Taraji P. Henson in Giambattista Valli 32nd Film Independent Spirit Awards, Arrivals, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, USA - 25 Feb 2017


The days leading up to Sunday night’s Oscars have been filled with a glittering string of parties attended by Tinseltown’s elite.

In the midst of her recent drama with Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel, Meryl Streep attended the 10th annual Women in Film cocktail party at Nightingale Plaza in Los Angeles Friday night.

This story first appeared in the February 27, 2017 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“Everyone is speaking up and that’s great because with numbers they can’t ignore us. Stuff can change. You have to really feel the urge under your feet and act,” the 20-time Oscar nominee told guests including Emma Stone, Ava DuVernay, Viola Davis and Zoë Kravitz, among others.

She then passed the baton to DuVernay, who roused the crowd to cheers with, “Our ancestors have taught us how to fight. We’re in a fight right now. I hope you take the energy in the room like this and extend it throughout the whole year.”

Also on Friday night, Ruth Negga was radiating “Loving” energy at the Gemfields party held in her and stylist Karla Welch’s honor. The Irish actress, who was nominated for best leading actress at the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Oscars, has gone against the red carpet grain by sporting big, colorful jewelry throughout awards season, as part of an initiative with the responsibly mined gemstone company.

It may be a business relationship, but not an inorganic one, as Negga isn’t afraid to choose bold red carpet clothes and amp them up with emeralds and rubies. “It’s a lovely opportunity to explore that side of yourself that wants to create. I think it’s an extension of what I do; it’s just curation by another director, and that person is Karla,” she said of her stylist.

On Saturday, the Independent Spirit Awards drew Taraji P. Henson, Naomie Harris and Kate Beckinsale to the beachside event in Santa Monica despite unseasonably chilly temperatures.

“I wish the sun was out today,”  Harris said, as she walked the baby blue carpet. The actress channeled warmth in her tweed Chanel dress. “Chanel makes me feel fun and vibrant and sunny,” she said.

The Best Female Lead nominee walked into the affair already a winner. She and her and her “Moonlight” castmates were given the Robert Altman Ensemble Award in addition to the film’s Best Feature nomination. “I’m over the moon,” she said, no pun intended. “This is something I always dreamed of as a little kid. As you start to work in this industry, you realize how tough it is. It’s such a lottery. There are great performances that happen every year that don’t get recognized.”

Nominee Molly Shannon joined her “Other People” writer-director Chris Kelly inside. “We’re having a mini reunion here,” Kelly said. “The movie is so personal and means a lot to me. I’m surprised that we even got to make it, let alone be at something like this.” Kelly, who is also head writer for “Saturday Night Live,” said it would be a quick trip. “We’re off this week, which is why I could be here. But I go back on Monday for another show. As you know, it’s been an interesting year. Everyone’s flying by the seat of their pants.”

Meanwhile, with the Oscars just a day away, awards season fatigue finally hit most nominees and attendees. “Hey guys! I gotta go in,” Jon Hamm called out, as he rushed by. Henson blew a kiss. “Love you!” she cooed. Kerry Washington, Negga, Janelle Monáe, Viggo Mortensen and Riley Keough were among those who followed their lead.

It was an A-list affair Saturday night at Charles Finch and Chanel’s annual pre-Oscars dinner at Madeo, drawing “regulars” Kristen Stewart, Pharrell Williams, Mick Jagger and Lily Collins, as well as nominees Nicole Kidman and Negga, plus past winners Adrien Brody and Michael Keaton.

As guests descended the stairs into the basement-level Italian restaurant, they were greeted by a mariachi band, a beloved tradition on Oscars eve.

“I’m having a ball,” Collins told Nicolas Berggruen and Jeff Bezos, of filming Amazon’s “The Last Tycoon.” The two men, tycoons in their own right, seemed smitten with the ingénue, who’s had a breakout year with a Golden Globes nomination for “Rules Don’t Apply” and strong notices for the Sundance film “To the Bone.”

Collins was excited to hit Vanity Fair’s Oscars party on Sunday night, despite her 5 a.m. call time on Monday. “I told the makeup team to just make me look really good the next morning,” she said. “You do your makeup, put on your wig and you’re good to go,” she said of going to her set.

Bulgari’s annual fete at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood had a homelike vibe, but of course it still exuded the glamour of the Italian jewelry house. Most guests, such as Josephine Skriver, Alicia Vikander, Laura Dern, Caroline Vreeland, Jasmine Sanders, Lottie Moss and Mary Charteris, were dripping in gold or diamonds from the renowned jewelry line.

“I’m a new ambassador and muse for Bulgari; I’m very proud to be apart of the Bulgari family,” Vreeland said before pointing to her neck, and adding, “I feel I’m settling into my role very easily.”

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