Monday, February 25, 2008

Hollywood’s own religious holiday

Late night scene at Nicolas Berggruen's annual party at Chateau Marmont.
The Academy Awards Night, Hollywood’s own religious holiday has been an event of national, even international interest for many many years, although in the past decade or more, it has flourished and blossomed into a national tourist destination — for people who either are in the entertainment business, or would like to be in the entertainment business, or even wannabe a wannabe, who descend on Los Angeles for, if nothing else, a ride down Sunset with the top down, and the ultimate Hollywood Party.

One such party is given annually by Nicolas Berggruen, a familiar figure in New York, London, Paris, etc. Mr. Berggruen, who has his own billion dollar business called Berggruen Holdings, is a son of the late Heinz Berggruen, one of the most successful international art dealers of the 20th century.

  Chateau Marmont
The elder Mr. Berggruen passed away about this time last year at the age of 93. His life was the kind of movie Hollywood would love to make — a German Jew who fled Hitler’s Germany in the mid-1930s, came to San Francisco where he met and married the very wealthy Lillian Zellerbach and embarked on his career as an art dealer.

Among his artists was a woman named Frida Kahlo, with whom he had an affair. After the war back in Paris, he was introduced to Pablo Picasso by Tristan Tzara, the Rumanian writer, one of the founders of the Dada movment. This introduction led to a very profitable association for both artist and dealer. At one point Mr. Berggruen owned 130 Picassos. In 2000 he sold his collection to Berlin’s State Museums for $120 million – actually a bargain price. Twelve years before he donated 90 works by Paul Klee to the Met here in New York.

Nicolas is one of two sons of his father’s second wife Bettina Moissi. His business takes him all over the world but, at this particular time of year, like so many others, he wants to be in Hollywood.

For the party, Berggruen took over the Chateau Marmont, and invited about 500. His guest list is considered one of the great mixes for Hollywood – pretty people, stars, goodlooking girls, power players. It “wasn’t very industry,” in the words of one guest, “but more of a social list; not being so uptight.” It started at 9 pm and went until about two – very late for L.A.
Bob Shaye and Nicolas Berggruen
Nicolas Berggruen, Jen McCurdy, and Martin Franklin
Paris and Nicky Hilton
Bobby Farrelly and Woody Harrelson
Ingrid Casares and Sofia Vergara
Nadine Coyle, Nicolas Berggruen, Lady Victoria Hervey, and Julia Verdin
Adrian Grenier
Tory Burch
Jamie-Lynn Sigler
John Mayer
Elisabeth Rohm
Tom Bugbee, Monique Lhuillier, Shell Cardon, and Craig Cardon
Caroline Roman and Michael Baruch
Russell Simmons and Porschla Coleman
Amber Feld and Tarajia Morrell
Amaury Nolasco
Brooke Davenport
Walton Ford, Daphne Guinness, and Carlos Souza
Rebecca De Mornay and Larry Gagosian
Shane West
Alina Puscau and Brett Ratner
Caroline Roman and Christoph Hargreaves-Allen
Amanda Braun, Blake Leibel, and Gina Clarke
Alexis Tziena, Christian Lamb, and Lizette Pena
Julia Clancey, Julia Verdin, Nadine Coyle, and Lady Victoria Hervey
Browne Andrews and Michael Baruch
Bobette Cohn and Kimberly Bini
Cornelia Gibrand and Aurelia Scheppers
Melissa Odabash
Devon Aoki
Michael Beaumont, Daryl Hannah, Beth McLaughlin, and Farhad Farman-Farmaian
Todd Meister, Jamie Tisch, and Tom Arnold
Marilou Bartoli, Fanny Gaillard, Chloe Bartoli, and Marjolaine Bui
Elizabeth and Colleen Murzyn
Daniel Benedict and Andrew Saffir
Max von Gumppenberg, Nicolas Berggruen, Lavinia Currier, and Paul Stephaich
Daphne Guinness
Hofit Golan
Kim Stainer
Magda Berliner and George Kotsiopoulos
DJ Frankie Inglese
Jim Coleman, Martin Franklin, and Richard Franklin
Dori Cooperman and Casey Johnson
Elizabeth and Colin Callender
Emilia Menocal and Kamil
Johan Lindeberg and Jonas Akerlund
Zeta Graff, Fawaz Gruosi, and Ujjwala Raut
Jason Binn and Ben Silverman
Jason Pomeranc
Jeff Stein and Angela Janklow
Linda Evangelista and Peter Morton
Andy Hewitt and soon-to-be-mother, Lara Shriftman
Monique Nguyen and Alexis Roche
Aleim Johnson, Stephanie Ittleson, and Farhad Farman-Farmaian
Karl Castillo and Oswald Boateng
Leven Rambin and Cameron Richardson
Matt Donnelly, Caroline Roman, and Christoph Hargreaves-Allen
Martina Borgamanero Basabe, Fabian Basabe, and Paoletta Borgamanero
Last week Manhattan’s indefatigable, peripatetic, ubiquitous photographer of (almost) all things social was in Los Angeles – Hollywood to you kids – where Leviev, the international jeweler, hosted a party for him and his latest photographic anthology, “Glamour Girls.”

