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LOS ANGELES As far as events go, the Screen Actors Guild awards party is People’s biggest hurrah. For the magazine, celebrating the celebrities who fill its pages is like saying grace before sitting down to a sumptuous meal of its bread and butter—and it generates plenty of brand-building goodwill in the process.
Under the watchful eye of Cyd Wilson, director of creative development for People and In Style, Time Inc.’s Hollywood blowouts are as lavish as any film premiere. For the SAG party that the magazine throws with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Wilson imports designer Stanlee Gatti from San Francisco. And this year, Gatti said, he has been surfing his city’s upbeat mood since its congressional rep, Nancy Pelosi, became Speaker of the House. The connection might not be immediately obvious, but Gatti said his sense of optimism and “a positive feeling about the planet” inspired the simple but elegant party palace he created in the 80- by 160-foot clear-span tent constructed next to the Shrine Auditorium, which hosts the show.
After the 13th annual SAG awards show ended around 7 PM, winners and presenters such as Forest Whitaker, Alec Baldwin, Keifer Sutherland, and the cast of Grey’s Anatomy began filing the cavernous tent, which Gatti dressed in colors representing the earth and sky. He draped some 6,200 yards of café au lait-colored ultrasuede from the ceiling, which was softly illuminated with amber uplighting. Contrasting that were curvy couches covered in orchid-colored velvet, a nod to Northern California’s fields of lavender. Standing in for cumulus clouds were 25,000 blue-and-white hydrangeas, which filled vases throughout the tent and formed a hedge atop an S-shaped couch in the center of the room.
After all the celebrities had cleared the press gauntlet, John Legend serenaded the party’s 1,300 guests with a four-song set. For some, the party was a chance to take a breath in the middle of awards season. Wilson herself was coming up for air after coordinating the SAG party as well as five back-to-back Golden Globes events earlier in the month. As well-wishers came over to say hello, the event pro raised the hem of her floor-length, sequined gown to reveal one of her secrets for surviving the busy season: Puma sneakers.
Photos: Nadine Froger Photography
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