As fashion’s finest gathered for the Daily Front Row’s 6th annual Fashion LA Awards, the sea of a few hundred well-heeled guests parted to make way for Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox as they entered the ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Sunday night. The couple were on hand to present honors to Maeve Reilly and Adam Ballheim, the style curators who’ve outfitted their whirlwind — and much publicized — romance and everyone wanted to snap a photo or video for social media.
When the quartet made their entrance, the red carpet was already packed with star power: Oscar winner Brie Larson smiled for photographers alongside with hairstylist of the year winner Bryce Scarlett, while fashion entrepreneur winner Paris Hilton had just finished posing and was flipping into interview mode.
As she spoke to Variety, Hilton explained why the award was particularly meaningful. “I’ve worked so hard and I love being an entrepreneur and a businesswoman. I feel so proud.”
It’s true that over the last two decades, Hilton has innovated the meaning behind the term “celebrity” as a pioneer of influencer culture. Discussing her next frontier in business, Hilton added, “Well, I I used to be the queen of the club, but now I’m queen of the metaverse, they’re calling me, which is really exciting because I’m such an undercover nerd.”
Hilton has become obsessed with Web3 and the new technologies available in that medium, building her “Paris World” metaverse inside Roblox, where she hosted a special event during New York Fashion Week. Also a noted DJ, Hilton is next headed to Neon Carnival at Coachella. It’s all about inviting her fans into her world through the mix of fashion and social.
“Not everyone gets to go to Coachella or go to an award show like this, so, I really want to have people enjoy my life in the meta verse,” she said, explaining how fans would be invited into her experience Sunday night. “This outfit will definitely be made into a digital wearable that people can buy on Roblox.”
Hilton was supported at the event by her mother Kathy Hilton and presented the award by Gigi Gorgeous, who touted how inspired she’s been by Hilton’s journey.
“It’s really important to know that there’s no limits just because you’re a woman. I feel like she is just like the most badass bitch woman I know,” Gorgeous commented. “She just really shows that you can do all the avenues, of any single kind of work. And I know that that’s represented in my life. Nothing is off limits and I feel like she just is like very good advocate for that.”
The event was emceed by Derek Blasberg, with the full list of honorees including designer of the year Brandon Maxwell (presented by Tiffany Haddish); photographer and lifetime achievement award honoree Russell James (presented by Kris and Kendall Jenner); fashion visionary Elizabeth Stewart (presented by Zoey Deutch) and Mattel executive Lisa McKnight, who accepted the fashion influencer award on behalf of Barbie (presented by D’Lila, Change and Jessie Combs).
Elizabeth Stewart, Zoey Deutch, Tiffany Haddish, Paris Hilton and Gigi Gorgeous
Presenter Tiffany Haddish poses backstage between dynamic duos Elizabeth Stewart, recipient of the Fashion Visionary award and her client and presenter Zoey Deutch, while Paris Hilton, recipient of the Fashion Entrepreneur award, partnered up with her presenter Gigi Gorgeous.
Tiffany Haddish and Brandon Maxwell
Tiffany Haddish wore a glittering silver number specially crafted by Designer of the Year honoree Brandon Maxwell. The two became longtime friends after Maxwell offered to dress Haddish for her first Oscars — the actor went with a traditional Eritrean design for the red carpet in honor of her late father, but it was Maxwell’s attitude she most admired.
“I fell in love because he was willing to allow me to be me,” Haddish recalled. “It wasn’t all about him. And it wasn’t all about me either. It was about my ancestors, my roots.”
Haddish stayed onstage to help Maxwell stay on track during his heartfelt acceptance speech.
“It’s been pretty ugly, pretty bad, pretty nasty [in the world],” Maxwell began. “Everybody in this room, and everyone that’s getting an award, wakes up every day and decide decides to be a part of something beautiful. and to see beauty, to see joy and to help others feel their best and you should really be congratulated for that.”
Brandon Maxwell’s guests not only joined him on the red carpet, but the designer called them onstage.
“These are the people who when you hate yourself or sometimes you love yourself, or when you just can’t go on and you feel that the world is judging you, or that you feel that you’ve worked so hard, and no one even knows what you’ve done, these are the folks that love you no matter what,” he said.
Elizabeth Stewart and Zoey Deutch
Stylist Elizabeth Stewart was presented the fashion visionary award by her longtime client Zoey Deutch.
Machine Gun Kelly, Megan Fox, Maeve Reilly and Adam Ballheim
Machine Gun Kelly walked fiancée Megan Fox to the stage as she spoke from the heart when bestowing the style curator award, presented by Sunglass Hut, onto her stylist Maeve Reilly.
