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A Brief and Glitzy History of the Vanity Fair Oscar Party

A Brief and Glitzy History of the Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Vanity Fair has honored itself with a history of its annual Oscar party, which it hails as “the only place to be” on Oscar night. Here’s a smattering of glimmering tidbits:

The first one, in 1994:

“was an intimate affair, although the guests were greeted with the pomp and fervor of an old Hollywood premiere… the after-party, which brought out the best of the Oscar ceremony, including Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. Prince drew attention to himself by, paradoxically, sitting quietly in a corner.”


“‘Titanic’ won best picture, and the guest list surged 50 percent, with invitations to the after-party staggered over the course of the evening. Brad Pitt, single again after Gwyneth Paltrow and he had called off their engagement the previous summer, ended up in the sights of both Madonna and Demi Moore. “I was just giving him motherly advice,” Moore told me that night. “Just keeping an eye on him.””


“Lewinsky provided just such a thrill in 1999, when she was invited to the Vanity Fair dinner and party and became the star attraction of the night… When Gwyneth Paltrow won the best-actress award for ‘Shakespeare in Love’ that night and stepped up to make her acceptance speech in the pink taffetaLauren gown that would set the media reeling, Lewinsky, who had dished about her infamous blue dress at the table, turned to South and thanked him. When he asked the reason for her gratitude, Lewinsky replied, “Now there’s a dress more famous than my dress.””


“As [Justin] Bieber’s date, Selena Gomez, stood by, I watched the boy wonder listen intently to the two-time Oscar winner, who offered a bit of wisdom wrapped in his usual self-deprecating wit… A bit later that night, Hanks sounded amused when I mentioned to him that I’d observed his conversation with Bieber. “Did you feel the Zeitgeist shudder—the tectonic plates of our culture shift?” he said in a mock breathless voice. It was the actor’s way of saying, Don’t make too much of two guys making small talk at a party—even if those two guys are a teen heartthrob and, well, Tom Hanks.”

More stories and photographs here at Vanity Fair and in the March 2013 issue.

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