In the wake of #MeToo, guest lists for this year’s Emmy parties will be a bit smaller: No Les Moonves, Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Tambor or Kevin Spacey, who all used to be regular attendees. But the show — airing Monday on NBC and co-hosted by “Saturday Night Live” stars Michael Che and Colin Jost — will go on, and so will some 30 pre- and post-show celebrations.
For decades, Emmy parties were like community-center bar mitzvahs compared to the royal-wedding fetes that surround the Golden Globes and Oscars. Emmy parties have come a long way from, say, 1965, when the Television Academy’s official ball was a post-show ten-dollar steak dinner which many attendees — Barbra Streisand, Dick van Dyke and Danny Thomas among them — blew off.
But in recent years, TV’s new “golden age” has pumped up profits. And in Hollywood, where profits go, extravagant self-congratulatory parties always follow.
And it’s not just TV stars who make the scene. Mick Jagger popped into Creative Artists Agency’s (CAA) pre-Emmy party at Bouchon in 2013, hanging with Jimmy Fallon, meeting Oprah and boogieing with Gayle King before holding court at HBO’s post-ceremony bash — the zenith of Emmy events — where even the oft-gaped-at stars of “Game of Thrones” were starstruck.
This year’s CAA event was held at the cozy and beachy Rose Café in Venice, while the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television) hosted a proper afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches included, at the Beverly Hilton. “The only thing not British is the weather” says BAFTA CEO Chantal Rickards. “Everyone always stays all day for the authentic food like clotted cream.” Except for one actress, who had to dash last year: “Allison Janney’s dress split from top to bottom, so she dipped out fast.”
One name showing up on every party planner’s dream guest list this year is Issa Rae, who’s up for lead actress in a comedy series for “Insecure.”
“Her show’s on fire and she’s gorgeous,” said the VIP of celebrity relations to a top designer hoping to dress Rae. “She’s not the next big thing — she is the big thing.” Other hot gets: nominees Donald Glover, Sarah Paulson and Lena Headey, who’s up for supporting actress in a drama for “Game of Thrones.”
UTA (United Talent Agency), which reps Rae as well as buzzy stars such as Kate McKinnon and “Crazy Rich Asians” actress Constance Wu, kept things intimate at partner Jay Sures’ swank Brentwood home. On Sunday, Rae is guest of honor at a Glamour brunch — she’s the magazine’s October cover girl — at Tory Burch’s Rodeo Drive flagship boutique.
While Rae’s home network, HBO, throws the biggest party on the night of the ceremony, Showtime and FX own the evening before. The former is throwing a big bash at the Chateau Marmont, and the latter at Century City’s swank Craft restaurant to honor nominees Penélope Cruz (supporting actress in a limited series, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”), Sarah Paulson (lead actress in a limited series, “American Horror Story: Cult”) and Donald Glover (up for three awards for “Atlanta” and guest actor in a comedy series for “Saturday Night Live”).
After the awards show wraps up around 8 p.m. local time, the winners and losers have plenty of places to celebrate or drown their sorrows, including the Netflix event at the hip communal workspace Neuehouse; and Fox’s affair at Vibiana, a former cathedral and one of downtown LA’s few 19th-century landmarks.
TV’s new “golden age” has pumped up profits and, in Hollywood, where profits go, extravagant self-congratulatory parties always follow.
Hulu only jumped into the Emmys party fray last year, but with the streaming service’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” up for a whopping 13 awards on Monday, the LA outpost of the NoMad Hotel should be rocking.
Hulu event chief Deva Kehoe told The Post that models in “Handmaid’s”-style red robes will be eerily mingling among the revelers — and there will be other surprises. That’s strategic for Instagram-happy guests, of course: “We try to lay Easter eggs all over, creating unique social-media moments,” Kehoe added.
The night’s real after-show biggies, however, are the annual Television Academy’s Governors Ball and the HBO party — because they have the biggest budgets, most splendiferous decor and the most stars. The Governors Ball expects to host 3,800 people at the LA Live Event Deck, and HBO’s capacity for its party at the Pacific Design Center is about 1,800.
The decades-old Ball is hosted by the board of the Television Academy, so it’s the one party every star/showrunner/exec drops into before running off to a more raucous fete.
This year’s ball has an “Emmys Under the Stars” theme, designed (for the 21st time) by Cheryl Cecchetto of Sequoia Productions and her team. “Because this is the 70th [anniversary of the Emmys], we wanted it to be a literally starry night… half indoor, half outdoors. Our giant tent’s on a venue the size of nine NBA basketball courts, surrounded by downtown LA skyscrapers,” Cecchetto said.
“The center stage in the round is a double layer featuring band members on the outside, circling the singers going in opposite directions on the moving platform,” she added.
While in the past the dinner has been a rather staid, sit-down affair, this year there will be 35 stations serving 300,000 mini-versions of dishes such as vegan cashew ceviche and sweet corn agnolotti from James Beard Award-winning chef Joachim Splichal of Patina. Which doesn’t mean guests have to eat standing up — there are more than 1,000 chairs and 78 sofas scattered around.
Perhaps the most coveted invite is to HBO’s shindig. Held this year in a giant tent outside of West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center, it’s got more design bombast than Barnum and Bailey.
Designer Billy Butchkavitz has been creating those over-the-top environments for 19 years, and spends the rest of his year seeking inspiration from locales all over the world.
“I travel to . . . India, Myanmar, Vietnam — and have fabrics made,” he said. “I’m not a minimalist! I want parties to look like sets for old MGM musicals.”
Last year’s lipstick-red Chinoiserie theme was based on the Royal Pavillion in Brighton Beach, England, an Asian-themed palace “that belongs to Queen Victoria’s uncle’s palace,” explained Butchkavitz, who can’t reveal his budget. “We had a 50,000-square-foot carpet screen printed and based on actual Pavillion patterns.
His theme this year is the Garden of Eden. “Everyone should show up naked,” Butchkavitz joked. But the tent certainly won’t be. His travels to Rajasthan, India, led him to “these cool insects made out of brass. The carpet’s black with fuchsia, gold and green serpents, and the walls are dramatic black, [all] against gold chandeliers. There are fuchsia flowers for 300 centerpieces.”
Before they head to the parties, many actresses change out of gowns they wore on the Emmys red carpet, swapping formal looks for something shorter, tighter, shinier. But there’s an etiquette to that.
“If your dress is too cumbersome, impractical or uncomfortable for after parties — [if it has] a long train, a tight corset or 40 pounds of beading,” said celebrity stylist George Kotsiopoulos, you’re allowed to change. “Otherwise it screams of desperation if a big star changes just for additional photo-ops. That’s just not cool.”
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