The Oscars weekend 2013
Arriving in Los Angeles for the Oscars 2013 weekend is like flying into the eye of a tornado. Novices need not apply! I have covered many Oscars over the years when I lived in LA and so am quite a pro. Even though I am not an actress or involved in the movie business so to speak, everything about the weekend needs military planning – not only organising the dresses and the jewels but also making sure that your name is on endless lists! No name, no entry.
Our first night was mellow as our good friend Richard Sachs, whose houseguest was gallerist Tim Jefferies, had invited us to the brand spanking new Nobu. Everything about it was amazing – the food was superb and our table was right next to a roaring fire. I felt like an excited school girl when I spotted Adele having dinner with her man right next to us. I managed somehow to refrain from going over! Kelsey Grammer and his British blonde were also having a bite – in between lots of cooing…
The following night was the opening of the Richard Prince “Cowboy” show at the grand Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. The gallery is enormous (warehouse style) and was absolutely rammed with the bold and the beautiful of LA. Bad boy photographer Terry Richardson, in his trademark flannel shirt, was schmoozing and we said a brief hello to the petite China Chow and actor Jared Leto. Red Hot Chilli Pepper front man Anthony Keidis was seemingly very keen on one of the pieces. We finally found our good friend Giancarlo Giammetti and Tim Jefferies and decided to walk the couple of blocks to the private dinner at Mr Chows. King of the contemporary art world Larry Gagosian is a serious host and had taken over the entire restaurant. It was an amazing group, Mario Testino, Elton John with husband David Furnish and the divine actress Virginia Madsen with our great friend Robert Kass. We squeezed onto the table and met the cool PC Valmorbida (more about him later) and a willowy blonde called Jessica Hart. We ate so many scrumptious dim sum and some nutty noodles! Deciding we couldn’t afford a late night so early in the week, we said our thank yous to Larry and bumped into a very jolly Ronnie Sassoon.
Up bright and early with a touch of jet lag Giorgio and I headed to the beautiful Bel Air hotel where we hiked way up into the hills for a couple of hours! I had promised my great girlfriend, the designer Tracey Ross, that I would swing by her new project as a consultant for “Just One Eye” – the most gorgeous new store in Hollywood. It’s a one-stop store where jewellery and art and serious clothes all mix tantalisingly together. Temptation was everywhere and so I had a quick catch up with LA’s flower genius Eric Butterbaugh who I haven’t seen forever and met the owner of the store Paola Russo. My friend Victoria Hervey was stuck at the decadent desserts and champagne bar or was it the off-the-chart good looking waiters?? Either way, we had to get out fast…
We were being beautifully looked after by team Valentino and their little lunch at Cecconi’s was a chic affair. Normandie Keith has made LA her home and was looking so happy and healthy as she told us she had become a yoga teacher. Alexandra Von Furstenberg also joined us with her fiancé, the dashing Dax Miller. Peggy Segal, the walking who’s who of New York society was in great form as Giancarlo made us make our predictions for the Oscars.
One of the most beautiful annual Oscar parties is hosted by producer and media mogul Barry Diller and his wife the designer Diane von Furstenberg. We were taken by team Valentino and luckily for us the sun shone and the legendary BBQ was at its very best. We bumped into many friends and I had a funny chat to Richard Buckley, Tom Ford’s partner, about small children on flights. I deduced their flight over had not been an easy one! Naomi Campbell arrived fresh from her TV show The Face and was saying how great all her girls she is mentoring are. I was rather taken with the beautiful young Australian model Jessica Hart, who turned out to be the squeeze of shipping heir Stavros Niarchos and a Victoria Secret’s model.
Hugh Jackman and his cool wife Debbie were en masse with all their families in tow. He is just so charming and self-effacing, it’s quite incredible. Nona Summers, the legend, was in great form as we chatted about the latest Instagram craziness. British blondes, Laura Bailey and Amanda De Cadenet were enjoying the sun with Livia Firth and I must admit it was quite a treat to see legendary lotharios Warren Beatty and George Hamilton both having fun. Puff Daddy arrived with his bestie Lucas White. The whole afternoon was like a glorious scene out of a movie.
