Baftas 2012: Gowns, gold masks, and champagne arrive at Savoy ahead of ceremony

Is that Michelle Williams' Baftas dress Gowns, gold masks, and champagne arrive at the Savoy ahead of glittering ceremony

It is one of the most important nights in the film industry's calendar. Once the sidelined sibling of the Oscars, the Baftas ceremony is now widely seen as a vital event that Hollywood's elite make time to attend – and it provides an early indicator of the awards to be handed out at the Oscars later this month.

Steven Fry will present the ceremony, and stars from Michelle Williams (nominated for My Week With Marilyn) and Meryl Streep (nominated for Iron Lady) to George Clooney and Brad Pitt are expected to attend.

Preparations are already underway for what will be one of the most glamorous red carpet parades of the year. Today a selection of the top suites at London hotel the Savoy were set up to host designers, jewellers and hair and make up artists who will dress and style the nominees and guests ahead of their appearance.

Savoy staff carry designer dresses for nominees and guests of the Bafta Awards into the London hotel this morning

Savoy staff carry designer dresses for nominees and guests of the Bafta Awards into the London hotel this morning

The hotel allocates its top suites to nominees and guests for the Baftas. Hair stylists, jewellers and make up artists set up camp in the rooms ahead of the ceremony, which will be held at the Royal Opera House

The hotel allocates its top suites to nominees and guests for the Baftas, where hair stylists, jewellers, designers and make up artists set up camp in the rooms ahead of the ceremony, which will be held at the Royal Opera House

While the fashion brands organise
which celebrity is to be loaned each piece, the jewellery suites are
visited by stars who will choose the gems that will accessorise their
gowns.

Hair stylist
Charles Worthington, who has styled celebrities for both the Baftas and
the Oscars for years and is now the ceremony's official hairdresser,
will be on hand on the day to coiff the steady stream of nominees and
guests as they pass through the doors of the hotel on Sunday morning.

Charles
says he adores the Baftas and everything surrounding it. ‘It’s much
more fun than the Oscars,' he says. 'Here the stars are more willing to
let their hair down, and see it for what it is – a hugely thrilling and
glamorous event.'

Across the hallowed corridors on the
fifth floor of the Savoy, a Lancome suite has been set up, where the
cosmetics giant's head make up artist Mathew Alexander is preparing his
brushes to prepare the A-list faces for their close-up.

Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams are set to attend the is weekend's ceremony, held at the Royal Opera House

Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams are set to attend this weekend's ceremony, held at the Royal Opera House

Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams are set to attend this weekend's ceremony, held at the Royal Opera House

Daniel Wingate, design director of Escada, whose designs were seen being
whisked into the Savoy this morning, says for them, preparations for the Baftas starts on the catwalk
when the stars’ stylists choose dresses for the ceremony.

'If two women
have their eye on the same creation, there’s a lot of, er, negotiation
over who gets what,' he says.

'American actresses are often a size 6
or smaller, but British stars, with their 8s and 10s, tend to have more
natural shapes.

'There’s
no right or wrong colour for the red carpet. I wouldn’t dress someone
in bright yellow in case they looked like an ad for McDonald’s, but even
the right red is OK.

'The stars want materials that are
comfortable and don’t crease. Millions of eyes are on them and it’s
vital they look their best.'

Stars including

Stars including

An Escada bag is whisked into the hotel along with gallons of champagne, colourful dresses and the all-essential gift bags

An Escada bag is whisked into the hotel along with gallons of champagne, colourful dresses and the all-essential gift bags

Planning for the ceremony is a logistical nightmare for organisers, who must arrange seating plans at the Opera House for the nominated actors and guests, often without having their attendance list confirmed until the last moment.

Big Hollywood stars such as Angelina and Brad, who attended in 2009, may have tight filming schedules that make it difficult to get away. An appearance on the red carpet, which must be cleared ahead of the awards ceremony by 4.15pm, means flying in on Saturday night, and being unable to return until Monday.

The nominees are always seated on the ground floor where they can access the stage easily – and be picked out by the cameras.

But high profile names who are not nominated will require a prominent seat too.

Afterwards, a lavish meal is held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, which presents yet more careful planning – and handling of egos – as close to 2,000 guests must be sat over two floors.

Baftas head of production Clare Brown has called organising the seating plan 'a massive jigsaw puzzle.'

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Award-worthy: The Disaronno sour

Disaronno have designed a selection of cocktails for the glittering event, dinner and after-party, which Disaronno will go on to host at the Grosvenor hotel. The cocktails have been served at many high profile events including the Costume Designers Guild Awards, where they were sipped enthusiastically by Ashton Kutcher.

DISARONNO SOUR

Ingredients:
25ml Disaronno
A teaspoon of sugar
a fresh lemon squeezed

Method:
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled glass. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry

DISARONNO GODFATHER

Ingredients:
25ml Disaronno
25ml Scotch Whiskey

Method:
Shake all ingredients together and pour over cubed ice