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Luxist.
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  • 06/22/10--05:01: RSVIP: How Green Was My Gala
  • Is your gala farm-to-table sustainable? According to event co-chair and designer Nicole Miller, a party doesn't get any more crunchy-granola than Group for the East End's Green Gala on Saturday, June 19. In fact, Miller, donated bags of just that . . . granola. "I contributed BOLA Granola to the goodie bag," she said. "It's made in the Berkshires by my sister [Michelle Miller] and is sold at Cavaniola's [Sag Harbor]." In Manhattan, BOLA Granola is also available at Dean & DeLuca and Whole Foods.

    But granola in the gift bag and a local farm-fresh menu didn't mean that guests wore Birkenstocks. In fact, Miller had opalescent strips on her not exactly homespun dress. "I was so happy," said the designer, "because they go with my necklace by Jacqui Toboroff that I have never had a chance to wear."

    The Green Gala took place at the Wolffer Estate, a sprawling vineyard in Sagaponack, New York . . . Hamptons heartland. Amidst aligned rows of grapevines, a Wolffer Estate tasting center abuts Route 27. Turning west, past an Italianate villa structure, some 400 guests, including James Lipton of "The Actors Studio," drove across flaxen fields where they parked their Mercedes SUVs, and hopefully a few hybrid vehicles.

    The local farm-fresh menu served in a breezy tent included gravlax and organic beets on baby lettuce from Early Girl Farm (the Moriches). A Wolffer verjus beurre blanc accompanied the sea bass, as well as a salad of vegetables from Cutchogue's Satur Farms. Chef Brian Fishman of Sweet Karma whipped up a local goat-cheese cake marinated in Wolffer's late harvest Chardonnay. "It was the best food I have ever had at an event . . . ever," said Miller.

    Continue reading RSVIP: How Green Was My Gala

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    RSVIP: How Green Was My Gala originally appeared on Luxist on Tue, 22 Jun 2010 07:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    prince harryA gleaming white marquee tent with multiple peaks, white couches, Veuve Clicquot-orange umbrellas, and ice buckets faced the sweltering polo field on New York's Governor's Island on Sunday, June 27, 2010. Here, Britain's Prince Harry and his Black Rock team would challenge the international polo star Nacho Figueras and his elegantly appointed, Ralph Lauren-sponsored team, Black Watch, for the third year running.

    "I flew in from London last night," mentioned Houston social Becca Cason Thrash. "I've seen Prince Harry play at Highgrove, his father's summer home. He's adorable . . . and shockingly tall."

    "Harry versus Nacho, should be VERY interesting," concurred Ivanka Trump, who said that she had previously viewed polo matches in England, Palm Beach, and Greenwich, Connecticut. But the heiress and jewelry designer refused to wager for or against the Prince, whose team won in 2009. "You can't bet against a prince," she said, laughing. "It just wouldn't be appropriate."

    Actress Susan Sarandon limped into the match, one foot in a black boot cast. "I've had to do horseback riding in a number of movies," she quipped. "If you have a smart horse, you can't ride badly."

    And Mary J. Blige said it was her virgin match. "Ever, ever," she insisted. "And, yes, I want to meet Harry."

    In the Veuve Clicquot-sponsored lunch tent, Prince Harry spoke of the Sentebale charity that he formed with Prince Seesio of Lesotho for orphans and at-risk children in that country. A nearby Figueras appeared crisp in a pinstriped blazer, a white shirt with three buttons opened, silver necklaces, white jeans, and suede slippers.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Veuve Clicquot 2010 Polo Classic, Prince Harry Versus Nacho Figueras

    RSVIP: Veuve Clicquot 2010 Polo Classic, Prince Harry Versus Nacho Figueras originally appeared on Luxist on Mon, 28 Jun 2010 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    kristen stewart and taylor lautnerYou're invited . . . shhh. Founded in 2005 by Andrew Saffir, a former Ralph Lauren executive, the Cinema Society of Manhattan has evolved into a clubby gathering of like-minded celebrities and socials who convene in luxury venues to debut small films.

    A-listers such as Cate Blanchett, Daniel Craig, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Jude Law, Madonna, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Naomi Watts, bring smaller, specialized projects to the Cinema Society. Likewise, films that draw excess attention, such as "The Twilight Saga," may use the privacy of a smaller Cinema Society gathering to screen a film with a select group in a setting that doesn't require Biblical-scale crowd control.

    The entire cast, including Robert Pattinson, attended the Cinema Society launch of "New Moon." But, as only two cast members were attending "Eclipse," Summit Entertainment was only required to line one block with stanchions to hold back onlookers.

    Piaget sponsored "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" on Monday, June 28, with the thought of connecting to an affluent youth audience. "Please keep details of the evening completely confidential beforehand," mentioned the Luxist invite. The secret location: The boutique Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo, which boasts a well-appointed but discreet screening room at basement level.

    "Piaget was founded in 1874 in a small village in Switzerland's Jura Mountains," Larry Boland, Piaget North America President, told Luxist. "There, the name Piaget is like Smith here," he quipped.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Private Cinema Society Screening of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"

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    RSVIP: Private Cinema Society Screening of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" originally appeared on Luxist on Tue, 29 Jun 2010 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    nicolas cage and alice kimDuring one of Manhattan¹s hottest evenings on record, our invitation to the world premiere of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" read:"Experience the coolest job ever in the heart of Times Square." The temperature on July 6, the afternoon of the screening, hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and it didn't feel any cooler standing in the breath of 42nd Street traffic beside the red carpet. Hence, Luxist decided to seize the sizzling day and ask VIP celebrities what the coolest job they could ever imagine would be.

    "I like anything to do with the water . . . the ocean," said Nicolas Cage, star of the film, standing with his beautiful wife, Alice Kim, his hair tinged blond. "The deadliest catch," he added. "I have a lot of respect for the snow crab fishermen, Alaska king crab... for anyone out there trying to help the environment. Those are my dream jobs."

    "Right now," answered Kelly Choi, the sexy hostess of "Top Chef Masters," inspired by the outdoor sauna, "I should be a pool tester. I should be testing whether they are cool enough or not."

    "Oh, being a hairdresser," quipped Helen Mirren, also on the carpet. She had sported a particularly severe coif when she played the title role in "The Queen."

    A somewhat stout Cedric the Entertainer also replied to our query. "A coveted NBA player like LeBron James, though I know I'm a little short for that one," he said, laughing. "I can't dunk. I don't know if I could even do a layup right now."

    Jay Baruchel, of "She's Out of Your League" fame, who stars opposite Cage in the movie, said that he would simply like to "direct horror movies in Montreal . . . that's all I've ever wanted." Why Montreal? "That's where I live," he explained.

    Continue reading RSVIP: World Premiere of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"

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    RSVIP: World Premiere of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" originally appeared on Luxist on Thu, 08 Jul 2010 20:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Unlike the legendary art patroness Peggy Guggenheim, Manhattan real estate family scion, Beth Rudin DeWoody may not have rebuilt a palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice, where lions once roamed, and Jackson Pollock didn't urinate in her fireplace, but DeWoody has packed three sizable domiciles from Southamton, New York to West Palm Beach, Florida and likely a great deal of storage with the quirky highlights of contemporary art.

