When most "American Idol" hopefuls show up primped, plucked and shining for their auditions, they probably think they've nailed their signature looks. But by the time the season finale rolls around — if they're lucky enough to have made it that far — they've been working with professional stylists for months.
The man tasked with readying the male "Idol" contestants for prime time is fashion and celebrity stylist Miles Siggins. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Siggins revealed the inside story of dressing finalists Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.
"Adam's image you can do so many different things with," Siggins told the Times. "I think that is his image, he's a modern-day David Bowie to me. ... It's his theatrical background — he's used to wearing costumes, so he thinks a different way about it."
For the "Matrix"-esque trench coat that Lambert rocked during his Tuesday night reprise of Tears for Fears' "Mad World," Siggins took the singer to meet with Los Angeles-based designer Michel Berandi, whose glam-meets-goth style meshed perfectly with the 27-year-old singer's sensibility.
"Adam is at the point now where he says, 'I've made it this far, I just want to be exactly who I am,' " Siggins said. "So we've really, really gone for the theatrical, and we're not so worried if it will scare people."
The habitually casual Kris Allen presented Siggins with a much different challenge. "At the beginning of the season, I really wanted to change him, because he's got so much of that boy-next-door in jeans and a T-shirt thing," he told the Times. "Initially, when I was trying to change him, he was very resistant. He's very simple. He likes things very simple. At first I fought it, but then I said, that's who he is and it's working for him.
"Kris' friends ripped him apart for wearing this shirt with sparkles in it," Siggins added. "They don't understand; you've got to take it up a little."
By this point in the season, Siggins and Allen have come to a compromise. The stylist said he now selects "better clothes, better-fitting stuff" for Allen, as well as "a few new things he would never wear before, like leather jackets."
One wardrobe choice Siggins actually regrets making this season is the blindingly white jacket Danny Gokey wore during a cover of Carrie Underwood's "Jesus, Take the Wheel." "It just made him look really big, and everybody said 'ski bum,' " said Siggins. "It looked good in the store. But it just didn't look as well as we hoped on camera."
In fact, Gokey presented the Siggins with a styling trial from the start. "He has a barrel chest and quite a little waist, so he was very difficult to fit. We've slimmed him down a bit."
Anoop Desai, conversely, was a delight from the beginning. "He came and he was like a college frat boy, and the first thing he said to me was, 'I want to dress like Kanye, an R&B singer and hip-hop kind of vibe,' " Siggins said. "So we just went to town on that and for the finale, we went fully Kanye on him."
Matt Giraud was also intent on channeling some modern pop singers. "Matt's a bit of a throwback with a bit of Justin Timberlake in there as well," said Siggins. "And some Michael Bublé. His voice is like his music, and I think he's right for a modern interpretation of that as well. He looks great in a leather jacket. He got really nervous for a while because of some of the feedback, so he was trying to change things instead of just being comfortable with who he was."
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