Q+A Celebrity Connection: Anya Sarre

Fashion stylist to the stars makes a big splash at TEDxHiltonHead Women Event

Story by Kerry Peresta

Anya Sarre is an internationally known fashion, beauty and lifestyle expert. As a celebrity stylist, Anya has dressed people for red carpet events such as the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, Grammys, Critics Choice Awards, SAG Awards, The Met Gala and Cannes Film Festival. Anya hosts and curates her own television special on KTLA5 “Countdown to Gold: Getting Carpet Ready with Anya Sarre.”

A conversation with Anya Sarre is a bit like riding a roller coaster. Exhilarating. Adrenaline-inducing. A sense of regret when it ends. She’s a dynamo fashion trendsetter, a loving mom and wife, and the owner of a brand that’s on fire. She was one of the smart, savvy, brilliant speakers at Hilton Head’s latest TEDxHiltonHead Women event, and her talk hit it out of the park. The busy celebrity stylist took time from her flurry of red carpet events to share personal insights and style tips with LOCAL Life.

TEDx takeaways

[LOCAL Life] The recent TEDx event was billed to include “thought-provoking pioneers making power moves.” Describe a “power move” moment in your career. [Anya Sarre] Actually, it was the decision to do the Ted Talk! I really had to think about it. Public speaking at a Ted Talk is entirely different from impromptu TV work. I’m a good communicator, but writing a speech was hard for me. And I had doubts as to why I was there. Why me? It was definitely outside my comfort zone.

Bold & Brilliant • Celebrity stylist Anya Sarre captivated the audience with her talk at the recent TEDxHiltonHead Women event at Harbour Town clubhouse.

[LL] As you put it, you’ve chosen to be a part of the crazy “fake it ‘til you make it” world as a Hollywood insider. Do you get caught up in the culture? How do you remain authentic? [AS] I absolutely let my identity be affected by the culture. I’m caught up in the same “what’s your title?” craziness that everyone is. At the end of the day, it’s really about realizing that everyone is having the same thoughts, and for every one you are thinking you want to be like, others are thinking they would love to be you! We have to learn to trust our feelings about what is authentic and what’s not. Listen to your intuition and don’t push it away. Also, before you respond to something inauthentic, pause a beat. Your reaction to it might not be an authentic representation of how you should respond.

The many layers of style

[LL] You’ve become quite the icon for the quips fondly referred to as “Anyanisms.” Can you share a few? [AS] {Laughter} Sure. I always say, “It’s not my first rodeo.” Another is “Cartoon characters are meant for toddlers’ lunchboxes. Don’t wear them on your clothes!” Another is, “always do your hair and makeup if you are trying on clothes. If you look good, you feel good. You won’t like anything you try on if you don’t like how you look.” Also, “There is never, ever…EVER an acceptable occasion to wear socks with sandals.” And a hot button for me — “wear what looks good on you, NOT what is on trend.” Some trends may not look good on you! For instance, showing the ankle with booties is a thing, but not all ankles should be shown.

Lady in red • Anya Sarre is shown at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.

[LL] Let’s talk Hollywood trends. What are must-haves in fashion for the red carpet this year? [AS] 2020 is the year of the shoulder. We saw a lot of this at Golden Globes. Puffed sleeve, angled shoulder, ruffles…but all about the shoulder. Popular colors this year include tangerine orange and a bright, happy, blue. Tons of neutrals: blush, nude, lilac and pastels; and of course the bold, bright colors for those who want to stand out. We will see less of the “safe” black dress. Watch for lots of white. White is the new black.

[LL] What are your favorite personalities to dress? How do you deal with a celebrity’s disagreeable mood? [AS] I love decisive people. As for bad moods, I put myself in their shoes. It’s a vulnerable, scary thing to step out of a car, hope you look great, and pose for the world. That’s a lot of pressure. If someone is having a bad day, I get it. It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters how they feel. It’s my job to find the right dress, and if they’re in a bad mood, we deal with it. Please let your readers know I don’t only dress celebrities, I’m available for personal fashion, style, and lifestyle design also.

[LL] What is the biggest accessory trend going into spring and summer 2020? [AS] Chain necklaces. Dainty or thick and chunky. The return of padded, fabric headbands. The oversized, soft clutch. And yes, hands are not free when carrying a clutch. Beauty hurts. It’s a trade-off.

Family Woman • Anya Sarre with husband Tim and their son, Sawyer William.

Lowcountry impressions

“You have to let me say something about how much I loved my first visit to Hilton Head!” Anya blurted, before we wrapped up. “Everyone was just so nice. And the Savannah airport! It was charming, cute, clean and lovely. I loved it! And every, single person on Hilton Head told me about Justin Bieber’s wedding. {Laughter} All I wanted to do was get alligator stuffed animals and see an actual gator. And let me tell you this. At rehearsal, they told me my speech was too long. I am not a good writer and now I had to cut my talk in half. While I worked on it, the sun came out. I was told gators come out when it’s sunny. So I ran to find someone to take me to see a gator. I chose the gators over editing. {Laughter} I’d never seen one outside a zoo. It was a real highlight for me.”

Find out more about Hollywood’s most influential fashion trendsetter at anyasarre.com, Instagram (anyasarre), and YouTube.

Fun fashion tips

Get a big bag. The bigger the bag, the smaller you look. This also applies to wedding cakes.

Wearing white? Carry chalk. It gets stains out like magic.

Wedding plans? Include information about any rough terrain. Guests will appreciate being able to choose appropriate footwear.

Fanny packs have become hip and cool. Wear them just below the waist, on the left or right side. Very on-trend.

Clear your closet of all those 20-year-old clothes. If they are there, you’ll pull from them. Don’t do it! It takes no more time to put on something fresh and fun than to put on your old stuff.

Download a photoshop app. Play with it! Then you’ll understand what you’re really seeing on social media. It’s a fake reality.

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