There aren't a lot of parties where you can see giants of the music, film, television and fashion worlds come together and act like old friends -- which some of them actually are. But at Stella McCartney's L.A. boutique on Friday night April 13, you could see Quincy Jones mingling with Gwyneth Paltrow; Gwen Stefani chatting casually with Woody Harrelson; and Dave Grohl and Chris Martin having a conversation together. There were more stars in the store and the outdoor tented garden -- with video screen -- than non-stars on hand.
But for the debut of Sir Paul McCartney's new self-directed video "My Valentine," the A-list turned up -- and more. How often does one receive an invitation from Paul and Stella McCartney? The father/daughter duo don't do a lot of press opps together, but this was a lot more than that. The black-and-white video, with cinematography from Wally Pfister ("The Dark Knight," "Inception"), was shown in three versions: one starring Johnny Depp, one with Natalie Portman (who appeared in McCartney's 2007 video for the song "Dance Tonight") and a version that cuts footage of the two actors together. (Speaking of which, why haven't these two starred in a movie together yet? They look amazing together.)
In the McCartney-directed Depp version, the actor plays guitar and does sign language to the song -- all in one long shot. Portman also performs sign language to the haunting love song, but also mimed the lyrics. The third version, with the two stars cut into one video, seemed to be a crowd favorite. The videos are all strikingly simple and strikingly intimate -- full eye contact with the actors, close-ups -- and heart-tugging emotion, "emo" being a Paul McCartney signature.
There was even a red carpet where actresses could show off their Stella McCartney looks: Paltrow sported Stella's sky high vegan booties with grey jeans and a black blazer, and didn't do the carpet with husband Martin, but greeted friends with him inside. Ginnifer Goodwin, stepping out with new boyfriend and co-star Josh Dallas, wore the evening's best look: a color block Stella dress that matched black and white print with peach and grey tones. Model Liberty Ross and Rumer Willis both donned versions of McCartney's hit spring dress, a red-and-white small print with an S-curve running through the body. Stella McCartney donned a simple black shirt and black well-cut trousers. She's notoriously simple in her dress. She also looked to have not a spot of makeup on her freshly scrubbed English rose skin.
Reese Witherspoon, pregnant and glowing, stepped out without husband Jim Toth, in a black dress with lace sleeves and a lace hem that was really flattering, Stefani, who spent most of the night with No Doubt's Tony Kanal, wore a jumpsuit in black that had sheer panels running all the way up the sides. "How can she wear underwear in that look?" asked one guest. A Hollywood stylist standing nearby quickly ended the mystery: "She isn't." The girl can work a look, that's for sure.
Paul McCartney welcomed guests with new wife Nancy Shevell at his side constantly -- their hands were never far away from each other -- and it's clear who inspired "My Valentine." At the end of the night, the couple was deep in conversation with Paltrow and Martin.
Also on hand were Zooey Deschanel, in a strapless white lace dress and big black ribbon, Amy Smart, Jordana Brewster, Jane Fonda and boyfriend Richard Perry, stylists Tanya Gill and George Kotsiopolous, Jason Lewis and little Kristen Stewart, in a cobalt short skirt, black jacket and flat black pointed toe creeper shoes -- who spent most of the night hiding in a corner, looking like she felt very out of place.