Designer to the Stars Throws Oscar Nominee Bash After Hosting the Obamas

White House decorator Michael Smith's fete drew Jimmy Kimmel, Damien Chazelle, J.J. Abrams, CAA's Kevin Huvane, Rashida Jones, Jennifer Garner, Brett Ratner and more, according to a party insider.
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James Costos and designer Michael Smith

Toasting Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd ahead of their debut as producers for the 89th annual Academy Awards telecast provided the occasion for a Jan. 31 cocktail party at the Holmby Hills home of James Costos and Michael Smith.

But the hosts also had plenty to talk about on the heels of hosting Barack and Michelle Obama at their Palm Springs home the first weekend after the former first couple decamped from the White House. That and Costos and Smith were making a return to L.A. following four years in Madrid where Costos served the Obama administration as ambassador to Spain, while Smith served as the Obamas' decorator at the White House.

According to a party insider, the fete for De Luca and Todd drew such names as Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel, La La Land helmer Damien Chazelle, J.J. Abrams and wife Katie McGrath, CAA's Kevin Huvane, Jennifer Garner, mother-daughter duo Peggy Lipton and Rashida Jones, president of Disney-ABC Television Group Ben Sherwood, filmmakers Brett Ratner and Jay Roach, producer Mike Medavoy, and philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen.

Costos and Smith may have left Spain, but they haven't forgotten the cuisine: Guests dined on Spanish tapas including cheeses and salmon skewers. De Luca and Todd have been friends with Costos and Smith for more than a decade after meeting on an American Airlines flight following a movie premiere.

A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.