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About town with Oscar

Hollywood heritage theme carries over into Governors Ball

The Oscarcast’s occasionally used theme of Hollywood heritage was carried over into the Governors Ball, which transformed the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom into a re-creation of the Mocambo-Ciro’s niteries of the 1930s and ’40s.

A lineup of waiters in teal and white tuxes greeted guests, while waitresses in one-shouldered dresses wandered around with trays of champagne. AMPAS chose a color scheme that was a salute to designer Tony Duquette. Three bands alternated musical styles, including a swing band high above the crowd, and the Latin group of Tito Puente Jr. and his band, in ruffled Ricky Ricardo shirts, playing on a revolving stage in the middle of the ballroom. A few people danced, including Jeff Bridges with Hailee Steinfeld and later with wife Susan.

Guests dined on Wolfgang Puck’s sole and vegetable paella, but most were table-hopping for much of the time. There was also a seafood bar and a chocolate fountain. Mini 24-karat chocolate Oscars remain a hit every year, with Moby trying his best to walk away with one of the 12-inch versions that decorated the dessert table.

Over at the Pacific Design Center, the Elton John AIDS Foundation party drew a more Grammys-style crowd. Following her perf at the Oscars, Florence Welch belted out tunes on the stage at the tented pavilion.

Elton John, who accompanied the Brit band on a couple of numbers, said, “It’s been a great night at the Oscars and it’s going to be a great night here too. I love having newer musicians to play for you.”

Welch returned the compliment: “We’ve all had big smiles on our faces the past week because we got to rehearse with Sir Elton.”

John took some time off from his soiree to attend the Vanity Fair party, and gave Harvey Weinstein a hug hello inside the Sunset Tower Hotel. Colin Firth and Tom Hooper arrived simultaneously with Oscars in hand. Danny Boyle was not far behind, and Anne Hathaway came soon after. Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara and Jason Bateman turned one corner of the tent into comedy corner as they all chatted away. And near the restrooms, Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift engaged in a deep, tense conversation.

Outside the Sunset Tower, Chace Crawford was bummed that he didn’t have time to grab a burger from the In-n-Out truck before his car arrived. In fact, the party was so packed that many attendees saw each other for the first time while waiting for their cars. Oscar winner Melissa Leo joked that she left the statue at her hotel, but couldn’t wait to “do things” with it later. And Swift declined Emma Stone’s invitation to another soiree. In parting, Stone told her tense friend, “Be good and stay strong, Taylor.”

(Shalini Dore contributed to this report.)

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