Oscars Party Diary 2017: Inside The A List Parties And Events

10:50 p.m. On Vanity Fair's website, the magazine describes the annual event as "the world's most famous party," which is a very true assertion and one that helps to explain the traffic backed up down Burton Way in Beverly Hills, almost three blocks before the site of all the action inside a custom Basil Walter-designed space surrounding the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. It's a sea of giant black SUVs, one very out of place Los Angeles city bus, and my silver Toyota Prius, a Westside-approved vehicle that seems at home in Santa Monica but is just as irregular as the Metro monster in front of me.

11:01 p.m. The bus turns right instead of heading into the exclusive party, proving that Jimmy Kimmel's bus bit from the Oscars is not about to be replicated here. Translation: The Vanity Fair Oscar party is more exclusive than the actual Oscars.

11:15 p.m. Following close to a dozen checkpoints (10, maybe?) by Beverly Hills police, uniformed staffers and suit-clad security — all of whom are (gasp!) really, really friendly as they request to see a parking pass or ID — THR has arrived to the steps of the Wallis where a lively mariachi band is playing for guests as they enter. People dig it, you know, like the ones who've lined up at this very moment like Pharrell Williams and wife Helen Lasichanh (accompanied by uber publicist Amanda Silverman), Alessandra Ambrosio (in a siren red satin Ralph & Russo gown) and husband Jamie Mazur. I get in, marking my very first Vanity Fair Oscar party. Throughout the night, close to 1,000 guests will file in which sounds crazy when compared to how exclusive it feels to get past the velvet ropes.


My first time going to the big party after the other big party #vanityfair #Oscars

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11:17 p.m. Another security checkpoint as guests file through a metal detector. But not all guests are going upstream to party utopia: WME chief Ari Emanuel, with a cell phone glued to his ear, is exiting through the front. Past the red carpet, Katy Perry is spotted close to Orlando Bloom, and they look to be making their way toward the exit, too. (But not without stopping in Vanity Fair's portrait studio with iconic photographer Mark Seliger.)

11:24 p.m. It feels like the perfect time to be at the world's best party because the show lasted nearly four hours so many of the A-lists guests are still arriving while others have already planted their feet inside the giant structure where elbows are being bumped and couture dresses are being stepped on. It's not all chaos though: Host Graydon Carter is spotted weaving his way through the party after hosting an even more private viewing party, one that featured a dinner by French Laundry, Bouchon and Per Se star chef Thomas Keller. That event started in a circular dining room just off to the north of the main party sprawl. Back to the crush: Sarah Paulson is pawing at Emma Roberts' dress as the two discuss the delicate details of her long-sleeve gown, her second of the night after wearing vintage Armani as part of the Red Carpet Green Dress campaign. Over their shoulder, Reese Witherspoon is making a beeline to hug Paulson but stops immediately thereafter to laugh with Tracee Ellis Ross.

11:25 p.m. Someone bumps Diane Kruger in the elbow and quickly apologizes. As they should.

11:25 p.m. People say that what's great about the Vanity Fair party is that there are so many random encounters that qualify as "only in Hollywood"-type chats. Here's one: J.J. Abrams is having a long conversation with Megyn Kelly as her husband Douglas Brunt looks on. Once the convo is complete, Abrams turns to hug CAA power agent Kevin Huvane, who got a lot of camera time during the big show seated behind Meryl Streep.

11:27 p.m. Speaking of power agents, Witherspoon is now right next to her own CAA squeeze, husband Jim Toth, and they're laughing as a female pal shows them both pics on an iPhone. Over their shoulders, Bill Maher and Harvey Weinstein are standing back-to-back by the bar waiting to order drinks.

11:28 p.m. Starz chief Chris Albrecht is spotted walking through the packed party flanked by a sweet-looking tween.

11:28 p.m. Yes, in the same minute, filmmaker Paul Haggis is having a close conversation with Salman Rushdie.

11:32 p.m. OK, so Vanity Fair is known by that "world famous" distinction but one of the other buzzed about facts from this bash — aside from its seemingly endless A-list guest list — is the star menu item on the late night food menu. Servers are constantly toting trays of California's world famous burgers from In-N-Out. One server is stopped mid-party by pregnant Ciara (in a striking velvet gown and choker by Jovani Signature) who records a video of the goodies while hubby Russell Wilson stands next to her.

11:33 p.m. More photographic evidence: Diplo poses for a photo with Oscar honoree Jackie Chan as filmmaker Brett Ratner looks on.

11:34 p.m. Someone steps on Mindy Kaling's Naeem Khan gown, and they quickly apologize. As they should.

