LOS ANGELES • What if there were an awards show where everyone was a winner?
This was the conceit of the first InStyle Awards dinner on Monday night, which celebrated the fabulous-looking celebrities who grace the magazine's glossy pages and the people who help them look that way.
Although the honourees were announced in advance (actress Zoe Kravitz won for Breakthrough Style Star and actor Ansel Elgort got the Man Of Style award; the statuettes were handed out while guests dined on squash salad and steak), the less famous still felt uneasy in the spotlight.
"It's horrible," said Kate Young, who was named Stylist of the Year. "I'm so honoured and excited about this, but this is brutal for me. This is not what I like to do. I like to be at home watching it on TV."
The stars were happy to share the stage. "Fashion is part of what I do, but it's not all of what I do, so it doesn't have the same kind of pressure," said actress Michelle Williams, who wore a leather Louis Vuitton dress and presented the Designer of the Year award to the label's creative director, Nicolas Ghesquiere. "I'm here as a friend and a support and an admirer. It's really about him."
The night offered lots to see: the lights of Los Angeles, twinkling from the panoramic terraces of the Getty Center, where the ceremony was held; the slow, snaking lines of stiletto-heeled guests treading up and down the many steps; the spontaneous assemblages of star power, as when singer Selena Gomez, reality TV star Kim Kardashian and models Alessandra Ambrosio and Miranda Kerr gathered like a gaggle of high school girlfriends for photographs.
Kardashian, who wore a white Valentino dress that showed off her beachball-size baby bump, was there to present the make-up artist award to Charlotte Tilbury. "She's inspired me, when I'm really lazy and I'm not going to do my make-up the next day, to sleep in my make-up," Kardashian said.
Fashion faux pas was a popular subject. "Can you see through my dress in this light?'" a Gucci-clad Julia Roberts asked as she presented the hairstyling award to Serge Normant.
Gwyneth Paltrow, who accepted the Style Icon award from a gushing Kate Hudson, thanked the audience for enduring "decades of me in your face in different dresses".
Wearing a black Schiaparelli gown, she also praised InStyle's execution of the ceremony "because usually these things are such a tacky cluster", adding an expletive that made the crowd howl.
NEW YORK TIMES