more real Oscar week
The pre-award prep and primp sessions may be
pared down, but Elyse Glickman and Leyla Messian discover
spirits are as high as ever in Hollywood. This year’s film and talent
nominees represent a renewed commitment to quality and social consciousness,
as did the gatherings intended to celebrate their accomplishments
TWO THOUSAND AND NINE IS the first
year in recent memory where people around us were seemed more genuinely
interested in how celebrities performed on film and in music than
what how they and their entourages were pampered before their big
day of reckoning or recognition.
Singing in the rain
Fittingly enough, the über-cool Xbox 360 video game headlined
Distinctive Asset’s 51st Annual Grammy Awards Gift Lounge. True
to tradition, hard rains arrived in time for DA’s
signature event, making arriving at and parking near Staples Center
a challenge, as Mother Nature does every year. However, those who
braved the elements were richly rewarded with fresh and fanciful
summery jewellery from MiSiS, wonderful gemstone-adorned sterling
silver and 18 ct gold wardrobe staples from Lorenzo, and cool sets
of rain gear from California company DAV
(which were promptly put to good use by grateful guests who braved
The healthy Japanese lifestyle was well represented
through Ninapharm Skincare for men and women and detoxifying health
supplements from Health Carbon Pure. Skin care expert Janet Harris
(who authored a chapter in Robin ‘Mrs Dr Phil’ McGraw’s What’s
Age Got to Do with It?) provided additional advice and guidance.
Celebs such as Jennifer Hudson, Kid Rock, Sheila E., Kate Beckinsale,
Jack Black, Kathy Griffin, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers
and Miley Cyrus lingered in the suite to test out hot new interactive
games Lips, and MTV Games’
and Harmonix’s Rock Band 2. Gunnar Optics and Solstice were
back on the scene, treating the VIPs
to protective eyewear, while Chi was distributing hair-protecting
style tools with a little something extra—tattoo motifs and Swarovski
Though Distinctive Assets’ crew, shortly after the
Grammys, put out the word that their equally anticipated Everybody
Wins at the Oscars Basket was soon on its way, nominees and
presenters walked away from DA’s always-fabulous
Grammy event triumphantly with a garden of delights: items from
Lionessa, Catdaddy, Christopher Michael Chocolates, Giacini Atelier,
Lust & Gore Hardwear, Ilike organic skin care, the Sports Club/LA,
Altoids, Matrix, Heelskinz, Dr Fresh, Binaca, La Costa Resort &
Spa, iFly Hollywood, LA Dodgers, YSL,
NikiBiki, ideeli.com, SkinIT!, nekFIT,
Addis English & Associates, Jennie & Vera’s Cookies, the
Huntley Hotel, Corner Bakery Café, Amazon Thunder, Wheatware,
FilterForGood, Johnny Rockets, Kiwi, Discreet Chic, L’Essentiel,
Lemon, Freehands Gloves, magicJack, EarthLust, Zico, and Lucy.
Nirvana in Tibet
Asia Cruise, Raz B, Katie Gill, Lara Johnston, Alexandra Leighton,
Kimberly Cole, Yuval David, Jennifer Sciole, Kelli Rénée,
Kelvin Brown, Michael Kaliski, Jason Farmer and Rachelle Carson,
meanwhile, sought and found enlightenment and great green fashion
musts at the second annual Green with Music, created by veteran
Hollywood publicists Beverly Visty-Doman and John Forrester. While
their goal was ‘to further public awareness of going green
by educating and influencing artists to make a stand, make a change
and give back to the environment,’ they found a creative new way
to get the word out about eco-friendly living. Visty-Doman and Forrester
transported Grammy nominees and other invitees to the Himalayas
in the heart of Koreatown!
Amid the harmonious strains of the day’s awesome soundtrack,
MC Yogi’s Elephant Power (which would
go home with the guests), fruits ripe for the picking included Crystal
Rock clothing (what would award show suites be without at least
one representation of Christian Audigier’s empire?), KisClean organic
cleaning solutions, Rickshaw bags and handy Envirosax. There were
treatments from Spa Tibet to feed the soul as well as wholesome
treats (Café Gratitude, Ghalia Organic Desserts and Comfort
Bar, Tommy Bahama Rum and Eel River Organic Brewing Company) to
feed the body.
