The long weekend of Grammy festivities in Los Angeles kicked off Thursday night with a girl fest at the 3rd Annual Peapod Foundation Benefit at Avalon. The Black Eyed Peas concert drew Mary J. Blige, Eve, India.Arie and Hollywood wives Jamie Tisch and Crystal Lourd, who sang along to every song. The next night at the same spot, Justin Timberlake hosted a medley concert to launch JT-TV, his own mobile channel on Verizon Wireless. Co-host Rolling Stone magazine drew musicians Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, James Blunt, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Whitestarr, Maroon 5 and Perry Farrell, while hype drew celeb “singers” Nick Lachey, Paris Hilton, JC Chasez and Taryn Manning, as well as actors Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson and Emile Hirsch. On Saturday, the crowd got dressier for Clive Davis’ annual black-tie bash at the Beverly Hills Hotel — the only night of the party-go-round when men weren’t in sneakers.
The first stop after Sunday’s show at Staples Center was Warner Music Group’s bash at The Cathedral, a 19th-century church downtown. Scarlett Johansson sat tucked away in a corner with a friend scarfing down a tray of finger food, while Petra Nemcova and Blunt stayed glued to each other and Gnarls Barkley and Michael Bublé mingled with Al Gore.
Across town, the high point of the Sony/BMG party at the Beverly Hills Hotel was the arrival of Grammy winner John Mayer and, 10 minutes later, girlfriend Jessica Simpson, sporting a brown mane and a snug black dress from Lily et Cie and boasting, “I am very happy tonight.” She joined Mayer; her father, Joe, and sister, Ashlee, in a heated outdoor cabana, where the couple held hands and shared kisses all evening long. At one point, Mayer grabbed her hands and encouraged her to dance while he sang along to Terence Trent D’Arby’s, “Wishing Well.” Grammy queens The Dixie Chicks swept in at 11:30 and quickly settled into a cabana a few feet away from the Mayer/Simpson love nest.
This story first appeared in the February 13, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The trek over to EMI’s “green party” at Boulevard 3 in Hollywood allowed guests like KT Tunstall time to swap out her Armani dress for a short Jessup one while en route in her ethanol-powered Tahoe. “A girl has to have a costume change on a big night,” she explained. Her secret? “Blackened windows, baby!” Once inside, she and Pink bonded over their loss to Christina Aguilera. When asked if she got to congratulate Aguilera, Tunstall said, “I haven’t seen her. She’s obviously too busy with carrying her awards!”
Far mellower was Mandy Moore, who was the first celeb to arrive and said of her hippie-chic “all vintage” outfit: “I bought this two weeks ago at a Paris flea market. I don’t necessarily expect to be on a best-dressed list. And I don’t want to wear some bejeweled minidress.”
That same night in London, there was an awards show for a different medium. “We thought we had lost,” said a merry and relieved Stephen Frears during the Miramax post-BAFTA party at London’s Park Lane Hilton. “We lost everything — and then we won the last big two!” His film, “The Queen,” was nominated for 10 awards by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and won for best film and best actress.
Fellow revelers at the Miramax event included Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, Harvey Weinstein, Sir Ian McKellen, Jamie Bell, Ben Whishaw, Ruth Wilson, Natasha Richardson, Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar. Mirren, who’s been nominated for seemingly every award out there, appears to be getting a bit blasé about the art of red-carpet dressing. “Quite often you’re in a hurry, so you just choose a dress you like,” she said, reclining on cushions printed with Andy Warhol-inspired silk screens of herself and other nominees. Later that night, she and her family scooped up some pillows and took them home.