If variety is the spice of life, then the crowd at Wednesday night’s launch of jeweler Lorraine Schwartz’s Diamond Monkey collection was expertly seasoned.
A diverse roster of celebs including Jennifer Lopez, Debra Messing, Pharrell Williams, Heidi Klum and Seal showed up at the Hotel Elysee’s Monkey Bar, where they held court with a smattering of models, hip-hop moguls, reality TV stars and Hassidic diamond dealers. They were there to toast the designer and her new line of 18-karat gold and gem-encrusted primates, which are fashioned after the three aspects of the adage “See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil.”
“It’s exuberant. It’s unapologetic. It’s dramatic. It’s explosive,” said Messing, who sounded as if she were reading right from the press release.
“I want the ‘See No Evil’ monkey,” said model Jessica Stam over DJ Cassidy’s thumping base. “I think it’s appropriate for the business that I’m in.”
The party’s simian theme was taken to it’s most literal. Dancers outfitted in gold lame ape suits mingled with guests, two real-life monkeys, perched on the shoulders of their trainers, worked the red carpet and stuffed animal chimpanzees provided the table centerpieces.
“They’re so cute,” said Klum of the plush toys, adding in a conspiring whisper. “I’m going to steal one for my kids.”
Meanwhile, downtown, Friends of the High Line hosted cocktails for their 7th Annual Summer Benefit at the Frank Gehry designed IAC Building. Honorees Phil Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons along with FHL co-founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond chatted up High Line supporters including Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Meloni, Andrew Rosen and Jonathan Adler.
“This feels like a sister project to the West Side Highway. Anything allowing outdoor activity, I’m all for,” said Banks, who’s in town filming “Starship Dave” with Eddie Murphy.