WHO CARES ABOUT POLITICIANS?: Washington was taken over by Hollywood this past weekend as the stars descended for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. If there was any doubt celebrities — well, most of them, anyway — still love Barack Obama, that was dispelled by the plethora of bold-faced names at the dinner and numerous parties and events surrounding it, beginning with the soiree Time and People held at the St. Regis on Friday evening. While Chace Crawford of “Gossip Girl” and pal Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys aren’t exactly renowned policy wonks, they stopped by to provide a little eye candy for the lady politicos, who were all-to-eager to pose for a souvenir picture with the duo. Matthew Morrison of “Glee” was also a draw, agreeing to every request for an autograph and taking the time to learn every girl’s name in the process (although it couldn’t be learned whether their phone numbers came with their names). “I’m getting more into politics,” Morrison said. “I’ve been to Washington like six times during the past few months.” (Clearly simply visiting the nation’s capital makes one a political expert.)
Gayle King was on hand, in town Friday to tape an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She told WWD she planned to wear a gown purchased three years ago at Bergdorf Goodman to the dinner Saturday evening. “Nobody here will know the difference!” (This is Washington, after all, never exactly a fashion hot spot.) King later was spotted chatting with “Precious” star Gabourey Sidibe. And People managing editor Larry Hackett said he’d be sitting next to teen heartthrob du jour Justin Bieber at the dinner. “I’ll have to have my 11-year-old send me questions to ask him,” Hackett said — perhaps not realizing 16-year-old Bieber might be a bit more advanced than a sixth grader. Incidentally, judging by the size of his entourage of men dressed in black, Bieber was the weekend’s biggest star, making quick work of the many red carpets and parties.
A few blocks away, The New Yorker held a party on top of the W Hotel that boasted nearly unobstructed views of the White House and almost all the other sights of the city. Director Judd Apatow and wife Leslie Mann flanked the doorway, chatting with Elizabeth Shue; Rahm Emanuel stopped by, and David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, caught up with Arianna Huffington, who said The Huffington Post scored its first ever table to Saturday’s dinner. But back to Remnick, who asked to be seated next to Tracy Morgan of “30 Rock” at the dinner. Morgan obliged, flying into D.C. on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. following his comedy gig the night before in Chicago.
Saturday morning, the place to be seen was Tammy Haddad’s annual brunch, where the Jonas brothers and Kim Kardashian, in a tight, hot pink dress, drew double takes. Attendees sipped bloody marys and spent the afternoon trying to figure out who was famous and who wasn’t. Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng stopped by and headed straight for the buffet. Deng said she’d be wearing Prabal Gurung to the Costume Institute gala tonight. Deng was on trend: First Lady Michelle Obama wore a red dress from Gurung to the correspondents’ dinner at the Washington Hilton later that night.
Before the dinner, though, there were the pre-parties, which drew long lines — where, in a sign of who’s in and who’s out, former White House social secretary Desirée Rogers was spotted patiently waiting. Tory Burch, wearing Prada, told WWD she was attending the dinner for the first time after spending the afternoon relaxing in Georgetown.
After dinner, the main draw was Vanity Fair’s late-night party at the residence of the ambassador of France, Pierre Vimont. Jason Wu, who dressed Glamour’s Cindi Leive and Rogers for the evening, hung out pool side and matter of factly said he’d lost his iPhone at the dinner. “But I’ve lost it twice in the past few weeks, so this happens a lot,” Wu said. Jenny Sanford, ex-wife of the South Carolina governor, turned heads, looking quite cozy with her new boyfriend, Clay Boardman. But it was Jessica Simpson, in a mustard-colored dress, who caused the biggest commotion when photographers spotted her talking with ex-boyfriend Romo and his current flame, Candice Crawford. And just when it seemed the party was winding down, Jon Bon Jovi arrived. “Do they just let anyone in this place?” Romo said. Not really — fellow attendees included Donatella Versace, Scarlett Johansson, Chelsea Handler, Bradley Cooper, Kristin Davis and Michael Douglas, who’s rumored to be on an upcoming cover of Fortune for “Wall Street 2.” Given the scandal surrounding Goldman Sachs, what better time than now to resurrect “Greed is good”?
— Amy Wicks
GRAYDON GOES GAGA: Move over, dead people. Sources say Vanity Fair is plotting to put a real, live celebrity on its September cover — and one of the most in-demand at that: Lady Gaga. Indeed, the pop star is said to be editor Graydon Carter’s pick to cover the magazine’s fall Style Issue, which last year featured archival images of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett instead of January Jones and Jon Hamm of “Mad Men,” as originally planned. Word is Gaga will be photographed by Nick Knight for the issue. (The British photographer’s previous work for Vanity Fair is limited, it seems, to a June 2004 Brad Pitt cover feature.) A Vanity Fair spokeswoman wouldn’t say whether the magazine was getting on the Gaga train — understandably, perhaps, in case something goes awry. “It’s our policy to not talk about future covers or stories, whether we are or are not working on them,” she said.
— Nick Axelrod