Elizabeth Saltzman is an American fashion stylist who lives in Notting Hill, London, with her Lucas Terrier, Fred. She styles some of the top talents in Hollywood, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Saoirse Ronan, Jodie Comer, Sandra Oh, and Julia Garner, and was named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood in 2019. She is listed as a contributing editor to Airmail, British Vogue, and Vanity Fair, and has worked with designers like Tom Ford, Michael Kors, Prada, and Emilia Wickstead. At home, she and Fred prefer to stick to the basics—although he does help model designer handbags sometimes.
Did you grow up with dogs?
My husband grew up with dogs, but my parents didn’t want me to have one. As an adult in New York, I got my first dog, a poodle rescue named Cuba, with my husband, and he was so wonderful. He had a tragic accident, though. He ran out as we opened the door to take him on a walk. He leapt out, and a taxi hit him. It was devastating. I was in bed for three weeks and I couldn’t recover—I never wanted another dog ever again. I never wanted to feel that way again. I was even so afraid to have a child because I was so attached to my dogs.
“I’m a bit ridiculous when it comes to fashion, but he’s simpler—he’s a sporting dog.”
When my husband and I moved to London and had children here, he thought it would be important for our children to grow up with dogs. And I said, “Absolutely not.” I did not want them to go through that kind of pain, and I [personally] didn’t want to go through that kind of pain ever again. But when we moved into this flat, my husband texted me from three feet away: “I really want a dog. A life is not complete without a dog!” And I texted back, “I don’t.”
Three-and-a-half weeks later, I’m sitting on the sofa being slightly disgruntled that my husband was home late from work. Like, you couldn’t even call or send a text message? I worry about people, especially my family. I worry about everybody.
When he finally came home, I was watching the American nightly news, and he just dropped Fred into my lap. Turned out, he had driven three hours to pick Fred up, which is why he was late. I named him Walter.
The next morning, I tucked Walter into [my son] Charlie’s bed, and Charlie just sat up and said, “Good morning, Fred!” So that was that—his name was Fred.
How did your husband know he was The One?
My husband’s a big outdoorsman and he met someone with a Lucas Terrier. He’s not here right now because he’s in the mountains. He wanted a dog that would be both healthy in the city and comfortable hiking and fishing—a terrier is good for that. He’s really special—I mean, all dogs are unique in their own ways and should be treated as such. He’s uniquely calm and not lazy. Unless it’s raining. When we’re in the countryside and it’s raining, he’s perfectly happy. But in the city, he’s like, “I don’t think so.”
Does he wear clothes to help brace against the elements? Like a raincoat?
I don’t dress him up because I like him as close to nature as possible. So we’ll dry him off when he gets wet, and I’ll add a layer if it’s cold. He has a little sweater that he wears when it’s cold.
Well okay, I have been known to dress Fred up in Versace and Tom Ford—I love doing ridiculous things because I’m a stylist, so it’s fun to goof around in the office and studio.
Tell us about a day in the life with you and Fred.
We get up at 6:45 A.M. every day. Normally, Fred jumps onto our bed, gets between us, and snuggles with us around 5 A.M., and then he backs up to me, like reverse spooning, and I get really toasty. I’m like, “I get it. You want me to get up?” My husband heads down first, cooks breakfast and gives Fred his breakfast. And then Fred goes off for a two-hour goof-off with friends in the park. Because we live in London, poor Fred normally has to get his paws or underbelly washed when he gets home.
Fred hangs out at home with whoever’s around, or he’ll come to work with me. In the evenings, he’ll do another long trot around town. My eldest son, Harry, figured out that it was a meditation to take Fred for a walk. It was his way to do mindfulness during a stressful time in school.
Harry wrote about it for his actual college essay—and it seemed to work! He applied to one school and he got in. He based it off farming—we made him do some farming one year, and the rhythm and planting of things with your hands was like walking your dog after school. School [in London] is quite intense, and we’re lucky that these are the problems we have. We’re lucky it’s not war or lack of water or health[care], but Fred became a really great source of calm for all of us. After his nighttime walk, Fred usually snuggles up with me on the sofa if I’m reading or catching up on a movie.
