From styling Hollywood stars to being the former National Director of Miss Japan Universe for 13 years, Celebrity Stylist Ines Ligron has definitely made her mark in the fashion and beauty industry. Hear what she has to say about the glitz and glam of it all in our exclusive interview.
Interview With Ines Ligron by Soo Eelee
BetterThanBrunch (BTB): You’ve worked with many Hollywood A-listers such as Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and others. What is that one rule of thumb on style you tell them?
Ines Ligron (IL): Actually as a stylist, it is not my job to tell Hollywood A-listers anything — as they know it all! My role is to prepare the clothes and to make sure I have many options for them. If I am to dress up a star who is not sure what his or her personal style is, I would advise them to always wear something that enhances their best physical features (eg, legs, shoulders etc) and reflects their personality.
BTB: You were also the former National Director of Miss Japan Universe for 13 years. How do you think the pageant world has evolved through the years?
IL: When I started working with the Miss Universe Organization 15 years ago, the interest for the world for beauty pageants was still relevant. Today, I think that young people have lost interest in pageants, except for certain countries including latin America and the Philippines. Developed countries nowadays are more interested in modelling and this is why Tyra Banks (whom I represented in the 90s) has done a great job with her TV series, America’s Next Top Model. She has successfully franchised it around the world.
To be honest, I find no real significance for pageantry in today's world. The promoters of Miss Universe or Miss World have not known how to update their image to keep it relevant and unfortunately, have lost their momentum. In Japan I created an image with Miss Universe Japan that was different, modern and high profile. My winners signed deals with Toyota, Maybelline, Celine. They had a strong incentive to enter, compete and to win. Money, recognition and fame were the goal and they happened immediately after the win.
Singapore is a first-world country where women have great careers and jobs that pay well. They are thus confident and independent. This small country just celebrated its 49th birthday and so is also time for Singaporean women to shine. The country has made so much political and economic progress, but socially the women need to start dressing up and to stop being so laid-back regarding their fashion!
I am very glad this year, my dear friend Penelope Pang, National Director of Miss Universe Singapore and MD of Derrol Stepenny Productions, asked how I transformed Miss Universe Japan. She is revamping the competition here and I am happy she has made huge changes! I really would love to see Singapore place in the semi-finals at Miss Universe. If she selects a girl who places in the Top 16 at Miss Universe internationally, it would give a boost of confidence to the many other women in Singapore. I saw it happen in Japan when Riyo Mori won Miss Universe in 2007.
BTB: They say there’s a huge difference between pageants and fashion shows. Having worked on both, what do you think is that one difference and which is your preference?
IL: In general, fashion shows are less exciting because they are quite straightforward. Beauty pageants, on the other hand, are fun because it is a competition. Tensions are high and each contestant's adrenaline is pumping. The same goes for reality TV shows. If there is suspense, drama and a surprise winner at the end of it, people will keep watching! Fashion shows are only relevant to people interested in fashion; models on fashion shows are selling the clothes. But anyone almost is interested in beautiful girls - both men and women. Models in competitions are "selling" themselves and they are allowed to show more personality.
BTB: You’re currently the Director of Dream Factory by Ines Ligron, a boutique fashion & beauty styling concept studio. Tell us what’s the most common fashion blunder that you’ve seen?
IL: Wearing clothes made of low quality fabric, matched with fake branded bags and flip flops. Horrible!
BTB: On the topic of style, what do you think of the fashion culture here? Do Singaporeans generally dress well?
Most Singaporean women do not dress up to reflect their confidence and sophistication. I say most, because there are those that do, but they go over the top with fake eyelashes and coloured contacts. Then there are those that do not care at all. It is very extreme here! There is no in-between.
That's why with our Dream Factory by Ines Ligron style classes, our focus is on teaching people how to dress appropriately and stylishly. Whether you are going to work or a dinner, you will always look the part with the various classes we hold.
BTB: What’s the next goal for Dream Factory by Ines Ligron?
IL: We are currently running our second pop-up store in ISETAN Scotts (until 4 Sept 2014) and I would like to continue with similar events and have many pop-up Dream Factory by Ines Ligron styling studios all over the world - Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Europe are just some of the countries I would like to be in!
Ines's Five Quick Beauty Tips!
1. Always darken your eye make up for a night out - loads of mascara and eyeliner.
2. Change your shoes up to match your outfit. Choose a powerful pair of heels that will make a statement!
3. Do not over-accessorise too much or you will look like a Christmas tree. I love big and chunky accessories like rings and bracelets that capture attention.
4. A leather jacket will do a lot to transform your day outfit to a funky night out. Just throw it over your outfit and you are ready to go!
5. Style your hair by doing it up in a sleek high ponytail or create lots of volume for your night look.
About Ines Ligron
Ines Ligron is an internationally recognised Celebrity Stylist who has worked with famous personalities around the world. She is currently the director of Dream Factory by Ines Ligron, a fashion & beauty concept styling studio with sessions for both adults and children. Find them at