By Alesandra Dubin Posted January 26, 2009, 4:31 PM EST
LOS ANGELES In a year marked by tough economic times, an over-the-top, glittery, sequined Oscar ball might not seem like the most appropriate choice. That's one reason you can expect to see a Zen-looking party space inspired by the elements of water, air, fire, wood, and earth for the academy's annual Governors Ball following this year's Academy Awards on February 22.
Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions will again produce the party—which will take to the grand ballroom at Hollywood & Highland following the awards at the Kodak Theatre in the same complex—with ball chair Cheryl Boone Isaacs. It's Boone Isaacs' seventh year as chair, and Cecchetto has worked on the event for more than two decades. “I've always wanted to work with an East-meets-West Asian theme,” said Cecchetto at a press preview of the decor earlier today. “In this economy, we wanted to go with a pared-down look, but still elegant and beautiful.”
Boone Isaacs added, “One of our things is that we want to make each year completely different from the last. [The use of the organic] elements is kind of like a breath of fresh air—totally different.”
The ball's Asian-inspired look will include a bamboo and leaf motif that repeats in lighting patterns on the walls, plus a shadow effect in light-box fixtures suspended from the ceiling. Glowing pillar candles will softly illuminate wall panels. Mark's Garden's foliage will include gnarly grapevine, polished stones, and moss. Some centerpieces will include suspended clusters of lilies hanging from bonsai trees.
Wolfgang Puck will again cater the seated dinner for about 1,500, and Sterling Vineyards, Patron, and Moët & Chandon will pour the beverages.