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Inside the V.I.P. Area at VH1/Vogue Awards

October 16, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards Radio City Music Hall Tuesday, 10.15.02, 7 PM onward
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Following the lead of its older sister, MTV's Video Music Awards, VH1 held its razzle-dazzle VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards at Radio City Music Hall this year. The classic, classy venue made the event seem decidedly more grown up (and corporate) than last year's show at the Hammerstein Ballroom, and the switch to a live broadcast meant the show had to go off without the hiccups and start-and-stop jerks of last year's event.

Along with its choice of venues, VH1 took other tips from its better performing corporate sibling, using a similar plan—and many of the same vendors—for the fashion awards' side party and greenroom spreads. Like the V.I.P. area set up for the VMAs, the first mezzanine held the ”Vogue Velvet Rope” area for about 850 Viacom and Vogue V.I.P.s (MTV Networks president Judy McGrath, People's Steven Cojocaru, lots of fashion publicists).

The Catering Company put out a pretty food spread, including tapas buffets with grilled fall vegetables, miniature filet sandwiches with frizzled leeks and tomato aioli, and wild mushroom and ricotta pizettes. Among the striking-looking passed hors d'oeuvres were hand-tied crepe bundles filled with Thai vegetables, which looked like intricate little gifts for the guests. The setup included plenty of square-shaped plates (a big trend now) in different sizes from Broadway Famous. (See more pictures of the food...)

Magnolia Flowers & Events decorated the area with giant flower arrangements in cement urns. Small, pretty green and white arrangements topped cocktail tables covered in tan tablecloths, and guests could watch the show on plasma monitors brought in by MB Productions.

A makeshift green room was set up in the venue's basement, with modern looking white furniture—square couches and cube seats—from Greenroom. The Catering Company served a plentiful assortment of sushi, lots of shrimp cocktail and chargrilled New York strip steak withb?arnaise sauce on buffet tables of varying heights. While the ubiquitous Nicky Hilton and Casey Johnson carried on in one corner, many of the celebrity presenters passed through before or after their stage bits (John Travolta was practicing his presentation of the Designer of the Year award with friends).

Guests roving the V.I.P. areas had Courvoisier cosmopolitans and apple martinis, while the masses seated on the main floor and upper mezzanines drank from a cash bar.

The show's host, Will & Grace star Debra Messing, got a warm reception from the audience as she vamped around the large, bilevel silver stage in a series of gowns. The set had moving metal and white walls and two pits for audience members (now a de rigueur touch at awards shows), and the folks brought in to scream and carry on as fans inside the pits had a tougher job than you might think—they started piling in more than an hour before the show started.

Chad Kaydo

See more pictures of the food...

Read our coverage of last year's VH1/Vogue awards...

Read our report on the MTV VMAs...

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