'Oscar Alley' parties turn WeHo into Woah!

Monday, February 28th 2005, 10:33 am
By: News On 6

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) _ They call it ``Oscar Alley,'' a four-block stretch of pavement here where a trio of awards parties served up celebrities, cocktails, food and glamour well into the wee hours of Monday morning.

On the night of Hollywood's highest honors, each bash deserved its own noteworthy award, with the Best Party prize probably going to Vanity Fair's soiree at Morton's, which starred the cream of the A-List crowd.

By midnight, a who's who of Oscar winners past and present streamed into the posh eatery after putting in a de rigeur appearance at the official Governors Ball five miles to the east at the Kodak Theatre.

``Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!'' beamed Best Actress winner Hilary Swank, clutching her Oscar for ``Million Dollar Baby'' as she navigated a thicket of admirers, including actresses Tara Reid and Vivica A. Fox.

While Swank's husband, actor Chad Low, became separated from his engulfed wife, the grinning actress accepted hugs and compliments, even telling one young woman to ``Follow your dream!''

Oscar nominee Annette Bening, who lost this year for the second time against Swank, looked splendid in a sweeping floor-length black gown as she made the rounds arm-in-arm with her husband Warren Beatty.

Chewing on crab cakes and potato pancakes topped with salmon, the couple chatted next to Jeremy Irons, who seemed preoccupied by a bevy of women, including ``Desperate Housewives'' redhead Marcia Cross.

In a back room _ actually a large tent ballooning out from the rest of the restaurant _ international heartthrobs Gael Garcia Bernal and Orlando Bloom were deep in conversation.

Earlier, Bloom was seen holding hands with ex-girlfriend Kate Bosworth and Bernal had been flirting and hugging with respective ex-girlfriend and Oscar nominee Natalie Portman.

Best Actor nominee Don Cheadle carted around his grandmother, hip-hop mogul Sean ``P. Diddy'' Combs snapped pictures of his model-pretty girlfriend, and Donald Trump introduced his new wife to a mohawked member of the Black Eyed Peas.

Appreciation flowed like wine.

``I was ecstatic when Jamie Foxx won!'' said white-suited director Spike Lee of Foxx's Best Actor nod for ``Ray.'' ``We all felt good for him.''

A block and a half away, Elton John's thumping 13th annual Oscar bash at the Pacific Design Center featured towering arrangements of red and pink roses, and chair-sized disco balls dangling from the ceiling.

Sir Elton himself _ wearing his signature shades, and looking hip in a Yohji Yamamoto embroidered blazer _ applauded Foxx's win. ``I'm very proud of Jamie,'' he said.

The singer noted that his party _ a staple benefit for his AIDS Foundation _ ``raised $1.4 million, and broke last year's record.''

Actress Tori Spelling, a huge fan of the night's featured performer _ disco-pop band the Scissor Sisters _ wore a sparkling, slinky retro dress by Collette Dinnigan and loose blonde waves.

``I thought the ceremony was very predictable,'' said Spelling of the Oscars. ``But I was really thrilled for Jamie Foxx, and his speech made me cry. It was very gracious. I love when speeches feel so much emotion.''

The party's own Oscar-worthy moment came just as the Scissor Sisters launched into their feisty hit ``Filthy Gorgeous.''

As lead singer Ana Matronic berated the audience that ``Everybody in this world is a whore,'' the grand dame herself, Elizabeth Taylor, rolled by _ snazzy to the fullest _ in a wheelchair surrounded by a gaggle of men led by John's boyfriend, David Furnish.

A moment later, bleached blonde stars Christina Aguilera and Pamela Anderson sauntered inside _ a testament to how Ana Matronic later described the evening: ``Fellini-esque.''

Earlier, during an Oscar viewing dinner hosted at The Abbey club by Esquire magazine, a younger Hollywood crowd, including Erika Christensen and ``Napoleon Dynamite's'' Jon Heder, feasted on Scottish salmon, potatoes, caesar salad and roast beef. The $1,000-a-plate dinner raised more than $250,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

Hostess Jennifer Love Hewitt, in a white Ellie Saab gown and Neil Lane jewels, provided a humble take on her evening emcee duties.

``I very rarely get invited to the coolest Oscar parties,'' said Hewitt, ``let alone get to host them, so I was really excited about doing this.''