Hollywood came out in full force to celebrate Oscars week ahead of Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards ceremony. Nominees received toasts and well wishes at a multitude of gatherings this week, which also had its fair share of serious conversations on the state of the industry. Women In Film, Essence and Alfre Woodard’s Sistahs Soirée commemorated girl power, while Icon Mann and Common’s Toast to the Arts recognized the ceremony’s strides in diversity since #OscarsSoWhite.
Take a peek inside the week’s most exclusive fetes below.
Women In Film:
Oscars weekend kicked off with the annual Women In Film cocktail party, which this year, riding on the momentum of the Times Up movement, was heavily attended by Hollywood’s female elite, Viola Davis and Emma Stone, who co-hosted the event alongside Women In Film president Cathy Schulman.
Davis started the soirée with opening remarks, and when Stone took the podium after, she quipped, “No one should ever have to follow Viola Davis, ever!”
Stone, who won the best actress Academy Award last year, greeted the packed house, saying, “I’m so excited for everyone. I hope you’re having a blast with this insane season — I know how insane it can be, but this has been a historic year for so many reasons, and many of you are a part of that.”
Along with Davis and Stone, party guests at the newly-revamped Crustacean in Beverly Hills included Oscar nominee Margot Robbie, Julianne Hough, Lea Michele, Maura Tierney, Kumail Nanjiani and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who was being stopped by continuous guests eager to speak with her.
Cadillac hosted its annual Oscar celebration party at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. And who happened to be the belle of the ball? None other than “Girls Trip” breakout Tiffany Haddish was the guest who got the party going. As a presenter at Sunday’s ceremony, told Variety that she was excited to be in the room.
“I’m rooting for everybody on Sunday,” she said. “Anybody who wins, I’m happy for them.” (Although, the comedienne did end by stating her favorite was “Get Out” director Jordan Peele.)
Haddish, still hasn’t decided what she will be wearing on the big day, but she does recall her most memorable celebrity moment thus far. “Meeting Oprah and her telling me she’s so proud of me and then she touched my face just like she did in my dreams,” Haddish recalled. “Her energy is just the purest and the most wonderful.”
Oscar’s Sistahs Soirée:
The 9th annual “Oscar’s Sistahs Soirée” took place at the Beverly Wilshire with the mission, according to host Alfre Woodard, of bringing “all the African-American women and women of color who have ever been nominated for an acting Oscar and those, who in a perfect world, should have been.”
Mary J. Blige and the cast of “Girls Trip” were honorees at the event. Also in attendance were Danai Gurira, Aisha Tyler, Rosario Dawson, Loretta Devine, Margaret Avery, Kerry Washington, Janelle Monáe, and Nia Long.
In the true tradition of sisterhood, Woodard encouraged her star-studded guest list to mix and mingle. “We’re the ones that never surrender,” she explained. “We are the ones that have found a way into the building where the door wasn’t open.”
Common’s Toast to the Arts:
The Oscar-winning rapper-actor hosted his closest friends who were nominated this year, including “Mudbound” actress Mary J. Blige, producer Charles D. King, and director Dee Rees as well as writer-director Charles Burnett, and “Get Out” actor Daniel Kuluuya.
In its fourth year, the intimate gathering returned with the designs of MVD Inc.’s Miatta Johnson. “Because this is such an important night, every detail of our guest experience is carefully crafted,” Johnson said of the three-course meal that was followed by a dance party with DJ D-Nice.
“A lot of these events around the season are work, and we don’t want our event to feel like work,” said co-organizer and Common’s manager Ashaunna Ayars. “We want it to be somewhere you can go and feel safe and you can let your hair down and you can have dinner and break bread and party after and there’s no cameras in your face and it’s not work, it’s family.”
Before the dinner, Andra Day blessed the food and Common recognized each of the evening’s honorees, who he collectively referred to as “the rebels” of the film season.
“I think this year is the year of the rebels,” Common said about his guests of honor, adding that they each “changed our minds, and took things to different levels through the art of filmmaking and telling stories.”
Chanel and Charles Finch Pre-Oscar Dinner:
Kristen Stewart, Margot Robbie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Daniel Kaluuya were among the fashionably-clad guests at Charles Finch and Chanel’s 10th annual pre-Oscar dinner, held on Oscars eve at Madeo.
Keeping with tradition, partygoers were greeted with a Mariachi band before gathering in the tight quartered Italian hot spot, where a buzzy cocktail hour and intimate sit-down dinner awaited.
“Alright, let’s go drink,” one guest exclaimed before embarking into the notably packed restaurant. Once inside, guests were ready to mingle.
Alejandro Iñarritu and Adrien Brody were spotted catching up, while other conversations were abuzz with Oscars chit chat. Yara Shahidi was eager to greet her “Black-ish” TV mom, Tracee Ellis Ross. Leslie Mann, Sienna Miller, and Annabelle Wallis — all outfitted in Chanel — were also in the mix.
Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood:
The 11th annual Black Women in Hollywood awards attracted a long list of powerful names in Black Hollywood as talent from in front and behind the camera came together for the luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills.
In honoree Tessa Thompson’s acceptance speech, she revealed that in her experience as a black actress, she has filled a black quota that many times goes unspoken. “I filled the quota on network television shows,” she divulged. “I know because I was told that was true.” Earlier on the carpet she shed light on her perspective regarding the Academy Awards as they relate to black women in Hollywood. “I think The Academy is trying to really acknowledge some systemic issues,” Thompson added. “And I think they put a good foot forward. I think what we saw this year, not just from filmmakers of color, but female filmmakers, it’s just wonderful stories.”
The event, which was broadcast on OWN, also honored Lena Waithe and Danai Gurira.
Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs was the first woman to be honored by the organization at the Beverly Wilshire. Icon Mann was created to build connections and dialogue between influential black men in Hollywood and show the community of support that exists with their peers.
Prominent names gathered to pay tribute to Boone Isaacs, including Halle Berry, Kobe Bryant, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, Quincy Jones, Dee Rees and Terry Crews, with Cedric the Entertainer serving as host for the evening.
“I can’t stress enough how much we all must work together and combine our talents — and show all of Hollywood and show America and the world that we have arrived. We are here. We are changing, and we are going to march on,” Isaacs said.