show anything or show my style, so I was super excited when Paper called and asked me to style four models in "Brad Style." I was very much looking forward to being creative and working with men’s clothes. You can really only spend so much time working out, hanging out with the dogs, etc. This is not to say that I was not pitching ideas, trying to get meetings, going to meetings, etc, but people were not really biting. I was working at full speed and showing small results. 

I knew I would need some help on set since I was not only styling the shoot for Paper magazine but would also be modeling in it. Monica came recommended to me through a few close friends who work at showrooms in LA. I was so excited to have the help and loved her energy and thought she was really sweet. She jumped right in and got down and dirty in the garage and on set. I had been doing everything myself for the previous few months but was relieved to be able to give someone else things to take care of. 

Some of the designers had been very adamant that they needed some of the looks they sent for the shoot back in New York the next day for other shoots. I gave them my word that they would be there. It was almost 5 pm and the models stayed in the same outfit for the entire shoot, so there was no need to keep everything out. I was actually taught to load up and get out quickly from Taylor. She was always so obsessed with packing up fast, and it has become part of the process for me just from years of having to do it. I was very surprised at the end of the shoot when nothing had been packed up and the Fedex packages were still not done. They didn’t make it out that night and missed the other shoots they were supposed to be on. Ultimately, it is my responsibility as the stylist. I think Monica is great, but she was not the right fit for me. I had to accept this as part of the process of trying people out and so the search continued…

I loved the photographer, Chris Dibble, so much. We really bonded on that day sharing our experiences of growing up gay, the adversity we faced, and how important expressing ourselves through fashion is. On top of that he took great pictures that were full of energy, which is what I really wanted out of this shoot. 

When I got the call that I would be styling Keri Hilson for the Met Ball, it really lifted my spirits after getting taken off of the job with Diane Lane. I was OBSESSED with Keri's song Pretty Girl Rock that was all over the radio at the time, and knew that we could create a really strong moment together. I knew I wanted her to look super glamorous, but there needed to be drama and a youthful edge to her look. I immediately called my friends Lucio and Jessica at Versace and they hooked me up BIG TIME. They sent about eight gowns most of which were from the Versace Atelier collection. Whenever possible you want your clients in couture on the red carpet, and so I knew this would be a slam dunk for me. Of course I needed to have other options there, so I pulled from many other designers as well of from Catwalk to add some amazing vintage gowns into the mix, but I knew right away that she would go with one Versace gown in particular. 

Keri and I hit it off, and the fitting was a big success. She looked amazing on the night of the Met Ball in her Atelier Versace gown and David Webb rock crystal and diamond jewelry. As usual, Versace did everything to make sure the gown was perfect on Keri. It is always a pleasure working with them. I was also at the same time working with Ralph Lauren to create a gown for Jessica Alba for the Met Ball, so I felt as if some momentum was beginning to pick up. 

Being named a “Sartorial Showoff” by Us Weekly for the Hot Hollywood Style awards was really fun, mainly because I love calling my mom to tell her. She gets a big kick out of it, and she can brag to everyone in my hometown, Port Perry Ont. You’ll get to meet her in next week’s episode. 

When I got the invite to attend, I immediately decided that I had to wear this black and silver sequin Dolce and Gabbana tux jacket. They were nice enough to fulfill my wish and have it sent from Milan for me to wear. It was perfection! The fact that my boyfriend went to an event with me looking like Diana Ross is a true testament to his love for me. I was so happy that he attended the event with me. It’s a very rare occurrence that he does come to events, because he would rather be at home with the dogs then out somewhere holding a glass of champagne in a room filled with people talking loudly. Well…he says that himself. 

Being on the red carpet is both fun and a little nerve wracking, but more fun. Sometimes when I’m being photographed I hear the voice of this photographer who told me when I was about six while he was taking my school photo that I didn’t have a nice smile and I shouldn’t smile in photos. At the time I was devastated and I didn’t smile in school photos for years, but now it makes me smile so big because it reminds me of how far I’ve come from that small room to the left of the school library where we had our pictures taken. In a way, he did me a favor. Alas, I digress. Gary is obsessed with One Life to Live. He has been for a REALLY long time. Try quizzing him. He knows every character, actor, story line, etc. 

