Vanity, still the fairest of them all
Forget that nonsense about Graydon Carter's Vanity Fair party being over. Last night's bash was bigger and hotter than ever. And once again, it felt like a galactic collision of celebrity universes from the worlds of politics, books, music, art, photography, fashion, film and TV.
I dutifully arrived at the VF party for my appointed time slot of 11:30 and was told "NO notebook, NO tape recorder and DON'T make us come in there and find you" - before being allowed inside for half an hour to get party "color."
Entering the party felt like being sucked into a vortex of fabulousness and I was swiftly trapped in a salmon spawn of celebrities, all frantically wiggling their way through Morton's, struggling to find a few inches to stand in, sit on or just get outside to the smoking area (cough, cough) and into huge pink-lit tent in the back. Trust me, you rub way more than elbows with stars at a VF party. It's more like doing a provocative public bump-and-grind. And the music is very good, but very loud. You can't hear yourself speak, much less anyone else. So the tape recorder wouldn't have helped. I think celebrities' ears must be more attuned to congratulatory conversations, like dogs that can hear certain decibles that humans can't. All I know is what I saw...
John Travolta and his wife kicking back on a sofa with Forest and Keisha and Sean Combs. Seems John's next film will be with Kelly and their daughter. He was inspired to do the family film after seeing Will Smith's successful father-son pairing.
Things got downright emotional when Forest and Jennifer Hudson went to Oprah's table, as you can imagine. Ryan Gosling hanging with "Heroes" cheerleader Hayden Panettiere. He didn't look bummed about losing his Oscar at all.
The new Rat Pack: Harry Dean Stanton, Sean Penn and Dennis Hopper sharing a sofa. Yeah, don't even think of sitting down there.
Victoria Beckham posing for photos. She not only never smiles, her face rarely moves.
Clive Owen, talking intently with Jerry Seinfeld, then chatting up Mia Maestro and Penelope Cruz, who didn't look too pleased when Mia got a kiss from him. Meooow! Pffft!
Kirsten Dunst lying down because, gosh, these parties are really exhausting. And that's her brother. Kiki was also in the thick of things when Al Gore broadened his Hollywood voting block, I mean, accepted congrats from Chris Tucker.
Gwyneth Paltrow hanging with Guy and Madonna, Gwen and Gavin. I'm sorry, but Madonna needs to stop lifting weights. Her arms aren't just toned, they're scary. And they're getting really long, like a spider monkey. And I could swear she's trying to flex her muscles so they look bigger. Note the death grip on the purse...
Kate Winslet hugging Maggie Gyllenhaal. New mom, and all that. Ellen DeGeneres was making the rounds with her mom and her girlfriend, getting congrats from everyone, including Laura Ziskin, for her hosting duties. Leonardo DiCaprio whispering (darn, wish I coulda heard!) something to Emmy Rossum.
Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Mary J. Blige and Oprah making a high powered quartet on one sofa. Meryl filled in for Armani when he bailed early, around 11:30 PM. So that's how he stays looking so young.
Dame Helen MIrren grabbing a queen-sized bite of a sandwich around 1 AM after doing the last round of press outside Morton's, then chilling with her sister Kate and Jamie Foxx. Time for a royal rest, your Majesty.
Former supermodels Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista caught up on life after the runways. These girls could make a respective killing opening up an Anger Control Center and a Plus Size model agency.
Jessica Biel showing off a new sparkly ring (right hand) and talking about how she's not in favor of marriage. That should suit Derek Jeter just fine.
Will, Jada and their son Jaden. The little Smithster could have double dated with Abby Breslin. The poor little thing almost got stepped on a number of times. I last saw her head around 12:45 AM, which I know is way past her bedtime because it's way past mine.