Aside from yesterday being President’s Day, it was also the start of a very important week in Los Angeles: Oscar Week. From now until Sunday, the town will be abuzz with celebrities, movies, traffic, and all things glamour as the world shifts its gaze to our city to see what the best movies of the past year were. Last night, we began our first foray into Oscardom with Vanity Fair’s 20th anniversary celebration of their Vanities feature. We stepped into the looking glass for the first time last night and, boy, is it pretty (and pink!).
Held at Siren Studios on Sunset and hosted by Juicy Couture and Vanity Fair along with actress Shailene Woodley, and Krista Smith of Vanity Fair, we arrived to a nice, very subtle valet, after we did a somewhat frantic U-turn before the Sunset Gower Studio. We exited out of our scuffy black 2001 Volkswagen New Beetle, undoubtedly the only car of that variety at the event, to see blank faced paparazzos giving us a “Who dat?” look. We didn’t have a nip slip or a precariously held baby to grab their attention: we slid by like ghosts. An iPad holding young lady checked us off of her digital guest list and we walked past a nice VF Fiat, a surprisingly tiny red carpet, and a few people talking on cellular phones looking very stressed out. Despite passing a literally buttoned up Anna Kendrick, a red Hayden Panettiere (who I almost stuttered, “”I LOVED YOU IN SCREAM 4!!!!!” to), and that crazy girl from American Horror Story, our concerns were to ask a beefy man “Are there stairs we can take? Elevators scare us.” This was silenced when the giant elevator doors opened to reveal a pink bar. Yes, the elevator had a bar in it..
We grabbed a quick Sophia mini-can from the elebartender and exited like the movie stars that we weren’t to a dazzling look at the Hollywood skyline. A few celebrities walked by (unbeknownst to us because they looked so…normal?) and we soaked up all the pinkness because, yes, Juicy Couture was one of the hosts and, yes, they love (L O V E) bright pink.
We drifted from the patio to the actual party area, where we noticed Stephen Merchant is a giant, that Robert “I LOVED YOU IN JACKIE BROWN!!!” Forster was also in attendance, and that it was like a cast reunion for selected alumni of The Office. The place was packed with lots of black tie people, which we were not (we played it California Cool with untucked shirts and ties and nice jeans), along with very busy, slightly in your face, service people who handed out drinks and food with a wink of an eye. A slideshow of past and present Vanities features played on the wall in the opposite corner from a photo booth, which we quickly learned is a love everyone shares, even if the paps’ take your photos every time you leave your house. The booth was hosted by The Digital Photobooth and was incredibly easy to use and printed photos sooooo, soooo, sooooooooo fast (to which I asked the person manning the table, “Oh my Lord, what is that printer???”).
One thing we were not expecting at all (but should have expected) were lots of goodies littered about the place. If you went to the bathroom, there were L’Oréal Hydra-Energetic Eye Rollers for you to take. If you hit certain cocktail tables, you were greeted with the latest issue of Vanity Fair, arranged in organized little stacks for you to take. And, when you got in your car, there was even a little bag waiting for you with a Juicy box and a Comic Sans emblazoned stainless steel water bottle from All It Takes, Ms. Woodley’s new charity.
Yes, my dears, we got gift-bombed in our black 2001 Volkswagen New Beetle by Juicy Couture. I don’t know if anyone else was as surprised or excited as we were about all this, but we definitely were. We definitely were walking around with this face for much of the night, mini-can in hand. You can take a look at the spoils below, along with all 238423894723 of the photos we took of ourselves and friends.
A few things to also note. First, the party definitely was distinctly not Los Angeles even though it is the most LA thing we have ever done. We Tweeted this last night, but it truly did feel like we were in New York. Not that that is a bad or good thing, it just didn’t feel like here. Maybe it was just really grown up or dressier than we are used to or slightly stuffier because of the celebrities–we have no idea. We felt like little kids who were exposed to a fantasy world for a night, told to have fun and mind our manners. Everyone seemed very “business-y” and like grabbing a drink was a life or death decision. This very well may be the case as it was surely business for a lot of Hollywood people and life or death with drinks for ingenues.
The other big item to note was that, regardless of what industry you are in, you will run into people you know at these Hollywood parties. Aside from our buddies at Vanity Fair, we ran into people we had literally had dinner with before (who incidentally were heading to the same party) along with our upstairs neighbors who apparently do PR for celebrities. Moreover, there were lots of “You look very familiar…?” people who were regular “not celebrity” partygoers. The most surprising thing about all of this was that we ended up making lots of friends and putting our business cards to good use. Who knew?!?
The most important thing we took away from the event, which was a very The More You Know moment, is that celebrities really are normal. They get awkward at parties, they laugh, they squint at other people, they have private conversations, etc., etc., etc. The most remarkable thing, aside from behavior, was how everyone looked: normal. Like, super, super normal. No one there was strikingly beautiful or breathtakingly ravishing: everyone looked normal. Even if they were in some fancy Marchesa gown, they looked like some lady dressed in Marchesa at a party. It was one of those “Huh.” situations.
Please Note: This may and likely will change over the course of the week. Also, please note, paparazzos are super normal, too, as I had a quick conversation with one as I left (and even got his phone number, which he tore from a magazine on the ground! I AM LIVING THE DREAM!!!).
Vanity Fair’s 20 Years of Vanities party was a great introduction to the world of Oscar Week. We’re looking forward to what else they are going to throw our way and will take it head on. Bring on bigger celebrities, crazier drink concoctions, brighter colors, fancier photo booths, bigger red carpets, normaler paparazzi people–we’re ready!
Party photos courtesy of Vanity Fair and Getty Images.