NEW YORK — Take a little bling bling, add a charitable cause and give it a final shake with the current craze for anything Asian — bar SARS, that is — and New Yorkers are ready to party.
That’s what happened on Tuesday, when some 800 socialites, designers, actors and other night owls crowded Cartier’s Fifth Avenue mansion to celebrate its new Le Baiser du Dragon jewelry collection, which was held in honor of the New Yorkers for Children charity.
Robert Isabell transformed the mansion into a Chinese-themed nightclub, with dangling paper lanterns; walls adorned with gold and dark red silk brocade; bowls of star fruits; kumquats and Japanese pears, and dim sum by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The Cartier mansion was closed that day to make the transformation.
"Half a day ago, this was the Cartier boutique, now you are in China," said Bernard Fornas, chief executive officer of Cartier worldwide. "You are transported into another world, and that’s the magic of Cartier."
Le Baiser du Dragon — which translates into "the kiss of a dragon" — is inspired by the awakening of a sleeping giant, and the collection uses a traditional Chinese color palette of red rubies, black onyx and gold. The 30-piece collection has a distinct Art Deco feel, and looks include a ring, which is an interpretation of a Shintoist Tori arch with dangling ruby pearls; pendants strung with dangling silk cords that can be tied into wish or love knots; a white diamond dragon ring with a ruby eye, and a series of jade rings set in a geometric diamond cage.
Prices for Le Baiser du Dragon start at $2,800 for a gold wish-knot pendant to $73,500 for a padlock bracelet, but limited-edition high jewelry pieces can go up to $80,000 for a vanity case.
Among the guests who roamed the party’s themed rooms were Julia Stiles, Benjamin Bratt, Rosie Perez, Anh Duong, Oscar and Annette de la Renta, Anna Wintour, Denise Rich, Donald Trump, Muffie Potter Aston, Nicole Miller, Lillian von Stauffenberg, Aerin Lauder, Philippe Junot, Ghislaine Maxwell, Tiffany Dubin, Anne Brancroft, and Jacqueline Anderson. Many followed a Chinese dress code, among them were Cynthia Rowley, who wore her grandmother’s green cheongsam dress, but turned it into a mini by lopping off two feet of material. "I’d have to start breaking the piggy bank to buy Le Baiser," she quipped."I am always ready to look at a few baubles," added Michael Kors, who, at 14, saved up and bought himself a Cartier Tank watch. "Of course, I had a little help from my mother."
Zac Posen, meanwhile, rubbed shoulders with P. Diddy. What could the two possibly be talking about? Shmattas? Curls? "It’s all private," sniped Posen. "It’s friends talking, this is not industry. You can put that in the paper."
Puffy, for his part, was willing to part with more enlightening wisdoms. "I like jewelry," he said. Cartier, too? "Yeah, a lot of watches and stuff like that."
"These are my favorite," quipped model Karolina Kurkova as she took one or two or more — at such speed, it was easy to lose count — of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s infamous sweet pork buns.
Stanislas de Quercize, president and ceo of Cartier in the U.S., noted, "It’s important to have the worldwide launch in New York. This is where where East meets West. It has that magic touch."
In tough times like these, does Cartier expect magic to help sales a little, then?
"It’s already selling like magic," countered de Quercize.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)