RSVIP: Oscar Countdown, Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktails at Soho House
RSVIP received the most extraordinary invitation from Trident Vitality as a part of Vanity Fair magazine's Campaign Hollywood. It was sent by express mail to my office in a mirrored box that will end up on a shelf at my house.
Thanks to the impressive physical invite, RSVIP had meant to stop by the West Hollywood event, ending at 6:00 p.m., but got caught up with work. The party launched the new Trident Vitality flavors. And the box also held a supply of Trident Vitality gum, which does have delicious flavor. But, sadly, a turn in the weather and traffic made the timing impractical.
On Friday afternoon, with only two days before the Academy Awards, the sunny weather we had been enjoying took a turn for the worse. With chilly temperatures and driving rain, Soho House, with its underground garage and sparkling penthouse views on Sunset Boulevard, called.
The Fourth Annual Women in Film pre-Oscar cocktail party began at 5:00 p.m. on February 25. As RSVIP arrived, we spotted Amy Sacco, a tall, blond diva of New York night life, leaving the underground parking structure at 9200 Sunset Boulevard. She was likely beginning her day.
When yet another special Amy, Amy Adams from "The Fighter," above, climbed out of her black town car, she was fighting with her clingy black dress.
The fabric had gathered static and had ridden up in the car. And she repeatedly pulled it down and flattened out wrinkles before facing the phalanx of photographers.
Leo, left, said that she once had a designer "advise me to lay down in the vehicle on the way to the event so as not to wrinkle the front of the dress."
"Along the way I've picked up clues like that," mentioned Leo, wearing a dress by Tommy Hilfiger with a gardenia pinned to her shoulder.
Upstairs, Soho house is a modern Brit revelation of an interior. The lobby is paneled in painted wood with edgy art on display. One guest opened a hidden door and disappeared into a secret hallway.
Without instructions, RSVIP found the men's loo. At parties, people often say "You have to see the bathrooms." But the plane-window views from the sinks in the men's room deserve an Oscar week nod: Best W.C.
Upstairs, well-dressed Soho House harpies were firm about directing guests wearing gold wristbands away from the gray plush seating near a cozy fireplace, where members were dining. Instead, they pointed out a thin hallway lined with cork board. The passage was papered with amusing black-and-white images of previous guests. Halfway down the hall, a neon sign marked a photo booth, where the pictures had been snapped. Shelves held eccentric detritus.
And at the end of the claustrophobic hall, a tented roof opened up to a garden oasis. Craggy trees that looked as if they'd been imported from the Middle East were planted in the middle of a vast mosaic made up of black and white stone squares. Fragrant white flowers floated in a reflecting pool. Host Halle Berry, right, wore a form-gripping gray dress.
M.A.C., the makeup company, co-sponsored the event, and M.A.C. Group President John Demsey mentioned that he had been wowed by the opening of Tom Ford's store the night before. "It was like the Oscars in a store," said Demsey, who also compared Oscar week to the Super Bowl for M.A.C.
"Our artists are doing a lot of makeup this week," Demsey explained. "We have 100 M.A.C. artists and sponsored makeup artists at work for people on the red carpet and six out of the ten Best Picture-nominated films had our help. We helped design the makeup for 'Black Swan,' for example."
"I have never been to the Oscars before," offered Dale Dickey from "Winter's Bone." "It's overwhelming, surreal," she added. "I'm just trying to breathe and enjoy it." Dickey said that she will wear her grandmother's vintage dress from the 1920s on the red carpet on Sunday.
Does it make her nervous to meet famous people? "I've worked with a lot of famous people," she said. "But, yeah, I stammer." The costume designer for "The King's Speech," was standing nearby.
Kate Walsh had on Max Mara, another sponsor of the event. She said that on Sunday, "I'll be home watching the Oscars on TV with friends."
Producer Lucy Walker is nominated for directing "Wasteland," a film documenting artist Vik Muniz, who creates portraits of ragpickers in the garbage dumps of Rio de Janeiro and then donates the proceeds to help them. She told RSVIP that she would be wearing Diane Von Furstenberg on Sunday.
"Von Furstenberg sent me an e-mail that said, 'I loved your movie,'" recalled Walker. The designer then sponsored a gala screening of the film in New York. "I'm in awe of her--she's a miracle!"
Gillian Jacobs from "Community" wore a summery Prada dress with red lips printed on the fabric. She offered her own Oscar prediction about the weather this weekend. "It's not working with us girls trying to keep our hair and the dress from getting soaked," she indicated.
Under a tree lit with round paper lanterns glowing with a soft sepia tone, Hailee Steinfeld, above, who delivered an Oscar-nominated performance in "True Grit," had on a crepe de Chine tunic by Vionett and pointy heels. With an age-appropriate long, curly tween coif, she resembled a wood nymph gone Hollywood.
Tis the season.