Based on comments by Emma Stone, Nina Dobrev, Lily Collins and Tracee Ellis Ross, the Stylemakers ceremony Thursday served as a reminder for fashion followers, beauty buffs and A-list actors not only to go to the gym but also to find the light in a dark time.
At the second annual luncheon hosted by WWD and Variety at Quixote Studios in West Hollywood, the crowd sat at the intersection of Hollywood and fashion while dining on fig and watermelon radish salad, roasted branzino and morsels of chocolate ganache cake, Meyer lemon shortbread and rosemary ricotta tartlets. In between, the presenters and honorees did their best to hoist the hefty glass awards.
"This thing is heavy so it must be important, of course," said Kelly Rowland as she walked up to the podium to introduce Diplo, who added an electronic oomph to her sensual song titled "Motivation." "Diplo is literally everywhere and he always looks so damn stylish doing it," she said.
Having dallied with duds from Calvin Klein, Armani, Balmain and Alexander Wang, the DJ-turned-producer-turned Style Innovator recipient leavened the atmosphere, which was still charged with mixed emotions following the Nov. 8 presidential election. "Thanks for the Mercedes-Benz," he said, giving props to the luxury car company that sponsored the bash along with brow guru Anastasia Soare and Dyson Supersonic. "It was really unexpected. I appreciate that."
Emma Stone expressed her appreciation for food, which was a common motif in her time spent with makeup artist Rachel Goodwin, whom she introduced for her honors. Whether eating grapes in Paris or swallowing sushi at 5 a.m. in a Tokyo fish market, Goodwin is a beauty seeker, foodie, loving mother and devoted wife who, with her husband, represents "relationship goals," Stone said. "There is a reason Rachel is one of the five Chanel makeup artists," she added.
After exchanging a big hug with Stone, Goodwin warned the audience that "I'm a crier — sorry." For someone who confessed not having "a back-up plan at all," she was fortunate as a Francophile to have worked with Chanel for 10 years. "Makeup and beauty might seem like pretty light," she said. "Makeup for me was a way to see beauty in the ugly world and I'm not going to stop now."
At 85, Albert Wolsky showed no sign of retiring. Lily Collins, who was born 11 years after he dressed the cast of "Grease" in what she called "killer leather pants and iconic Pink Ladies jackets," credited him for inspiring a slew of Halloween costumes. The costume designer fitted her in Fifties fashion for her role in "Rules Don't Apply," which was written and directed by Warren Beatty, who portrays Howard Hughes in the dramatic comedy.
Dressed in an all-black ensemble with a scarf knotted around his neck, as if he were a diminutive French philosopher heading to a lecture, Wolsky admitted he was "nervous" and "totally overwhelmed" in accepting the award from Collins. "I'm used to being behind the camera and not in front of it," he said.
The pair bridged their 58-year age difference in a chat with Beatty. The legendary actor and director last worked with Wolsky on "Bugsy" in 1991, a feat that garnered the wardrobe maestro an Oscar for his costumes. "You're lucky if you can get Albert to do a movie," the 79-year-old Beatty said. In the decades they've known each other, the two men have had only one disagreement. "Oh, all right, do it your own way," Wolsky recalled Beatty telling him at the end of the exchange. "I don't always give in," Beatty revealed.
Jen Atkin didn't give in to peer pressure, lifting the glass prize high in presenting it to Jenna Dewan Tatum, who accepted the Dyson Style Renegade Award in front of her husband, Channing Tatum, and best friend of 16 years, Emmanuelle Chriqui. Atkin, who returned to the stage after accepting the hairstylist honors last year, said Dewan Tatum is "not only the girl you want to be but the girl you want to be best friends with." Case in point: the dancing thespian gave her husband a lap dance to Ginuwine's "Pony," a tribute to his own routine from "Magic Mike." "It basically broke the Internet," Atkin said.
Touched by recognition from the entertainment and fashion industries, Dewan Tatum said, "I hope I don't do that hiccupy thing when I'm nervous." Instead, she cited the power of social media to disperse the "fear and confusion and hate" permeating society. "We need to try to use social media to inspire and spread messages of love, unity and acceptance," she said, "along with our fierce dresses and Snapchat dancing."
Despite the challenges that 2016 brought, Nina Dobrev had a sure-fire way to deal with it. "Just ... it," she said. Donning a white dress by Zuhair Murad, she introduced the Lebanese fashion designer on a positive note: "2016 has been a great year for style and stylemakers," she said.
A veteran in dressing Dobrev for the Emmys as well as Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Kate Beckinsale, Murad recounted his career that started with opening his atelier in Beirut in 1997 and showing his haute couture in Paris four years later. He also benefited from a bit of luck in roping in Jennifer Lopez, who happened to see one of his fashion shows on TV.
"She's a lucky charm to me," he said.
One of the gowns he custom-made for the actress to wear to the Oscars ended up on a Barbie. He actually designed two of the iconic dolls. The first had a miniature version of a white curve-hugger that Blake Lively wore to a premiere of "Savages." "So cute," he said, when he saw the picture of the doll.
As the wine flowed through lunch, the mood turned from cute to rowdy when Danilo received the honors for hairstylist of the year. In a casual video, Gwen Stefani in a white tank top told him and the crowd: "What is happening? How did I get to work with you for so many years? I'm so blessed." Blake Shelton then bombed the scene with a big scream. "Danilo! Whoo!"
A shout-out also went to Ellis Ross from Natasha Lyonne, who sent a letter that was read before Ross received the Style Innovator Award. "I love you probably as more than friends," Lyonne wrote.
Ever the daring dresser, the younger Ross showed off the black platform sandals, a birthday gift from her "Black-ish" co-star Anthony Anderson, which anchored her red sequined jumpsuit. "Thank you, Gucci," she said, "Should I dial it down? No, I'm not going to dial it down."
In the final award presented to Petra Flannery as stylist of the year, Stone credited her stylist for her big achievement over the past decade. "It's because of her I know what personal style is," she said.