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Barring a major runway show, it’s a rarity for so many celebrity stylists to gather under one roof, but the 25 Most Powerful Stylists Luncheon, hosted by The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo for the second year running, was one of those occasions. Held Wednesday on the terrace at Soho House West Hollywood, the gathering brought together the not-so-behind-the-scenes people who help create those much-watched red-carpet looks. A few even brought their clients as dates: Jeanann Williams and Naomi Watts; Petra Flannery and Zoe Saldana; Ilaria Urbinati with Nina Dobrev; Samantha McMillen with Dianna Agron, and Jessica Paster and Abbie Cornish. Leslie Fremar, who topped the magazine’s third-annual list, left her baby daughter in New York for a day for the honor.
“Of course, they don’t tell you what number you are on the list, but they kept going, ‘Are you sure you can come?’” Fremar said. “I thought it was a long way to go for lunch, but I wanted to support the team. Everyone works so hard, it’s great to be celebrated like this.”
Midlunch, Fremar got a shout-out from client Reese Witherspoon, who stopped by to congratulate her.
While it was a bit of a post-Oscar breather for some stylists, most were still busy.
“Zoe is about to go on a seven-city tour to promote ‘Star Trek’ so I’ve got a lot of dresses to get together,” said Flannery of Saldana.
“Everyone asks if I’m winding down but I’m just gearing up,” said Oscar-nominee Watts. “Now that awards season is done, all the scripts for next year’s projects are coming in and I have a lot to read. Which is good, but I have kids. They’re the main thing, and everything else is just…it’s a lot,” she concluded with a smile.
When French-born Jimmy Choo chief executive officer Pierre Denis suggested Watts move to Paris, she sighed, “I would so love to do that, but I’m with a New Yorker who thinks that New York is the tip-top. It’s hard enough to get him to live in Los Angeles, which is where he’s working now.” She was referring to Liev Schreiber and his upcoming Showtime series, “Ray Donovan.”
Saldana will show another face — literally — when she portrays Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic. “I had to gain weight and wear prosthetics,” she said of the role, for which she also sang. “Let me tell you, having to gain weight for a role is not all it’s cracked up to be. When you are full and you have to keep eating, it’s not fun. I had some meltdowns.” Still, she happily packed up the dessert chocolate chip cookies to go.