PIECE OF CAKE: After sushi and burgers, jewelry designer Nadine Ghosn is turning her hand to the croissant — with the help of pastry chef Cédric Grolet.
The two have collaborated on an Epiphany cake, which will be sold between Wednesday and Jan. 15 in a limited run of 50 pieces.
And among the lucky few to get their hands on them, one will be even luckier.
Inside one of the cakes is a unique “fève” token, a croissant-shaped 18-karat gold charm, worth 6,580 euros, just shy of $7,000 at current exchange rates.
“[His croissants] are my guilty pleasure,” confessed the jeweler, who was initially intrigued by Grolet’s audacious designs that set him apart on Paris’ buzzy and busy pastry scene.
Grolet, 37, became a household name in the world of pastry after becoming executive pastry chef at Parisian palace Le Meurice in 2013 and named “Best Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2015 by respected gastronomy publication Le Chef Magazine.
His trompe-l’oeil fruit, often complex cakes hiding in a white chocolate shell replicating the look of their star ingredient, drew scores of devotees to the luxury hotel’s pastry counter and netted him some 5.9 million Instagram followers. The opening of his bakery on Avenue de l’Opéra saw queues snaking around the block.
Whenever she came to Paris, Ghosn would visit the store, and bringing his croissants to friends and clients via Instagram became a calling card of sorts. In time, they struck up a conversation and eventually met — over coffee and croissants, of course.
From there, a collaboration was the next step. Picking the croissant was a given. Not only is it “the most recognizable thing about classic French bakery” and one of his store’s best sellers according to Grolet, but for Ghosn, “waking up our inner children turns the ordinary extraordinary,” she said.
In keeping with this idea of playfulness and childlike wonder, the Epiphany, and the French tradition of hiding a trinket in a cake and giving a paper crown to the one who finds it, felt the fitting occasion.
The Epiphany cake they devised has a traditional frangipane filling, a creamy combination of almonds, butter, eggs and sugar, hidden under a flurry of individually rolled miniature croissants. As for their precious counterpart, it’s an 11-gram solid gold charm, handcrafted in Paris and bearing both their names on the back.
In both cases, it was labor intensive, said Ghosn, who went through several prototypes to achieve the distinctive shape and layering of Grolet’s croissants and many more steps of polishing to mimic their glossy baked finish.
If every cake contains an Epiphany token, the decision to have only one gold croissant felt like a great way to materialize Ghosn’s lifelong excitement at the “game in finding the treasure” whenever an Epiphany cake is offered up, according to the jeweler.
“Plus, who doesn’t want to become king or queen?” she said.
The Nadine Ghosn x Cédric Grolet Epiphany cake will be available via the pastry chef’s website for 110 euros. — LILY TEMPLETON
DI’S DRESS FOR SALE: A tulip-shaped, aubergine velvet strapless gown worn by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, in a royal portrait alongside the-then Prince of Wales in 1991, and which later appeared in a Vanity Fair shoot in 1997, will be sold during a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Jan. 27.
With an estimated value between $80,000 and $120,000, the dress, designed by Victor Edelstein, was previously sold for $24,150 as part of the 1997 auction that comprised 80 dresses from Princess Diana’s personal collection to benefit the AIDS Crisis Trust and the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund.
The dress originally appeared in Edelstein’s fall 1989 collection. He was one of the go-to designers for Princess Diana for over a decade, from 1982 to 1993.
In 1991, British painter Douglas Hardinge Anderson depicted Diana wearing the dress in a painting now hung at the Royal Marsden Hospital Cancer Fund, which she visited.
The dress was later featured on Franklin Mint’s 1998 limited edition Princess Diana doll, as part of a collection of 1,000 dolls wearing her most famous dresses.
The dress is part of Sotheby’s inaugural curated auction “The One,” which aims to present an unprecedented selection of the finest products in history.
A purple diamond cross worn by Princess Diana is set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s this month as well. The Attallah cross is named after the former group chief executive officer of Asprey & Garrard, the late Naim Attallah, who owned the piece of jewelry, which has since been passed on to his daughter, Ramsay.
The princess famously wore the Attallah cross in October 1987 to a Birthright gala, a charity that works toward the protection of human rights during pregnancy and childbirth. Diana on that occasion also wore a purple Catherine Walker gown that resembled a Tudor court dress.
The cross is estimated to reach 80,000 to 120,000 pounds. — TIANWEI ZHANG
RIHANNA’S SUPER CAPSULE: Rihanna, who will be headlining the 2023 Apple Music Super Bowl Halftime Show on Feb. 12, has dropped a Savage x Fenty limited-edition collection of football-themed styles in anticipation of her performance.
The Game Day 17-piece collection features hoodies, sweatpants, varsity jerseys, tops, hats, beanies, boxers and a bandana.
The Super Bowl will take place in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Inspired by the colors of football, the LVII cropped jersey and LVII hoodie and sweat pant set in cookie brown and black caviar have a bold logo on the front and back of each style. The LVII two-tone jersey has a Savage twist with Rihanna’s signature printed on the front X motif, while the LVII T-shirt includes a Rihanna graphic only seen by pulling up the T-shirt. There are also football-patterned LVII cotton boxers, a LVII tube top as well as colorful accessories such as beanies, hats and bandana.
The collection is accompanied by a campaign that highlights Rihanna in a head-to-toe Game Day look featuring the jersey and sweatpants in black caviar and beanie in cookie brown.
In addition, Savage X Fenty will launch a three-day retail pop-up experience in Los Angeles taking place Jan. 27 to Jan. 29. Customers will be invited to shop the Game Day collection in a turf-lined store featuring football-themed mannequin heads and goal posts as clothing racks, photo moments and branded giveaways.
Sizes range from XXS to 4X, and the collection is available at Savagex.com and in retail stores. Prices range from $24.95 to $89.95 for Xtra VIP members and $32.95 to $112.95 for non-VIP members. — LISA LOCKWOOD