Off-Screen Action

The Oscar Fun Continues at Elton John's Viewing Party and Vanity Fair's Annual Bash


Hilary Swank   
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The Elton John AIDS Foundation's annual black-tie Oscars viewing party is less high-pressure than the big show itself, which has its perks: You can table-hop, talk freely over the telecast, and take a bathroom break whenever you feel like it. Joaquin Phoenix, Will Smith, and Victoria Beckham were among the dinner guests taking full advantage of the less-than-hushed atmosphere to make their voices heard. A whoop went up when Mo'Nique got her Best Supporting Actress statuette. "I've got goose bumps!" Eva Amurri exclaimed. After the main event, Simon Cowell got in on bidding at the post-show auction, Miley Cyrus dropped by following her presenting duties, and the host himself took a moment to laud Kathryn Bigelow's historic win as "so great, and so well deserved."

Then Grace Jones—having just played a Viktor & Rolf bash in Paris a few days ago—took over, with a performance that incorporated her signature hula-hoop moves and frequent headwear changes. Kate Mara and Hayden Panettierre were among the many pretty things to shake off their shoes, although Panettierre fretted that without her heels, "I'm not even normal-human-sized!" At least you're not at the Oscars, Hayden, where every shoeless step would be broadcast to the world.

Meanwhile, over at the annual Vanity Fair after-party, the winners were arriving for their victory lap, golden new additions in tow. Don't feel too sorry for the empty-handed—they got the consolation of wearing gorgeous new dresses for the evening's second act. The hems got higher, naturally: Nominee Anna Kendrick traded in her blush pink Elie Saab Haute Couture from the ceremony for a shorter, white Saab confection, and presenter Amanda Seyfried swapped her Armani Privé for cocktail-length Valentino Haute Couture. VF draws from ranks wider than just Hollywood, and Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, figure skater Evan Lysacek (with his ardent admirer and costume designer, Vera Wang), and snowboarder Shaun White were on hand to hobnob, too. The Flying Tomato was still celebrating his own victory—on the slopes of Vancouver, not the stages of the Kodak—with a patriotic outfit of red, white, and blue. Not an easy look, but lucky for him, gold goes with everything.

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