One flew in from Milan, the other from a galaxy far, far away. One is the best-dressed man of the moment. The other, well, he doesn’t wear clothes at all. But Tom Ford and Chewbacca received standing ovations at two blowout parties last week at the Santa Monica airport.
At the June 7 taping of the MTV Movie Awards, Claire Danes and Tom Cruise won Best Performance awards, and Jewel, Bush, and En Vogue sang, but it was the gentle roar of the Wookiee that had the crowd out of its seats. Too long unrecognized, Star Wars‘ hirsute sidekick received a Lifetime Achievement award, presented by his Millennium Falcon-riding costar Carrie Fisher. ”He finally got his due,” said Swingers‘ Jon Favreau. ”And I was glad to see that happen.” As Austin Powers star Mike Myers, who hosted the show (and did a wicked Lord of the Dance spoof), would say, ”Let’s shag, baby.”
Two days before, at a benefit that netted $1.2 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles, clean-shaven Gucci designer Ford got an even bigger reception. Celebrities like Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Toni Braxton, Uma Thurman, and Demi Moore all piled into an airplane hangar to see Gucci’s first U.S. show, a gorgeously severe fall collection offering everything from turbo-power suits to retro shoulder pads to dangerously slit miniskirts. ”It’s very rock & roll. It’s very cool,” said Jewel. But while the stars leaped to their feet at the end of the presentation, the models, shod in death-defying spike heels, could barely keep standing. ”The most fascinating thing is how these chicks walk in these nine-inch sticks,” said Chasing Amy director Kevin Smith. ”I was staring at ankles.”