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Harper's Bazaar

February 22, 2017

A fête plan for this Sunday’s Academy Awards viewing–no matter your hostess style.

By Natasha Huang Smith

The Oscars is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous nights of the year, from show-stopping gowns to dapper tuxes, and of course the anticipation of all the winning films you will scramble to see (if you haven’t already) post-show. But lets be honest, judging the red carpet is the best part of the evening–and doing it in style is a must. Follow our guide to hosting a chic Oscar viewing party minimal effort and maximum style.

Make it clear that your guests should arrive in something comfortable without forgoing style.

Tibi top, $375, and trousers, $395, net-a-porter.comGuccifur-lined slides, $734, mytheresa.comIsabel Marantearrings, $80,

Invitations set the tone–their presence and the effort in sending them separates the casual get togethers from full out partiesso invite your guests to your viewing party with something that has a classic feel and a touch of whimsy. For the fashion centric crowd, consider Connor hand stamped note cards. For something more grand and traditional, try something by Mrs. John L Strong. Or, go classic with a touch of whimsy, with an option from Dempsey and Carroll (pictured).

The Décor

Set the mood with accents that remind guests of Hollywood’s heyday and a scent that adds to the vibe. If you don’t have a bar cart or sleek coupes for champagne, now would be the excuse to invest.

Society Social “Worth” bar cart, $625, shopsocietysocial.comLSA champagne saucer, $65/set of 2, us.amara.comDiptyque “Baies Limited Edition Deluxe Indoor Outdoor” candle, $350,

Festive Attire

Fun, festive sparkles are always welcome–but don’t let them get in the way of comfort, especially if you’ll be doing double duty as hostess.

3.1 Phillip Lim dress, $1,195, net-a-porter.comCommon Projects sneakers, $410,

Food & Drink

When in doubt–go luxe. Set up a caviar station with your favorite varieties, creme fraiche and ample amounts of blinis that allows guests to nibble on delicious little bites in between winner announcements. Vodka may be a customary pairing and having it on ice is encouraged, but champagne pairs perfectly and will feel apropos for the evening–so stock up on plenty of bubbly.

Olma classic caviar gift box, $159, olmafood.comCedes Milano caviar stand and bowl set, $950, barneysny.comVeuve Cliquot champagne, $49.95,

Glam Factor

Keep your beauty look stress-free and overall minimal–you’re not the one on the carpet after all. Instead, opt for statements that feel fun and low maintenance, like a red lip or bold brow.

Dior “Rouge Dior” lipstick, $35,

Pop, Fizz, Clink.

“A specialty bar is always a great idea–and nothing feels more appropriate for the Oscars than a celebratory toast,” says Darcy Miller, entertaining expert and author of Celebrate Everything. “You can personalize these topping bars any way you like and for any occasion–even down to things as playful as edible glitter,” says Miller. The celebrations guru also encourages naming custom cocktails after the night’s nominated films, and making it interactive and simple for guests to mix their own concoctions or add a festive garnish.

Selfie Redux

Somewhere in between the red carpet and ‘Best Picture’ can tend to drag on. Use that time for snapping pictures on your own red carpet (read: your living room rug). Go for something with instant gratification that’s a little more special than a selfie–like an Instax Mini. For the photo shy, try out the ‘Six degrees of Dating’ game: Write two celeb names on a board and challenge guests to connect them through their dating pool. Or, take a cue from March Madness for a Fantasy Oscars set-up, where each guests casts their ballots for who they think will take home the biggest honors of the night.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 70, $139.95,

Sweet Tooth

Once it’s time for dessert–go mini and personalized. It avoids your having to plate cake, dole out cookies or whip up a complicated sweets bar when it’s time for the night’s biggest announcements. Stick with individually packaged, nostalgic offerings you know your guests will love–like small pots of edible cookie dough. Or, your guests can act like a kid in a candy shop and fill up their own goodie bag from your adult candy bar set up, featuring playful sweets like Sugarfina’s candy olives or 24k gold swizzle sticks.

Moet & Chandon mini bottles, $15.99, shopwinedirect.comSugarfina swizzle sticks, $15, and martini olive almonds, $7.50/small box,;  The Cookie Dough Cafe edible cookie dough pots, $29/pack of 3,