Stylist Johnny Wujek on Dressing Petite Women Like Kate Mara


I’ll smash my nose for a Kate Mara kiss any day #iLoveThisWomen #maxmara #womeninfilm #faceofthefuture #besties #ilovemyJob #blessed

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I first met Kate Mara on a shoot during the We Are Marshall press tour. We hit it off almost immediately. My first impression of her was that she was just so easy to get along with. We became really close on set and then one day she was like, “You’re my stylist now!” Her movie career has taken off since then, but we’ve been able to maintain a relationship through it all. Kate is amazing, loyal and I consider her one of my best friends now. I didn’t know much about her when I first met her, but the more I’ve gotten to know her, her family history (her sister is actress Rooney Mara and both sides of her family have strong ties to the NFL), you would never know she’s in the Mara family. She’s just so chill, so cool — she’s a normal girl who is just a little fancy.

She’s also an excellent collaborator. It’s so easy to dress her because not only does she love fashion, but she has a clear view of what she wants. I love when my clients have an opinion and Kate always does. We’ll keep in touch via WhatsApp and she’s so good about researching designer collections. She often gets in touch with me saying things like, “Did you see the new Dior?” or “I love this Giambattista Valli look.” By now, obviously, I know exactly what she loves, her style and how it’s evolved.

Dressing small women like Kate is an entirely different world. We tend to stay away from patterns and long gowns, though she’ll wear them at certain events. Generally, shorter is better. We also try to stay away from billowy pieces because it’s hard for petite bodies to pull them off, as you need more surface area for draping to work. There is a bit of tailoring you have to do to make sure garments fit petite women right. Everything we do for Kate has to be taken in because of her size or hemmed. Kate does love a modern structure and will opt to wear boxier silhouettes instead of focusing on nipping the waist all the time. 

When we’re deciding what to wear, it is truly a collaboration. Kate loves white. Loves it. She is also digging black, gray and clean, neutral colors like that right now. She’s very modern and loves a suit trouser and a jumpsuit. One of my favorite jumpsuit looks for her was a Max Mara one (pictured above) we saw in Milan while shooting a campaign. That one was a doozy. We altered it, but it didn’t come back right, so we decided to make it a short jumper. That got screwed up again, so we decided to keep it long. But in the end, she wore it well. That seems to be a theme with pretty much every project we collaborate on!