“Have a sip,” said Caroline Vreeland, offering me her glass of red wine. No stranger to a party, the charismatic Vreeland was getting comfortable, sinking into a cushy sofa in the lobby bar of Chateau Marmont on Tuesday night. “Anything at Chateau is sexy. It’s intimate, but it still feels grand. Totally my vibe.”
The famed hotel was the setting of choice, as it has been for several years, for Max Mara and Women In Film's annual event. Every year, the nonprofit — which aims to promote equal opportunities for women and fight disparities and gender divides within the entertainment industry — recognizes an actress experiencing a turning point in her career for her achievements and contributions. For 2016, marking Max Mara’s 14th year as presenting sponsor, the honor went to Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer.
“I’m a good example of how one should keep going — it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” said the 34-year-old English actress. “Whatever industry you want to be in, be in it for the long haul.”
Playing a prominent character in the HBO hit, she is glad to be reaching this pivotal moment in her career now, she shared: “I don’t think I would have been ready for it 10 years ago. I spent most of my twenties just working out who I am as a woman. So, now in my early thirties, I feel fully comfortable in my skin as an artist and individual.”
The event — the largest to date, with 500-plus faces taking over the outdoor restaurant and lobby of the hotel — went as expected with guests mingling, posing inside a photo booth, and sipping champagne. Amongst the bunch were a number of actresses, many dressed head-to-toe by the Italian house.
“I’m here to support women in Hollywood,” said Empire’s Serayah McNeill. “It’s so important to show up to these events and support causes like these.”
Towards the end of the evening, Dormer chatted in a large circle of friends and contemporaries, while Max Mara’s Nicola Maramotti, the host of the night, convened with actress Blythe Danner.
“Women In Film is very near and dear to me,” said Danner, who, along with daughter Gwyneth Paltrow has previously been honored by the organization, which also named the Paltrow Mentorship Award after her late husband Bruce Paltrow.
Looking back, was there a piece of advice the experienced actress remembered sharing with her daughter? “Hang up your clothes,” quipped Danner. “The costume woman came up to me in one of her first films and said, ‘Your daughter hangs up her clothes.’ I said, ‘Of course she does, she was taught to do that.’”
“Truly, it’s great to be here,” she later continued. “It’s wonderful to be part of something that does so much for women in film.”
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