The annual Oscar-eve dinner hosted by Charles Finch and Chanel at old-school Italian eatery Madeo is the antithesis of most Hollywood parties: no step-and-repeat, no celebrity handlers, no drama.
Instead of being greeted by a phalanx of reporters, guests descend a stairway to the trumpeting of a mariachi band and into the narrow, candlelit restaurant. Many of Saturday night’s guests — Alice Eve, Lily Collins, Vanessa Getty and Adrien Brody — are regulars, though each year sees a few new faces, notably Emilia Clarke, Greta Gerwig, Sienna Miller and Anne Hathaway.
Eve Hewson was the first to arrive, leaning against the bar. “This is the first party I’ve gone to Oscar week, so I’m not tired from having been out every night,” she said. The actress has been busy, though. “I just finished a Steven Soderbergh show called ‘The Nick’ that’s set in a hospital in the 1900s,” she said. “I had to wear a corset for five months, which does a lot for your posture.”
Gerwig arrived moments later, donning her first-ever Chanel dress. “I feel like a princess,” she said of her navy and cream knit dress. “I went from rocking an orange-on-orange Narciso Rodriguez at the Independent Spirit Awards to this ladylike look.”
Collins chose an edgier ensemble, saying, “It’s plastic for the rain,” of the patent leather strips on her skirt and matching quilted bag.
The space filled up quickly with models Poppy Delevingne, Helena Christensen and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who made a face and said, “Uh, no thank you,” when proffered some absinthe punch. The food was another story. Miller made her way back, snatching up a puff pastry hors d’oeuvre, while Eve noted, “I just love the food here, really. And the Finches are a great group.”
Thankfully, since guests stood elbow to elbow, Oliver Stone shaking hands with David O. Russell and Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey bumping past Julie Delpy. Caroline Sieber scrapped Paris Fashion Week for Oscar week at the last minute. “It’s an exciting change. Everyone in town is so fired up,” she said. “I guess I’m getting used to it,” Clarke said of the awards season hubbub. “Actually, I take that back. You never get used to it.”