When Kelly introduced Fox and Reilly, the actor was at such a low point in her self-confidence that she only wnated to wear overalls.
“I had spent so much time focusing on my mental and my emotional to be healthy, that I had lost confidence in my physical,” Fox said. “And she took me in a matter of months from being very insecure and being on a very difficult body journey to finding my way, to being this girls who’s like, “Yeah but am I naked enough? Like show my vagina but make it fashion, right?’”
Calling for Reilly to take the stage, Fox added: “For me, it’s been a much deeper process than just wearing clothes or just being fashionable; it has a lot to do with my self confidence, and the way I project myself out into the world, which you’ve helped to shape.”
Megan Fox, Machine Gun Kelly, and Tiffany Haddish
Machine Gun Kelly (center, seen backstage with Megan Fox and Tiffany Haddish) presented to the music stylist of the year award to Adam Ballheim, whom he said also helped him embrace his true self.
“For years, I wrapped myself in clothing of insecurity and vocal ignorance sometimes,” Kelly began, explaining that ” When I was in high school, when I would come down in a pink shirt, and a tie, almost looking like straight out of the Avril Lavigne video, my dad was like, ‘Go upstairs and take that off.’”
He continued: “I always felt odd because I was androgynous and kind of looked like a girls sometimes, and I felt like I had to make up for it, with this is an exoskeleton that wasn’t true to who I am.”
But when Ballheim came into his life, after he’d been in the public eye for 10 years, Kelly said, “[You] finally, let me step out into the world feeling like a true representation of myself and my most vulnerable kid inside, who’s still on a soft soul. And I just want to thank you for letting me start to show the world who I am.”
Bryce Scarlett and Brie Larson
Just hours after shocking the Internet with the news that she’d join the “Fast and Furious” franchise, Brie Larson posed on the carpet with her hairstylist Bryce Scarlett.
Onstage, Larson explained how working with Scarlett transformed her self-confidence.
“I wouldn’t look in the mirror before I left to go to an event,” Larson commented. “But Bryce has showed me how to feel beautiful and empowered, just by being who I am. What Bryce does with hair is he takes what is already in you and brings it out. I don’t feel like I walk on a carpet like I’m somebody different, that I’m playing Brie Larson. I’m walking out as myself.”
D’Lila Combs, Chance Combs and Jessi Combs with Lisa McKnight
D’Lila, Chance and Jessi Combs presented the fashion influencer award to Barbie, with Mattel’s SVP and global brand general manager Lisa McKnight accepting the prize.
Christina Aguilera honored her makeup arist Etienne Ortega for his “friendship, kindness, inner strength, and loyalty,” but also for “how you beat the shit out of my face.”
“You’ve always been massively supportive, both personally and artistically from being a longtime fan of [her 2002 album] ‘Stripped,’ to now, reconnecting musically with my Latina roots, and understanding how important that is to me.”
Etienne Ortega and Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera went on to salute Etienne Ortega for his endless hustle and passion for his clients, even following his cancer diagnosis in Nov. 2021.
“You shared your battle with cancer with the world this past January, maintaining such a beautiful disposition while quietly fighting through the pain,” Aguilera continued. ‘We all know this journey has not been easy for you and we are all so inspired by your grace and your poise and your positive energy throughout this difficult few months.”
“We can all take a major life lesson I know I have from your strength and spirit,” she concluded. “I am proud of everyone who calls themselves a fighter, but I’ve never met a fighter and quite like you.”
Kris Jenner and Kathy Hilton
Kris Jenner and Kathy Hilton posed in their chic ensembles inside the award show presented by by Yes I Am Cacharel, Moroccanoil, Sunglass Hut, MCM, FIJI Water, Whispering Angel, and Sleep Spa Hastens.
Kendall Jenner and Kris Jenner with photographer Russell James
Kris Jenner was on hand to present the lifetime achievement honor to photographer Russell James, alongside her daughter Kendall Jenner.
Jenner recounted the important role James played in launching Kendall’s modeling career when she was a teenager. After discovering James’ work with Victoria Secret when watching a documentary, Kris Jenner cold called the photographer and invited him over.
“I told him that my daughter had a dream and that I needed some help in helping her achieve those dreams,” Jenner shared. “And he said, ‘Well, I’m going to be there in 10 days.’ … And 10 days later, Russell was in our living room.”
The meeting didn’t necesasrily go how Kris Jenner planned but it was fortuitous either way. “You just have really changed my daughter’s life. Thank you for helping me make her dream come true,” Jenner added.