    On July 10, DeWoody and the world famous painter Ross Bleckner were honored at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, during the annual Parrish Midsummer fete.

    "She's so open-minded," said Carlton DeWoody, Beth's son, like his father, Beth's first husband Jim DeWoody, a gifted artist. "That had a big impact on me growing up."

    At the entrance to DeWoody's Southampton cottage, a key site in the original Southampton Art Colony, hangs a deer trophy head in an S&M-style leather hood that zips up the side. Lift a small magnifying glass on a book, as Luxist did on a previous visit, and a tiny man magically appears as a holograph, projected in 3-D.

    "Beth is my partner in crime," offered designer Richard Mishaan with gusto, "my personal Auntie Mame. She has educated me, guided me into buying some of the best pieces I have, like a Peter Dayton surfboard last week."

    "She's the Peggy Guggenheim of our time," pronounced Debbie Bancroft, chair of the tony Southampton society benefit, sporting a dress made with python skins for Calypso. "Everyone loves Beth and Ross . . . and there is nothing like having beloved honorees."

    "She is the most welcoming person, with the most eclectic taste in friends, art, and furniture," added artful party photographer Patrick McMullan.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Parrish Museum Honors Beth DeWoody, a Latter Day "Peggy Guggenheim"

    RSVIP: Parrish Museum Honors Beth DeWoody, a Latter Day "Peggy Guggenheim" originally appeared on Luxist on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    howard and beth sternA welcome blast of air conditioning from an open door at the Ralph Lauren Rugby store on Main Street in East Hampton cooled an abbreviated red carpet at the East Hampton UA theater during arrivals for the Vanity Fair and Cinema Society screening of "Dinner for Schmucks" on July 17.

    On his way inside, James Lipton, of the Actors Studio, with his scruffy black goat beard, mentioned that he has likely been the schmuck at a dinner party or two. "I suspect that people who had dinner with me felt they were having dinner with a schmuck," he offered in a modulated monotone. A "good seat" is what an excellent dinner partner is called in heady social circles. "But I think I suck," said Lipton. "I am not very good at it. My wife is superb. Everyone wants to know about the actors I've met, but that's the last thing I want to talk about."

    Meanwhile, at the head of the red carpet, "SNL"'s Lorne Michaels glad handed Howard Stern, who wore fatigues with cargo pockets and a shirt that read "Star USA" on the back. Broad faced beauties Christie Brinkley and Candice Bergen Cheshire cat-smiled down the carpet. Lucy Punch, who plays Paul Rudd's crazy, sex-obsessed ex-girlfriend in the film, wore a dress by Christian Cota and Sergio Rossi shoes. "I've had a lot of dates with schmucks," she said. "They go on and on, complete disasters. Moronic. I think I attract these idiots."

    Has Paul Rudd, wearing a suit by Marc Jacobs though the event was in part sponsored by Hugo Boss, dined with schmucks? "I'm sure somewhere along the way. . . . ," he admits after hemming and hawing politely. "I'd say yes."

    Continue reading RSVIP: Schmuck-Free Dinner for "Dinner for Schmucks"

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    RSVIP: Schmuck-Free Dinner for "Dinner for Schmucks" originally appeared on Luxist on Mon, 19 Jul 2010 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    sharon stone and rufus wainwrightWith a blonde upsweep, Sharon Stone appeared angelic in a backless white gown with thin black spaghetti straps during the 17th Annual Summer Benefit for Watermill Center on July 24. Stone then busted a few oddly spastic moves. "I think a bug just flew up my dress," she offered at the mike. "What an awkward moment . . . for the bug." Shades of "Basic Instinct."

    Watermill Center
    , an endless rectangular modernist structure, began as a 30,000-square-foot Western Union research facility on a former outpost of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. Robert Wilson, considered a key figure in experimental theater, spearheaded the summer art colony and museum on the East End of New York's Long Island. He is best known for his 1976 piece "Einstein on the Beach," with music by Philip Glass.

    In summer, Wilson and the Watermill Center host artists from around the globe who join the kibbutz-like arts community, where artists not only create, but also wash plates and prune trees.

    During cocktails, tiki torches lit a path to dancers that decorated a maze of outdoor art installations in the woods. Created by 70 artists from 12 nations, including Kuwait, Russia, and Thailand, the vignettes interpreted the evening's ethereal "Paradiso" theme.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Party Paradise at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center

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    RSVIP: Party Paradise at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center originally appeared on Luxist on Wed, 28 Jul 2010 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Cairo Time is the lyrical film potrait of Juliette Grant, Patricia Clarkson, the sophisticated wife of a UN official langushing in a luxury hotel in Cairo, waiting for her husband's return from a flair up in Gaza. Alexander Siddig (Syriana), as Tareq, plays an elegant bachelor and former employee of her husband, who steps in to guide Juliette through the sunswept vistas of the ancient city and ever closer to his heart.

    Monday, July 26, guests of a "Cairo Time" screening mill through Bar Seine at Manhattan's Plaza Athenee hotel. Tall ceilings, long, dark curtains in the doorway, and a Fortuny-style chandelier overhead suggest the luxury of the Near East.

    Documentary film director Ken Burns is hosting a dinner for the film at Arabelle, the chichi restaurant in the next room. Creamy yellow walls are flanked by heraldic brass bars that support Venetian glass lighting on chains. The floor of the restaurant is a pool of linen-covered tables and gold ballroom chairs.

    Our host, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, is a busy man. "We just finished a film on prohibition," he told Luxist. "After that, it's The Dust Bowl, The Roosevelts, The Central Park Jogger, and Vietnam."

    "There were 50,000 speakeasies on the island of Manhattan during Prohibition," Burns offered. "It was a phenomenal reaction to an ill-conceived law."

    Burns also mentioned that he filmed at 21, the famous society boite on the Upper East Side. "21 was a speakeasy," he said. "The password changed all the time. That was a part of the glamour. If you knew the code, you got in."

    Continue reading RSVIP: Patricia Clarkson in "Cairo Time"

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    RSVIP: Patricia Clarkson in "Cairo Time" originally appeared on Luxist on Fri, 30 Jul 2010 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    prince albert and charlene wittstockWhen a Prince touches down in the socially ambitious Hamptons, snagging an invite can be a slippery slope indeed.

    First of all, author Jay McInerney and his wife, Anne Hearst McInerney, who feted HSH Prince Albert of Monaco this weekend, are sensational hosts, they support the arts and the environment in an enormously generous fashion, and in person, they are nothing but nice. And, especially after this regal shindig, they are the center of social swirl on the East End of Long Island.

    If Truman Capote, having published "In Cold Blood," was at the zenith of his society status when he gave the black-and white-ball in 1966 at the Plaza Hotel with Katharine Graham, McInerney, who married Hearst on November 21, 2006, at 21, the former society speakeasy, is now enjoying a longer-term embrace by New York society in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

    And Mr. McInerney, a wine expert and world-famous author, doesn't lord his social cachet over others, the way, say, Capote used to drop names while in a glassy-eyed stupor on "The Merv Griffin Show." Mrs. McInerney's grandfather was William Randolph Hearst, founder of the Hearst Corporation and the alleged subject of the Orson Welles classic film "Citizen Kane." During the brutally warm summer of 2010 on the East End of Long Island, Jay McInerney has quietly become a kind of Jay Gatsby.