11:35 p.m. Apparently the Haim sisters are DJing and apparently they know what they're doing by playing Lauryn Hill's debut solo single "Doo Wop (That Thing)." Chan's Rush Hour pal Chris Tucker busts a move while Kat Graham joins in.

11:36 p.m. This part of the party is where its at: Chan is joined at the same sofa section by Mick Jagger and shoe god Christian Louboutin.

11:37 p.m. Kate Beckinsale, in a sheer Zuhair Murad with tulle pom poms on the shoulders, walks hand in hand with a male gentleman.

11:38 p.m. Time for a quick chat with filmmaker John Singleton, who is a Vanity Fair Oscar party veteran. "When Faye (Dunaway) announced the wrong winner — that was crazy. It was the best ending ever. Man, you couldn't make this stuff up." Singleton explains. "But it was beautiful when the actors came out and so graciously accepted." Singleton's face lit up even more when he waxed on about how VF manages such an insane event each year. "This is the party of all parties. People really let their hair down and make it happen. Where else can you see Mick and Jackie Chan at the same party?" Exactly.

11:40 p.m. Tween was right. Albrecht tells me a couple of fun facts. First, his date is 11-year-old step-daughter Sophie, and second, she's the best. "This is the most fun I've had in years because I get to experience this through her eyes," he beams.

11:41 p.m. James Corden, in black tux with red shawl lapels, greets Les Moonves and wife Julie Chen. The late night host and his boss start a close conversation.

11:44 p.m. Social media superstar and new Netflix reality series subject Cameron Dallas pops into their convo to say hello to Corden, who promptly introduces Dallas to Moonves. Les, meet Cam. Cam, Les.

11:47 p.m. Katie Couric and John Molner tell me they're having the best time ever. They've got pics to prove it. Molner busts out his phone to show off an image they got with rock legend Jagger. Meanwhile, Couric laughs while delivering a fashion revelation to a New York Post deputy editor: "I'm wearing the same dress I wore on my birthday. I'm like Kate Middleton," she declares. Recycling is always chic. (On that note, Vanity Fair teamed with food startup Copia and do-good actress Freida Pinto to donate remaining party food to those in need.) For the record, Couric turned 60 on Jan. 7 but could pass for the duchess' older sister. And she's still not above a proper fan-girl moment, tapping Jagger on the shoulder as he walks toward the exit responding to his, "I'm off," with, "Cheerio!"

11:48 p.m. Tweens just wanna have fun: Sophie is dancing by herself to Rihanna's "Work."

11:49 p.m. "The show was modest, but I loved the ending," says artist-photographer Jean Pigozzi, who is toting a small camera. "It's good they got it sorted out, but it was like Miss Universe. I think they did it on purpose." It's doubtful that conspiracy theory would hold up to accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers but Pigozzi could care less. What he's more into is snapping images of "pretty girls" and A-list friends. "I don't publish these but I just like to take them," he explains. His big get of the night? Jackie Chan.

11:51 p.m. Corden and Moonves are still chatting, sans Dallas.

11:52 p.m. Showtime chief Matt Blank tells me that he "really enjoyed the show but I felt bad for everybody. In the end, it will be good and everyone will be OK, but it's a shame to see that happen."

11:57 p.m. Molly Sims stands alone while waiting for producer hubby Scott Stuber who has scooted off to the men's room quickly, which is down a short flight of stairs on the west side of the venue. It's surprising to see Sims out looking so fresh and glamorous after giving birth seven weeks ago to her third child, a son named Grey Douglas Stuber. "If you're going to come out for one night and one night only, it's to come to the Vanity Fair Oscar party," she tells me. "I've been in my home for seven weeks in a robe and breast-feeding." And that's exactly what she was doing when the Oscar flub was announced during the best picture fiasco. But back to the party: "This is Hollywood at its finest, where old-school meets new-school." Stuber has just returned from the restroom and he gives a very old-school answer to the Academy's new-school debacle. "You just feel bad for everyone," he explains. "To me, it exemplified the real fact that all those people are winners tonight." 

12:02 p.m. Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, who must've arrived late after attending Amazon's own party at Delilah to celebrate the streaming services's first Academy Award wins ever, taking home three trophies. Bezos follows Stuber's lead to the men's restroom. Chris Evans is standing against the same wall where Sims was, waiting with his Oscar date, sister Shanna. The two are there for mere seconds as a staffer rushes over and hands them both a cocktail and quickly rushes away.

