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“American Idol” stylists Soyon An and Miles Siggins are putting fashion center stage on the hit show this season. The duo told Insider they make the most of the weekly $400 shopping budget allotted to each contestant. “We keep it resourceful, but stylish,” said An, who has costumed the female singers for the past three years. Siggins, an “Idol” vet since season two, works with the male contestants and said he’s been known to splurge on kicks. “If they’re going to wear a blazer, T-shirt and jeans, we can pull from our stock and use the $400 for a killer pair of boots,” he explained.
While the stylists might have to occasionally cut corners, An said highlighting each contestant’s personality is critical. “The key element is making sure their individual style is still there,” she said. “You don’t want to lose yourself in this process.” Take Pia Toscano. Before going home on April 7, the songstress hit a few high notes, notably in Christian Louboutin pumps (at top right). “We blew the budget [on them], and she had to pay out of pocket for the rest,” An said. “She really gets fashion.” Here, An and Siggins sound off about styling the remaining contestants.
How important are shoes to the overall look?
MS: Sometimes you’re inspired by a pair of shoes and build the whole outfit around it. Stefano Langone is obsessed with shoes. Once he wanted to wear white, green and black sneakers, so we had to make sure we found a shirt to match.
SA: [Personal] style is important to each look, and shoes are all about personality. Lauren Alaina’s signature look is a dress with cowboy boots [above, left]. She’s 16 and [is comfortable] in a boot with a little heel.
What brands make regular stage appearances?
MS: Aldo has been good to us. Casey Abrams wears the same two pairs of boots for every performance and the results show. James Durbin wears their boots, too, but we customize his with studs so they’re more off kilter. Jacob Lusk [above, right] does well with Aldo [dress] shoes because they are wide enough, and also [there’s] a great range of styles.
SA: Chinese Laundry is bringing its A-game this season with a lot of metal work and colors. Bebe has great sexy heels, and I love Aldo for wedges or simple nude booties.
What styles are best for the performances?
MS: I like shoes that look worn in, [and] I want the guys to be comfortable. We do a lot of vintage for Scotty McCreery with his cowboy boots. There’s nothing worse than a painful shoe.
SA: I want them to look amazing when they walk on stage. Haley Reinhart is not the tallest person, so nude shoes keep her looking long and lean.