In case you are still soaking up the spiritual event that was Beyonce's Coachella performance last Saturday, you might have missed that Oscar-winner-turned-luxury-wellness priestess Gwyneth Paltrow staged her own wedding prep the same weekend; a hen's holiday in Mexico on Friday, followed by a formal engagement party in Los Angeles, hosted by uber producer Ryan Murphy.
Murphy, the mastermind behind the American Horror Story shows, is the business partner of Paltrow's betrothed, TV producer Brad Falchuck, so it was always going to be a scene. But this is Paltrow, goddaughter of Steven Spielberg, close friend of Stella McCartney, pioneer of painless divorces (don't make me write it), so you had best inform your chakras: this was no ordinary soiree.
Murphy hired a band to play for the 400 guests – all of them dressed as if they were attending the Oscars. So over-the-top was the night, in fact, rumours were rife that it was a wedding.
Alas, it turned out to be just a really, really fancy engagement party. Or so we think. We still don't know, as Paltrow is now wearing a gold ring! Ah, we expect nothing less from the woman who once said she "couldn't pretend to be someone who makes $25,000 a year".
What role Falchuck occupied in all of this remains unclear. One thing is certain: he's gotta love her moves. Yes, Paltrow is a proficient dancer, but those are not the moves I'm referring to. I'm talking about power moves, because Paltrow brought them, and threw down with a delicate ferocity not seen since Marie Antoinette demanded that a miniature battleship be affixed to her own wig.
Power Move 1: The Guests
Spielberg was there, of course, with wife Kate Capshaw. Stella was there, too. Cameron Diaz and husband Benji Madden were in attendance, as was Chelsea Handler, Demi Moore, Liv Tyler, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and their respective partners, as well as some third-tier celebs to illustrate how unaffected we all are by fame in our $20,000 designer dresses.
But one guest stood out like a wheel of gruyere at a communal juice cleanse: Jennifer Aniston. Oh, yes. Paltrow and her are friends, didn't you know? Although you must recall, because you are living in the western world, that Aniston was once married to Brad Pitt until he left her in spectacular fashion for one Angelina Jolie in late 2004. Let me jog your memory further now, because Paltrow was engaged to Pitt in 1997.
Paltrow is Queen of the reach-out. She reached out to Cameron Diaz after Diaz's father died; she reached out to Beyonce after Paltrow's former husband Chris Martin collaborated with Jay Z.
You don't think she would've stretched herself, like a yogi at a silent health retreat, to lock eyes with Aniston in the aftermath of her divorce? Maybe raise her eyebrows twice in quick succession before inviting her to consume a round of Himalayan salt-infused margaritas and gluten-free burritos? Of course she did. It's a power move, all right. Befriend the ex's ex. But who on this green earth can take that to Paltrow's level and invite that ex to your engagement?
Power Move 2: Wrestling Reece away
Last weekend wasn't all about Beyonce. There was another intimate party going on, hosted by US InStyle editor Laura Brown, one of the most connected media personalities in the game right now, known not just for her Australian roots, but her close, personal friendships with A-listers.
Brown has charm, she has grace. So it was unsurprising to learn (via Instagram) that she held a dinner party celebrating Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Allison Janney, Ellen Pompeo, director Ava DuVernay and the deeply hip fashion designers the Rodarte sisters.
Brown called it a tribute to "Bad Ass Women", which is fine. It's just that if you have half the cast of Big Little Lies, sans their close friend and producer Reese Witherspoon, it's a teeny bit obvious she had somewhere better to go. And there she was, in her platform heels, and jutting grin, trotting up to Paltrow's engagement party without so much as a "Love you guys!" comment on Brown's instagram.
Reese knows as well as Becky Sharp, the character she played in the 2004 film version of Vanity Fair, where the power lies in these social circles, and she is moving on up!
Power Move 3: Dissing the ex-husband but keeping it classy
Gwyneth knows what you think of her, that she's stuck up. So before you could even form the words to accuse of her of getting just a bit carried away with all this wedding stuff, considering she's 45 and it is her second one, she's given us a quote to stop us in our party-pooping tracks.
"I"ve never had a wedding before!" she told People magazine. It's true, she had an elopement with Martin in 2003 because she said at the time that getting dressed up was something she already did at red carpet events and therefore had no such needs for a wedding.
So, now we learn that not only is Paltrow deserving of a proper princessy wedding, she's also effectively erasing her marriage. It's a champagne dig at Martin, and a public revirginisation all wrapped up in a neat sentence.
Oh, movie moguls may come and go, but Gwyneth Paltrow and her power moves should be enshrined in bronze somewhere on the rolling hills of Hollywood to show every yearning white girl wannabe influencer slash wellness coach clambering for her slice of probiotic yam pie just precisely how it's done.
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