The party which brought out the party-folk – and kids, that is a town doesn’t get enough partying in – was held at the ultra-chic, authentic (the way it really was) Art Deco Sunset Tower Hotel.

The Sunset Tower, for you movie buffs, opened its door in 1931 as an apartment house (known as the Sunset Towers Apartments). And it was gluh-morous – as in “Glamour Girls” roaming the corridors, behind almost every door. The pitter-patter of some of the most glamorous film personalities, many of the immortals of the silver screen lived or lived it up at the Sunset Towers.

Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor, the Gabors, Paulette Goddard. Howard Hughes kept rooms there for his whatevers. John “Duke” Wayne once occupied the penthouse for his whatevers. Sinatra, even Bugsy Siegel could be found at the Sunset Towers. Raymond Chandler wrote about it in “Farewell My Lovely” and “Murder, My Sweet."

The Sunset Tower has had more than one incarnation in the past 77 years, including most recently as the Argyle Hotel and before that as the St. James’s Club (private club in the 1980s). However, it took a New Yorker, or now, I guess, a former New Yorker, Jeff Klein to restore and infuse those old bones of Hollywood glamour with some spit’n polish and the service and style that makes it the destination that it is today.
Kathy Freston, Angela Janklow, Patrick McMullan, Cornelia Guest, Elizabeth Callender, and Crystal Lourd
So, if you’re wondering why Leviev and Patrick McMullan teamed up there ...? You need to ask now?
Andy Hewitt and Corina Marinescu
Brian Primeaux, Matthew Regan, Kelly Kelly, and Julie Kramer
Alexis Edwards
Alexandra Hamilton Kimball and Laura Harris
Baby Bryan and Snowden Clarke
Annia Koroliak, David Krissman, Stefanie Keenan, and Will Keenan
Charlie Ferrer and Glen Hinderstein
Barbara and Nancy Davis
Prince Carlo Giovanelli and Ciziana Rocca
Cornelia Guest and Casey Johnson
Alexandra von Furstenberg and Jacob Bernstein
Josh German, Sean Rourke, and Leor Mendel
Heath McRae and Ryan Tasz
Julie Benz
June Haynes and Billy Diggins
Katie McGloin
Dean Palermo and Brian Ellis
Jeff Klein and Simon Paul
Crystal Lourd and Gwennie McCaw
Dudley de Zonia, Anne Crawford, and Ralph Caporusso
Francesca Cecil and Jason Davis
Leviev models
Leven Rambin
Michael Foulkrod and Anouska de Georgiou
Mitch and Kimberly Feeney with Todd and Katie Traina
Jannu Alain Goldschmidt and Asha Puthli
John Burnham and Susan Campos
Joey Maalouf, Rachel Zoe, and Carlos Souza
Victoria Daniel, Sarah Yankelevitz, Gabby Applegate, and Patty Applegate
Nole Marin and Michael Sunderland
Katie McIntosh, Carlos Souza, and Justine Kenzer
Monique Lhuillier and Rose Apodaca
Halla Timon and Penelope Fortier
Nikki Haskell and Dita Von Teese
Paoletta Borgomanero and Martina Borgomanero Basabe
Cathy Griffin and friend
Richard Buckley and Tom Ford
Robert Dupont, Amy Lumet, and Mike Ryan
Robert Merrill and Danielle Burgio
Robert Rave, Marc Malkin, and Mat Szwajkos
Leven Rambin, Patrick McMullan, and Fabian Basabe
Phillip Bloch
Thierry Chaunu and Brooke Davenport
Taylor Dane
Taryn Rose
Thierry Chaunu and Sonia Cole
Tom and Kathy Freston with Jim Wiatt
Taylor Stein and Lara Shriftman

Photographs by ©

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