I hope you continue to go on this journey with me, Gary, and my friends and family who you will meet in the coming episodes. The months that we filmed this season were for some reason filled with drama (both personal and work related). We travel all over the place and have a ton of fun and laughs…if anything, hopefully you will watch it for the fashion, because there is a lot of it. 

I love next week’s episode so much! It’s really fun…and I think I cry. I would bet on it actually. Can you believe I made it through the ENTIRE first episode without crying? So proud of myself



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Rashida's Geek Chic Style

Brad gushes about his style twin, Rashida Jones.

I have had the pleasure of working with Rashida Jones for a year and a half. I have dressed her for everything from movie premieres to the Emmy's to the Vanity Fair party. From the minute we met it was love at first site. She's my style twin. We both love to push the envelope! We both love geek chic! Rashida has amazing taste and impeccable style. I am always in awe of what she is wearing, whether it’s Zara or Celine, she always puts her own spin on it. It’s very "RJ" as we say.

Fittings with her are really fun. We laugh so much, sometimes to the point of it hurting. I feel very lucky to get to work with people who like to collaborate and have fun. I hope you can see from tonight's episode what happens in a fitting. You have high moments, low moments, moments when you aren't certain that things are working, and of course THE moment when you know you have found the perfect look!Peter Som is one of my favorite designers. I love his clothes so much. My clients, including Rashida, love his clothes and wear them quite often. I loved the tri-color long sleeve lace dress that Rashida tries on in this episode, but it wasn't right for this event. As the stylist, sometimes you see things that you love that don't work and that's OK. That's why we have fittings!

One of my favorite looks Rashida has ever worn is a watercolor print Oscar de la Renta dress to the 2011 Independent Spirit awards. She never imagined herself being an ODLR girl, but she definitely is, and the trend continued into this fitting as well. When she put on the black, white, and red Oscar dress with black beading, we knew we had found the one! It fit like a glove and was the perfect balance between making a statement and not trying too hard (and that’s a delicate balance). This look turned out to be perfection and Rashida ended up on many best dressed lists! Hooray! Another hit!

Working with Candy magazine was such a great experience. The concept for the shoot was political style over the years, so we drew inspiration from iconic First Ladies such as Betty Ford and Hilary Clinton. I have worked with Danielle Levitt on a couple of shoots, and it is always a really fun time. Danielle is an amazing photographer, who not only does incredible shoots for fashion magazines, but also does these amazing photographic passion projects where she immerses herself into a certain group or subculture. She is uber-talented but also a great person. I love having her in my life and was so happy to do this shoot with her. While we were on set, everyone could feel that we were doing something special. The shoot took place over two days and we shot all over LA: Beverly Hills City Hall, the Gay and Lesbian Center in Hollywood, a mansion in the hills. Our model Connie was really bringing First Lady realness. Hannah did an outstanding job working on this shoot. Everything was perfect! I was so impressed with how organized it all was considering we switched locations so many times and were dealing with multiple models. The final images were really amazing, and we ended up with the cover!So after eleven years, Gary and I decided that it was time to move. It was a hard decision to make since we had so many amazing memories in that house, but we were ready to take the plunge! We found an amazing house, put in an offer, and lo and behold, we were moving. I was very excited at the prospect of having a new house to decorate, but I think I went a little too far. I was buying everything online, so I wasn't really keeping track of what I was buying. I was just buying what I liked. It may have been a bad decision to not tell Gary what I was buying, but I wanted to surprise him. When I finally got a look at all of the boxes piled up in the garage, I couldn't believe my eyes, but I knew there was really good stuff in there. I had no idea where any of it would go, I just knew it would find a home, so to speak…and it did! All of it. You will see in next week's episode when the big move happens.



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