With the NBA All-Star Game in L.A. for the first time in seven years, the weekend came with no shortage of events, including Saturday night’s annual GQ celebration in downtown Los Angeles.
Hollywood’s man of the hour, “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, helped heat up the guest list.
Boseman and costar Winston Duke hit up the party’s Neiman Marcus portrait studio, taking photos together as their Afrocentric superhero film enjoyed a record-breaking weekend at the box office. Boseman was hot off the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where he and costar Michael B. Jordan spent time with all-star Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers.
The event took over the two-story Italianate lobby at downtown L.A.’s NoMad Hotel, where guests people-watched from the balcony of the second floor, danced to the music of DJ Metro Boomin or cozied up on the jewel-toned velvet seating.
Early in the evening, NBA All Star James Harden — a member of the game’s Team Stephen — also snapped photos in the studio but called it an early night ahead of Sunday’s contest, donning sunglasses before exiting into the night.
“Of course I’m having fun, there’s fun to be had!” GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson said. “We do this party in a different city every year. We’ve done it in sub-arctic temperatures in Toronto before, so to be in L.A. is great.”
“Kevin,” Nelson called out the moment Kevin Love of Team LeBron stepped inside, and with good reason — the Team LeBron forward had taken over GQ’s Instagram story as he made his way from the red carpet into the party.
Elsewhere, Heidi Gardner of “Saturday Night Live,” a huge fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Team LeBron, sported a striped jumpsuit and red Adidas sneakers. Common, Christian Combs, Sarunas Jackson, Baron Davis and Dascha Polanco were also spotted in the crowd.
As hip-hop hits throughout the night had even the caterers dancing, there was still one appearance guests were eagerly anticipating. By 1 a.m., Cardi B had taken to the stage, rocking her new platinum blond hair.
“Hello there, everybody! Let’s get started,” Cardi B said before singing “Bartier Cardi,” followed by “Bodak Yellow,” as guests sang along.
When Cardi B finished singing about her “bloody shoes,” a reference to the red soles on Christian Louboutins, she revealed she was about to share a secret with the audience. The room went silent.
“These are not bloody shoes, these are Steve Madden,” she said pointing to her thigh-high leather boots. “So what — $120. So what.”
So what, indeed. A deal like that is nothing short of a slam dunk.