    Idyllic Setting for Princely gathering


    While William Randolph Hearst was known for his zoo-like menagerie at San Simeon, the Hearst McInerneys entertain at idyllic Ashgrove Farm in Watermill, where the couple keep an emu (like an ostrich in a ballgown drape of feathers), presentation hens, and two 3-foot-tall geese, out of a fairy tale, that appear to weigh over 100 pounds each. Sadly, their pet Llama succumbed, possibly to Lyme disease, over the winter.

    The sprawling shingled main house, designed by Peter Cook in the style of the original farmhouse at San Simeon, includes stone fireplaces, centuries old, collected in Europe by Mrs. McInerney's grandfather. The guesthouse is a modernist structure, recently built, with colorful 1960s-themed art, including bright squares within squares by Frank Stella.

    Continue reading RSVIP: The Palace Regrets to Inform

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    RSVIP: The Palace Regrets to Inform originally appeared on Luxist on Tue, 10 Aug 2010 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    javiar bardem and julia robertsGiant white letters spelled out "Eat," "Pray," and "Love" repeatedly in the weave of the red carpet at the premiere of "Eat Pray Love" on Tuesday at New York's Ziegfeld theater. Topiary shrubs in the shape of corkscrews flanked billboards framed in gold of Julia Roberts tucking into gelato. "This little thing?" "Eat Pray Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert responded to Luxist when we asked about her fluffy ethereal ball gown amid the din of photographers. "Just a little Oscar de la Renta number that I picked up for my red-carpet debut."

    Remarkably, Gilbert, who wrote the tale of her epic travels to Italy for cuisine, India for spiritual guidance, and Bali for love, has the same thin, impossibly broad smile as Roberts. "She's lovely like a candle," said Gilbert. "She's like a little flickering flame." No one says Gilbert can't turn a phrase. In fact, that night, her runaway best seller made it to the big screen, one of Manhattan's very biggest, with an after fete at New York's gilded era Metropolitan Club on Fifth avenue. Think soaring ceiling, much marble and a sea of ballroom chairs.

    To my left on the carpet, Bardem, in a blue suit, blue suede shoes, and some gray scruff, was telling a camera that he had known "the work" but hadn't known Julia Roberts "the person" before this project and that they "laughed and laughed" on location, where, by the way, he was joined by his soon-to-be wife, Penelope Cruz. Moving stealth from crew to crew, Roberts was dressed like a publicist in black but with a short skirt or shorts and long black jacket. We overheard her mentioned how lucky she was to "bring her kids to work" and that she had tried to distance herself from the "popularity of the book."

    Continue reading RSVIP: "Eat Pray Love" Debuts at the Ziegfeld

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    RSVIP: "Eat Pray Love" Debuts at the Ziegfeld originally appeared on Luxist on Thu, 12 Aug 2010 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    If you were turned away at the Standard Hotel on Wednesday, August 18, blame Target.

    The hip and successful, if downscale, fashion purveyor rented all the rooms on the south face of the architecturally spectacular hotel that straddles the High Line, a set of defunct railway tracks turned into an above-ground park in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. For one night only, Target transformed the rooms of the hotel into a Spielberg-worthy light, fashion, and dance spectacular.

    "It's a really fun twist on a traditional fashion show," explained Trish Adams, Sr., Vice President of Merchandising, Apparel and Accessories for Target. "Yes, we rented the hotel, we booked the rooms, and it is a fashion show and light show choreographed to music with 66 dancers working in the windows of the hotel rooms with a runway show at street level."

    For celebrities such as Mary-Louise Parker of "Weeds" fame, "Gossip Girl" hunk Penn Badgley and 30 Rock's Katrina Bowdin, grandstands cushioned with yellow pillows were built across the street from the edgy-stylish Standard Hotel Biergarten. And a tower modeled after the hotel was added as a runway for models wearing Target fall fashion.

    But, do the glitterati even shop at Target? Apparently, yes. "I shop there for the entire family," admitted Nina Garcia, a judge on "Project Runway," now pregnant with her second child. And as for Garcia herself, "I love Liz Lange," she said, referring to the queen of maternity wardrobe, who designs that entire Target department.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Target Turns Standard Hotel into a Starry Close Encounter

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    RSVIP: Target Turns Standard Hotel into a Starry Close Encounter originally appeared on Luxist on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 05:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    anthony shriverA meaningful cause can turn an elegant evening into a transformative event. Co-host Anthony Shriver's charisma, Kennedy-family good looks, and passion for Best Buddies, an organization that encourages friendships with mentally and physically challenged individuals, as well as career training and job placement, turned the organization's third annual Hamptons gala into a kind of upbeat epiphany for guests.

    Leafy bamboo in pots swayed in the breezy tents that housed the Southeast Asian-themed Best Buddies Gala at Ashgrove Farm in Watermill on Saturday, August 21. During cocktails, tables packed with silent-auction items also beckoned: tickets to watch the New York Rangers, to catch the "Addams Family" on Broadway, or see Jimmy Buffett in concert. Travel items included a round-trip flight to and from the Hamptons and brightly colored luggage so plentiful, the woman who won it wondered if it would fit into her car.

    The famed Robbins Wolfe "eventeurs," caterers in common parlance, served up Masala crab cakes with pomegranate chutney, toasted coconut kahuku shrimp, and Portabello tempura. Yum. Filigreed metal lanterns with votive candles lined the covered walk to the dinner tent, where eight stems of purple orchids in jade bowls were surrounded by shimmering gold chargers on every table.

    Anthony Shriver admitted that it wouldn't have been so easy to get his little daughter Carolina to fly down from Hyannis Port with him to Long Island for the Best Buddies Gala except that "Anne [Hearst McInerney, above right] gave her a little baby rabbit the last time we came." He then kidded that Hearst McInerney would provide chickens in the gift bags.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Anthony Shriver Hosts Best Buddies Gala at Ashgrove Farm

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    RSVIP: Anthony Shriver Hosts Best Buddies Gala at Ashgrove Farm originally appeared on Luxist on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    With a weekend of starry fetes second only to those of Oscar week in Los Angeles, the parties of the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards lost little ground this season against news of a still flagging U.S. economy.

    For Luxist, ice began clinking in the cocktail glasses of Emmy-bound celebs at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 27, at the Judith Leiber store on North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Maria Bello and Patricia Arquette were co-hosting a "Don't Forget Haiti" benefit. Yes, Hollywood has a heart. And scores of Emmy hopefuls zipped by on their way to full-fledged Emmy events.

    Bello wore a top by Michael Kors and a Leiber "Don't Forget Haiti" pendant as she greeted guests at the door. How did Arquette and Bello team up for the Emmy weekend benefit? "I saw her a couple of weeks after the earthquake in Haiti," Bello told Luxist.

    Arquette then mentioned that she is currently "working on a project to help refurbish shipping containers as homes in Haiti." She was wearing a vintage Chanel suit. "Anything past last year is vintage," she quipped. "So I'm vintage."

    Guests included Rosario Dawson, Malin Akerman, Katharine McPhee, and Autumn Reeser, of "Entourage," who told Luxist that she would be hosting a baby shower during the Emmy Awards. "I didn't realize it was Emmy weekend," she admitted.

