Before Kristen Bell hit the stage to host the 2018 SAG Awards, she took her pre-red carpet prep very seriously. She made sure she had radiant skin thanks to her husband-terrifying, $2,300 Jason-style face mask, and tried on over 40 outfits with stylist Nicole Chavez before finally settling on the perfect pink ball gown for the red carpet.
The two began collaborating as soon as Bell got the hosting gig in mid-December. “I tried to secure as many looks as possible before the holiday break so that when we were back after New Year’s we could hit the ground running,” Chavez tells PeopleStyle.
Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full SAG Awards coverage to get the latest news on Hollywood’s big night.
Out of the many, many choices available, they eventually narrowed it down to a select few, including a handle of all-black outfit changes to wear during the show, and a pink J. Mendel gown for the carpet.
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The fuchsia strapless gown features a corset-style bodice and drop waist with floral embroidery throughout. Chavez accessoried the gown with Charlotte Olympia heels, a Judith Leiber clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.
Chavez explains that they were going for a romantic look on the carpet but on stage the vibe will have a much more “modern and clean” feel.
“Obviously I wanted her to look beautiful but also not to make it a fashion show for her, but rather a night about the men and women who gave such superb performances throughout the year,” she says. “We also have her in black throughout the show honoring the Time’s Up movement. We wanted her glam but also comfortable and made sure the dresses matched the tone of the show.”
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
To be completely prepared for what the show has in store, Chavez collaborated with Bell during the first fitting on the tone and overall story then checked in with the actress during the writing process. “Once I saw rehearsal the day before we just moved around the order but all the looks worked and felt effortless on stage.”
Even though she was in all-black looks during the show, each had their own distinct style. Bell opened the show wearing a plunging Reem Acra gown with silver embellished detail around the neckline, which was paired with Brian Atwood heels and Beladora jewelry.
Next up was a shimmery long-sleeve Reem Acra gown with a pink jeweled collar trim, worn with Charlotte Olympia heels and Lorriane Schwartz jewelry. And she closed the show wearing a low-cut Yanina Couture gown with Giuseppi Zanotti heels and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.
Chavez says the secret of making it all come together was with the help of Bell’s beauty team. “It was all essential to be in constant communication with her glam team — makeup artist Simone Siegel and hairstylist Jenny Cho — so that the looks flowed into to one another seamlessly,” Chavez says. “There was not be enough time to do drastic looks for all the changes yet we all wanted to create four unique looks. It’s a team effort from start to finish.”
It may have looked like each quick change went seamlessly, but Chavez says it was actually very dark backstage. “There is minimal light so we had to get creative with the electricians. The morning is calm and then as it gets closer to show time everyone is buzzing around. It’s electric.”
In the end, Chavez says Bell loved the first dress of the night the most. “The J. Mendel gown on the red carpet was her favorite for sure,” said Chavez. “It was one of the first dresses we tried on in early January. It was love at first sight.”
The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on both TNT and TBS.
— reporting by Sharon Kanter