Ian Schrager wants to be as big in London as he is in New York — and judging from the lobby scene on Tuesday at the opening of his new St. Martin’s Lane Hotel, he’s well on his way.
Schrager accepted congratulations from friends and associates, including Philippe Starck, the hotel’s designer while the staff was still buzzing about the visit of Kate Moss, Brad Pitt and film-maker Matthew Vaughan. Jade Jagger and her boyfriend, Dan Macmillan, lazed in the bright yellow lobby and discussed the party Jagger will give at the hotel during London Fashion Week, when designer Matthew Williamson also will host a bash.
A beaming Schrager said he’s now hard at work on the Sanderson. As reported, his second, even more luxurious London hotel will open in January. He then wants to open another two to four London hotels before branching into Paris, Milan and Berlin. In the meantime, Schrager is opening three more hotels in New York, a second one in South Beach and one each in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Chicago.
“We’re picking up the pace now,” he said excitedly. “My goal is to have as many hotels in London as I have in New York. To me, hotels are like the fashion industry — you have to bridge ready-to-wear and couture. I want to cover all the categories.”
De Beers is bringing lots of sparkle to London’s Millennium Dome. The company has assembled what it claims is a diamond collection of unprecedented rarity, the De Beers Millennium Jewels. Apart from brief trips to Tokyo and Dubai, the jewels will be on display at the dome through next year. The collection includes the 203-carat, pear-shaped De Beers Millennium Star, which the company said was one of the finest ever discovered. The other 11 stones are all rare blue diamonds cut in a variety of shapes and weighing 118 carats. They include the 27.64-carat Heart of Eternity, which Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of De Beers, said was of better quality than the larger Hope Diamond in Washington. “These diamonds, like all diamonds, have witnessed the last millennium and will outlive the next,” Oppenheimer said.
Anthony Oppenheimer, president of the Central Selling Organization and a De Beers director, said the company approached the Millennium Dome “because we thought it could use a little glamour.”
“Diamonds are timeless and make a perfect fit with the dome,” he added. “They say when a star explodes, only a diamond remains, so perhaps these diamonds were once part of a star. Twinkle, twinkle…”
De Beers previewed the collection Tuesday at a cocktail party at its London offices that was attended by Henry Wyndham, chairman of Sotheby’s International; Lord Charles Hindlip, chairman of Christie’s International; Francois Curiel, the new deputy chairman at Christie’s; Lady Victoria Hervey, and, surprisingly, Alexander McQueen, who was off the next day to prepare for his New York show.
Asked why he was mingling with diamonds, McQueen just laughed and said, “Wait and see.”