“When Saoirse and I got together, she felt like she wanted to be herself,” says stylist Elizabeth Saltzman. “I was listening to her speak and she’s grown up a lot, and she said it was just so great being with all these women.” Saltzman nodded to her “Little Women” character, independent Jo March, while considering comfort. “Saoirse is not a doll, so I make sure she’s always confident and comfortable.” The Emilia Wickstead jumpsuit Ronan wore to the Governors Awards hit Saltzman’s notes: “Masculine-feminine, powerful. It was the next step from the tuxedo, the jumpsuit. It was risky in a smart way.” She later learned “Little Women” inspired Wickstead’s collection, embroidered with the March women’s names.
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Saltzman first saw this black dress with studded bib that Ronan wore to “Little Women’s” New York premiere in the Gucci showroom. “We thought, ‘This is kind of cool-Saoirse,’” she says. “Because this is what Saoirse does amazingly well: covered up, cool, doesn’t need to show anything while showing everything.” Saltzman loved the “bit of naughtiness” of the patent leather collar and velvet boots. “You wouldn’t have known immediately that it was Gucci, and I think that’s what attracted me to it,” she says. “It felt fresh for Alessandro [Michele], the designer, and it felt a little bit different than what Saoirse had done. It was a little stronger.”
“Saoirse can wear color; she’s not afraid of fashion,” Saltzman says. Saltzman immediately knew this Galvan dress was unlike anything they’d done before — prompting her to run it over for a fitting during Galvan’s London press days. Ronan wore it for the Paris premiere. “She was so comfortable. It was so easy, but tied into the Gucci look with the high neck and the things we’ve done before.” Ronan’s makeup artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua played up the pink and red tones. “Saoirse’s whole being is about beauty. She’s a very secure woman with this incredible, youthful skin that can take makeup. She can also go with zero makeup and look equally spectacular.”
In designing a Golden Globes dress, Saltzman spoke about Ronan with the Celine team. “We talked about Saoirse being effortless, sensual and cool — and not trying too hard,” she says. “I wanted her to be really comfortable, I wanted sensuality to come out of it — Hedi [Slimane, photographer] felt the same way.” They had a second gold-toned dress, but chose this champagne sequined one with pink-toned beads. “The whole thing was about seeing skin, her back, her beautiful glowing skin in the front,” says Saltzman, who kept jewelry minimal. “It felt ’70s Michelle Pfeiffer. It was about her not feeling constricted or insecure about anything — just letting her be Saoirse.”