Tracee Ellis Ross at Image Makers Awards: ‘Clothing Started as Armor for Me’

Tracee Ellis Ross
Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Coming just days after an especially topical Golden Globes, Marie Claire held its third annual Image Makers Awards on Thursday night at Delilah in West Hollywood, honoring the individuals who work behind the camera to cultivate the stars red carpet-ready looks. The evening honored stars such as Emma Stone, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Heidi Klum, and many more.

“Today more than ever, an image has more power,” said Marie Claire fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi, who emceed the event. “This week we saw at the Golden Globes something very, very powerful from an image we saw that an image can start a movement. With everybody wearing black, we really saw how it can resonate around the world.”

Kristin Davis stood in for Sarah Jessica Parker to present the icon hair stylist award to Serge Normant, as Parker was ill with the flu. Davis read a speech written by Parker that praised Normant as not only a “stable genius” in his field, playing on a recent tweet by President Donald Trump, but also as dear friend with whom she has shared “decades of adventure, memories, loss, and love.”

Parker and Normant’s tight-knit relationship wasn’t the only star-stylist bond described during the evening. Ross gave a glowing introduction to her stylist Karla Welch, who was honored with the choice stylist award.

“Clothing started as an armor for me. It was one of the ways I protected myself, one of the ways I could make sure that what was on the inside was on the outside so that I wouldn’t have to do anything because my clothes just said it for me,” Ross said. “Then it became a form of creative expression.” But their like-minded style isn’t the only thing they have in common. “Karla and I are both die-hard feminists, are in the same age range and have the same preferences. We take on too much, we do too much, and we love every bit of it.”

Also honored at Thursday night’s ceremony were Peter Phillips and celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik, while other attendees included Betty Gilpin, Katherine Langford, Laura Marano, and more.