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Maria Menouunos

Pre-Oscar® Events

The pre-Oscar® events are where the Oscar® buzz starts! Luxury suites abound in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, where the power players of LA indulge themselves. The VIPS include celebrities, their publicists and entourages, stylists, the press, and whoever else is lucky enough to get an invite. The nominees and the partygoers on Oscar® night all avail themselves of the freebie swag, manicures/pedicures/ massages, facials, champagne, and even one-on-one free personal training. The suites have come to represent what show biz is about; glitz, glamour, photographers and celebrities. POWER had them covered.

From million dollar jewelry, diamond couture clothing, to three-inch jeweled designer pumps, the designers all showed their style and creativity to the famous and the powerful. At the same time, the pampering, (facials, massages, even foot reflexology) was in full swing.

At the posh Peninsula Hotel, Hollywood favorite shoe designer, Jimmy Choo, held court. Choo counts Nicole Kidman and Catherine Zeta-Jones as fans. Famed stylist Philip Bloch (he styles Halle Berry) and NBC’s star actress Marsha Thomason of Las Vegas came to view, as did Spago chef Wolfgang Puck, who once again catered the Governor’s Ball. James Bond’s 007 Pierce Brosnan peeked in while waiting for his wife, Keely Shaye, to view the collection. Perrier Jouet made sure that their famous champagne flowed.

The reigning king of the red carpet, Stuart Weitzman, showed off his elegant styles. Weitzman is well-known amongst celebrities for his shocking jeweled million dollar shoes that he designs especially for each red carpet. This year, Grammy award-winning singer Alison Kraus wore a stiletto sandal with an invisible heel adorned with more than 500 diamonds by KWIAT set in pure platinum. The shoes would sell for US $2 million dollars. As Weitzman says, “Cinderella’s fantasy shoe has finally become a reality.” Celebs like Oscar® nominees Marcia Gay Harden and Patricia Clarkson, as well as actresses Vivica Fox and Maria Bello all stopped in to wear Stuart. He sells in over 50 countries. Ona Spa shared the suite with Stuart, giving the stars and stylists foot massages and pedicures.

Also at Le Meridien was rising New York-based dress designer Randi Rahm. She, along with the Natural Color Diamond Association, came up with a multi-million dollar gown, emblazoned with 2,000 carats of marquis-cut stones worn by Entertainment Tonight host Maria Menounos. Actress Vivica Fox also wore a jeweled gown to all the Oscar® events. Randi’s stylish, yet offbeat creations are quickly catching on in Hollywood.

Taryn Rose, an Oprah favorite, also had a suite at Le Meridien. Taryn, a former orthopedic surgeon, created a line that is rapidly gaining followers among the celebrities and power players. Known for comfort, stylishness and glam, she is making her mark with her store in Beverly Hills. She sells all over the country as well. Angela Bassett is one of the many fans of Taryn’s shoes.

Also at Le Meridien was Damone Roberts, the ‘eyebrow king,’ Moo Roo Handbags (Sharon Stone is a devotee) Blue Dot Clothing, Bats Daughter, Rafinity jewels, 2 Awesome jewelry, Z.Bigatti skin care, Christian Tse jewelry and Londonbased Shizue Handbags.

The famed Hollywood hotel, the Chateau Marmont, played host to the Autore pearls collection, an Australian-based company that combines pearls and million dollar jewels. Their elegance has been worn by Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

The sexy line of Cosabella gifted their famous lingerie. Skin care guru Mario Badescu, gave guests relaxing facials. The elegant French line of cosmetics, Bourjois, known for their colorful mascaras, made up the faces of Nicky Hilton and Angela Bassett.
At the elegant Beverly Hills hotel, the L’Ermitage, where Julia Roberts and Sting prefer to stay, the On the Rocks suite provided VIPS with million dollar jewels and lavish facials from some of Madonna’s trainers at the Roxbury Pilates spa.

Frederic Fekkai had his own suite at this Beverly Hills salon on Rodeo Drive. Best Actress nominee, 14 year-old nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes, received a new 'do, as well as actresses Shannon Elizabeth and Rosanna Arquette. Fekkai does the tresses of Everybody Loves Raymond’s Patricia Heaton, Will and Grace’s Debra Messing, Liv Tyler, and Kim Basinger. Fekkai made his name first in New York at 25 and has now expanded to LA and beyond. Chanel made up the VIPS in their classic style.

The famed New York and London based Soho House took over the old W.C. Fields mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Robert Fountain, event architect, transformed every room into an extravagant foray of festivity. The Soho House hosted Cowshed, the hot British skin care company that gave massages to everyone from the Hilton sisters to Elton John. Shimura cosmetics made up the celeb faces, and clothing/ bag designer Ferragamo gifted the celebs with his handbags. Camp Freddy, a hip, Hollywood rag tag rock group, which counts Carmen Electra’s hubby, Dave Navarro as one of it’s members, started off the week with a performance that included guest singers like Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Macy Gray and actresses Juliette Lewis, Sharon Stone, Kirstin Dunst, Angela Bassett and Kim Catrell danced in the specially decorated ballroom, which had been transformed from a tennis court.

Upon arrival at the private W Magazine retreat, handsome waiters served as a welcoming party, offering a glass of champagne to accompany the breathtaking views of Los Angeles. Clarins skin care, personal trainer and best-selling author David Kirsch and hair guru Paul Mitchell provided the pampering. Leslie Greene’s chic diamond jewelry was showcased for Oscar® attendee’s to select from. Cadillac was the car of the week. They picked up the VIPs. Shawn King, Larry King’s wife and an accomplished singer in her own right and Irena Medavoy, activist and wife of Hollywood producer Mike Medavoy, were there to glam it up. Donna Estes Antebi, American Beauty’s Thora Birch, The OC’s Samaire Armstrong and actresses Monet Mazer, Rosanna Arquette, and Lisa Marie also enjoyed this luxurious environment.

TMG’s Luxury Suite at the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills was transformed into a Moroccan getaway. Famed hairstylist Cristophe has salons in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Washington, D.C., and St. Barts. Kelly Preston, Pamela Anderson, Kelly LeBrock, Kate Hudson, Nicky Hilton all come in to the salon in Beverly Hills and get their tresses done by Cristophe’s protégée, Mateo Herreros. St. Tropez self-tanned the VIPS and Rene Furter did scalp treatments. MD skin care did facials: one for Larry David’s wife, who was eight months pregnant and another for Cheryl Hines. Teeth whitenings, courtesy of Beverly Hills dentist Dr. Michael Schneider, were also offered to the stars. The innovative, stylish jewelry was by Michael Beaudry. Alterna hair care served caviar and did their signature Kaviar hair treatments as well.

So for the famous, rich and powerful, the pre-Oscar® suites were the place to be. POWER will be sure to cover next year’s special events as well.

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