July 29th, 2011
Breaking into Fashion, Celebrity Style
How to Break into Fashion: VH1′s Single Ladies Stylist and Designer Anthony L. Williams
By Claire

Happy Friday, Bombshells!
Today I have the sincere pleasure of offering you a glimpse behind the Single Ladies scenes with resident stylist and designer Anthony L. Williams:

The Birmingham, Alabama native first sprang onto the public radar thanks to his bubbly personality and skillful designs on season 7 of Project Runway:

Though he didn’t win the ultimate prize, the producers of Single Ladies were so impressed with his final collection they tapped him to dress and create chic silhouettes for the show’s star , Val, played by Stacey Dash.

He sat down with us recently to talk about how he got his start in the game and how you, too, can achieve your stylish dreams.

While Anthony’s day job is full of glitz of glamour, he didn’t grow up amongst lots of wealth or gorgeous things. He said, “If there was any ghetto, I lived there. Where I grew up, it seemed there wasn’t a lot of beauty so I had to create it and that’s how I got my start.”

After eventually attending the University of Alabama, his love for beauty and fashion landed him at Neiman Marcus, where he worked the sales floor. He said, “I started at the bottom in accessories, then I moved to handbags, and then to the dress collections.” A well meaning friend felt Anthony had a gift, so submitted his information to the producers of Project Runway. He explains, “She gave me the application. I filled it out, sent it in, and went through the process.”

In addition to his hilarious one liners, Williams charmed America–and the producers of Single Ladies–with his final collection, which overflowed with sequined pants, delectable cocktails with origami folds, and paillette peppered mini dresses.


He ultimately brought his singular flair to Val, one of the main protagonists on Single Ladies. Williams explains, “To create Stacey Dash’s look, I had to really zero in on what the directors and the producers were trying to do. I read the script to find out what exactly was needed. We didn’t have a huge budget, so we went for a lot of vintage and revamping.”

So how does one recreate Val’s signature style? He says, “The fit is what makes most of her looks. I don’t care what stylist you’re dealing with. You have to have the baddest seamstress in the land to make it make sense.” For Val’s super popular colorblocked look, he paired a $259 Jil Sander top from Jeffrey’s with a skirt he fashioned out of Carolina Herrera fabric. Stacey added her own pop with blue Christian Louboutin peep toe pumps:

Though her look is pricey, he says, “It’s really just a t-shirt in a stretch knit in a bright color, a pencil skirt, and a molded belt at the waist. Because of the color, the quality of the fabric, and the fit, it looks amazing. But fit is the most important. High waisted works a lot better than low rise. Especially if you want to have the illusion of a small waist.

So what else does one need to achieve a ‘Val’ essence? He says, “The fit makes the fashion. We make sure Val is fitted with the proper undergarments–Tumi underwear and the proper bras–so that there are no visible lines. The worst thing is to have a beautiful garment destroyed by a bra strap or visible panty line! Next, I fit her in lots of pencil skirts because they work for her. It’s also important to know what works for your skin tone. Bright, beautiful colors are really in.”

” Lastly, you don’t need a pair of Christian Louboutins to look fierce! Stay in your lane and merge when necessary. If you can’t afford Christian Louboutins: don’t buy them. There’s nothing worse than having Christian Louboutins and a cheap outfit. Don’t buy a knockoff. Just walk away. There have been legends in fashion who looked spectacular long before Louboutins were created.” Preach, now!

And for those who want to be a stylist like him one day, he offers this pointed advice: “Don’t always run to celebrities. It’s the cheapest form of prostitution I’ve ever seen! The reality of it is, celebrities do not pay. Don’t run after titles; search instead for people who celebrate your craft and who you are. If they respect you, they will pay you.”

In closing, he adds, “Being a lady and a gentleman never goes out of style. Be polite. If you want to go anywhere in life, get you some manners and you can be anything you want to be.” Well said!
Read more about Anthony on his website www.anthonylwilliams.com and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sewAnthony.
See him talk more about his beginnings in this Vh1 clip:


And check out his fashion breakdowns every week on Vh1.com.
What do you think of our latest Breaking into Fashion subject?
Pictures courtesy of Vh1 & Getty

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69 Responses to “How to Break into Fashion: VH1′s Single Ladies Stylist and Designer Anthony L. Williams”

  1. kaliente says:

    Love it! and i LOVE VAL!!! SUPABADD!!! i love his advice as well!

