Behind nearly every well-dressed star is an amazing stylist.
With awards season at an end in Los Angeles, it was time to pay tribute to the style gurus behind some of the year’s most unforgettable looks, who continue to turn their clients into trendsetters.
Dakota Johnson and Nicole Richie (pictured above with Jamie Mizrahi) were just two of the stars who headed to chic Ponte restaurant in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday night for The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo’s Most Powerful Stylists in Hollywood dinner.
Sarah Paulson, who was on hand to celebrate her stylist Karla Welch’s honor in a sequin-embellished Prada number, told InStyle how Welch has styled her in some of her most memorable looks during their three years working together. Among them: the gorgeous, plunging green Prada dress she wore to pick up her first Emmys last fall. “It’s just my favorite dress of all time, ever,” she said.
“She has a wonderful motto that I wish I could adopt, and sometimes I use it as my own, which is non-obvious dressing,” the American Horror Story star continued. “I love that. Sometimes she’s just like, don't wear the thing that you think goes with the thing. I like that slightly off center.”
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Welch told us being honored at the event felt “f—ing awesome.” As for where she draws her inspiration for styling, she told us, “I sort of have a process where I really think about and internalize the girl, and I just kind of like wait for a muse to come to me.”
She continued: “It’s not ever like a literal muse. It’s not like I’m going to make Sarah Paulson look like Katharine Hepburn. It’s just more of, I just get this feeling ... and then I think I know what we’re going to do, and it somewhat crystallizes.”
Busy Philipps also gushed about Welch’s styling expertise as she recalled the first time she worked with her at a shoot for InStyle seven years ago. “I had just done the first season of Cougar Town, had never worked with a stylist, and I just loved her so much. I spent the whole day with her, and I just felt like if I’m going to do this, I have to do it with her. She made it so easy and I like loved everything that she put me in.”
The event kicked off with a cocktail hour, where guests munched on small bites and sipped wine and cocktails from the open bar. Mahershala Ali and John Legend shared a laugh as Johnson flashed a smile in a red suede tunic paired with matching pants as she arrived to honor her stylist, Kate Young, and caught up with Philipps and Paulson while she was at it.
Big Sean and Jhené Aiko made a date night out of the event, with the music stars canoodling inside of the orange balloon-filled GIF photo booth as they celebrated their mutual stylist Ade Samuel.
Nina Dobrev, who rocked a sheer polka-dot Elie Saab top and high-waist pants to the event, was on hand to honor her stylist Ilaria Urbinati—as was James Marsden. “It doesn’t feel like work when I’m working with her,” Dobrev told us. “She is a friend, she’s a confidante, she makes me feel confident. She always picks the best things.”
As guests like Justin Timberlake and Jonah Hill headed into the patio for the intimate dinner, which was reminiscent of a floral secret garden, they were greeted by tables topped with soft candlelight and strings of lightbulbs strewn from a tree at the middle.
Stars sat next to their stylists as dinner was served, with Johnson taking a seat next to Young and Timberlake, and Richie sitting with her stylist Mizrahi in a sheer black dress. Mary J. Blige—who wore a black Tom Ford dress and Alaïa booties—sat with stylist Jason Bolden while Hailey Baldwin, who smoldered in a feathered two-piece ensemble, parked by her stylist Maeve Reilly.
After guests got their fill of the dishes (which included slow-roasted dry aged sirloin, branzino, and vegetable agnolotti), they got up and mingled. Richie proved herself a Big Sean fan by rapping his “I Don’t F— with You” at her table and then shared her love for the rapper’s “Bounce Back” when he and Aiko walked over to her table (where she gave them an impromptu performance of it).
As the night wrapped up, guests continued to stick around and chat over glasses filled with banana budino for dessert, and sipped limoncello until they headed home toting bags of Jimmy Choo goodies.
Scroll down to see the stars' looks for the evening and check out THR's 2017 list of power stylists here.
1. Nina Dobrev
In Elie Saab
2. Sarah Paulson
3. Aja Naomi King
In Roland Mouret and Jimmy Choo heels
4. Dakota Johnson
5. Mary J. Blige
In Tom Ford and Alaïa heels.
6. Nicole Richie
7. Busy Philipps
In Adidas sneakers
8. Mahershala Ali and Big Sean
9. John Legend
10. Hailey Baldwin
11. Jhené Aiko
12. Haley Bennett