12:04 p.m. Jared Leto is holding court on the outdoor patio, dressed in a beanie, long red trench and dark pants with white piping. I don't ask, but I assume it's all by Gucci, because of course it is.

12:05 p.m. Sarah Silverman brushes by and stops for a second to stare at a bearded man she thinks is her friend. It's not. It's that same New York Post editor who shrugs his shoulders as she keeps moving.

12:08 p.m. Calvin Harris is also shrugging his shoulders further down the patio terrace while telling an animated story to a couple of male pals. Joe Jonas is over his shoulder as his buddy lights a cigar.

12:10 p.m. Nick Kroll walks outside which seems like a great time to congratulate him on his hilarious hosting turn at the Spirit Awards on Saturday. "Thank you so much," says the actor-comedian. From one host about another, what did he think of Jimmy Kimmel's debut Oscar stint? "I loved it. The show was well-paced, well-produced and well-done. I genuinely loved it and thought the Matt Damon bits were great and funny. Jimmy, being the consummate professional that he is, just brings it. Whether he's on his show or doing something like this, he's just good at it," gushes Kroll, who co-hosted the Spirit Awards with John Mulaney. One of their bits poked fun at Warren Beatty and went something like this: Beatty seems like he borrowed one too many of Danny DeVito's joints from an Altoids container. Or something like that. Either way, Kroll laughed that it probably came true. "It's funny that's how it ended up, because that may have happened," he said. On a more serious note, Kroll said late Sunday night seemed like the perfect time to "be at the Vanity Fair party with the current climate in the country because now is the time for the media elite to assemble and plan the conspiracy to overtake the future of America." Just kidding, that was a joke too, and a pretty good one.

12:21 p.m. Vin Diesel is talking to West Coast editor and Vanity Fair star Krista Smith not far from the entrance to the party. Seated nearby are Elton John and David Furnish, holding court on a sofa after hosting their own starry bash down the street in West Hollywood. They look relaxed after raising $7 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Best way to celebrate? Furnish is snacking on an In-N-Out burger while John chats up Patricia Arquette. One sofa over, Terence Howard is seated a few cushions away from Monica Lewinsky. Also giving their feet a rest: Shonda Rhimes and Cynthia Erivo. The Tony winner has just performed at the Governors Ball.

12:30 p.m. From the (real) best picture winner Moonlight, actor Ashton Sanders has arrived wearing a skirt and dark sunglasses. But the incognito look isn't enough to fool Kate Bosworth who practically tackles Sanders to congratulate him on the big night for Barry Jenkins' film. He later is seen posing with author and onetime Vanity Fair scribe Kevin Sessums who is in town from San Francisco for the party.

12:31 p.m. Diplo leads Kate Hudson by the hand as they rush through the party.

12:35 p.m. Jon Hamm looks like he wants to make a phone call but instead greets notable New Yorker Peggy Siegel. After the kiss hello, Hamm ducks outdoors where he spots Charlize Theron and the two hug and exchange words.

12:37 p.m. Hamm heads for the exit, which is lined by treats including Bouchon Bakery donuts, espresso and a special Uber-sponsored waiting area. The valet line — or waiting line for chauffeured cars — is just as starry as it was past the velvet ropes. All waiting for drivers are Salma Hayek, Beck, the Foster sisters, CAA's Michael Kives, and Nina Dobrev. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel make a quick exit and duck into a waiting car as Steve Tisch peeks his head in to say goodbye to the couple. Hamm talks to Beck. Sarah Paulson walks out hand in hand with Zachary Quinto but not before saying goodbye to Hudson, who is munching on warm donuts while clutching an energy drink. "Are you going to the other thing," Paulson asks. That's a yes from Hudson. The other thing is probably Madonna and Guy Oseary's after party because that's where most people are headed, unless of course those other people are journalists or photographers. Those aren't allowed. Translation: Time go home. No word on whether tweens are welcome. Sorry, Sophie.

Other attendees include Oscar winners Jenkins, Emma Stone, Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis along with Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon, Michelle Williams, Alicia Vikander, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, Janelle Monae, Trevante Rhodes, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Mariah Carey, Kerry Washington, Amy Adams, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Kate Upton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Judd Apatow, Lee Daniels, Miles Teller, Hailee Steinfeld, Caitlyn Jenner, Larry Gagosian, Vito Schnabel, Rufus Wainwright, Microsoft’s Paul Allen, Rupert Murdoch, Demi Lovato, Irving Azoff, Quincy Jones and Elon Musk. 

— Reporting by Chris Gardner

Source : http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/oscars-party-diary-2017-inside-a-list-parties-events-978690

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