As Dancing with the Stars 2022 kicks off, we're chatting with celebrity stylist Fiona Fagan to find out what hosts Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne will be wearing and the hottest trends of the season.
Originally from Dublin, Fiona Fagan started her career as a dancer before transitioning to become a fit model - someone that fashion designers use to check the fit and appearance of a design - which eventually led her to styling.
Having spent 21 years of her career working in London, Fagan created quite the portfolio for herself. Her celebrity clients include Frankie Bridge of The Saturdays, Glenda Gilson, Nadine Coyle, Samantha Mumba and the late Caroline Flack, who she styled for Love Island.
The stylist returned to Dublin in 2020 for a change in pace and joined the team of Dancing with the Stars to dress hosts Jennifer Zamparelli and Nicky Byrne. We caught up with Fiona to find out more.
What's it like to be back on set after the COVID break?
It was brilliant. It was different, there are so many restrictions and we have to make sure when we're back stage to have our masks and visors on and all the rest. We all had to make sure we were all two metres apart even when we're just standing around, but we go there! Everybody looked great and everybody wanted it to be amazing.
We need your consent to load this Instagram contentWe use Instagram to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences
We have a new judge this year! What was it like dressing Arthur Gourounlian?
Arthur is an old dancer friend of mine, we used to dance together way back in the day - I've known him for about 20 years! It's so mad that we both ended up back in Ireland and working on the same show together.
I've created this kind of new look for him, so on last week's show you'll have seen the pussybow shirt - heavily influenced by David Bowie, by Harry Styles. We're going to continue with that, that's his look. It's very Arthur and we're going to get made up and have loads of fun with it. He's fun to dress.
What do you have in store for Jennifer Zamparelli?
We wanted to start off with some sequins seeing as we're back and it's Dancing with the Stars, but we have loads more fabulous dresses lined up. We did camera tests so we're ahead of ourselves and I'm so excited for this week's dress.
In 2020 you revamped a dress from 2019, will we see anything like that this year?
Yes! We're going to do that again. We're going to do the same dress. It was my idea to revamp it again - that's probably what my assistant will be working on - and Jen thought it was a great idea so we're going to, hopefully, do that. I already have the concept of how I want it done so we have to start working on that. We could have used another dress but I wanted to show that you can keep revamp pieces over the years.
What kind of designers are you hoping to work with this year?
I want to do everything. I want to have Irish designers. There's a girl called Lia Cowan, she might make something for us, and my assistant is really good as well, he's at the Grafton Academy, Tom Stapleton, so yeah I want to try and use an Irish designer.
I want to borrow from the Ivory Closet and keep it Irish, but then again I also want to use designer brands that I like and that I know women in Ireland will like - Solace London, Rat & Boa. We borrowed from a couple of designers in London which is great, it's nice to have the variety.
I also want to leave space because it's only January, we're coming into spring/summer and there will be new stuff coming in, so I'm also holding off on getting a few things for the end of the run.
Hopefully we'll be borrowing a dress off Graham Cruz who is an Irish stylist - he's styled Mel C and Kourtney Kardashian has worn one of his dresses. The dress is in LA at the moment and we have to camera test it so we'll see.
A lot of work goes into it, I have to keep having ideas in mind for the weeks ahead but I enjoy it so much.
What other elements come into play when choosing looks?
You're battling with lights and camera - we already had one disappointment with a fabulous David Koma cocktail dress, it just didn't work with the camera rehersals, the light was just bouncing off the end of it because it was all jewelled. It was so stunning but those things happen and it's why we have to camera test.
It has been difficult, clothes wide, because of Brexit. I had to pay quite a lot of import duty taxes on the dresses because of it. Also, a lot of stores here don't have enough good stock because they can't get it in. It's another thing I'm fighting against this year. It's been difficult but I prepped quite a bit before Christmas to get ahead of myself.
What's it like to work with Jen?
She's so easy to work with. She's just like 'I love it, I love it, I love it' - I swear to God, I've never met anyone so easy. She's not a diva, she's so cool and she tries on everything.
And we can't forget Nicky Byrne
Ah, Nicky. I've been working with him so much this year, it's brilliant. I've worked with him on some photo shoots so we've developed a nice working relationship, I love working with him. He's so easy to work with as well, he's like James Bond. Again, we buy stuff but we always get it tailored. Tailoring is a massive part of Nicky's look which is why he always looks so chic and so clean because everything has been tailored. It takes everything up a notch, even his shirts are tailored.
When it comes to accessories, what are you working with this year?
I want to do more cuffs and rings. Jen talks quite a bit with her hands so she was wearing layers of delicate chains last week but I'm trying to get more cuffs and trying to find more designers here who will lend pieces. More cuffs, more bracelets, more layers.
What's the big trend for 2022?
I think it's all about the one-shouldered sleeve or the big sleeve. There's a lot of dresses from Solace London that have that kind of silhouette. Lavish Alice do some great stuff too. Or, always for me, I love a slip dress. I think they always look really elegant and really cool.