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Shortly after Cate Blanchett wore a silver gown from Antonio Berardi’s pre-fall collection to the New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday, the actress was unknowingly seated near the designer that won her fashion raves on a flight to Los Angeles, where he hosted a dinner Wednesday at Mr Chow.

Polite to a fault, Berardi didn’t want to disturb Blanchett to put a face behind the dress. “I’m actually quite shy,” he said after Nicole Richie, Ahna O’Reilly, Emmy Rossum, Brie Larson, Dita Von Teese, Iggy Azalea and Kate Beckinsale spent a healthy half-hour or so fawning over him before the meal of green prawns, drunken fish, chicken satay and other Chinese delicacies got under way. “I’ve been incredibly good tonight. I think it is so nice that people turn out. I always have the fear that people don’t come.”

This story first appeared in the January 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

People, of course, have been increasingly turning out for Berardi. Wearing a sleeved, calf-length black creation of his, Von Teese explained why she did so. “We met maybe six years ago on a big photo shoot in the U.K. It was a circus-themed shoot. We really hit it off on that day. So, when I got the invite to come here, I jumped at the chance because I remember we had a lot of fun together,” she said. “I think he does very beautiful, classic, reinvented shapes that are the kind of shapes I’m obsessed with.” Although he didn’t share details, Berardi hinted that those shapes could be reaching a wider audience soon. “The company is very, very small, but it is about to get a lot bigger,” he said. “It’s kind of scary because then you know you have so many more people to please, but, at the end of the day, I love a challenge.”

Earlier that afternoon, actresses including Monica Potter, Kate Mara, Debby Ryan, Mamie Gummer, Mary McDonnell, Dianna Agron, Christina Hendricks and Emily Blunt ditched their husbands and boyfriends for Dior Beauty’s fifth-annual luncheon benefiting Operation Smile at the Sunset Tower Hotel in L.A. The actresses were partnered with makeup artists, who, sometimes in Hollywood, seem to be more critical.

“When I’m doing movies, a good relationship with your hair and makeup team is so important. They really help you get in the mood,” said Mara with makeup artist Amy Chance in tow. McDonnell couldn’t stop gushing about Robin Siegel, the makeup artist she was paired with. “Robin is the best makeup artist in the business. I never feel with Robin that I’m wearing makeup and, today, I feel in particular that I’m glowing,” she said.

Potter, nominated for a Golden Globe for her turn as a breast cancer patient in the NBC show “Parenthood,” expressed gratitude for the transformative capabilities of makeup artists and hairstylists. “I was asked if I wanted to shave my head, and I said I didn’t want to because my little girl may have gotten freaked out,” she detailed. “They worked so incredibly hard to make it look as real as possible. It was a lot of time in the hair-and-makeup chair every day.”

On a lighter note, makeup artist Elle Leary brought a little bit of spring to the winter by painting Ryan’s lips with a bright orangey red Dior Beauty shade for the daytime event. “I like to let one thing speak. If I were to wear a very saturated dress, I wouldn’t do this lip,” said Ryan.

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