Oscar Party Preview: Governors Ball to Draw Inspiration From Vintage Nightclubs

By Alesandra Dubin February 9, 2011, 3:48 PM EST

Photo: Theresa Clayton Taylor

On Wednesday morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted a press preview of the decor for 83rd annual Academy Awards Governors Ball at the Hollywood & Highland Center. And as is typical for what might rightly be considered the party of the year for 1,500 A-list guests in Los Angeles, the look promises to dazzle, with a multicolored palette inspired by the musical traditions of nightclubs throughout history. Three musical styles—classic standards, swing, and Latin—will influence the look and feel.

Working again with ball chair Jeffrey Kurland, Cheryl Cecchetto and her Sequoia Productions team will produce the affair, held in the grand ballroom at the top level of Hollywood & Highland. The centerpiece of the room is a towering palm decor piece, with a glittering Swarovski crystal trunk and leaves radiating outward. Cecchetto explained at the preview that she found inspiration for all the round shapes in the room from old photographs of Esther Williams, which abounded with graceful curving lines.

Mark Held of Mark's Garden will once again design the flowers at the ball, going for a combination of tropical blooms, orchids, and succulents, all highlighted with feathers and metallic accents for a splashy look.

Wolfgang Puck will cater as usual, with a menu created by Puck, chef partner Matt Bencivenga, and executive pastry chef Sherry Yard. The first course will be a trio of Puck's signature salads. Entrées will be pan-roasted Dover sole with fennel, olives, haricots verts, tomatoes, lemon, sherry, and olive oil; and butler-served veggie risotto paella with saffron, white wine, chili, and parsley. Dessert offerings will include the flashy 24-karat chocolate Oscar statuette.

Moët & Chandon will once again be the ball's exclusive Champagne, pouring about 1,200 bottles of bubbly, as well as its “Silver Screen Punch,” a concoction with strawberries and vodka.

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