Lady Gaga Celebrates Her Hairstylist at Fashion Los Angeles Awards
Designer Christian Siriano, Hollywood stylist Ilaria Urbinati, Kate Hudson and Lady Gaga's longtime hairstylist Frederic Aspiras were among those honored at the fifth annual event.
The Daily Front Row kicked off its fifth annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards in the Crystal Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunday (March 17), and all eyes were on surprise guest Lady Gaga.
Fresh off her Oscar win, Gaga showed up in a black-and-white ruffled leather dress by Rodarte, trimmed with an oversize bow, from the fall 2019 collection to support her hairstylist of a decade Frederic Aspiras, whom she affectionately refers to as "Freddie."
The appearance of the A Star Is Born actress was so nervous-making for some that it prompted model and Tropic of C swimwear designer Candice Swanepoel to say, “I’m not going to look at you,” before diverting her gaze as she received the Launch of the Year award.
Presenting Aspiras with his award as hair artist of the year, Gaga said that he was the muse for her song “Hair” on the album Born This Way and officially dedicated it to him: “You don’t know this, but I will leave you with this as a sign of love as I witness fearless passion running through you every day. I dedicate this song to you.”
Quoting some of her lyrics, she noted that other esteemed hairstylists have caused her hair to fall out in the process of going blonde, but that has never been the case with Aspiras. “I love you with all of my heart," she said. "I’m so proud of you. You are epically deserving of this moment. Although I have had the honor of working with many legends, Freddie is beyond legendary.”
“She’s my inspiration,” Aspiras told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve been working for 10 years and every day she inspires me to be a better person and to be true to who I am and to love myself.”
Accepting his award, Aspiras held back tears while he told the crowd his story. “I’ve never been very candid about my life my journey, my struggles,” he said. “I grew up very different from all of this. I grew up with very humble beginnings [and] mental issues because of the person I am — being different, growing up gay, being Asian, not being able to express yourself. At such a young age, having a gift and a talent and not being able to express yourself because you’re getting bullied, because you’re getting beat up, because you love to do hair and no one cares made me feel very lonely in this world."
He continued: “What I want to do is dedicate this award tonight to my mother. She could not be here today. She’s a hairdresser, she’s an immigrant, she’s a business owner. I am the American dream. It’s working through all of your adversities, it’s to fight, it’s to demand, it’s to believe in yourself. I hope to inspire a generation of young artists out there who hopefully sees my story and believes that this can happen to them too.”
Flanked by his “icons” Alicia Silverstone, Busy Philipps and Janet Mock, Christian Siriano was among the evening’s honorees. Presented with the fashion visionary award by Sia, Siriano took a moment to acknowledge his mission to be inclusive.
“Early on, the goal was to make people feel their very best selves,” he said. “I think that’s the draw no matter your size, age or gender. No matter what you are, you should feel fabulous in how you present yourself to the world. I just think that’s so important. I think we all deserve to feel something special."
"I’ve dressed all these great people and I had this idea to put curvy models on my runway," he said. "I feel very proud of what we’ve done. It’s an honor to receive this award. The fashion business can be really hard. It can break you down. That’s just something I think about a lot. I know if I was gone tomorrow and the business was over and I stopped doing what I was doing that I would leave something behind that was more than just clothes.I would leave knowing I got to change the perception of what’s beautiful. I got to change someone’s life and that someone may have been looked over once or twice, but I hope they feel great in my clothes.”
Shining in a brilliant ruby red dress by Oscar de la Renta, Kate Hudson was honored with the fashion entrepreneur award by fellow businesswoman and lifelong friend Jennifer Meyer and spoke of her Fabletics venture as one that was even surprising to herself.
“If you would have told me 10 years ago that I would be receiving an entrepreneurial award, I would have been like, ‘I mean maybe for wearing fashion, but I don’t know if I’d ever start a fashion business.’ Anyway, here I am. It took over my life more than anything I’d ever done except for producing movies. This became a life’s journey.... When someone comes up to me and says, ‘My husband left me after 20 years and I gained 55 pounds and I saw online this Fabletics thing and now I’m going to be strong.’ That is more inspiring to me than anything I’ve ever done. It brought me a lot more than I thought it ever would."
“If I can say anything about being an entrepreneur, we live in a world where everyone is hustling for something and I would say if I was to give anything back about my experience in this it is that authenticity is everything," Hudson said. "Believe in yourself. That’s the most rewarding part. Whether it’s the most successful business or the business that makes you happy, authenticity is where it all comes from. Thank you to the Daily Front Row. Good luck to everyone who believes in something.”
Moments later, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim (co-creative directors of Monse and Oscar de la Renta) took time to thank the late de la Renta as they the accepted designers of the year award. “When I see all of these employees that look up to us, I remember what Oscar taught us,” Garcia said. “It was just to have fun every day. It helps you look at life a little clearer and you have a bigger picture on things and I think that’s what we’ve learned in the past couple of years."
Earlier, on the red carpet, Garcia noted that Hollywood was a major influence in his career. “I was always an avid movie buff,” Garcia told The Hollywood Reporter. “I saw inspiration with what people can create with costume and on carpets for the movies. Without it, I wouldn’t have thought of the idea of making it a career. That’s how influential it is for me. Not just beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. Growing up, Great Expectations was one of our favorite movies. Seeing the fashion in the '90s and gorgeous Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s very much about that spirit.”
Also taking home statuettes were jewelry designer Valérie Messika, Hollywood stylist Ilaria Urbinati (style curator), Adriana Lima (fashion icon), Slick Woods (model of the year), digital influencer Malika Haqq (digital retailer), and Katie Grand and Derek Blasberg (creatives of the year).
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.