The days before the Oscars
11 a.m. Michael Caine’s wife, Shakira, meets with designer Pamela Dennis. She likes one gown, but wants a different cut. Dennis tells her beader in India to make a new dress, then fly it in for the big night. Cost of airline ticket: thousands. Desired effect: priceless.
12:30 p.m. Ashley Judd drops in on jeweler Martin Katz and selects a $500,000 necklace with green-yellow diamonds. But just before the show, she decides to leave the bauble on the vanity.
10 a.m. Erykah Badu’s green chiffon head wrap arrives by FedEx at the Donna Karan suite at the Four Seasons Hotel.
11 a.m. The rumor du jour is that Julianne Moore and her stylist, Kithe Brewster, have whittled down her choices to two dresses. Her makeup artist, Scott Barnes, sketches out different color palettes to suit each outfit.
8 p.m. Asprey, the royal jewelers, host a dinner at the Bel-Air Hotel with a performance by power balladeers Styx. The topic of conversation: the fashion faux pas of putting someone as sweetly sexy as Mena Suvari in a sedate Escada outfit for Oscar night.
11 a.m. Staying at the L’Ermitage hotel is one-stop shopping. Vera Wang’s publicist (room 412) visits Judith Leiber’s publicist (room 517); leaves with bags for Jane Fonda and Anjelica Huston.
4 p.m. Celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch storms into Harry Winston on Rodeo Drive. His client Salma Hayek needs pink diamonds. Two TV camera crews following Bloch get the moment on tape.
6 p.m. Michael Clarke Duncan chooses a Mr. Jingles Green Mile Concord timekeeper specially created for the Oscars; it will later be auctioned for a charity of his choice.
11 a.m. At Le Montrose Suite Hotel in West Hollywood, designer Randolph Duke’s lips are sealed. But a huge bronze ball gown — yes, Hilary Swank’s, as it turns out — is on the rack next to him.
1 p.m. Feng shui expert David Raney creates ”an energetic security system” in the room that Vidal Sassoon is setting up at L’Ermitage.
12:10 a.m. In the L’Ermitage lobby, the Swarovski crew puts crystal tattoos on the back of Kevin Spacey’s stylist, Johanna Argan. ”Thanks for the demonstration,” says Spacey drolly.
9:30 a.m. Angela Bassett works out with her trainer at Gold’s Gym for the fifth day in a row. How else would she keep those arms so buff?
1 p.m. Without his stylist but with gal pal Dianne Dreyer, Kevin Spacey visits Asprey & Garrard at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Wearing a false shirt cuff, he picks out sapphire cuff links worth $8,250.
6:30 p.m. Haley Joel Osment and father Eugene arrive at Hugo Boss on Rodeo. Osment’s tux, a smaller copy of his dad’s, fits perfectly.
9:30 p.m. Dinner at Mr. Chow. Moore’s stylist confides they’ve decided on a Chanel dress that took 100 hours to create. Looks like she’ll go with red lipstick.
10:30 a.m. Tobey Maguire gets in some cardio at Crunch on Sunset.
10:45 a.m. Angelina Jolie, in another of her all-black outfits, leaves L’Ermitage and jumps into the anti-star vehicle: a Ford Ranger pickup. In black, of course.
1:30 p.m. Thora Birch gets her brows plucked by top tweezer Anastasia.
3:30 p.m. Swank picks out a Movado watch for husband Chad Lowe at the Independent Spirit Awards.
11 p.m. Pre-Oscar parties take a backseat to 11th-hour fittings. At the Peninsula hotel, Judd gets final touches on her Valentino gown, which arrived the day before from Rome.
11 a.m. Toni Collette visits the Estee Lauder spa at the Four Seasons for the latest in pedicures. Hot rocks separate her toes while the nails are painted.
12 p.m. A Vidal Sassoon hairstylist runs to the Four Seasons to give Richard Farnsworth a trim.
9:54 p.m. At the show, Kevyn Aucoin is curling Cher’s lashes. Suddenly, as the ‘N Sync guys make their exit, stagehands ”push this cart through, and we all fall onto the monitor,” says Aucoin, who removed the curler just in time. ”The last thing you want is to pull somebody’s eyelashes out just before she walks on.”