How Phillip Bloch Came Between Keisha Whitaker and the Balenciaga Gladiators

Phillip Bloch Photo: Patrick McMullan


This fall, celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch will join forces with Vivica A. Fox for the VH1 reality contest Glam God in search of the next great celebrity stylist. Sounds like glorious, trashy fun. We can’t wait to see spoiled B-listers throw hissy fits after getting dressed in horizontal stripes or high-strung Rachel Zoe wannabes break down after having massively misjudged the new fall color. The show is based on Bloch’s own experience dressing the likes of Jada Pinkett Smith and Nicole Kidman, and the way he described it to us at a private dinner for VH1 Save the Music in East Hampton this weekend, styling celebrities is high-stress guardian-angel work: “You’ll have to keep your sewing kit at the ready for any fashion disasters, and more often than not you’ll have to save them from their own bad taste.

“I’m the voice of reason,” says Bloch, who recently “saved Keisha Whitaker from gladiator sandals” during L.A. Fashion Week. The two of them were being interviewed by a reporter wearing the ubiquitous Balenciaga black-and-white gladiators. When Whitaker spotted them, she exclaimed, “Oooooh! I need those!” “And under my breath,” says Bloch, “I’m like, ‘No, you don’t.’ She starts going off, ‘I think I should get those! Don’t you?’” Bloch replied with a classic fake sneeze: “No, please don’t.” “She’s asking the reporter, ‘Where did you get those?’” he says. “And I’m kicking her, saying, ‘Don’t even ask. You don’t want to know.’”

But a stylist’s job isn’t done when the star puts on her outfit. Bloch says his favorite challenge on the show involves dressing an “It” girl for a party and then having to make her outfit perfect again so she can look good for the paparazzi. It’s based on Bloch’s own extensive experience dealing with fashion emergencies on the fly. “I dressed Halle Berry once and I dressed Salma Hayek once — well, I dressed them lots of times, but at different times they had premieres and someone hugged them and their strap popped!” says Bloch. “And you had to be there with your needle and thread. Because what are you going to do? You’re at a premiere and suddenly your girls are popping out. Both times, same thing. Hugs are dangerous.” —Jada Yuan