    Reeser's "Entourage" co-star Emmanuelle Chriqui mentioned that, over the weekend, she would be supporting her real-life manager Emily Gerson Saines (also present), "nominated because she produced the HBO film 'Temple Grandin.'" Saines and her project would win big on Sunday.

    Entertainment Weekly also hosted a pre-Emmy party for "Women in Film" on Friday at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood. The pool area of the hotel was converted into an impromptu red carpet. Fueled by mini burgers and new flavors of Vitaminwater, lemonade, and pomegranate, the party raged on in a trellised back courtyard of the restaurant until 1:00 a.m. Elisabeth Moss from "Mad Men," above, innocently butchered the name of the late French designer she was wearing, Herve Leger (pronounced Er-vay Lay-jay) as if he had been an all American: "Harvey Legger."

    "This is my third Emmy Awards," admitted the young actress. "But it's always scary."

    Continue reading RSVIP: 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Party Report

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    RSVIP: 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Party Report originally appeared on Luxist on Wed, 01 Sep 2010 07:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    The economy didn't appear to be an issue when Chanel reopened their boutique at 98 Wooster Street in Soho on Thursday night with an effervescent Euro budget. Champagne and trays brimming with bits of foie gras just kept coming on the wide black walkway built around the side of the building with louvered walls open to the cobbled street.

    Also served to celebrities on trays were black cans marked Chanel that looked as if they held spray paint. Instead, the device shot infrared to create graffiti on slick black wall monitors. "All right," said Claire Danes, aiming her can. "We need to do some graffiti!"

    Graffiti has never looked quite so elegant.

    With a bejeweled, shimmering black jacket over her shoulders, Sarah Jessica Parker mentioned that only her shoes and the bag were not Chanel.

    Peter Marino, in head-to-toe black-leather, said that he had designed the new Chanel Boutique with Karl Lagerfeld. He described the interior as "only black-and-white, no beige."

    "Beige is the color of Chanel," said Marino. "But this is strikingly youthful. And there is a lot of artwork by up-and-coming artists: works by Robert Green, Gregor Hildebrandt-- he melted old 45 records into cake pans. Richard Woods did the black-and-white faux-brick columns." Up high, fluorescent lights wrapped in rubber were also art.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Starry Karl Lagerfeld Relaunch of the Chanel Boutique in Soho

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    RSVIP: Starry Karl Lagerfeld Relaunch of the Chanel Boutique in Soho originally appeared on Luxist on Sat, 11 Sep 2010 08:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    While it seems inconceivable that such a publication exists, RSVIP has been told by designers that a kind of fashion playbook can be bought each season that lists upcoming trends. Of course, the very best designers lead the march of fashion every season or even decades in advance. But, oddly enough, to play it safe, some simply present their version of items on the trend list.

    RSVIP's first show at the new tents at New York's Lincoln Center was Christian Siriano, the "Project runway" winner on Thursday, September 9. Backstage, Siriano spoke of mixing cultures and ethnicities. But on the runway, we spotted several trends that would be hammered home again and again this season: tan leather skirts, jackets, and dresses in the style of the original "Planet of the Apes"; thin rope belts; big, fat double-clasp leather belts; sheer fabric as an overlay; colorful prints; mixing belts with ball gowns; and dynamic, arty prints. And while Siriano hit these notes, one couldn't help but feel that if the gigantic fluffy ball gowns that he ended the show with, right, had been made by Oscar de la Renta's tailors, they would have been a fashion editor's dream. Sand and taupe, by the way, are the new black.

    At 6:00 p.m. that day at Milk Studios, on West 15th Street, a serious jaunt from Lincoln Center, designer Jen Kao covered the runway with mandala-like sand drawings. And the collection included sandy desert hues. The stringy sandal straps snaked up the legs of models. And we saw macramé, large leather patches sewn onto dresses, and much sheer tied on and sewn over sheer pants, sheer skirts, and flowing sheer shirts.

    And while some of the clothes appeared overwrought in person, they photograph beautifully. RSVIP spotted Kelly Rowland in the front row, but it was tricky to chat before the show without disturbing the sand.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Mercedes-Benz NYC Fashion Week at Lincoln Center (Part I)

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    RSVIP: Mercedes-Benz NYC Fashion Week at Lincoln Center (Part I) originally appeared on Luxist on Mon, 20 Sep 2010 06:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    During the inaugural fashion week at Lincoln Center, the Mercedes-sponsored tents where the shows take place were almost identical to the old structures at Bryant Park, but more airy, with a glass atrium in the center and 30 percent more space.

    The monolithic rectangle in the far left corner of the plaza at Lincoln Center that introduces the tents looks as if it were carved from white stone and balanced on a tornado shaped point. But the structure is an optical illusion. It is a metal box, stabilized from behind and covered with white vinyl that looks like marble.

    Inside the tents, fresh computers print out paper tickets for the tide of fashionistas and celebrities who are invited to shows-Carmen Electra, Kelly Rowland, Rumer Willis.

    The private Mercedes lounge was designed by interior guru Carlos Mota using Iman's new fabric line; colorful zebra-skin and peacock-feather patterns upholster couches and ottomans. Photos of Iman by Bruce Weber and Peter Beard on the walls are from Iman's private collection.

    Across the street at an atrium space, WWD (Women's Wear Daily) would later showcase its 100th anniversary by featuring retro designs by Thakoon and other hip designers to be sold by Gilt Groupe.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Mercedes-Benz NYC Fashion Week at Lincoln Center (Part II)

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    Many tourism dinners backfire. Long, less than exuberant speeches can drain the life from even the most exotic destination. But with the trademarked "Red Night by Marrakech" campaign, with its key hole-shaped gates set up about Manhattan, Morocco has touted itself elegantly . . . leaving their worldly hostess, Anjelica Huston, to impart the glamour of her favored travel destination.

    With the help of PR guru Vanessa von Bismark, on Tuesday, September 28, Mr. Hamid Addou, CEO of the Moroccan National Tourist Office, transformed Skylight Studios in New York, a behemoth, blank white space into a red-lit Moroccan kasbah. An acre of red plush carpet, striped couches, ornate lanterns, and shiny silver coffee services decorating star-shaped metal tables, added a touch of Marrakech souq or marketplace to the cocktail hour.

    Countess LuAnn de Lesseps mentioned having traveled to Marrakech and Casablanca often. "My ex-husband was always entering his Aston Martin in the rally of Morocco," the Countess told Luxist. "I remember driving across the Atlas Mountains, getting sideswiped by a van, and losing a door."

    Nearby, our stately hostess, Anjelica Huston, wore a shimmering red dress by Pamela Barish. "I love Morocco," she said. "Gateway to the East . . . beautiful, mysterious, romantic . . . great shopping."

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    Barreling down the red carpet at The Cinema Society New York screening of "the social network," Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody ("The Pianist") grappled hands firmly with RSVIP and stated categorically that while he is not on Facebook, "There is a bogus me on there."

    A breakout success, "the social network" is based on a book by Ben Mezrich called "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook."

    Mezrich also wrote "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions," made into the hit film "21."

