At least one Oscar week mainstay held strong this year — Saks Fifth Avenue’s An Unforgettable Evening at the Beverly Wilshire, where studio bigwigs and Oscar winners can be counted on to show up to raise money for EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund.
As EIF/WCRF co-founder Jamie Tisch put it: “Tonight is bare bones. I’m more interested in making money than spending money.” Tisch’s version of “bare bones” still included a dinner of filet mignon with black truffle sauce, but she had to cut back on nonessentials, such as a live band for background music. Still, honorary chair and emcee Tom Hanks kept the evening flowing by cracking jokes (“My wife is spending the evening with another man — our 12-year-old son”), and Natalie Cole, Morgan Freeman, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman were on hand to present awards to Hilary Swank, Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy and Charlotte Otto. “Please don’t judge us, we’re not actresses, we’re mogulettes,” the Juicy girls said after their acceptance speech.
Fittingly, at evening’s end, Tisch, Kelly Chapman Meyer and social MVP Angie Harmon jumped up to dance to Mary J. Blige’s performance of “No More Drama.”
Elsewhere in town, starlets including Maggie Grace and Lydia Hearst hobnobbed among glittering de Grisogono jewels and red-carpet-ready Vera Wang frocks at the Sunset Tower hotel for W’s Hollywood Affair. But ever the social butterfly, Hearst already had her mind on the next evening’s activity, a dominos tournament at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “I don’t know how to play,” she admitted, “so we are going to get a massive tutorial.”
Back in New York, recent East Coast transplant Zoe Kravitz joined Chiara Clemente and Padma Lakshmi at Stephan Weiss Studio to toast the Milk Gallery exhibit of Buddhist art, “The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito,” alongside host Robert Thurman (Uma’s dad). They also welcomed Ito’s daughter, Shinso Ito, the spiritual head of the lineage of Buddhism he started, Shinnyo-en. And, though Donna Karan herself was on the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho, her design team transformed the area into Zen luxe, complete with white fur throws. “I feel like I’m in Japan,” said Coralie Charriol Paul as sake was poured and bowls of black cod, soba noodles and hijiki were passed. But even the best party planner couldn’t have wrangled the evening’s highlight: the lunar eclipse, which guests watched from the outdoor deck.