THR's 'Power of Style' Luncheon Draws Hollywood's Most Influential and Best-Dressed Women

Jennifer Salke with Dana Walden

NBC president of entertainment Jennifer Salke laughs with 20th Century Fox chairman Dana Walden. Salke accessorized her black Zac Posen jacket and skirt with large gold hoop earrings. “I hadn’t pulled it out for winter yet but when I saw the weather today, I thought, 'Yay!”

Pantsuits and shoulder pads are dead as female Hollywood execs like Warner Bros.' Sue Kroll and Showtime's Trisha Cardoso embrace luxury brands and the latest designs from international fashion houses.

Many of Hollywood's most powerful and well-dressed women turned up at The Hollywood Reporter’s "Power of Style" luncheon on Nov. 1 at Spago in Beverly Hills.

The lunch celebrated THR's latest issue, which features the story, "The New Rules of Hollywood's Female Style," looking at the evolution of fashion in Hollywood among top women executives. As women have risen to the heights of power over the last few decades, they no longer needed those '80s tough-as-nails power pantsuits. And when men embraced casual Friday, women were also free to loosen up and express their feminiity. Clothing began to express who they are, not what they are.

The piece, authored by THR’s high-fashion expert Merle Ginsberg, includes interviews with such Hollywood power players as Warner Bros. Sue Kroll, producers Tracey Edmonds and Alli Shearmur, Showtime executive vp Trisha Cardoso and UTA agent and partner Blair Kohan, all of whom attended, as did mega-model Coco Rocha.

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THR editorial director Janice Min (wearing Prada) publisher and senior vp Lynne Segall (in Michael Kors) and Dottie Mattison, CEO of THR parent company Prometheus Global Media, welcomed the esteemed group of women and thanked them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to attend the luncheon, which was sponsored by Michael Kors.

The event benefited Dress for Success, a global non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women by providing suitable professional attire to help them land and keep jobs. Each year DFS reaches more than 65,000 women around the world, from the US to the UK, from Mexico to Ireland, from Poland to Portugal.

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Project Runway designer Michael Kors' Beverly Hills boutique staff dressed HBO’s Newsroom star Olivia Munn and Disney/ABC TV Group president Anne Sweeney.

Munn explained that Kors already was familiar with her figure and they sent several suitable choices to her trailer on the set of The New Girl yesterday, where she is wrapping up her character arc.

She tried them all on and selected a sleek black and white sheath. Then her people reached out to Christian Louboutin for a pair of his stud heels and to Judith Leiber for a fabulous purse. “We drove by the boutiques on the way here and they ran out to the car to throw me the shoes, then the bag!”

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The attendees proved the point of THR's examination of style in the executive ranks. To wit, there were more designer labels at this Hollywood gathering – from Prada to Gucci to Zac Posen --  than you could shake a hanger at. So let's do a rundown of designer names that would make East coast female exec fashionistas lift a Botoxed eyebrow

NBC’s president of entertainment Jennifer Salke accessorized her black Zac Posen jacket and skirt with large gold hoop earrings. “I hadn’t pulled it out for winter yet but when I saw the weather today, I thought, 'Yay!”

Kroll chose a Lanvin fit and flare coat and ribbon chain bag, an Irene Neuwirth necklace and Prada shoes. HBO’s incomparable West Coast senior vp of media relations Nancy Lesser wore her trademark black silhouette topped by an Anne Fontaine black leather double-breasted trench.

Martin Chase Productions head Debra Martin Chase, the woman behind the Cheetah Girls franchise, chose a striking B. Michael dress and Edmonds producer, CEO of Edmonds Inc, revealed the style source for her shiny grey print dress; a website called Stop Staring. She admitted: “I do a lot of online shopping.”

Executive vp of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures Blair Rich turned up in a cappuccino Balenciaga leather jacket, tossed over a Matthew Williamson dress. She wore Brian Atwood shoes and a Fendi bag and explained “I don’t own a suit and I never felt the pressure to dress that way.”

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Also, as seen at the lunch, many top ranking women do not stick with one label exclusively but creatively mix up both seasons and designers. Cardoso paired her J. Crew sweater and J. Crew blue pencil skirt with a pair of leopard print Bryan Atwood heels and a Lanvin bag. “I love to mix high and low and I love color. That’s what J. Crew does the best.”

Chairman of 20th Century Fox TV Dana Walden laughed because she had no idea who designed her black leather jacket. “I just saw it and liked it. It’s versatile and I like the idea of having a uniform. That way I don’t have to think too much about clothes.” What? Blasphemy!

Dress for Success is gearing up for its second annual Shop for Success store which opens Dec. 5 with a VIP reception from 5 to 9 p.m. and is open on Dec. 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pop-up store, located at 1038 Westwood Blvd., will offer new designer and vintage merchandise at drastically reduced prices. Past designers who've participated include J Brand, Tory Burch and Robert Rodriguez and 100 percent of proceeds go to DFS.