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Q&A: Celine Dion's fashion mentor Law Roach on collaborating with the star


TORONTO — Slipping pop superstar Celine Dion into the latest designer threads is one of the perks of being Law Roach.

The Los Angeles-based style authority was chosen by the Quebec singer nearly two years ago to help redefine her wardrobe with designs fresh off the runway. Together they've proven themselves comrades in creativity by serving looks that have impressed even the fashion elite.

"She always reinforces my love for fashion," Roach says of working alongside Dion.

"When we started her collaboration it was apparent she wanted to do something new — something just fashion forward."

What happened was beyond their wildest imaginations.

Dion stole the show at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards by coupling her jaw-dropping rendition of "My Heart Will Go On" with an equally stellar white-winged Stephane Rolland gown. She's also kept onlookers marvelling at her inventive blends of luxury brands on the streets of Paris.

"Trust me, this is Celine," says Roach, who credits himself as an "image architect."

"This has always been Celine. I just don't think the world had the opportunity to view her that way at all."

Roach, who counts Top 40 singer Demi Lovato and actress Zendaya Coleman among his other clients, talked to The Canadian Press about working with Canada's diva of the power-pop ballad.

 

CP: You were first introduced to Celine at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, but she knew your work from other celebrity red carpets. Upon meeting her, did you immediately start pitching ideas?

Roach: We had a really brief conversation about fashion ... and what she was looking for. I planned my case — for lack of a better phrase — and told her that, of course, I knew exactly who she was and I knew the brands she liked to wear. I talked about some of my favourite moments, that I thought she was sometimes ahead of her time and people didn't understand that. A couple days later I got the offer to go to Paris.

 

CP: So you're hired by one of the world's biggest music stars. What's the first one-on-one session like?

Roach: We were there for like five hours and literally laughed, joked around and played in clothes the entire time. It was amazing. When you come into an intimate situation with this person, like I was scared. I didn't know what to expect and how she would treat me. When I came in, she was so nice and tangible, she was honest and at times vulnerable. Literally she has no fear when it comes to fashion. There is nothing that I will bring Celine that she'll just say, "No." She will always want to try it on and know why I brought it to her, then we collaborate on looks.

 

CP: How do you prepare for a day of fittings? When you're dressing her for several weeks — like you did at Paris' Haute Couture Fashion Week last summer — it must be a major project.

Roach: My team and I start preparing probably a few weeks before we actually go. Shopping, requesting things from designers and talking to designers about maybe doing something custom. (Fitting sessions) can go all night because she loves it so much. Sometimes with certain people it's a chore. Like, a fitting is another thing you have to squeeze into your day. For Celine, it's a time to let go of the world and come into this fantasy.

 

CP: Do you ever see something on the rack and say, "Oh that's Celine"?

Roach: Absolutely. It's everything though. It could be a cool leather jacket or a couture gown. It can be a shoe, sneaker or a T-shirt. There's nothing that she doesn't like or won't wear. I literally can be anywhere at any time and be like, "Oh Celine would love that."

 

CP: Many of Dion's best ensemble choices at Fashion Week were photographed as she stepped outside her Paris hotel. With the paparazzi watching her styles so closely, do you think using the hotel exit door is the latest way to showcase a new look?

Roach: The Royal Monceau in Paris is legendary — that is her catwalk. It's so funny because I met some new friends when I was in London and they were like, "We stay at Celine's hotel." That hotel has (become) synonymous with Celine. It was famous for Michael Jackson dangling the baby over the rail, but now it's famous for Celine's exit every morning while she's in Paris.

 

— This interview has been condensed and edited.

 

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David Friend, The Canadian Press

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