I Was Olivia Newton-John's Stylist, Here's Why She Was Different From Other Celebs

I Was Olivia Newton-John’s Stylist, Here’s Why She Was Different From Other Celebs

A fashion designer who dressed Olivia Newton John has hailed her old friend as one of showbiz’s most stylish women after her death at the age of 73.

Brian Rennie, who lives in Dunoon, is a big name behind the scenes in Hollywood having outfitted a host of stars including Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Catherine Zeta-Jones.


The designer loved working with Olivia, seen here in one of her costumes
Brian found Olivia so easy to work with


Brian found Olivia so easy to work with
Her husband Ferdinand couldn't believe it when Olivia phoned their home


Her husband Ferdinand couldn’t believe it when Olivia phoned their home

But the 59-year-old, who is married to recent Britain’s Got Talent contestant Ferdinand Rennie, insists Grease icon Olivia was a cut above the rest.

Speaking after losing his 30-year battle with breast cancer, he said: ‘It all started when I was creative managing director at Basler in Germany and Olivia was a good customer in our store in Bloomingdale’s in Florida.

“One day a sales assistant called me, I thought she had me, but she said Olivia loved my stuff and wanted some for her residency in Las Vegas and asked if she could pass on my number.

“I thought it was a sell-out and then one night the phone rang and I heard ‘it’s Olivia, how are you?’

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“Ferdinand had kittens on the couch because he’s her biggest fan and she was his inspiration to enter the world of music.

They ended up talking for about an hour, I thought they would never stop. Then finally we looked at what she was looking for.

Having dressed so many famous faces, Brian knows what to expect from celebrities when it comes to fashion.

But he reckons Olivia was different in both her sense of style and her old-fashioned values ​​after she stayed in touch with him over the years – until they spoke to each other for the last time at Christmas, when he felt his health declining.

He explained: “One of the last times we spoke was after she had finished her residency in Las Vegas and she was still doing a lot of cancer charity work.

“She had her own charity and she asked me if I would mind if she auctioned off her stage costumes to raise money and I said no problem.

“She was one of the few celebrities who never tried to get stuff for nothing.

“Instead, she paid straight away and asked for bills and for her to call me and ask after she owned them, it was amazing.

“But that’s the kind of woman she was, always thinking of others.

“She phoned, said what she wanted, I sent sketches, we took measurements, I had it done.

“I’ll never forget the first time I went to see Grease, with the music and his leather pants.

“And then years later, making him clothes. One of the nicest things I remember is that she sent me a picture.

“John Travolta had come to visit her in Las Vegas and she was wearing my leather jacket and he came on stage and they sang together.”

Brian now runs his entertainment and fashion business Fabscots with Ferdinand, as well as his own tailoring business and a licensing deal with German shopping giants HSE.

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But he doesn’t think anyone he styles will wear his clothes like Olivia.

He added: “She liked to be relaxed, more of a person with pants and a jacket than with dresses, although I made a few dresses for her

“She felt more comfortable with blazers, a loose fit, some sequins, she liked to be comfortable.

“She loved layering, a jacket over a cardigan over a blouse and skinny pants.

“She would start with the full look then take off the scarf, take off the cardigan to have different looks.

“She was very practical, there are very few people like that in the industry.”

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