CALA-BASH: The fashion set descended on the home of Carmen Busquets in Paris, in the city’s tony Right Bank, to mark the launch of Silvia Tcherassi’s Totumo handbag, an event also hosted by Hassan Pierre, cofounder of fashion retailer Maison De Mode.
The evening carried a Caribbean theme that distracted guests from the chilly Paris weather, starting with a Venezuelan dinner spread of plantain, lush salads and colorful sauces.
Accessory buff Athena Valyraki, who carried a trim bag crafted out of huge plastic pearls, considered the prospect of swapping faux-pearl chic for the Caribbean-flavored accessory — the squat, round Totumo bags are made from bottle gourds of a calabash tree, with tufts of leftover fabrics tucked inside.
Busquets, in perfect hostess mode, led guests, who included Angela Bassett, to the buffet.
The actress had flown to Paris to see some fashion shows — a hiatus, as she put it — before heading back to work on the television series “9-1-1” later this month. She takes up a role in the seventh “Mission Impossible” film in the summer.
Bassett had extended her Paris stay at the last moment. “It stopped raining! I’m staying!” she declared, taking advantage of her visit to the French capital. Last year, she brought her teenage daughter — individual, quality time with each child is important, she noted.
Solicited for advice on raising teenagers, she obliged.
“You are in control,” she said, eyes narrowing. Say a child tries to put off the morning chore until after school?
“’No baby, do it now. No baby, do it now,’ — I can say it with a smile, like a broken record — ‘you want that record to stop, you’ll do it now,’” she said, breaking into a laugh.
She also likes to make her children meals — most often it’s breakfast — with support from her husband who says — “She who cooks does not wash the dishes.”
A guest broke in — “I want you to meet a friend!” and pulled Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz over to meet the actress. “I’m a girl from Saudi Arabia,” the princess said, by the way of introduction, relaying her esteem for Bassett, by noting her “great talent, true talent!”
Other guests included Jenke Ahmed Tally, Calu Rivero, Edgardo Osorio and Gabriela Hearst.