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InStyle Awards fete fashion’s finest, including Tom Ford and Priyanka Chopra, at the Getty Center

The cream of the fashion crop rose to the top Monday night, literally and figuratively, at the second InStyle Awards, which took place on the garden terrace of the Getty Center, overlooking Los Angeles.

Hosted by InStyle magazine’s freshly minted editor in chief, Laura Brown, who has been on the job barely six weeks, the dinner and awards ceremony recognized eight honorees, each of whom received her or his trophy from a high-profile presenter.

First to the stage was Usher, who was on hand to honor fellow Global Citizen ambassador Priyanka Chopra. He described the actress, singer and dancer as a “triple threat” before upgrading her to “quadruple threat” status by presenting her with the Breakthrough Style Star award. In accepting the award, Chopra urged people to “find the clothes that make you feel like you” and closed by making the first of the evening’s many references to fellow honoree Tom Ford, citing the designer’s oft-repeated quote: “Dressing well is a form of good manners.”

Next up was model Jourdan Dunn (in an eye-catching orange David Koma ensemble), who presented Sir John with the Makeup Artist Award. Sir John (yes, that’s his real name) Barnett, whose client list includes Dunn, Karlie Kloss, Naomi Campbell and Beyoncé, also name-checked Ford. “I just want to say I’m super happy to be here in the lineup with Tom Ford,” he said, adding that it was at the designer’s womenswear show in 2010 where he first met his most famous client, Beyoncé. He ended his acceptance speech by saying, “I’m also happy to accept this award as a black man,” noting that the faces to the left and right of him are, more often than not, white.

From left, Tom Ford and Bradley Cooper; Sir John Barnett and Jourdan Dunn; and Leslie Fremar and Julianne Moore.
From left, Tom Ford and Bradley Cooper; Sir John Barnett and Jourdan Dunn; and Leslie Fremar and Julianne Moore.
(Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images )
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Presenter Julianne Moore (in a sparkly royal purple disco dress by Tom Ford) took to the stage to present the Fashion Stylist award to Leslie Fremar with whom she’s worked for the last 12 years. In praising the woman she called “a partner and a collaborator” — someone she trusts implicitly — she described Fremar as “not only the kind of person who will put you into a Balenciaga dress, she’ll also get up at 2 in the morning, very pregnant, to cut you out of it.”

The evening’s fourth award — it was for Hairstylist of the year — was presented by burlesque queen Dita Von Teese to Danilo Dixon, whom she described as helping shape identity over the last 30 years, “from the bodacious bouffants of the B-52s to Elsa’s braids in ‘Frozen’ to Gwen Stefani.”

“L.A. is the filter of style to the world. It’s what influences the rest of the world.”

— Tom Ford

With half the awards handed out, the 13 tables on the Getty’s garden terrace tucked into an intimate dinner of heirloom carrot salad and trout amandine (courtesy of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo), after which InStyle’s Brown took to the awards lectern to present the evening’s Man of Style award to singer-songwriter Leon Bridges. “If you ask him what he’s wearing, he won’t just tell you,” Brown said, “he’ll tell you what year it is and what the fabric is.” In accepting his award, Bridges thanked InStyle “for realizing my look is more than a gimmick.”

Curiosity piqued by Brown’s introduction, someone in the audience asked Bridges about the provenance of his dapper white ensemble. “It’s a ’90s Armani suit,” he answered, “and the shirt is from the ’50s. I don’t know the brand, but it’s fresh and icy.” (And we couldn’t agree more.)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt presented the Advocate award to “Snowden” costar Shailene Woodley, who earlier this month was arrested in North Dakota after a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. “That arrest was not not planned, by the way,” she said at the beginning of the night’s most uplifting acceptance speech. “Call it a hippie dreamer’s fantasy,” Woodley said, “but there’s a shift in consciousness. I mean, we’re at fashion awards, and they’re giving an award for advocacy. That’s amazing.”

InStyle Award honorees Leon Bridges, left, and Danilo Dixon.
InStyle Award honorees Leon Bridges, left, and Danilo Dixon.
(Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images left; Charley Gallay / Getty Images )

The penultimate award of the night was presented by a bearded-beyond-recognizable Bradley Cooper to Tom Ford for Designer of the year. “I love awards. I do,” said the designer-turned-director, “because when you win an award, it means you’ve connected with someone.” Ford said he was happy to be accepting the award in one of his favorite cities. “L.A. is the filter of style to the world,” he said. “It’s what influences the rest of the world.”

The last award of the night was presented by Laura Dern (wearing a gold liquid sequin dress by Tom Ford) to Nicole Kidman, who was honored as Style Icon of the Year. Kidman, in a stunner of an Atelier Versace gown (black, with pale pink satin draping down the front that transitioned into a train), recounted a childhood when her mother made her clothes and her teen years when she and her classmates learned the sexual power of clothes by tweaking their outfits at the bus stop. She ended by recognizing — and saying thank you to — Janet Patterson, the Sydney-born, four-time Academy Award-nominated costume designer, whom Kidman said had passed away on Friday. “The black bonnet with the white trim that Holly Hunter wore in ‘The Piano’ was her [work],” she said.

“This is for her,” Kidman said, holding her award aloft. “Now she’s not here, but she lives on in all the beautiful clothes on screen.”

There were plenty of well-heeled notables from the worlds of fashion and entertainment on hand who weren’t giving or receiving anything (well, beyond dinner table badinage). Among the standouts: actress Skyler Samuels (“Scream Queens” and “American Horror Story”) in a rose gold dégradé pailletté cocktail dress (one of our absolute favorites from the spring 2017 Monique Lhuillier runway collection); fashion designer Jeremy Scott with Sofia Richie (daughter of Lionel) on his arm, both clad in flower-powered Moschino; Jon Hamm, looking more dapper than Don Draper (if that’s possible), in Tom Ford; and actress Jordana Brewster in a stunner of a metallic spaghetti strap dress from the fall/winter 2014 Galvan collection.

For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me @ARTschorn.

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