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A seemingly party-starved Los Angeles crowd got a head start on Oscar week festivities at stores and art spaces across town. Monday night, there were starlets aplenty at the Lead Apron Gallery for the opening of Kimberly Brooks’ exhibit “The Stylist Project,” sponsored by Vanity Fair and Dior. Jennifer Lawrence sampled hors d’oeuvres with a girlfriend while past and present VF cover girls Ginnifer Goodwin and Abbie Cornish mingled.

“It’s quite surreal, but a great way to kick off the week,” said Cornish of her place on Vanity Fair’s annual Hollywood issue cover. “And it’s a conversation starter tonight.”

This story first appeared in the March 5, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Brie Larson, who just signed a movie deal on Monday, was also riding a career high.

“It’s great to be able to have an answer to ‘What are you working on?’ It’s like, ‘As a matter of fact, I just got a job,’” she said.

For all the shop talk, once guests made their way through the gallery’s front rooms, they were met with the evening’s raison d’être: Brooks’ portraits of various stylists, many of whom were in attendance. While subjects Jeanne Yang and Cameron Silver joked they couldn’t afford to buy their own paintings, Jessica Paster’s topless portrait, hung first in the exhibit, caused the most buzz.

“A little more than I wanted to know about her,” quipped one guest.

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