    In "the social network," pop icon Justin Timberlake plays Napster founder Sean Parker, a dangerously slick character who arranged considerable early funding for Facebook. "Justin was always the suave one," former fellow 'N Sync band member Lance Bass told Luxist on his way into the theater. "Even at 13, he was Mr. Joe Cool. He's been ready for this role ever since he was a kid."

    At the theater, Timberlake wore a sleek, double-breasted sweater and Clark Kent glasses. "We had a lot of fun making this movie together," he mentioned at the side of his new BFF, Jesse Eisenberg, far right.

    "Never met the guy," Timberlake answered a reporter when asked if he had ever encountered Parker.

    "500 million members becomes a phenomenon," continued Timberlake. "And this movie is the catalyst . . . the story of how [Facebook] came to be."

    The film depicts Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as brilliant, conflicted, and socially awkward in the extreme. But the truth may be more complex. "Dozens and dozens of lawyers have vetted this script within an inch of its life," explained Aaron Sorkin, who penned the screenplay and indicated that some insightful scenes had to be cut.

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    Charlie and his chocolate factory have nothing on new author, candy expert, and sweets purveyor par excellence Dylan Lauren (above, left).

    Scarlet balloons hugged the ceiling of Dylan's Candy Bar, her sugary eponymous department store in Manhattan. Lilanne Becker, an adult dressed as a fairy princess with a satin gown, white gloves and tiara, stood beside a table stacked with books and brandished a colorful copy of Dylan Lauren's new coffee-table tome, "Dylan's Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life" (Clarkson Potter). Downstairs, Aundre Seals, a Halloween Dracula with some white face paint skewered Rice Krispie treats and marshmallows shaped like ghosts, drenched them in a triple-tier chocolate fountain, and handed them to salivating onlookers.

    For adults, cocktails with lime rock-sugar swizzle sticks and gummy spider garnishes were spiked with VeeV, an açai-based spirit and tonic water. Red licorice decorated yet another cocktail made with raspberry liqueur.

    In a basement brimming with vintage candy, including a bathtub filled with gumballs, a line of adoring fans snaked towards a cheery Dylan Lauren, wearing an acid green shirt with candy-tone Rep tie and signing books.

    Sure I'm proud," said designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan's famous dad (above, right), wearing a blue-and-gold bomber jacket. "I'm so happy for her. She created something she loves and is happy to share it with many people who love candy!"

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    Decorating an event meant to combat world poverty presents issues that only a seasoned expert such as Yale educated party planner Bronson Van Wyck, who volunteered his time, would be prepared to tackle. Fabulous hors d'oeuvres and expensive lighting wouldn't have been the right message for Wednesday's event at the Museum of Modern Art in New York to benefit the Global Poverty Project, Aussie Hugh Evans' fast-track plan to end extreme poverty.

    "I met Hugh Evans at the Australia 2020 Summit, which was a conference about ideas that the Prime Minister held," Hugh Jackman, far right, who hosted the fete with his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, told RSVIP.

    "He was so young I thought he was one of the waiters," continued Jackman, who said he had waved Evans over, hoping to get a drink. "Two hours later, he was still telling me all of these ideas. This young guy was so switched on. . . ."

    "The look tonight," explained Van Wyck, while scruffy actor Gerard Butler wandered in wearing frayed jeans and a biker jacket, "is pared-down chic."

    "It's really about the message," says Van Wyck, who hails from Arkansas. "It's about the cause. Everything went toward getting the people here. I'm donating my time and even the red carpet. I believe in what they're doing."

    Several of Jackman's famous friends pitched in unique auction items, including a lunch with Rupert Murdoch, which was already going for $7,000 on http://www.charitybuzz.com/gpp. And it wasn't just a friendly lunch; the winner of this lot is invited to pitch the billionaire media mogul business ideas at the table. Murdoch's wife, Wendi, explained that not even she has full access to her husband's hectic lunch agenda.

    "He's always busy," she said. In fact, the couple rarely meet for lunch, "as I also have no time," she indicated with a laugh.

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    Even a gritty film that offers viewers several full-force emotional kicks in the stomach deserves a glamorous movie premiere.

    "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf" is a play, built from 20 poems, that first opened at a woman's bar in Berkeley, California, and won a Tony Award on Broadway in 1976. While director Tyler Perry has frequently worked with all-star, mainly female African-American casts, he has never attempted such challenging material--long, poetic speeches punctuated at times by eye-shielding violence.

    Perry, right, wearing a distinct three-piece suit with broad pin stripes, said he didn't originally jump at the project. "I got a phone call about five years ago, he mentioned at the Ziegfeld in New York on Monday. "Somebody said, 'What about "Colored Girls"?'

    "Whoopi Goldberg, who is in the cast, called him "a couple of years after that . . . somebody else called, somebody else called. . . . and I don't need a brick to fall on me," he indicated.

    "I saw the original Broadway production," Phylicia Rashad, who plays a central character, told RSVIP. "It was disturbing. I'd never seen anything quite so raw."

    And does Rashad, who was wearing a sparkling tunic, and bejeweled shoes by Beverly Feldman, think that Perry did a good job translating the landmark work to the big screen? Yes . . . and the poetry hasn't been sacrificed. He opens things up, so you can see as you listen and hear."

    Macy Gray, who plays a role in one of the more disturbing scenes in the film, also performs one of the songs on the all-star soundtrack. "Tyler liked my song "Stand Up," which summarizes the film. 'No matter what happens, get back up on your feet and live and survive.'"

    "I've already seen the film. And I thought it was fascinating . . . very heavy," said Gray who accented her eyebrows with small crystals. "But it's definitely a movie you should see. It's well-crafted, well-acted, and important."

    "Janet makes me schvitz," offered fellow cast-member Kerry Washington, patting her face with a white handkerchief as she stood next to Janet Jackson.

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    Buckle your seat belts, and get ready to clink Bellini flutes with over 1,000 fashionistas. On Tuesday, November 2, WWD, Women's Wear Daily, America's fashion bible, invited their rather extensive and starry inner circle to Cipriani 42nd Street to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the daily publication, including the designing Olsen twins, right.

    The drama began that morning at 5:30 a.m., when a 40-ton semi braked at the New York venue to unload original art by John Galliano. After much head-scratching, the elephantine signed canvas-cum-ballgown had to be removed from the stretcher and rolled to make it fit through the doors of the palatial former bank building. Lord knows how the Jeep Grand Wagoneer with faux wooden paneling, auction item lot 22202, with black watch seats designed by Tommy Hilfiger, rolled inside.

    But by 6:00 p.m., a forest of fall foliage had taken its place in tall vases papered with the pages of WWD. And the vintage Jeep was parked at the center of a half-acre carpet. A shower of umbrellas decorated with a decoupage of fashion news cascaded down from the 80-foot-high ceiling.

    Men and women in white linen jackets soon began taking coats and yet another crisp team passed hors d'oeuvres: croque-monsieur, porcini in phyllo, American caviar, crab canapé, and later, coffee mini éclairs.

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    For children who have everything, presumably not unlike the Brangelina progeny, Maddox and Pax Pitt, and Tina Fey's daughter, Alice, all of whom attended the New York premiere, may we recommend "Megamind 3-D"?

