We scored an exclusive interview with Eva Longoria Parker’s stylist, Robert Verdi, just as he and Eva wrapped the ALMA Awards, at which Eva changed eight times as host. Read on to find out just how they go about choosing so many amazing red-carpet looks year in and year out, and how to replicate Eva’s style on your own.
How did you meet Eva Longoria?
We met on the set of “Desperate Housewives” in the first season. I was visiting her set while filming a segment for “Fashion Police” called Inside the Wardrobe about the stylish closets of popular TV shows. She recognized me from my interior design show “Surprise by Design” and screamed when she saw me. She came up and said, “Will you decorate my house? I don’t have one yet, but when I do, I want you to decorate it.” Eva then came to NYC and I dressed her for her first Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and SAG awards that year and until now.
How far in advance do you pull dresses or looks for her awards shows?
Only about 2 weeks out. We try to wait for the latest and greatest looks and work with the designer to create something special for her or for the event. We also like real clothes and fashion that the consumer has access to; so a lot of Eva’s looks are retail, not couture. I’ve put her in a $99 MEXX dress for the red carpet and even Bebe.
Eva wore 8 incredible looks for the 2009 ALMA Awards. How many dresses did you start with before you narrowed it down to 8?
Not as many as people would think, possibly 30 – I probably looked at 200 – but had 30 in my possession.
What are 3 things to look for while shopping if someone wants to emulate Eva’s red carpet style?
Sparkle, color; and a body-conscious shape.
What is Eva’s next big public fashion moment and how are you preparing for it now?
She is going to a gala in Paris so we are working a lot this week with Versace to get some looks.
Who are some of your other star clients we can also look for on the red carpet?
Kathy Griffin and and Kristen Wiig [of “Saturday Night Live”]
How do you to keep things fun with your celeb clients when it starts to get late or they have tried on a hundred looks?
I curse and make dirty jokes.
If you could dress any celebrity whom you haven’t worked with yet, who would it be, and why?
Lady Gaga. I think she is the Madonna of our times and could end up in the most gorgeous designer clothes like Madonna now.
What other projects are you working on besides being a stylist to the stars?
I am filming a TV reality series based on my work and real life. And also hosting “She’s Got the Look” again (a search for over-35 fashion model). I also have an event space in NYC and my interior design work. I just did "The View’s" Joy Behar’s home in NYC and a new home for Eva and Tony in Texas.
OK, here’s our lightning round. Ready?
Favorite color? Purple
Favorite fabric? Furniture: Mohair velvet; Clothing: Wool crepe
Favorite midnight snack? Peanut butter
Guilty pleasure? Vintage sunglasses, because I have 1,500 pairs
Quality you most admire in a person? Restraint or discipline
Favorite getaway? Pennsylvania. I’m not a beach person.
Grammys or Oscars or Emmys? Emmys
Item or trend we’ll never see your star clients in? Sequin leggings