The relationship between celebrity and stylist is a very special thing. So, time and again, when the power stylists are being honored, their A-list clients show up in support.
On Tuesday night at The Ponte, the small, month-old Italian spot that took over Beverly Blvd.'s now defunct Terrine, bold names including Justin Timberlake, Jonah Hill, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Dakota Johnson, Sarah Paulson, Big Sean with Jhené Aiko, Aja Naomi King, James Marsden, Nina Dobrev and Mahershala Ali were out in full force for The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo’s annual L.A. dinner honoring Hollywood’s top 25 stylists.
“I was looking for someone that really reflected my personal taste but could also easily push me a little bit outside my comfort zone, and she did that,” said Ali of stylist Van Van Alonso. The two have been working together for about four months, after meeting on the set of a magazine shoot. It was Alonso who got the coveted gig of dressing the actor for the Academy Awards, where, of course, he received Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight.
“It was just a beautiful piece,” he said of his look for the big night, an all-black Ermenegildo Zegna Couture tuxedo. “I felt at ease. For me, I can get a little bit stressed about my look, for whatever reason, just wanting the details to be right, and Van has made that very easy for me. And the way were were able to work with Zegna, it was just a good fit, and they were very generous to me over the course of the award season.”
How was it experiencing Oscar night’s most talked about moment firsthand?
“Look, I’m happy we won, and we’re all humbled and honored that we won, but it was challenging for both the La La Land folks and the Moonlight folks,” he said of the Best Picture gaffe. “You want winning an award like that to no way be convoluted by a mistake, you know. We didn’t want to feel like we were taking anything from anyone. Also, they’re really great people. I love the whole La La Land family. They’ve been great and really responded in such a classy way and were really gracious that evening.”
Moments before, the actor had been chatting with Timberlake, who was quick to bring up the incident himself.
“How are you after all the befuddle?” had asked the singer.
Timberlake, who spent much of the evening alongside his stylist, Annie Psaltiras, worked the room, sharing news of his upcoming album, which he’s been recording in L.A. “It’s about 80 percent done,” he was heard saying of the anticipated release.
“Hey baby girl,” he later exclaimed, hugging Mary J. Blige, who had arrived with stylist Jason Bolden.
“Mary is a friend first,” said Bolden. “She’s a fashion icon. I still get heart palpitations when I think about doing stuff with her. It’s a whole other level, and it’s easy, to say the least.”
Praises were shared all around, as celebrities mingled with their stylist counterparts; Sarah Paulson and Busy Philipps were with Karla Welch; Jhene Aiko and Big Sean with Ade Samuel; James Marsden and Nina Dobrev with Ilaria Urbinati; Jonah Hill with Michael Fisher; Dakota Johnson with Kate Young; Nicole Richie with Jamie Mizrahi; Aja Naomi King with Tara Swennen; and John Legend—sans wife Chrissy Teigen—with David Thomas.
There was also Hailey Baldwin, who left early following cocktails, after arriving with stylist Maeve Reilly and her cousin Ireland, daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, who was there with stylist Nola Singer.
Was she enjoying the night? “No, I don’t do well at these things,” shrugged Ireland.
Later, however, the 21-year-old was sharing playful laughs and indulging in tequila shots with a group that included Paulson and Haley Bennett with stylist Jessica Paster. The women had lured chef Scott Conant into partaking.
“Santé! Salute! Cheers!” they exclaimed.
Meanwhile, sitting across each other, stylists Gaelle Paul and Law Roach shared their experiences working with their respective clients; Paul is known for her work with Adele, while Roach works with Céline Dion, Zendaya and Ariana Grande.
“It was quite the shoot,” Roach had shared earlier of his THR spread alongside Dion and Zendaya. “It was also very exciting to get two girls that mean so much to me in my career, to get them both in the same room, because they had never met each other.”
“To have someone that is the ultimate definition of a legend, with this girl, who is building and solidifying her place in Hollywood,” he continued, “and for them to say nice things about me and let me know how I affected their lives in different ways, it was emotional. Just seeing the cover is so overwhelming for me.”
By 10:40 p.m., dinner—which included dry aged sirloin and vegetable agnolotti—was winding down, as guests left with gifted, monogramed Jimmy Choo bags.
“I heard there's a scary situation at the front,” said a publicist. The situation? A throng of paparazzi was now outside the restaurant. “Where’s the back door?”
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