  2. misscse says:

    I love Anthony!!!! I wish he had his own show. His spirit and character are amazing. I wish him all the best.

  3. Sticky-n-Sweet says:

    Love him! Love love love that outfit!

  4. sun.kissed says:

    Loves me some Anthony! He does a great job styling Val, does he also style the other ladies? I’ve watched a few of his clips on the VH1 website and he never mentions their outfits. SN: I wish he would take shots of her outfits on set so we don’t have to rely on grainy/faded screen shots. Her outfits deserve more :)

  5. Jennifer says:

    awwww my mom and I LOVED him on project runway! So glad to see him doing big things

  6. Waliyyah S. says:

    I was wondering what happened to him. I loved him on the show & loved most of his pieces also. It’s good to see he’s still relevant in the fashion industry & styling the beautiful Stacey Dash on that show.

  7. I love his style so thanks for this post! Just wish the quality of the pictures you used was better…

  8. Kim says:

    Such great advice. I like him!

  9. Claire says:

    @South Loop Social Light The pictures of Stacey’s outfits are screen grabs, blown up slightly to show more detail. If y’all can find clearer pix, holla! I’m thefashionbomb@gmail.com.
    And thanks, this post was really fun to do (and Anthony is a riot!)

  10. yusufswifee says:

    love him…I’ve watched his clips on ondemand and I don’t think he styles the other ladies.

  11. Claire says:

    PS @misscse I agree, he would be perfect on his own show. Hilarity for days.

  12. Martinique_Fr says:

    Val is the best dressed on that show. So BRAVO Anthony! Love your style.

  13. Kristina says:

    SO INSPIRING! Thanks FashionBombDaily!

  14. Empress says:

    Congrats to his success..I love the show Single Ladies..I love the outfits Val and Keisha wear….BTW, I have seen plenty of ppl wear Louboutins with a cheap outfit..(like Eva did with her $40 Topshop dress and $900 shoes)…it depends on what type of cheap clothes..

  15. Shaq Nichole says:

    Amen! This is very inspirational. I am very happy on his success and making a name for himself!

  16. Alissa says:

    This was awesome and his advice was different and real. I loved how he kept it real by saying Val’s outfit was really just a t-shirt and pencil skirt.
    You don’t need a small fortune to look fabulous. You just need a great seamstress. Love it!

  17. Safera says:

    Very useful information, especially his point about fit. Glad to see his talent being recognised and appreciated. Thanks Claire :)

  18. binks says:

    Love his style, I wish I had him in my closet…lol But Val really is the best dress one and slowly replacing Joan Clayton’s style as number one for me as far as fictional characters go

  19. Miss Smith says:

    BAMA STAND UP!!! Haha! I’m so proud of Anthony! I also attended the University of Alabama (it’s the one in Tuscaloosa, AL by the way, not Birmingham, AL), and I always loved to see Anthony’s fashion shows. We knew he would go on to do great things & he’s doing just that! Thanks for the post Claire!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Love it! Keep it coming!!!

  21. tommykimon says:

    Love all the outfits Val wears. I usually drool at her clothes and shoes. Yes he needs his own show and thanks for the style ideas.

  22. Ronnie says:

    HE IS GREAT IN EVERY WAY!

  23. Cmoni says:

    I <3 him!!

  24. Dom says:

    This is awesome! I love love loved Anyhony on PR, and had no idea he was the stylist behind the best dressed lady on Single Ladies. It all makes perfect sense!

  25. Tifani says:

    Very good advice!

  26. yeyo says:

    I loved him on Project Runway and I’m glad that he has been blessed with this opportunity. Congratulations to his success!

  27. candylicker says:

    Love you Anthony – Im so proud of you!!!

  28. sylvie says:

    fabulous! I loved him on project runway.. saw so many pieces i would wear…so bizarre because i don’t really like the show singe ladies but I watch it every now and then because the ladies ALWAYS look great!.. Good to know that he’s behind that! Go anthony!

