Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Bill Hader were among those honored for their sartorial choices during the InStyle Awards on Monday night, but the event’s biggest trend turned out to be humility.
“I have never viewed myself as a style icon,” said Louis-Dreyfus, clad in a metallic look by Brandon Maxwell. “In fact, I think tonight may be a huge mistake on their part. I’m very happy to be here, but there are a lot of other people here I think of as style icons.” She glanced around the room that included Jennifer Garner, January Jones, Jessica Alba, Kirsten Dunst and Zendaya.
Hader felt similarly. “This is all new to me,” said this year’s Man of Style recipient. “I feel like I should be serving food here.”
The comedian said he recently upped his fashion game after a former assistant held an impromptu intervention with him. “I was losing my hair and I was like, ‘I think I’m losing my hair, and people are saying, “You have to get this operation,” but I don’t know if I want to do that. Should I do that?’ She looked at my hair and went, ‘You know what you could do? You could, um, dress nicer.’ I was like, ‘That would be it?’ She was like, ‘I would start there.’”
To emphasize his point, Hader shared a Tumblr account called Let’s Buy Bill Hader Some New Clothes that pokes fun at his daily wardrobe. “I’ve never, ever been told even once in my life that I dress nice,” he said with a laugh. “This is insane that people are saying I dress nice. It’s hilarious.”
For the fifth year, a well-heeled crowd gathered at the Getty Center for the intimate dinner. (It was a three-course meal of citrus, fennel and spring onion salads; halibut with Brussels sprouts, farro verde and chestnut cream; and chocolate hazelnut crunch bars for dessert.)
In addition to celebrities, the event honored a who’s who of behind-the-scenes talent for their contributions to the fashion world. The night also benefited the Getty Museum’s Arts Access program, which provides guided field trips for students from Los Angeles’ most underserved schools.
Those recognized included actress Kiki Layne, hairstylist Adir Abergel, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, model-turned-activist Christy Turlington Burns (who received the Advocate Award from Maybelline for her work with Every Mother Counts), makeup artist Daniel Martin, stylist Law Roach and the 2019 U.S. Women’s national soccer team, including Carli Lloyd, Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris, Alex Morgan and Kelley O’Hara (who picked up Secret’s Badass Women Award).
In honor of InStyle’s 25th anniversary, the night also featured a one-night-only exhibition, “Iconic. 25 Years of Dresses That Defined the Red Carpet,” a beautifully curated selection of memorable gowns.
Among the dresses on display within the museum’s rotunda were a red Balenciaga gown that Nicole Kidman wore to the 2007 Academy Awards; Cate Blanchett’s Armani Privé dress from the 2017 Academy Awards; a white Tom Ford look worn by Gwyneth Paltrow to the 2012 Academy Awards; and a purple Rodarte gown worn by Natalie Portman to the 2011 Academy Awards.
“I was amazed at how much I learned from seeing these dresses up close,” said InStyle’s editor-at-large, Eric Wilson, who worked with market and accessories director Sam Broekema on the project, which also included an editorial spread in InStyle’s September issue.
Wilson noted key details he discovered, including a special design hidden inside Lupita Nyong’o’s custom Prada gown from the 2014 Academy Awards. The look featured a crystal frog and her name written in cursive underneath the dress. “We were like, ‘Why is there a frog inside this Prada dress?’ So we called Micaela [Erlanger], the stylist. … It turned out the frog was a detail that Micaela added as a good luck charm for Lupita” because it held meaning for her as a family totem. “So she had her family close to her inside the dress,” Wilson said.
He also noted that Rihanna’s unforgettable pink Giambattista Valli gown from the 2015 Grammy Awards was much heavier than one might expect. “No one could tell us how much it weighed,” he said, adding that he discovered it was 18 pounds after weighing it himself. “Can you imagine wearing an 18-pound dress all night — that size and sitting in a seat? I have so much respect for her, because she made it look like a bath towel.”
Wilson said the dresses would be returned to their owners after the event. He said about half were borrowed from the celebrities themselves and the rest were on loan from the various designers’ archives. Although the exhibit won’t be made available to the public, he said there’s hope to do something in a similar vein in the future. “We’re very much energized by this experience,” Wilson said. “The reaction has been so rewarding that we want to now start looking at how we can take other elements of the red carpet and bring this back in other ways.”
InStyle’s editor in chief, Laura Brown, drew a crowd that included Natasha Lyonne, Olivia Munn, Ellen Pompeo, D’Arcy Carden, Tony Hale, Amandla Stenberg, Amber Valletta, Lake Bell, Rachel Bilson, Connie Britton, Sophia Bush, Dove Cameron, Lana Condor, Kaley Cuoco, Nina Dobrev, Tommy Dorfman, Brad Goreski, Laura Harrier, Jameela Jamil, Judith Light, Danielle Macdonald, Janet Mock, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer and Rachel Zoe.
Lyonne seemed to be doing an improv comedy bit as she walked the red carpet. “I’ve been referencing myself as an A.I. actress all night,” she said. “I’m an artificial intelligence actress passing as human. ... It takes a village to reassemble my natural robot face and put the flesh on it and then turn it into what you see here today. I told them how deeply indebted I am to those people that make me seem not A.I. so I can pass, but it’s great. I speak 42 languages.”
However, she turned serious when discussing her Rodarte dress. “I love Kate and Laura,” she said, referencing the label’s designers. “I think they’re true visionaries. They’re aesthetic masters, and it’s an honor to wear their creations.”
Zendaya sat with her longtime stylist Roach during the dinner. “It is a big moment,” Roach said. “It feels really good to be here to celebrate everybody.”
Garner kept close to her longtime hairstylist and friend Abergel. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else in the world,” said Garner. “You cannot drag me away right now. I’m so thrilled, and I want to walk around and have a little light that I shine on him the whole night. I’m so excited that we’re all looking where we should be looking — at Adir.” For his part, Abergel said, “The people in this business have become my family, and I love what I do and I love making women feel confident and powerful.”
Storm Reid was among the many who enjoyed the exhibition. “That’s Rihanna’s,” she said, wearing a custom Mulberry gown herself. “These dresses are incredible. It’s funny, because somebody walking me into the event was like, ‘I didn’t know that you guys didn’t get to keep the dresses,’ and I was like, ‘That would only be a dream if we got to keep the dresses.’”
Munn chatted up Macdonald, the latter of whom wore a dress by event sponsor Kate Spade New York. “They made this beautiful dress for me,” she said. “I love that they’re branching out with fashion and how inclusive they are.”
Janet Mock enjoyed a night out with her makeup artist Vincent Oquendo.
“It’s so strange, because you spend so much time with these people, but you don’t socialize,” she said in a look by Rosie Assoulin. “It’s usually like, ‘OK, girl. We’ve got to get you out the door.’ It’s nice to have an event where it’s like, ‘Wait, you’ve got to do your face — after you do mine.’”