It was a night full of genuine sisterhood at the Alfre Woodard and Rémy Martin Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree, where some of Hollywood's leading ladies toasted African American women in film and honored stars Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler), Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), and Yolanda Ross (Go For Sisters) for their remarkable achievements in entertainment. "I'm honored to be in that room with that group of women. I mean the guest list is shocking and to be honored in that room it means a lot," Nyong'o tells InStyle. "I've been looking forward to this day, so I'm keen to go down there and be with them...so it's a great night."
The 29 guests—which included Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, Rosario Dawson, and more— sat down around a table decorated with monochromatic red bloom centerpieces where they not only enjoyed a three-course meal of pepper-crusted seared Ahi tuna and vegan and gluten-free delicacies, but the women bonded over shared intimate conversations. "We put four [women] out as honoraries, but then have many toasts at the table. Everybody was able to stand up and say, you know what, I saw you in this this year and that was so great. You recognize all the contributions," Woodard explains to InStyle. "This is all the African-American women who've ever been nominated before in the acting category. It is for a specific reason and it was during Oscar week to get these women together first of all, so before they go out onto the carpet into the world [they] know that there are all these sisters who are pulling for them," she adds. "By gathering us together, that becomes our frame of reference for each other and we're walking the same journey." To go inside the intimate evening, look through our gallery to see what the stars had to say about their special sisterhood.
1. Lupita Nyong'o
was among the four women honored at Alfre Woodard and Remy Martin's Annual Oscars Sistahs Soiree held at a private residence in Beverly Hills. "Is there going to be dancing, do you know? Well then, if there is, then I might have to try. That's a good moment in the night when you know people are serious about their dancing," Nyong’o (in Stella McCartney) admits to InStyle.
2. Naomie Harris and Rosario Dawson
sat close to one another during dinner, where Harris (in Monique Lhuillier) was also honored. "I grew up watching these women on TV and on film and being inspired by them, and being moved by their performances," Harris says to InStyle. "I look up to them all, but this is the first time I've had the opportunity to meet them, so it's a huge moment for me."
3. Emayatzy Corinealdi and Viola Davis
"This to me is like getting together with your greatest friends you know will keep all your secrets and you have the coolest women in the room," says Davis (in Theory) who got a chance to catch up with Corinealdi (in Zara). "It's like getting together and just having fun. There's so many of them!"
4. Angela Bassett, Gabourey Sidibe, and Regina King
"I'm in love with the entire room," says Sidibe who posed with Bassett and King. "I have deeper bonds with some people in the room for different reasons like I work with Mo'Nique and I work with Oprah essentially. I also work with Angela Bassett and so I love them dearly."
5. Yolanda Ross, Alfre Woodard, and Oprah Winfrey
came together for special photo-op during Woodard's (in Tadashi Shoji) evening which honored both Ross and Winfrey's achievements in film. "It's my second year and what do I love it? It's the gathering space, it's like the Nikki Giovanni poem, ‘The Women Gather,'" Winfrey explains to InStyle.
6. Aisha Tyler and Angela Bassett
"I think we definitely all understand what this journey is about and it's a night to be in love and supportive of each other," Bassett (in Robert Rodriguez) tells InStyle who sipped on cocktails. "We are from afar but actually gazed to one another's eyes and embraced one another in our arms for real and to acknowledge that is wonderful. The gift is amazing and to be an artist is a blessing."