  29. Kiki says:

    OMGGGG!!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for him!…I absolutely adored him on PR, he seemed like such a genuine person…glad to see he is doing bigger and better things

  30. Frost says:

    Awesome post! :D :D

    I didn’t know he was their designer — He was one of my favorites on his season. It’s so good to know that even if you don’t win something, you can still BE something!

  31. Myssdee says:

    I loved him in Project Runway.
    I was so happy and even brought a copy of the Marie Claire magazine where Heidi Klum wore his dress on the front cover.

    I am so happy that he said “Don’t always run to celebrities. It’s the cheapest form of prostitution I’ve ever seen! The reality of it is, celebrities do not pay.” I see a lot of these wanna-be stylists and designers going after celebrities in hopes of bringing a greater monetary value to their work when in reality it takes time and patience to make money and get the popularity you want in this industry.

    I always respect Anthony for being humble….just like he said on Project Runway…You don’t have to win the crown in order to be a Queen.

  32. ahsatar says:

    Didnt even read the article …lol but I love him!!!

  33. Erica B. says:

    Great article! Love Anthony!

  34. I knew it! I spotted her stylist as being a vintage lover. Love to see that it’s Anthony from Project Runway. Love the show and her outfits!

  35. Nikki K. says:

    What I really need in my life right now is that white, ruffled blazer in the main pic.

  36. Claire says:

    @Nikki K It’s BCBG Max Azria

  37. HavilandClarke says:

    This made me soo happy to see that he is not only WORKING but he is styling a great character for a really good show. Being successful in the fashion industry especially as a young designer of color is difficult to say the least. I remember him from Project Runway and he was as gracious, talented and HUMBLE as he seemed in this interview..Many Blessings to him and much success.

  38. Jasmyne says:

    He was probably my favorite on project runway and I love his personality and he definitely knows fashion!! Love him!!!

  39. Dith says:

    He is awesome! I truly wish him all the best

  40. Katherine says:

    I did not realize the stylist was Anthony from Project Runway. He was the only reason I watched that show for that one season! I was just talking about how much I adored Val’s look on my facebook and here comes this post, great timing. I was not expecting her style to be so easy to put together. I’m going to find me a great tshirt and pencil skirt, great post!

  41. Anonymous says:

    “Stay in your lane and merge when necessary”
    ….Can I please get THAT on a t-shirt instead of “You’re a non-mutha fu@@in’ factor?” Thanks! (The median wealth for black families is $5,600, and $113,000 for whites).

    Good interview

  42. Chris Styles says:

    I remember him from project runway as well. I was sad when he got sent home, but he is killin it as the stylist for Single Ladies. As a matter of fact I didn’t really care for the show but the fashion sparked my interest and now I’m hooked. He’s right about fit because Stacey Dash’s clothes fit like a glove.I’m luvin that white tiered blazer she’s wearing btw. Where can I get that from?

  43. Miss Smith says:

    @Claire, I think you should do your own “Breaking Into Fashion” post!

  44. Alexis says:

    I was waiting for this post… I love the ladies style on this show… I almost like watching what they have on more than the actual show! Keep up the good work! And one of my fav outfits was the pink top, green skirt and blue red bottoms worn by Stacy Dash!

  45. Coldplayer says:

    Oh wow! I was just watching old episodes and didn’t put 2 and 2 together realizing that that was him. Good feature fashionbomb

  46. Mme Bienvenue says:

    LOVE THIS!

  47. nothernboi says:

    You had me at Stacy Dash… lol Anytime you have a canvas like that to paint on. Your true genius just flows. He did his thing on PR. But the ladies carry their fashion like grown women should!

  48. Lyn says:

    I will honestly say, I ONLY watch this show for the clothes. I do not like the acting, lol. But I will mute it to just look at the clothes, their amazing! I love it Anthony!!!

  49. Rmarie says:

    I loved him on Project Runway and Val has great style thanks to him

  50. chrissy says:

    i LOVEE Vals style on the show, classy, her stuff can be really short sometimes so a splash of hoochie too lol, but i really like it. its simple. i think her body may have alot to do with how well the clothes look on her too

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