At last night's Women in Film 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles, the room was filled with many of Hollywood's greatest leading ladies. The annual benefit gala honored Kerry Washington, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria, Rose Byrne, and Frozen director Jennifer Lee for being exemplary women in the entertainment industry—women who lead by example, who are creative, groundbreaking, and who excel at their chosen fields.
"This award is from people whose careers I admire, who've been trail blazers in their own field, and that's what makes it so special," Blanchett (in Chloe and Lorraine Schwartz) tells InStyle. Longoria (in Max Mara) also expressed her excitement for being at the event. "I'm so honored because there's so many great women here tonight, and I love being anywhere that celebrates women," the actress says. The rest of the night's winners further shared their gratitude. "I feel really grateful to be part of this," Washington (who stepped out for the first time since become a mother) shares. "These women are so extraordinary, so it's very special to me to be in their company."
Aside from each of the honorees, other guests included Laura Dern, Kristen Bell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lake Bell, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, and more, who all came out to celebrate their colleagues at the event, which was hosted by Max Mara. Blanchett took time to reflect on what makes women so exceptional, which was the theme of the evening. "I think it's resilience, and I think we have good instincts," she says. Byrne also added to that sentiment. "Women, I mean, they do everything!" she says. "Having women in power is beneficial for everybody."
Aside from celebrating the award winners, the dinner also raised funds for Women in Film’s educational and philanthropic programs and initiatives that promote educational and professional opportunities for women working in the entertainment industry. Overall, it was a beautiful and touching occasion. "I was so moved by everyone who spoke. There were so many laughs and tears," Washington says. "It was a really beautiful and truly inspiring evening."
—With reporting by Brianna Deutsch
1. Cate Blanchett and Laura Derncelebrated Blanchett's Crystal Award for Excellence in Film at the glamorous event, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. "This award is from people whose careers I admire, who've been trail blazers in their own field, and that's what makes it so special," Blanchett (in Chloe and Lorraine Schwartz) tells InStyle. "Everything about Cate is exceptional," Dern (in Pamella Roland) says of her friend, to whom she presented the award. "Her environmental work, her parenting, her partnering, her acting, her humor, her fashion sense. Just everything."
2. Rose Byrnelooked radiant in a Max Mara jumpsuit and Pomellato necklace as she was honored with the Women in Film Max Mara “Face of the Future” award. "This is really, really overwhelming, and I'm very flattered," Byrne shares with InStyle. "I feel like it's happening to somebody else. I saw the huge room, and I got overwhelmed."
3. Kerry Washingtonglowed during her first post-baby red carpet appearance at the ceremony, where she received the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television. "I feel really grateful to be part of this," Washington (in Max Mara) shares. "These women are so extraordinary, so it's very special to me to be in their company."
4. Eva Longoria and Lake Bellposed together at the event, where Longoria (in Max Mara) was given the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award. "I'm so honored because there's so many great women here tonight, and I love being anywhere that celebrates women," Longoria says.
5. Kristen Bellwas on hand to present Frozen director Jennifer Lee the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award. The actress (in Alberta Ferretti) gushed about what makes women so exceptional: "There is a certain set of qualities, a certain set of characteristics they behold that have in the past been looked at as weaknesses, but are beginning to be recognized as strengths," Bell tells InStyle. "Plus, men can't find anything in the fridge, and in my opinion, those people should not be in charge."
6. Maggie Gyllenhaalacted as one of the presenters during the evening and discussed why she chose to be part of the Women in Film event. "It's important to support movies that really are being made about our real experiences as women," Gyllenhaal (in Peter Som) states. "I've always looked for projects that speak to me and express something that I can relate to about the world which as an actual, real woman as opposed to the fantasy kind. I think that's what they're doing, and I want to support them."