Again we headed home full of fun memories – a quick shower and we were back out for the Mario Testino show at the equally fabulous Prism Gallery. A major shout out to PC Valmorbida and Jared Najjar who own the Gallery. It was brilliant! I have never seen so many gorgeous girls in one room. Right in the middle, with flashbulbs everywhere, was Mario Testino himself. Supermodels Gisele Bundchen (Mario’s co-host) and Alessandra Ambrosio were zipping around and agent Omar Alberto who is drop dead gorgeous himself was there with LA fixture Todd Gordon and I was just thrilled to see them again. British dandy and fashion editor Hamish Bowles was elegant as ever and my old friend Victoria Brynner was snapping away. Liberty Ross was looking gorgeous and an old favourite Hollywood face of mine, actress Marisa Tomei, was in much demand for private iphone pics. I finally found fellow Brits Victoria Hervey and producer Julia Verdin who had been laden with free tequila! Stavros Niachos and Jessica now in a green lace Valentino jumpsuit were adding some extra sparkle.
One of my favourite models from the 90’s, Carolyn Murphy, was there and she is breathtakingly beautiful. We bundled Robert Kass into our car and headed to Beverly Hills for the after party. They had taken “Fleur de Lys” (with Equipement and Dom Perignon) the exact replica of Versailles. It’s astonishing and we had been thrown a post-wedding party there by the owner Susanne Sapperstein five years ago. Once inside the party, it was spectacular. Emmanuele Filiberto and his actress wife Clotilde were the first friends we found.
Man-about-town Carlos Souza was flying the Brazilian flag and dancing like crazy. Night club supremo Amy Sacco appeared and we had a laugh about Giorgio’s rather too close for comfort hugging. Singer Miley Cyrus was definitely causing a stir but it was only when Mario took to the dance floor himself with Gisele that the party really took off! When people clocked her football-hero husband Tom Brady, the action near him really heated up. Model Angela Lindvall, another beauty, was trying to shake off some very unwanted attention. Finally for the girls art dealer Vito Schnabel was on hand as was my old friend actor Stephen Dorff. I took one look at my husband who has a slightly innocent crush on the divine model Poppy Delevigne and decided I needed to be firm, or boring as Giorgio refers to it, and head home.
All this and we haven’t even got to Oscar night! Exhausted and needing a rejuvenating facial or something, I did my make up one more time. I was wearing an exquisite, beaded Valentino evening gown. I felt a million dollars as we headed to Elton John’s famous Oscar Party. We had only been down the white carpet for a second when I found the legendary make-up artist to girls like Gwen Stefani, Gregory Arlt. He is a miracle man!
Elton and David Furnish have the art of throwing off-the-chart parties down to a fine tee. The whole party was washed over with pink lighting and I was incredibly excited to see Steve Tyler of Aerosmith. Aussie singer Natalie Imbruglia was at producer Diana Jenkins table and there in the middle of all these gorgeous girls was singer Chris Brown. Hollywood screen goddess Sharon Stone looked stunning with her new younger beau. Newly-weds Nick Candy and Holly Valance were in great spirits and she looked really Oscar-special in a Ralph & Russo silver number. I caught sight of Britney Spears and a newly blonde Rose McGowan. By far my favourite introduction was to the amazing photographer Ellen Von Unwerth. She is a classy cool blonde! The entertainment was by Scottish singer Emeli Sandé and she really did rock the room. It was of course supermodel Heidi Klum who stole the body show – four children have come from that tummy and it is perfect. She does Red Carpet glamour incredibly!
Lastly we were swept off to the afterparty of all afterparties – Madonna‘s. The fabulous Souza boys, Sean and Anthony had been flown in to start the music and we were so excited to see them up on the DJ deck. I was dying to take their photo but was swiftly informed “zero camera tolerance”! The house was beautiful and lit with a thousand twinkling tea lights. The dancing was like I have never seen before. It was wonderfully surreal and as for the rest, my lips are tightly sealed!
Over-the-top spoiling as the whole week has been, I can’t wait to get back to London – my favourite city in the world -and climb into my own bed…