    The pitch: It's a spin on the old Superman story, executive-produced by Ben Stiller, far right, who also turned up at the three-story AMC IMAX 13 Lincoln Square Theater on Wednesday. But what if not one, but two superheroes arrive on Earth from faraway worlds? One, Metro Man (Brad Pitt), is taken in by a well-heeled family and ends up working for good. The other, Megamind (Will Ferrell), lands in a maximum-security penitentiary, where his brilliant mind and powers are focused on evil. When Megamind, in blue, an inept villain, wipes out his nemesis, he ends the comfortable historic standoff.

    Boredom sets in for Megamind. While attempting to create yet another superhero to fight, Megamind accidentally creates an evil superjerk known as Titan (Jonah Hill).

    Tina Fey, above, meanwhile, plays a kind of Lois Lane figure, Roxanne Richi, a possible love interest of all three main characters.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Brad Pitt and Tina Fey At "Megamind 3-D" Premiere

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    In "Morning Glory" her most endearing onscreen pairing since she fell for Jack Nicholson in "Something's Gotta Give," Diane Keaton, right, teams up with Harrison Ford, who plays an intractable veteran news anchor, to host a troubled network morning show. Keaton, playing a former Miss Arizona, is pitted against Ford, and the duo give off an embattled chemistry that lights up the big screen.

    At Sunday's premiere of "Morning Glory" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York, Ford's white hair had the Tinsel Town messy on purpose look. Up close, the craggy neck doesn't quite match the boyishly smooth face. Scars on his chin from a car accident in 1968 and a metal stud in one earlobe add machismo. The loafers and red socks were borrowed from his newsman character.

    "The early mornings," Ford said, describing the news gig to reporters. "That's the easy part."

    And while he made a sensational anchor on camera, he said he wasn't willing to try news as an occupation. "I like the job I have, thank you."

    That said, Hoda Kotb, of the "Today Show," not in the film, mentioned that she'd love to work with Ford. "Can you imaging co-hosting with Harrison Ford? Nothing would be better. He's in my top five list."

    Rick Younger, who plays a producer in the film, told Luxist that Ford was generous on the set. "One day, he shared something he had learned from Marlon Brando," said Younger. "As an actor, a lot of times we think that things going on under the surface can't be seen. And Brando had told him that that the camera sees all."

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    Prepare to hold your breath and feel the seconds tick as the action ratchets up in "The Next Three Days," starring Russell Crowe and his fetching wife in the film, Elizabeth Banks, far right, who plays a convict.

    Two years ago in Paris, Luxist happened to catch a small French thriller called "Pour Elle ('For Her')." The plot: Diane Kruger, a loving mother, is accused of murder and sent to jail. With no legal means left to get her out, her husband becomes involved with French criminals and creates a clever plot to break her out of prison. Kruger is ravishing in the film and speaks flawless French. When RSVIP was invited to the premiere of "The Next Three Days," a film by the Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis, a few details instantly recalled "Pour Elle." But Haggis had embellished the story and the chase scenes. Crowe plays the male lead, and Elizabeth Banks takes Kruger's role.

    Olivia Wilde, wearing Celine on the carpet, who plays a mom Crowe meets on a playground, said that she had seen both features, French and American. "Diane is extraordinary in the original," said Wilde.

    What's different? "Russell Crowe is one of the best living actors. My heart was pounding harder. They upped the stakes, upped the intensity."

    Banks, wearing a unique black Versace getup with a clear plastic panel at her waist, also gave Kruger a nod. "Yes, I have seen the French version. Diane Kruger is great. I think she's an incredible actress," said Banks. "But we really have a totally different movie. The main thing that is different is the prison system in France. Apparently, they allow you to wear whatever you want, because she wore jeans and a sweater throughout the movie. And I'm in full prison garb . . . a serious drag. I'm not sure I'm pulling it off in a lot of scenes. She got to look much lovelier."

    Continue reading RSVIP: Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks Fete "The Next Three Days"

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    beyonce knowlesOn occasion, we've all felt beaten down by a demanding business trip. But, believe it or not, one low travel moment inspired a sparkling new line of jewelry from designer-to-the-stars Lorraine Schwartz. "I was out of the country one day, working really hard," Schwartz recently told Luxist. "I was bitching . . . and all of a sudden, I thought, 'Lorraine, you need to be happy!'"

    The epiphany sparked a line of jewelry crafted with diamonds. The bracelet is made of back-to-back capital Bs, "2Be" or "To Be"; a happy face, "Happy"; and a repeat of the Bs, or "To Be Happy to Be," explained Schwartz.

    The designer's friend Beyoncé Knowles, known as Queen B to friends and family, was enamored of the double-B concept. "She's B-squared," said Schwartz. In fact, Monday, Knowles, right, hosted the launch of the new Schwartz line at Lavo, Manhattan's hottest new club, on East 58th Street off Madison.

    "Lorraine is the most generous, wonderful, talented jewelry designers I know," designer Tina Knowles, Beyoncé's mother, told RSVIP on her way into the soiree. "She can come up with a concept and put it together . . . like that."

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    natalie portman and darren aronofsky"Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky, far right, who has already created such extraordinary films as "The Wrestler" and "Requiem for a Dream," has miraculously pulled off a psychological thriller set in the unlikely, rarefied world of classical dance. Several scenes in "Black Swan" present gore and special effects which beg the audience to cover their eyes. But the heart-thumping pace, psychological intensity, and extraordinary dance footage destine the film to be a Hitchcock-level classic with possible sweep potential at the Academy Awards.

    To transform the star, Natalie Portman, right, who had trained in Ballet as a child, into a dancer, Mary Helen Bowers, a prima ballerina formerly with the New York City Ballet, began training her a year before shooting started. "I put together a rigorous program, this is five to eight hours a day, six days a week," said a reed-thin Bowers, wearing a feathery gown by Balenciaga on the red carpet at the Ziegfeld Theatre at Tuesday's premiere. "We mixed ballet exercises, swimming a mile every day, ballet class, and pointe work . . . working on her swan arms, her hands . . . her upper body."

    "It was a challenge getting her on pointe for the first time," Bowers offered. "So we just built up to it very slowly. You see her on pointe constantly in the film."

    "I lost 20 pounds," noted Mila Kunis, below, who played opposite Portman in the embattled dance company onscreen. "I had a 1200-calorie diet, with five small portion-controlled meals a day, five teeny bird portions."

    As for Portman's commitment, she mentioned that she accidentally "dislocated a rib." It necessitated an MRI, noted Aronofsky inside the Ziegfeld. Trend alert: for "The Wrestler," Mickey Rourke required three.

    "And getting the effects off that they put on my back was really hard," Portman, wearing Dior, mentioned to Luxist. "Everyone else would wrap and get to go home. We had done a 16-hour day, and I'd be on point shoes. And then I'd have another hour getting my latex fake broken-out back off."

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    justin bieberOnce a year, Manhattan's media elite get a request from young power brokers . . . tweens, in fact. Z100's The Jingle Ball, a concert sponsored by the local radio station and H&M at Madison Square Garden, included the sizzling youth acts of 2010: Justin Bieber, right, B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, Taio Cruz ("Break Your Heart"), Selena Gomez, Enrique Iglesias, and Katy Perry.

