Ready to get the inside scoop on what’s in store for Canada’s biggest night of music? With the 2023 JUNO Awards just around the corner, we chatted with stylist Amber Watkins about red carpet looks and the secrets to staying confident when in the spotlight. —Noa Nichol
Hi Amber! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I’m a Toronto-based fashion and wardrobe stylist who’s been working in the industry for nearly 13 years. I began as a designer specializing in women’s resort and swimwear and then transitioned into styling 10 years ago. Personal brand is such an important part of what I work on – especially with my recording artist clients. I really love to get creative with my clients and collaboration is what excites me the most about my work.
The 2023 JUNO Awards are just around the corner; what are you looking forward to most about this year’s show?
The JUNOS are such an incredible showcase of Canadian talent and I’m really looking forward to all the performances and, of course, all the red carpet looks! I’m also so excited to be working with EXCEL Gum, an official sponsor of the 2023 JUNO Awards. EXCEL Gum is committed to providing some of Canada’s freshest faces in music with the finishing touches needed to style up and hit the red carpet with confidence. In partnership with EXCEL Gum, I’ll be working alongside one of Canada’s biggest up-and-coming talents and style icons, Rêve, to ensure she finds her perfect look for the evening. I cannot wait for viewers to see what she will be wearing on the red carpet and beyond!
Fashion-wise, what are some of the trends we can expect to see at this year’s show?
I think we will see quite a variety of styles which is expected at a music awards show. Each artist has a distinct personal style, and I hope they take some risks and have fun with their fashion! At the end of the day, the best looks are the ones that you feel you’re most confident in. A few of my favourite looks from the most recent red-carpet season have been ones worn by Zendaya at basically every award show this season. She and her stylist truly have such incredible trust and collaboration, and they play with current looks that are fresh from the runway, show-stopping archival pieces, and custom looks to keep it interesting.
When it comes to red carpet confidence, what are some insider secrets you can share with us?
Red carpets and award shows can be nerve-wracking, and feeling fresh all night long is so important. I always make sure that my clients have key items including a stain removal pen for any spills, double-sided tape to ensure no wardrobe malfunctions happen, and of course, a pack of EXCEL Gum on hand during a big night for feeling fresh during important conversations!
How about out of the spotlight? What can us non-celebs do to keep calm and cool in moments of pressure?
It’s so important to have a ritual when getting ready for a big event. Whether it’s just a cozy robe and your best pump-up playlist or a mug of calming tea, a getting-ready routine that’s suited to your needs can help make any situation feel more manageable.