It seems that every awards show tries to outdo the preceding one with lavish goody bags for the celebrity honorees, loaded to the brim with an outrageous cache of fancy loot.
The Oscar gift bags from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences are particularly anticipated by honorees, as are the gift bags from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for its annual Golden Globe Awards. This year the Foreign Press Association handed out 100-year-old, red-lacquered Chinese Wedding Chests worth $5,350 apiece, decorated with a stylized lion (representing the bridegroom as a virile male) to house the pricey goodies.
"The boxes were just so beautiful we couldn't resist them," says Scott Orland, a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and a journalist for a German magazine who volunteered his services as gift coordinator. "We were approached by In-Style Magazine several years ago to help facilitate the choosing of gifts, since they are so proactive in Hollywood and have such a multitude of advertising clients."
Beautiful as the 50 or more boxes are, they presented size constraints.
"In the past we have been offered gigantic things as gifts, like satellite dishes, huge TV screens and stereo systems," says Orland. "But we are not out to compete with anyone or create the Utopian box from Shangri-La. These gifts are just tokens to thank our honorees."
Well, there are tokens, and then there are Hollywood tokens.
Each of the Chinese boxes was stuffed with a Bacara Resort and Spa gift certificate ($1,200), a Christian Dior watch ($1,200), Chanel sunglasses ($190), a Palm III ($300), an Ericsson World Phone ($350), Kenneth Cole gift certificate ($250), Phillips Rush MP3 music player ($300), Bottega Veneta passport holder ($260), and two pounds of Godiva chocolate.
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