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Anne Sweeney

Hollywood fashion followers usually focus on the glamorous stars on the red carpet, especially when the awards season kicks off in the new year, starting with the Golden Globes on January 12. An event last month, however, offered a glimpse of what the off-screen female power brokers are wearing.

To celebrate the publication of The Hollywood Reporter’s annual “Women in Entertainment Power 100” list, almost 600 people attended a breakfast held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in honour of the industry’s other leading ladies, its business executives.

While most guests wore professional black, there was an injection of Hollywood glamour thanks to actors Allison Williams (Girls) in a nude leather Calvin Klein dress, and Jane Fonda in a double-breasted camel suit. Kim Kardashian, meanwhile, demonstrated how to dress like a paparazzi magnet in mustard yellow Lanvin dress and MaxMara coat.

Janice Min, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter and the woman responsible for its transformation from a dusty trade title to a must-read glossy entertainment staple, also grabbed attention in a red-and-blue floral Miu Miu dress with Gucci bag and heels.

Min said that women had come a long way in Hollywood in the two decades since the first list was published in 1992. “This list could almost be non-gendered and still be accurate; it reflects the rise of women in television,” she said. “Once, television played second fiddle to film but the power structure has shifted and women have really been the beneficiary of that.”

Anne Sweeney, the 56-year-old president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, came top in the list for the fourth year in a row. “She drives more profit than any other woman in Hollywood,” said Min. “I’d like to say it was a tough choice but you can’t argue with the numbers.” The runner-up was Bonnie Hammer, 63, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, with Nancy Dubuc, 45, president and chief executive of A&E Networks, in third spot and Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment, fourth.

“This is a wonderful celebration of women,” said Dubuc, in an ivory lace Chloé dress.

While guests ate a very Angeleno breakfast of egg-white frittata and crispy kale, Armani-clad Maria Shriver presented her friend Oprah Winfrey with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. “That beats a eulogy, I gotta tell you,” Winfrey, 59, joked of Shriver’s tribute. “And you’re alive to hear it.”

The talk-show host, in a fitted black dress and earrings by Italian jeweller Roberto Coin, then challenged guests to use their success to help those less fortunate. “How do you use your power to elevate the life of somebody else?” she asked, offering a potential new year resolution for us all.

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