Maeve Reilly emerged as a prominent celebrity fashion stylist as she curated signature looks for clients including Hailey Bieber, Ciara, Dixie D'Amelio and Megan Fox. But even as she's been credited for the popularity of street style and red carpet trends — including oversized blazers, "UFO" pants and naked dresses — Reilly says that being a trendsetter has never been her main priority.
"It's never planned," she tells Yahoo Life. "It's not like me and a client sit down, and we're like, 'OK, we're gonna make this a thing.' Everything that's happened in my career has happened just very organically with the client in particular and the fact that people want to recreate a look."
Her approach goes hand-in-hand with the social media era that we're living in, as paparazzi photos of celebrities quickly circulate platforms like Instagram and inspire new popular ways of dressing.
"These looks get seen and then they just spread like wildfire. Within seconds, they're kind of everywhere and it just sort of seeps into people's consciousness," Reilly explains. "Street style has become such a part of our pop culture because it's recreateable. It can be done on a budget or it can be done in the exact same way, and I think that's why people relate to it so much."
After facing the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years, Reilly says that people are also more motivated to get dressed up and likely looking for inspiration.
"I want to get dressed, I want to wear my clothes, I want to express myself in that way," she says. "I think it's just where we are as a society right now."
When it comes to Reilly's current biggest client, Fox, she shares that her styling inspiration comes from the mom of three and fiancée to Machine Gun Kelly herself. The 2021 Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards and Met Gala were all standout moments for Fox, who took the various red carpets in see-through gowns and dramatic cut outs.
"Just me out here ignoring and defying all of your puritanical emotionally repressed projections of what a woman should be," she captioned an Instagram post featuring side-by-side photos from the Met Gala and VMAs.
Fox has been credited with bringing back the naked dress to the red carpet, and Reilly says that's no mistake.
"It's just a place in her life and a part of her journey of expressing herself. She's coming from a really empowered place to be 36 years old and she feels the hottest she's ever felt. The fact that people relate to it, that's like the icing on the cake," she explains.
Styles seen on celebrities are generally more accessible through social media and fast fashion. As stylists like Reilly create their own followings, their knowledge becomes more widespread as well.
"I am not the type that's got secrets. I tag everything I wear, I tag everything my clients are wearing. If people love what I'm wearing, I want them to have it too. I think that's kind of the whole point, isn't it?" she says. "Also, to support the designers who give me stuff or promote my clothing line. It's an incredible tool."
Reilly also teamed up with the subscription-based platform Only Fans for its video series Creative Fund: Fashion Edition where she was able to support up and coming designers as a judge on the competition show. Watching aspiring designers create for a chance at $100,000 was a journey Reilly related to herself as the founder and creative director of her own line, The Local Love Club.
"I could cry talking about it. It has been one of the hardest things I've ever done," she says, explaining that the brand's mission of "making kindness cool" is a direct nod to her own life experiences. "I chose to share my recovery and getting sober and the reason for that and being bullied as a kid. I've really wanted to use my platform for good and to acknowledge that because of the bullying I was really tough and really rough to be around for a long time. Doing the work to allow the world to see me, to not hide and to say, 'This is who I am,' was and is a very vulnerable journey for me. But it to me, it's why I'm here on this earth."
She ultimately hopes that the brand reflects her ethos as a leader in fashion, which is to make people feel best in their clothes.
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