Laughs, Glam & Inspiration at NYWIFT’s Designing Women 2014

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Michelle Williams, Denis Leary, Jessica Alba and Rose Byrne at NYWIFT’s Designing Women 2014. (Photo via NY Post’s PageSix.com.)

They may have come for glam moments and the chance to rub shoulders with celebs like Michelle Williams, Denis Leary, Jessica Alba and Rose Byrne. But attendees of New York Women in Film and Television’s Designing Women Awards came away with a lot more.

The annual event took place on June 18, 2014, at McGraw Hill Financial, which generously supplied the venue and cocktail reception.

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When Ramin Setoodeh, Variety’s New York film editor, took the stage to present the Variety Ensemble Award to the costume, hair and makeup team of The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, he explained why the magazine is a big sponsor of Designing Women, and why he appreciates it personally.

“I’ve interviewed many actors over the years, and one of my favorite questions to ask them is, ‘How do you first find the character you’re playing?’“ Setoodeh noted that the answer invariably has to do with how the actors are inspired by a certain hair, makeup or costume design.

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Ramin Setoodeh with honorees Megan Sanders, Erin Hicks, Emma Potter, Cheri Minns, Krystle Poulin, and Katie Nolff of The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, starring Robin Williams and Mila Kunis. (Photo via NYWIFT.)

The head of the film’s makeup department, Cheri Minns, talked about why the award means so much to her. “When I first got into this business as a makeup artist, I was only one of two women doing makeup on the West Coast,” she said.

Rose Byrne presented an award to costume designer Renée Ehrlich Kalfus (Chocolat, Friends With Benefits, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape). They worked together on the upcoming movie musical Annie.

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Renée Ehrlich Kalfus and Rose Byrne. Denis Leary and Kerrie Smith. (Photos via NYWIFT.)

If there was a prize for the most touching moment, it might go to presenter Jessica Alba. She showed her admiration for honoree and makeup artist Evelyne Noraz (American Hustle, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

“It’s so clear that what’s most important to her are the relationships in play and the power of storytelling,” said Alba.

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Michelle Williams, the event’s emcee (watch her new video “Say Yes” featuring Beyonce and Kelly Rowland) drew laughs throughout the evening, no more so than when she introduced Denis Leary as a “five-time loser of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ annual Emmy Awards.”

Leary presented an award to Kerrie Smith, who was honored for her hair designs on such productions as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Rescue Me and Behind the Candelabra.

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(clockwise from the top) Gerry Byrne, vice chairman of Variety’s parent company PMC, Millie Chiavelli, PMC’s VP of sales and partnerships, and Ramin Setoodeh. Former NYWIFT board president Carrie Graeber and NYWIFT board member Terry Greenberg. NYWIFT board member Amanda Lin Costa and honoree Kerrie Smith. Creative director Basayo Olupona. (Photos via Janet Stilson, except bottom-center via Michele Dagle.)

The awards ceremony was followed by a fabulous cocktail hour, where attendees got to view costumes along with makeup and hair design looks from the honorees’ various films and TV shows.

Check out NYWIFT’s Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram for more fun photos and peeks behind the scenes.

JANET STILSON

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