By Alesandra Dubin Posted August 29, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT
Experimenting with a nontraditional format, MTV producers went with no host for the network's Video Music Awards last night at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live—but Beyoncé might have upstaged any M.C. with her big pregnancy announcement anyway, perhaps the most talked-about moment of the big show.
Baby bumps aside, some production details of the show were also worthy of much Monday water-cooler chatter. For instance, the big-time arrivals setup: Leading up to Sunday's big night, the network took over the lobby of the JW Marriott Los Angeles to build its black carpet, which would house the televised arrivals and preshow. All of the hotel's food and beverage outlets were closed as a result (although guests could eat breakfast and lunch at WP24 by Wolfgang Puck at the Ritz-Carlton through the weekend). Celebrities entered through the front entrance of the hotel on Sunday and moved along the carpet before exiting through the back, proceeding to Nokia for the show. As for the cost of buying out all those bustling restaurants, Brigid Finley, PR director for JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton L.A. Live, said the number was confidential, but that it was a combination of both cash and trade.
Onstage, part of the drama—the non-Gaga-in-drag part—came from a showy fabric set piece from German designer Florian Wieder, built by Moss for the second year in a row. The designers provided a digital 3-D model, from which the form and patterns for the structure emerged, eventually taking shape from two-inch aluminum tube covered in many yards of fabric. The white fabric served as a backdrop for dramatic lighting and projection, with winners like Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Adele scooping up their awards amid the dynamic setting.
And of course, the show brought on its heels a host of related parties around town.
Among the biggest and most design minded was the Colin Cowie-produced after-party on Sunday at Boulevard3 to celebrate the release of Lil Wayne’s new album, Tha Carter IV, which hit stores today. (Cowie's group has partnered with Cash Money in the past for other parties, including a pre-Grammy party two years ago and one in February, and Lil Wayne's welcome-home-from-jail party in Miami last fall.)
In Touch Weekly's annual “Icons & Idols” party at the Sunset Tower on Sunday included custom activations for sponsors UV Vodka, eos (Evolution of Smooth), and Sprint. Bauer Media Group executive director of integrated marketing Kara Asciutto oversaw the event, with production by Toast and Bookem Danno Productions for the second year. Danny Masterson, a.k.a. DJ Mom Jeans, and DJ Ms. Nix spun for the crowd.
Take a look at our slide show for photos from these parties and more, including events with hosts and sponsors like Esquire, Nissan, Perez Hilton, Carrera sunglasses, and more.