The intimate dinner held at the Polo Lounge on the eve of the Academy Awards was headlined by a coterie of directors
Words by ELIZABETH VARNELL
Now in its 13th year, Charles Finch and Chanel hosted a generations-spanning pre-Oscars party at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge on Saturday, March 26. Francis Ford Coppola and his filmmaker wife Eleanor joined their daughter, director Sofia Coppola, and a bevy of actors, writers, producers and fellow directors at the annual dinner, formerly held at Madeo.
After a break last year (during which hand-delivered boxes containing a curated selection of films, a projector and snacks stood in for an in-person celebration), the party was back in full swing. Each year the intimate event, capped at 150 guests, draws a continuously shifting roster of emerging stars and stalwarts, and this year a Chanel-clad Kristen Stewart joined her Spencer director, Pablo Larraín, as well as Jane Campion, Ava DuVernay, David O. Russell, Denis Villeneuve, Caitriona Balfe, Jessie Buckley, Phoebe Tonkin, Soo Joo Park, Adrien Brody, Joan Collins, Jason Clarke, Lily James, Julie Delpy, Harvey Keitel, Griffin Dunne and Rashida Jones at the fete.
“Each year the intimate event, capped at 150 guests, draws a continuously shifting roster of emerging stars and stalwarts”
Stewart, who plays the title character of Princess Diana in the film, credits Chanel with opening its archives to her and the film’s costume designer, Jacqueline Durran. Key pieces were loaned or recreated for Stewart’s on-screen character and the Spencer dresses and wardrobe staples add a glamorous sheen to her spiraling psychological dissonance over the course of a family holiday. Such collaborations build on Coco Chanel’s long history of cinematic partnerships dressing Hollywood actors and collaborating with French directors Jean Renoir and Marcel Carné and nouvelle vague actresses Jeanne Moreau and Romy Schneider. Indeed, the French house supports a variety of independent film productions and continues to fund film preservation and restoration projects. Chanel’s current creative director, Virginie Viard, herself a costume designer early in her career, was also on hand to greet guests at the Polo Lounge.
“Chanel’s creative director, Virginie Viard, herself a costume designer early in her career, was also on hand to greet guests at the Polo Lounge”
As was Finch, the son of Oscar-winning actor Peter Finch, who is the CEO of Standalone Pictures and the perennial host of annual pre-BAFTA dinners and Filmmakers Dinners held during the Cannes Film Festival at Hotel du Cap. Reportedly at work on a new digital magazine covering film, culture and the arts, Finch welcomed back Kate Beckinsale, Minnie Driver, Jamie Dornan, Chris Pine, Jennifer Meyer, Sienna Miller and many more creatives in town for the Academy Awards, plus singers Rita Ora and Giveon. The lively gathering felt like a reunion of sorts. While last year’s party box included dessert derived from one of the Polo Lounge’s signatures — ice creams with an array of toppings — guests at this year’s dinner were treated to the real thing, capping the evening with mini mint chip sundaes prepared following Marilyn Monroe’s preferences for malted milk foam, hot fudge and sour cherries.
March 27, 2022
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