From South Park to Spago, the party animals run wild

It was quite the fashion statement. There it was, the breathtakingly revealing green Versace dress that, just barely, adorned Jennifer Lopez at the Grammys last month. Only this time it was being worn by Trey Parker, the malicious genius behind the South Park movie and television series, whose copious male body hair gave the outfit a different feel altogether.

Next to him was his partner in filthy humour, Matt Stone, sporting a piece of pink chiffon that looked distinctly like the dress Gwyneth Paltrow won her best actress Oscar in last year.

Together, the pair led this year's fashion parade - into which so much thought and preparation, so many hours of consultations with stylists, jewellers, make-up artists and hairdressers had gone. The sea of dinner jackets and evening gowns, many of them sporting plunging backlines this year, flowed into the Shrine Auditorium in the late afternoon sunshine, and flowed back out again, more than five hours later, for the real fun and games, the post-Oscars parties.

From downtown Los Angeles, to the modish restaurants of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, the stretch limos crawled in convoy. They came to a complete halt several blocks south of the corner of Robertson Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, the very epicentre of Oscar partydom where Vanity Fair and Elton John were holding their bashes on opposite sides of the street.

But it was at the celebration being thrown by DreamWorks, the producers of American Beauty, at Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills that things were most civilised. Delicate appetisers were passed around tables adorned with hundreds of "American Beauty" roses. It took several hours for the big stars - Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes, Steven Spielberg - to arrive, by which time the champagne had been flowing pleasantly and the place hummed with the exuberance of a victory sweetly tasted.

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