U.S.-Ireland Alliance's Awards Offer Dose of Pre-Oscar Casualness

By Irene Lacher February 22, 2008, 5:34 PM EST

The Oscar Wilde awards setup at the historic Ebell

Photo: Alberto Rodriguez/Getty Images for U.S.-Ireland Alliance

Most people associate Oscar season with diamonds, floor-length gowns, and other components of buttoned-up black tie, but there are a number of kick-your-shoes-off casual events preceding the big night, too. The U.S.-Ireland Alliance's Oscar Wilde awards honoring the Irish in film is one of the week's more relaxed fetes.

For its third year, the party returned last night to the Ebell Club of Los Angeles, where it honored Colm Meaney, Fiona Shaw, and James L. Brooks in a mercifully short ceremony. Afterward, Dublin-based singer-songwriter Duke Special introduced a sound he called “hobo chic” for an attentive crowd. Guests sipped Sterling Vineyards wines and Oronoco’s rum cocktails as they grazed on Kensington Caterers' shepherd's pie, potatoes, and halibut.

Party decor was minimal—brilliantly colored uplighting painted the columns in one of the ballrooms—but the historic venue requires little added dash. The O'Neill Group produced the event, and Levy Pazanti & Associates coordinated the guest list. Katy Sweet & Associates handled PR.

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