    As the date of the concert approaches, the children of stars and media moguls begin asking for tickets from their power Moms and Dads. Harvey Weinstein, of the Weinstein Company film studio, currently lobbying for such Oscar hopefuls as "Blue Valentine," and "The King's Speech," took time out to usher his brood. Luxist also spotted Charlie Walk, former head of Epic Records, with his family.

    "My 11-year-old said, 'Mom, the Jingle Ball is coming. And I want you to take me to that, because you didn't take me to Eminem,'" Rosie O'Donnell told Luxist backstage on Friday. "And then I called and said, 'It's Rosie. Can I have four tickets?' And they said, 'No. You can't get the tickets. You have to win them. They're all given away.' So I went to a charity, and I bought them. And my son had the nerve to ask me if I had good seats. Does that mean I'm spoiling him?"

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    Over the decades, the Golden Globes got its kick-start as a boozy awards presentation where the Hollywood Foreign Press assembled to schmooze with stars. But the 68th Annual Golden Globes on Sunday was not only a giant TV production produced by Dick Clark and hosted by the acerbic comic Ricky Gervais; it spawned a cluster of starry events that made for a glamorous weekend in Los Angeles.

    On Friday, at the 16th Annual VH1 Critics' Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, getting to my spot on the red carpet involved passing by a trailer kitchen along the back of the venue, where long tables were covered with confections decorated with tall sticks of chocolate displaying purple flowers. Yum.

    At the Luxist position on the carpet, power cables crossed under the rug, acting like a de facto speed bump. Likely thanks to said cables, a well-amplified Maroon 5 jammed live in the background.

    Rip Taylor, there to lampoon "The Black Swan," mentioned that to prepare for the event, he'd sent his wig out to be dry-cleaned. Onstage, he and the cast of "Jackass" would perform a skit about "The Black Swan." But, before the show, Taylor, who was holding my arm to remain steady on the bump, handed over a photo of himself in full drag as "the Black Swan" for the skit. For her part, a pregnant Natalie Portman, showing her own bump, claimed that the fun poked at the role "has actually been one of the fun things about the whole process. "'30 Rock,' 'SNL'--it's easily mockable," she said.

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    Saturday night, Cara Buono, right, Faye Miller on "Mad Men, " ascended the carpet-covered cobblestone that leads up to the Chateau Marmont hotel in Hollywood wearing stilettos to attend an Entertainment Weekly fete honoring SAG Awards nominees, presented by L'Oreal Paris. Chunky jewel-tone stones by David Yurman dangled from her earlobes. Her voluptuous figure was highlighted by a sparkly black dress by Oday Shakar with a broad V-neck. "I have to tell you, I was ready," she said of her ability to march up the steep driveway in heels. "It's just getting out of the car."

    Sophisticated beyond her years, Ariel Winter, of "Modern Family," had just celebrated her 13th birthday. One didn't expect the tween to have caught "No Strings Attached" to celebrate. "I'm a very big fan of Natalie Portman," she told Luxist. "I recently met her at the Golden Globes. She's pregnant, and she's beautiful!"

    Upstairs at the Chateau, a notorious hangout for Hollywood bad boys (Dennis Hopper in the 1960s) and fun-loving starlets, the back garden, reminiscent of a hilltop cloister in the north of France, had been tented with clear plastic. The five women who played the Ward and Eklund sisters in "The Fighter" were tressed like sirens, not like the bleached and teased 1980s throwbacks they played onscreen. Bianca Hunter, Cathy "Pork" Eklund, said endured a "double-process platinum blonde" coif for the film and a "gray tooth." Jenna Lamia, Sherri Ward, said her "Fighter" wardrobe consisted of "a yard of acid-washed denim."

    Seated for dinner in an alcove to the right of the front desk, Mark Ruffalo and his wife joined Chevy Chase. "I tried to keep cool, but I had to drool on him a little bit," Ruffalo said of Chase while he and his wife made their way back to their room at the Chateau. "He's seriously cool."
    Nearby, funny man David Spade carried two drinks with one hand.

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    backstage at tommy hilfigerThere are tents within tents during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, curtained-off rooms backstage and in secret hallways, where models whip their clothes off and change into their first look; where they have their hair snipped and sprayed and teased; where Gwen Stefani's two little boys, Kingston and Zuma, were able to play in private; and, of course, the Diane von Furstenberg-designed "Star Room," where Mercedes-Benz served miniature cupcakes, fresh sushi, and fine cheese to swells.

    The sexiest scene RSVIP noted was backstage at the Tommy Hilfiger show on Sunday, right, where the well-known new youth models, Arizona and Jordan, among many others, had their hair wetted as jugs of water were poured over their heads into a large plastic trash can backstage before they began drying their own tresses.

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    victoria beckhamParties, if one has the energy to attend them after viewing collections all day, are a mainstay of New York Fashion Week. On Valentine's Day, Victoria Beckham, right, feted Allure magazine's 20th anniversary at a tony bistro called Minetta Tavern. She unexpectedly showed up with David Beckham, her husband, who had on a dark plaid suit and wide tie. "He looks like he just stepped out of an ad," offered a reveler in the bar area, jammed with well-known faces.

    Kiefer Sutherland and his delightful gal pal, Siobhan Bonnouvrier, a fashion editor at Allure, were squeezed into one corner. Author Simon Doonan and his boyfriend, Jonathan Adler, the interior designer, chatted with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelo. Iman, looking as youthful as the first day she arrived in New York, stood catty-corner beside designer Tory Burch.

    Linda Wells, Allure's alluring Editor in Chief, later seated beside the Beckhams at dinner, dinged her glass and made a speech about "loving" her 20th-anniversary cover girl, Victoria Beckham. Did RSVIP mention that the steaks were enormous and delicious? Fun fete.

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    drew brees and snoop doggOscar Week, day one: Deja vu. It had only been a matter of weeks since RSVIP, based in Manhattan, traveled to Los Angeles for the SAG Awards. And while snow had canceled my initial flight to the SAG Awards, yet again, at 4:00 a.m on February 21, the streets of Manhattan were freshly blanketed with the slippery white stuff.

    Nonetheless, a brave cab driver agreed to head for JFK, and American Airlines was still flying. In fact, the flight landed at LAX in plenty of time for RSVIP to drive a rented Chevy HHR directly to the airport in Santa Monica to catch the Cartoon Network's Hall of Game Awards, taking place that afternoon at Barker Hanger.

    Bleachers facing the Astroturf arrivals carpet were filled with shrieking tweens, and on the tail end of the NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, the Hall of Game Awards, hosted by skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, included numerous famous athletes and child stars.

    A low-key Drew Brees, left above, wearing dark blue jeans, mentioned to Luxist that he has two sons at home, "a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old." Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers wore a black ring, edged with diamonds, with Roman numerals on it. We asked if it was his prize from the Super Bowl. "This is my wedding ring," answered Jennings. "I don't even know if that ring is designed yet."

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    zooey deschanelDay two: Breakfast at the timeless Fountain Coffee Room in the basement of the Beverly Hilton Hotel remains heavenly. A large pink napkin completes every setting at the counter. The wallpaper has a broad palm frond pattern. RSVIP had the same thoughtful waitress and the same distinguished gent with long white hair seated beside me as usual. Stellar bacon.

