If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then there wasn’t a lonely woman in sight at Cartier’s 150th anniversary gala.
Monday night’s snow storm couldn’t keep away 480 guests who braved gusty winds to toast Cartier — with the jeweler’s private champagne stock — at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Inside, guests were welcomed by Cartier pages — complete with red bellhop caps — flanking the museum’s grand staircase. Upstairs, the exhibit showcased pieces from Cartier’s most prolific and enduring period, 1900-1939.
“Cartier is still the most famous jeweler in the world,” boasted Alain-Dominique Perrin, the company’s international chairman, as he greeted the wind-tousled revelers.
It was an eclectic bunch indeed. How many black-tie extravaganzas can successfully intermingle the likes of Carroll Petrie and Chanel’s Alain Wertheimer with Paula Abdul and Howie Mandel?
Needless to say, Liza Minnelli, Claudia Schiffer, Patty Cisneros, C.Z. Guest, Brooke Shields and just about every other female was covered with rocks.
“Jewels are very important!” declared Minnelli. “When I see something I want, I’ll save for it. I’m not frivolous. When I first began working in New York at 16, I started saving for a Cartier watch. I bought it two years later, and I still have it, but I’m not saying how long I’ve had it.”
When it comes to irreplaceable treasures, Minnelli said her prized possession is the miniature gold statue of Saint Christopher her mother gave to her father on their first Christmas together.
“I’m lucky to have it,” she said.
But women weren’t the only visitors lusting after the glassed-in objects.
“I absolutely love jewels,” said New York’s newest social upstart, David Tang. “My bank manager doesn’t like me looking at too many.
“If I had lots of money,” added the Hong Kong millionaire, “I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy something wonderful.”