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NEW YORK — “It’s all about the bling tonight,” said Chanel’s Maureen Chiquet, motioning not only to her own diamond stunners, but also to the host of jewels on display. The French company commissioned artist Xavier Veilhan to transform an empty space on 57th Street into an inky black cosmos on Monday night for the launch of Chanel’s new jewelry line, Eléments Célestes.

Coralie Charriol, Amanda Brooks, Ivanka Trump and Amy Sacco oohed and ahhed over the sparkly pieces swirling on floating discs à la an haute couture air hockey game. Better than lamenting the rain. “I’m going to the Venetian Heritage dinner tomorrow night,” said Barbara Cirkva. “I may as well just take a gondola and row.” André Leon Talley, though, was more oblivious to the weather. Asked if his yeti-like fur coat was waterproof, Talley replied: “No, it isn’t! But it should be. Maybe I should take it and get it glazed.”

It was a busy week for Chanel. The following day, Julia Koch, Sloan Barnett, Melania Trump and Nathalie Kaplan chaired The Camellia Luncheon at the firm’s 57th Street boutique. The houses’ most loyal ladies turned out to benefit the New York Botanical Garden and were rewarded with a show of the 2006 resort collection. Andrea Stark leaned over to Trump as one stick-thin model sauntered by wearing white pants and an unbuttoned jacket with bare skin showing underneath. “That would be great for you,” she enthused to the pregnant Trump, who replied, “Yeah, right, can you imagine,” outlining her growing belly with her hands for effect.

That evening, the parties continued as a bevy of European designers, in town for Fashion Group International’s Night of Stars, wined and dined with socials, editors and clients alike across town. Olivier Theyskens of Rochas was feted by Howard Socol and W Magazine at Barneys New York, which drew guests such as Victoria Traina, Lisa Airan and Linda Wells. A man of few words, Theyskens seemed overwhelmed by all of the attention from retailers and editors. “There is never enough time to do everything you want when you come to New York,” he lamented. Simon Doonan, meanwhile, was admiring the second floor’s transformation into a hip, vibe-y lounge with dove gray drapes, satin pillows, candelabras and oversized divans, not to mention a caged parrot or two. “It’s like that last scene in ‘Blow-Up’ where they’re all lying around smoking opium,” laughed Doonan, who was actually pushing for vultures to be part of the fete. As for Theyskens, Doonan was gushing over a Marie Antoinette-style gown made of buckram with a 20-foot-wide skirt the designer made expressly for the store’s holiday windows.

This story first appeared in the October 27, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

At Bergdorf Goodman, Alex Kramer, Allison Sarofim, Ivanka Trump, Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler and Eleanor Ylvisaker hosted cocktails for designer Alberta Ferretti. They later repaired to Country for dinner, where they were joined by Patricia Clarkson, who will present Ferretti with an award at Thursday’s ceremonies, and others.

“Right off the rack and look at how it fits,” said the actress, gesturing at her flowing green dress. The designer was just in from Los Angeles, where she spent last week with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, and had a dinner at Mr. Chow. It was the New York chicks, however, who truly won her over. “People here are more relaxed, friendlier, interesting,” she said. “I feel more comfortable here.” So much so, that she’s willing to help those women bemoaning the lack of available bachelors.”I should import men instead of clothes!” she quipped.

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