Best short subjects
Though a recent cocktail party and tasting event for Cabana Cachaca
wasn’t officially part of the Oscar Week festivities, it was literally
a taste of things to come. The event was elegantly staged in the
Bazaar lounge of the SLS Hotel, currently
the city’s it boutique hotel, something all of the city’s
top event planners were keenly aware of. As bartenders spun heady,
flavourful cocktails and caipirhina sorbet, Cabana’s master distiller
was on hand to discuss what made his adaptation of the classic Brazilian
spirit a luxurious sipping experience.
The savvy Vancouver-based publicity team behind the
Ole Henricksen spas, knowing how hectic suites with spa services
could be, had the foresight to treat the press to what celebrities
would be offered at the GBK at 2009’s
official pre-party central, the SLS
Hotel. As guests were expected to include high-calibre talent (Helen
Mirren, Forest Whitaker and Leonardo di Caprio were past attendees),
it was indeed a smart move to make writers on deadline feel special
ahead with the decadent and newly launched Universal Contour Wrap
(UCW), a detoxifying inch-loss treatment.
The treatment is a serious time commitment, involving being wrapped
in 25 to 30 elasticized bandages that pre-soaked in a warm, mineral-rich
clay solution. The combination promises to sculpt and tone the body,
while the natural minerals absorb into the skin and the clay draws
out toxins. While some treatments are worth it simply for the indulgence
factor, our jeans did fit a lot better in the days that followed.
Barcelona’s Natura Bisse teamed up with Brazil’s H.
Stern Oscar Suite for another intimate, crowd-free retreat. Suite
810 was transformed into a retreat that combined H. Stern’s Rio
archives and showroom with some of the sets of Woody Allen’s Sleeper.
All whimsy aside, there were some serious gems to be borrowed. Taraj
P. Henson’s stylist was hard at work picking some choice pieces
for the Best Supporting Actress’s (Mysterious Case of Benjamin
Button) public appearances, while a small handful of journalists
were also afforded the luxury of trying on some of the world’s most
coveted baubles. Natura Bisse’s team kept the indulgent experience
going, escorting guests into the futuristic bubbles filled with
purified air for body and facial treatments. The body massage and
exfoliation was a lovely earthy experience where the product was
removed with a magnet leaving silky skin behind, as lavender wafted
through the air. Guests were then sent out happy, with charming
gold H. Stern studs, a fantastic leather jewellery pouch and some
Natura Bisse treats for the road.
Fashion publicist Marilyn Heston and her MHA
Media team were once again front and centre of pre-Oscar Festivities.
While their events, given current conditions, were scaled back in
comparison to recent past seasons, they maintained the elegance
and sophistication that has enabled them to be Oscar week fashion
mainstays. The Wednesday before the big night, the ladies staged
a swanky gathering for Swarovski at the Thompson Hotel’s very popular
Bond Street rooftop area. The area was set up like a fashion-toned
art gallery, where the fashion-focused guests (including Petro Zillia
founder Nony Totchterman) could admire Swarovski-adorned costumes
from recent films and jewellery as the noshed on sublime sushi and
Asian nibbles and washed it all down with sparkling sake-tinis.
By day, Team Marilyn brought A-listers and the journalists
who love them an early summer glow at West Hollywood’s Kinara Spa.
After a vigorous tropical flavoured body scrub, new-and-improved
San Tropez Tan products were meticulously sprayed, layered and sent
home with glowing guests.
Other entrepreneurs taking advantage of the opportunity
to show off their beauty essentials included Val Harding with her
haute Halcyon Blue bath line (known as Serendipity in Australia
and New Zealand) packaged for nominees and VIPs
in a fab leather case.
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Above, from top: At Chi: Miley Cyrus. Grammy winner Ne-Yo.
Kate Beckinsale. Kid Rock. American Idols Justin Guarini
and Kimberly Caldwell. Below: This takes the cake. Stuart
Weitzmans latest collection. Seacret from Israel, at Bergman
and Talberts suite at La Bohème.