Road to the Oscars 2007

Photo: David Cantor

Life offers various paths and it is up to us to choose which road we will take. The Academy Awards started on their incredible road of recognizing excellence in cinematic achievement in 1929 which has subsequently dubbed the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' most famous event around the world. No wonder that I wanted to be a part of it in 2007 as a Fashion Critic.

Aerial View - 79th Academy Awards. Photo: A.M.P.A.S.

For the 79th Academy Awards, held on February 25th, 2007 at the Kodak Theatre, I was able to cover the event via my 'exterior press credentials' issued by The Academy. Since this was my first in-person coverage of this prestigious event, I decided to give it my best. Here is my review on what sparked my interest during this diverse activity:

 The Pre-Show Set-Up:
 The Governors Ball:
 The Suites and the Oscar Parties:
 The Winners:
 And 'In My Opinion': -

The Pre-Show Set-Up:
Days leading up to the 79th Academy Awards, various aspects to this global event were starting to take shape: the street closures were pre-marked; The Academy press staff  moved into their temporary office space at the Renaissance Hotel; I was able to view the 'security tent' at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland; view the Giant Oscar Statue just outside the Kodak Theatre still wrapped in plastic and then I got to hear from Leslie Unger, Publicity Coordinator for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the number of press affiliations who applied for press event credentials (79th Academy Awards) were denied. These are just examples regarding tit-bits as to the size of people involvement in staging the annual Oscars.

Just minutes away - The 79th Academy Awards. Photo: Veronica Viljoen

TV Personality. Photo: David Cantor

International press on the Red Carpet. Photo: David Cantor

Oscar Fans. Photo: David Cantor

The Governors Ball:
One highlight during the Oscar season was attending the 'Governors Ball Vendors Preview', Saturday February 24th with Lawrence Davis, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Splash Magazines Worldwide at the Grand Ballroom of Hollywood & Highland Complex. The preview allowed us to view all the intricacies of how the ballroom will look when the room will be filled with guests immediately following the telecast of the 79th Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Atmosphere at the Governors Ball Vendors Preview. Photo: Lawrence Davis

Concept Board - Visuals at Governors Ball. Photo: Lawrence Davis

The Governors Ball Vendors Preview. Photo: Lawrence Davis

The Governors Ball, produced by Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions, allowed guests to mix, mingle and dine at their leisure. Guests entered beneath a wrought iron archway that spanned the width of the Ballroom. The archway and five decorative pergolas were lined with a living canopy of woven vines, flowers and ivy evoking the rich and vibrant textures of the Tuscan countryside.  As I was viewing the Ballroom, I was taken by the turning Oscar statue centerpiece placed right in the center of the Ballroom. In my opinion, it seemed as though the swiveling Oscar was a constant reminder of cinematic excellence being rewarded.

The Suites and the Oscar Parties:
Leading up to the 79th Academy Awards, I had the chance to touch base with journalist Joyce Chow, Monte Bubble Network (MBN) as it relates to her press coverage of the Oscars. For me, Chow is one of those journalists that you see during most of the high-profile press events. Like most of us, Chow had a hectic schedule while attending the fashion suites and then covering the 'Night of 100 Stars' Gala at the Beverly Hills Hotel for her website, Monte Bubbles Network.

Joyce Chow, MBN styled in ABS Collection. Jewelry: Swarvoski, crystal drop pendant & House of Taylor, pearls. Photo: (c) 2007 MBN / William Hoehne

Julia Roberts in Vintage Valentino at the 73rd Academy Awards, March 25, 2001. Photo: A.M.P.A.S.

During the buzz of it all, I had a chance to view the ABS Collection gown by Designer, Allen Schwartz that Chow wore to a specific Oscar event. Chow's gown was reminiscent to the Vintage Valentino gown that Julia Roberts wore then she won the Best Actress Award for "Erin Brockovich". With several Oscar parties to attend during Oscar Season, Lawrence Davis chose the 'Night of 100 Stars' the same party that Chow covered to attend with Actress and former Bond Girl, Rachel Grant. In the James Bond film, "Die Another Day", Grant played Peaceful Fountains of Desire opposite Pierce Brosnan. An extended review on Rachel Grant's work can be viewed on her website

As I was working on my article, I wanted to know about the style choices of Davis and Grant and here are some of their seperate responses: "For the Night of 100 Stars, I decided to go with Hugo Boss. I styled myself for this special night out during Oscar Season", Lawrence Davis. Actress, Rachel Grant, stated "that I went with Designer, Pinar Eris for her fabulous designs and I think that I may even collaborate with her in my current Italian movie. Even though she is still new and unseen, her designs are great". Some of Eris's work can be seen on her website: or on myspace at 

Lawrence Davis, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Splash Magazines Worldwide with Actress, Rachel Grant, "Die Another Day" at "Night of 100 Stars". Photo: Splash Magazines Worldwide

Jennifer Hudson, Celestial - A Diamond is Forever. Photo: WireImage/A.Wyman

Due to the success of 'Blood Diamond', the Diamond Information Center hosted its annual pre-Oscar event, Celestial A Diamond Affair 2007, an exclusive invitation-only week long celebration for 2007 Oscar nominees, presenters, diamond admirers and honorees at its world-class Africa inspired diamond spa and retreat at Soho House, Los Angeles. Some of the attendees were Jennifer Hudson, Andy McDowell, Annette Benign, Marcia Gay Harden, Mira Corvine, Regina King and Serena Williams. The movie 'Blood Diamond' is just another example of how far the lens of Hollywood travels.

The Winners:

Award Season is all about announcing the winner. There is the preparation, the best wishes, the anticipation and finally the phrase that we are all waiting to hear: "And the winner is....." For the 79th Academy Awards, I was most delighted to hear that phrase alongside the names of Jennifer Hudson, Best Supporting Actress because of her real life Cinderella Story and Helen Miren, Best Actress for her sizzling performance in "The Queen".

Academy Award Winners: Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson, Helen Miren and Alan Arkin. Photo: A.M.P.A.S.

The Hollywood Sign: symbol of dreams coming true in Tinseltown - Hollywood Blvd, Sunday February 25, 2007. Photo: Veronica Viljoen


And in my opinion:

Covering the 79th Academy Awards has reminded me that dreams still come true and when we least expect it, the unexpected happens. We all walk the path of life according to our own beat. We decide how to respond when one door closes and another may or may not open. I had a great time covering the 79th Academy Awards. Thanks to The Academy. Its a wrap. Veronica Viljoen.

Veronica's Oscar Souveniors - Photo: Johnny Sims

The Door: ..........................79th Academy Awards/Hollywood Blvd. Photo: Veronica Viljoen


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