Mahershala Ali: ‘You need to be fearless with fashion to make it work’

Mahershala Ali’s stylist has taught him to be “unafraid” when it comes to fashion.

The 45-year-old has recently completed a clean awards season sweep, picking up the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG for his role of musician Don Shirley in Green Book.

By his side throughout the whole run was stylist Van Van Alonso, who dressed him in suits by Ermenegildo Zegna, Tom Ford, and Etro, among other top fashion houses.


“What Van Van has taught me about style is that fashion really works when you are unafraid,” Ali mused to The Hollywood Reporter. “She always pushes me further than what I may instinctively want to do, and then we kind of find this little sweet spot.”

Their recent work landed Alonso the number 17 spot on the publication’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists list for 2019.

For the accompanying feature, the pair posed together, with Alonso explained how hard it can be to make her male clients stand out from the crowd.

“When it comes to doing men’s tuxedos and suiting, it’s always a challenge to create a look that stands out,” she said. “It’s easy to put somebody in a suit, but I needed to find someone who understood me on a deeper level.”

She added: “We like to keep things original, respectful (of the event) and classic.”

As for his favourite look so far, Ali, who says style is all about the “little details”, went for the black brocade Ermenegildo Zegna XXX suit he wore to the Oscars, which he and Alonso teamed with a black hat and clear aviator glasses.

“If you don’t finish with your favourite look, then something’s wrong,” the Moonlight star smiled.