Since 2019, W magazine has invited the world’s preeminent directors to craft sweeping visual fantasies for its annual Directors Issue. The 2022 outing saw Paul Thomas Anderson casting his Licorice Pizza star Alana Haim as a 1950s society doyenne, Pedro Almodóvar envisioning his longtime muse Penélope Cruz as Carmen, Maggie Gyllenhaal directing herself in an homage to femme fatales, and Denis Villeneuve transforming his Dune star Zendaya into a mythical figure from the future. Each cover story offers a taste of the magic that happens when giants of the film and fashion industry come together.
That same magic could be felt last Friday, as the year’s top directors convened for an intimate dinner hosted by Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello. Held at the private Los Angeles home of producer Mitch Glazer and his wife Kelly Lynch, the pre-Oscars event brought out W’s Directors Issue stars Villeneuve, Almodóvar, and Gyllenhaal who were joined by a host of Hollywood heavyweights including Zendaya herself who arrived in a floor-sweeping Saint Laurent dress and an arm full of bangles.
The 25-year-old Emmy winner was on hand to toast Villeneuve with whom she’s set to begin production on Dune’s second installment this summer. Joining her in the celebration were Villeneuve’s closest cohorts—his three children and wife, the journalist and filmmaker Tanya LaPointe. Also in attendance was The Worst Person In the World’s writer-director Joachim Trier, who swapped notes with two-time Oscar winner Almodóvar. All three filmmakers wore an easy uniform of sleek black shirts and suit jackets, however Almodóvar won extra style points for his jaunty fedora and sunglasses. Meanwhile, Maggie Gyllenhaal and her friend, The Lost Daughter star Jessie Buckley were a study in contrasts with Buckley looking particularly luminous in white satin suiting and newly blond hair. In a particular moment of life imitating art, Maude Apatow arrived wearing the same scarlet tailored dress that Gyllenhaal wore for her W cover.
All of the guests, including Hailey Bieber, Blackpink’s Rosé, and Talia Ryder put their individual spins on Vaccarello’s sexy, chic designs with Bieber and Rosé opting for sheer looks. Zoë Kravitz, fresh off her whirlwind press run for The Batman looked relaxed in jeans and a sheer top that she adjusted just-so. Guests Andie MacDowell, Amber Valletta, Justice Smith, Kaitlyn Dever, Anja Rubik, and Zendaya’s Euphoria co-star Dominic Fike mingled during happy hour before taking their seats for a candlelit meal en plein air.
“The language of cinema is by far the most powerful way to tell a story,” Villeneuve told W in his cover story. “You hypnotize people, and you bring them into a world, into emotions.” As the sun set over Beverly Hills that evening, the spectacular setting became downright cinematic—but for just a moment in Hollywood, the cameras weren’t rolling.