Published September 25, 2009
Famed Beverly Hills Courier columnist George Christy gives you an insider's peek into Hollywood's A-list parties and personalities.
Overdue, isn’t it, for the Emmy Awards to be broadcast simultaneously on both the East and West Coasts. With the Internet, Blackberrys, Twitter, phone calls relaying the winners before the 8 PM airing on the West Coast, the three-hour delay appears antediluvian. Mentioning this to executives during the 61st Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards, I encountered a 100 percent agreement.
More agreement surfaced that host Neil Patrick Harris juiced the evening, as he did with the Tony Awards in June. And that he should be booked now for next year was discussed after the Nokia Theatre ceremony during HBO’s posh party at the Pacific Design Center. Two thousand guests celebrated the cable giant’s 99 Emmy nominations – more than any other network for the ninth year in a row, winning 21 awards. They concurred that the HBO fete is Numero Uno, which is why everyone convenes for this auspicious evening that’s remembered with huge thanks and appreciation.
HBO’s grand-slam soirees and premieres are created and designed by Billy B, as friends call him. This is our resident genius Billy Butchkavitz, who grew up in a rambling Eastern Pennsylvania farmhouse, and stores humongous grab bags of surprises in his hip pockets for the fabled fetes he designs. Two years ago for HBO’s Emmy party, Billy dazzled the crowd with his Thailand theme, and last year’s HBO’s Brasilia decor still has Lynne Segall, an admitted fan who’s the LA Times v-p of entertainment and advertising, in awe and raving.
This week, HBO guests marveled at Billy’s centerpiece in the dining area of the 20-foot-in-diameter chandelier of glittering ruby-red crystals, extending 28 feet from the ceiling. A knockout that had eyes gaping. Billy claims the inspiration for his overall décor was Parisian couturier Paul Poiret (1879-1944), who banished the corset and created free-flowing, luxurious Art-Decoesque gowns for his clients. “Poiret’s famous for hosting the most extravagant parties for a fashion designer,” informed Billy, noting that the rose was Poiret’s signature, with Billy creating a garden for the party with one hundred ten-feet-tall rosebush topiaries he custom-ordered and had shipped by boat from China. Blood-red roses dressed the tables and buffets, with many guests assuming that Billy was inspired by HBO’s popular series, True Blood.