Does Fred ever come with you to fittings?
Oh, yeah. He’s quite good about it. There are certain people who don’t want Fred around and that’s absolutely fine, and then there are tons of people who want him around because he’s very calming. People don’t realize that, for actors, fittings are work—it’s not fun and you’re getting naked in front of no less than four people at once. Fred is a calming source for them. He likes to sit under the sofa, and that’s his spot.
My dog does that too. Tell us about his wicker bed.
I really wanted something comfortable for Fred. I didn’t want to buy him 500 things, although I might have bought him 499 things when he was a puppy because I was so excited. I love this wicker bed because it’s [made of] natural [materials] and easy to clean. I saw it at a Christmas fair and I went with it—it’s the perfect size for him, too.
Of course, I am guilty of seeing cute things on Instagram that I want to buy for Fred. Stop yourself, woman! Your dog only needs one bed.
But tell me about your dog.
She’s a rescue mutt from Miami, and her name is Artemis. She’s the first dog I ever had, and she’s changed my life. Clearly, as I’m sitting here with you right now. She’s actually in London with me right now.
How did you do that? Did you get a pet passport?
Yes, and we flew over on Delta Airlines, which let us bring her over in the cabin.
I keep Fred at a healthy weight so that he can fly with us, but we try not to drag Fred to too many places and it kills me. We go to Costa Rica quite a bit, and I feel like I’m cheating on Fred because there are so many dogs there. We feel guilty all the time, but we FaceTime with him while he’s staying with friends. There’s a really great place outside of London called the Alldog Ranch. They only take about 10 dogs [at a time], and they have five acres, and each dog has their own bed. They send videos and photos of your dog every day.
Do you ever take Fred when you’re traveling for awards shows?
No, it just wouldn’t be fair to him, and I’d be more worried about him than about my clients. I don’t even bring my children, and I consider Fred part of that group. Of course, Fred being there would help me out, no joke. He would help me out in times of stress. But he has such a great life here already.
Do you ever work with dogs on photoshoots?
Yes, I did a shoot for Tous Jewelry with the wonderful Gwyneth Paltrow, and as part of the commercial, we had dogs looking like their owners in matching hair and matching clothes. It was hysterical. I always like working with dogs as long as I know the dogs are treated well. I love having lots of animals around, and I’m a great animal lover. I’m a vegetarian, in fact. I’m trying to be more vegan but butter is my downfall.
I also have to be real about my work. I do work with leather, but I’m anti-fur. I’m really into House of Fluff, which is faux fur. I’m not perfect in any way, shape, or form.
Thanks for being so honest about the reality of your work. As an American in London, what do you love about raising a dog here?
It’s night and day. In London, you have greenery everywhere. And if you drive barely 20 minutes from here, you’re in Richmond Park, which has actual wildlife. I love that dogs can come to restaurants. My favorite restaurant in London is Farmacy, and they care more about dogs than they do about me.
What are some of your favorite dog brands, since you have such great taste?
He gets groomed at the Purplebone in London. The collar that he’s wearing is the first one we bought him from The Mutz Nutz. But one of my favorite leashes is actually one that my husband made from rock climbing rope. We uses a carabineer to hook onto the collar, and it’s so cool.
But my favorite of his accessories is this shell collar from Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, there’s this boyfriend and girlfriend who make these incredible dream catchers out of macramé, crystals, and shells, but they’re huge. I’d always wanted one, so I drove by the shop, and there were these two dogs outside who had on these shell collars. So, I walked in and asked if they would consider making one for my dog and his brother. I was leaving the next day, it took them 24 hours to make it, and I forgot to pick them up. So I called all my friends from Costa Rica, asking if any of them were going to Germany, London, Paris any time soon. I love it because it’s comfortable for him. I’m a bit ridiculous when it comes to fashion, but he’s simpler—he’s a sporting dog.