    Wednesday evening, the black-and-yellow Bugatti Veyron, a bumblebee of a race car, parked daily outside of Bijan on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and, emblazoned with Ettore Bugatti's initial logo, "EB," was drawing crowds as usual.

    In the plush interior of Solange Azagury-Partridge, a gem of a jewelry store, just down the hill, a glam Katharina Harf, near right, was hosting cocktails for DKMS, a center which has registered 2.6 million bone-marrow donors worldwide.

    Colorful rings that resembled lips glimmered in a glass display case. And Zooey Deschanel, above right, in a Valentino dress with a glittering gold pattern soon joined the party. Over wee hors d'oeuvres in puffed pastry, wine and sparkling water, Harf mentioned that she founded DKMS in Germany after losing her mother to leukemia.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Countdown to Oscars, Global Green Pre-Oscar Party and More

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    RSVIP: Countdown to Oscars, Global Green Pre-Oscar Party and More originally appeared on Luxist on Fri, 25 Feb 2011 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    viola davisDay Three: Phew, the Academy Awards week checklist is complete. RSVIP picked up our coveted credentials for the Kodak Center red carpet and a parking pass for the Elton John fete. We also gathered our credentials for Saturday's irreverent Independent Spirit Awards, which will take place in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

    At 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 24, RSVIP took a quick right off Sunset Boulevard up the palm-lined driveway of the Beverly Hills Hotel, and an efficient attendant in a polo shirt commandeered my rental car.

    Downstairs, by the leafy patio, a slenderized Jennifer Hudson had her adorable baby in tow during arrivals at the 2011 Essence Magazine Black Women in Hollywood Awards luncheon. Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, and Viola Davis were also being honored.

    "This is very important to me," Davis, right, told RSVIP concerning the event. "Black women need to be acknowledged as often as possible," she said. "There's the business of deprivation of roles, and even when we've done roles, they often seem to be roles that aren't fleshed out."

    Continue reading RSVIP: Oscar Countdown, Essence Black Women in Hollywood Lunch and More

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    RSVIP: Oscar Countdown, Essence Black Women in Hollywood Lunch and More originally appeared on Luxist on Sat, 26 Feb 2011 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    amy adamsDay Four: Skipped my first event. Oscar week in Hollywood is an endurance contest. For every party RSVIP attends, there are five more equally deserving ones. And of all the very special invites RSVIP receives, some go well beyond an ordinary envelope and printed card, especially during Tinseltown's busiest week.

    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.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Oscar Countdown, Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktails at Soho House

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    RSVIP: Oscar Countdown, Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktails at Soho House originally appeared on Luxist on Sun, 27 Feb 2011 08:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    john watersDay Five: The countdown is complete. Saturday, for reporters, the day before the Academy Awards, began at 9:00 a.m. at Santa Monica Beach. Public parking lot 5, reserved for the press, was a half-mile walk to the behemoth lunch tent pitched beside the beach. Wind off the ocean bit hard. Even towering palm trees looked cold as their branches whipped in gusts that littered Ocean Avenue with browning fronds.

    The tent for the Film Independent Spirit Awards was a white plastic Quonset hut the size of an office complex. A crane huddled beside the white plastic structure that rippled in the wind. But apparently it was strong enough to hold the man standing on it three stories in the air, drawing a rope over the top.

    Driving wind cut across the choppy surf, accumulating fine sand on the cement bike path. In our bones, we could feel the raw, salty proximity to the briny sea. One foreign female journalist in a short black sequined dress had goose bumps on her legs that resembled hives.
    Waiting while staffed dried rain that had poured into the tent the night before, the press struggled for an hour in the bitter chill.

    By 11:00 a.m.,the gray carpet arrivals corridor was flanked on one side by metal stanchions and a thousand journalists. Open at both ends it had flaps cut into the side facing the Pacific, creating a mild wind-tunnel.

    "I love the weather," said director John Waters, above, a host at previous events, wearing Comme des Garcon and pants decorated with camouflage paint. "It's like a face lift." Actor Rainn Wilson, too, said he was relaxed "not to be hosting this time."

    Continue reading RSVIP: Oscar Countdown: 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards

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    academy awards red carpetDateline Hollywood: At the Golden Globes this year, Julianne Moore stopped on the red carpet to inform RSVIP that Bruce Cohen, the co-producer of this season's Academy Awards, who won an Oscar himself for producing "American Beauty," wanted this reporter on the red carpet at his Oscars. "He's really trying," she said.

    The Backstory: I won't give the year, but in High School, back in Falls Church, Virginia, Cohen introduced me to his close friend, then known as Julie (nee Smith), a sweet redheaded sophomore. We went on exactly one date, Homecoming. Bruce was always the hyper-organized one, who made all the posters for class elections. At Yale, we were in the same film class. As RSVIP practically lives on the red carpet, I have run into both him and Julie (now Julianne Moore) every few months over the past 20 years.

    And on Oscar Sunday, Februry 27, true to his word, Cohen invited RSVIP inside the world's largest red-carpet media bubble.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Notes From the Academy Awards Red Plush and More

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    After a frenetic Oscar week, RSVIP simply wanted to languish in a tropical plunge pool, right. Call it kismet, but a birthday-fete invite arrived from a college pal, former Democratic National Committee Chair Joe Andrew, husband of America's first female ambassador to Costa Rica, Anne Slaughter Andrew.

    The Obama-appointed ambassador, a font of Indiana-spun charm, is a formidable advocate of biodiversity, a former environmental lawyer, and an entrepreneur. At her current post, when she isn't glued to her BlackBerry or being whisked off by her security detail, she spends 16 hours a day at chess like diplomacy.

    Friday afternoon, a breath of jungle steam greeted RSVIP as the cabin door of my Taca Airline flight opened at San Jose International Airport. After a bumpy, 20-minute taxi shuttle through gumdrop volcanic hills, we puttered up to the Real Intercontinental Hotel in Escazu, a chichi suburb of San Jose, Costa Rica. A cacophony of parrots in palm fronds screeched overhead. A five-story lobby and a kickboxing session at the spa overlooked two attractive pools with a throbbing water feature. Views were complemented by an, ahem, $41 Mexican buffet and a Factory Steak and Lobster restaurant with tables facing the pool. A nearby mall boasts a Givenchy boutique, but good luck crossing the street at rush hour.

    Continue reading RSVIP: Dinner with an Astronaut and Fireworks in Costa Rica

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    Emmy Rossum Yves Saint Laurent Met OperaRossini never wrote love music more lovely than the score of "Le Comte Ory" (1828), a comic opera which debuted at The Metropolitan Opera in New York on Thursday. But Yves Saint Laurent creative director Stefano Pilati was responsible for the cavalcade of fashion on the gala's jet-black arrivals carpet.

    The set: the icy chill of a tented quarter-mile hallway leading to the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 24.

    The story onstage at the Met: love, identity confusion, and some cross-dressing in the 19th century. Met director Bartlett Sher has described "Le Comte Ory" as "a place where love is dangerous. People get hurt."

    "That can be very funny and very painful," quips Sher.

    Let the media coverage begin!

    Continue reading RSVIP: Fashion Sings at Yves Saint Laurent-Sponsored Met Opera Gala

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    RSVIP: Fashion Sings at Yves Saint Laurent-Sponsored Met Opera Gala originally appeared on Luxist on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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