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Everything went smoothly at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party Sunday night, which was held at the Sunset Tower Hotel for the first time. There had been significant concern among attendees that the one-lane entrance at the front would make it impossible to get in and out, but things went off without a hitch. By the time Best actress Kate Winslet arrived from the Governors Ball with trophy in hand, the dinner tables had been removed and the booze flowed from all directions. The pool had been covered up, and guests could feel the breeze all around. Further, underneath the clear tent, they could see the lights all across Los Angeles.

Not that most people stopped to enjoy it, what with all the celebrity spotting. Best actor Sean Penn, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Reese Witherspoon, Will Smith, Jessica Biel, Anjelica Huston, Josh Brolin and Uma Thurman were among those who partied into the night. Best supporting actress Penélope Cruz held court in the front with an entourage of people who had Ps written in black on their foreheads. Sir Elton John arrived shortly before midnight after performing for Victoria Beckham, Sharon Stone and John Waters at his annual Elton John AIDS Foundation benefit, which was sponsored by Chopard and raised nearly $4 million.

This story first appeared in the February 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The latest stragglers were the cast members of “Slumdog Millionaire,” many of whom did not arrive until 2 a.m. after their own Fox Searchlight party. They included the two young boys from the film, who were utterly starstruck. “Everywhere we go, everyone says Vanity Fair is the party to come to,” one said.

“We’re sorry you got here so late,” said a Vanity Fair staffer.

“Who was here?” one of the boys asked.

Madonna,” the staffer replied.

The two boys clapped their hands together, and one said to the other, “S—. Madonna.”

“And Mick Jagger,” said the rep from Vanity Fair.

“Mick Jagger,” gushed the other. “Next year, we’ll come early.”

“Was the couple here? Was the couple here?” the other one asked.


“Brad and Angelina,” he said.

Sadly, the couple had not made it — they skipped the entire weekend’s festivities.

Madonna, for her part, was there but disappointed paparazzi by not bringing her new boy toy Jesus Luz with her, as the tabloids predicted she would. However, the 22-year-old Latin model was by her side at the after-after party she cohosted with Demi Moore at Guy Oseary’s house. There, she and Luz got comfortable on a sofa in the living room as guests like Anne Hathaway and Ginnifer Goodwin cut a rug. Samantha Ronson was spinning the tunes, Lindsay Lohan was dancing nearby and Diddy took the mic and began emceeing. “Can we get some hip-hop up in here?,” he boomed.

To view all the arrival images, click here >>

To view the Vanity Fair Oscar party images, click here >>

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