On March 4, The Wallis will be transformed into a multimillion dollar setting for the annual Vanity Fair Oscar party. Designed and produced by the innovative Sara Marks, longtime director of the magazine’s special projects.
Invitations were mailed this week. No “plus one.” Several hundred are promised dinner with 3,500 (!) arriving afterward for In-N-Out burgers. In France, after-dinner guests are considered “toothpicks.” A putdown? Go figure.
Whatever, it’s a coveted invitation for Oscar night.
Vanity Fair’s new editor-in-chief Radhika Jones is hosting. Missed will be Anna Wintour, Conde Nast’s artistic director for all magazines in its publishing empire. Additionally serving as the editor-in-chief of Vogue. Anna will be covering the designer collections in Paris.
Former Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter launched the Oscar party in 1994 at the original Morton’s in West Hollywood.
Resigning in September of last year, he will be in the South of France developing his secret media venture.
A Columbia graduate with a Ph.D., majoring in English and comparative literature, Radhika, 44, has an impressive literary résumé.
She comes to Vanity Fair after serving as the editorial director of The New York Times book department for the past year, deputy managing editor of Time magazine responsible for editing special issues such as Time’s Person of the Year. And the Time’s 100. Prior to that, an editor with The Paris Review.
Radhika’s salary is one-quarter the paycheck of Graydon’s.
Oscar weekend proliferates with parties, and for those of us who have bounced around the Hollywood carousel, nothing compares with Ed Limato’s annual Friday evening kick-off of the weekend at his memorial estate off Coldwater Canyon. The powerful agent at WME, Ed, who represented Denzel Washington, Mel Gibson and others, opened his huge property with its vast lawn and pool house to more than 500 friends and the Who and Who of our company town. Gossiping and laughing a lot while dining on Along Came Mary’s beckoning buffets. Some of us visited in the kitchen with his mom Angelina, who eyed us all with a wary gaze.
We christened Ed “The Barefoot Host in the Versace Shirt,” with Donatella Versace Fed-Exing new custom designs for him to wear as her gifts.
One could count on Garydon Carter, drink in hand, and wife Anna Carter, schmoozing with the glamorous guests.
Graydon commented that hosting Vanity Fair’s Oscar-night was rather like being the maitre d’hotel in a dining room meeting and greeting guests.
Nothing more elegant than wining and dining at home, and Ed’s estate, designed and built by Dick Powell in the 30s for wife Joan Blondell, merited coverage in Architectural Digest.
Wolfgang Puck hosted a sensational annual Oscar night at Spago, with Irving “Swifty” Lazar his Major General in command. A born salesman and tough native of Brooklyn, Swifty found a niche as a literary agent, representing bestseller authors, who claimed he never read their books. But Swifty knew how to hustle hot bucks from publishers.
A colorful Tinsel Town character, Swifty called everyone “kiddo.”
“Easier,” he said, “than remembering their names.”