The famous neck of Cate Blanchett looked especially regal last night in a yellow-gold serpent chain with rubies and sapphires, while Chelsea Clinton’s neck was bare (and her husband looked as if he hadn’t shaved).
The occasion was a black-tie party for the exhibition “Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels” at the Cooper- Hewitt design museum.
In the wood-paneled foyer, waiters offered champagne, foie gras with pineapple and lobster spring rolls to guests including designer Vera Wang, hedge-fund billionaire Philip Falcone and his wife, Lisa, architect Richard Meier, and Norman Benzaquen of investment firm Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co.
Hilary Geary Ross, wife of Wilbur Ross Jr., wore a Zip necklace -- literally a diamond zipper -- that they chose together. The tall Chinese supermodel Du Juan wore a necklace of diamonds shaped into flowers. “In Chinese, my name means azalea,” she said.
“I keep checking to make sure they haven’t fallen off,” said actor Piper Perabo of her Birds of Paradise earrings. She’ll next play a Can Can dancer opposite Bruce Willis in the film “Looper.”
Standing near jewels worn by Marlene Dietrich, Kelly Rutherford of the “Gossip Girl” television series said her most prized jewelry is the plastic ring her son bought for her at Cozy Cuts.
‘A Love Story’
“Van Cleef started with a love story,” said Van Cleef creative director Nicolas Bos standing near a diamond-encrusted pencil case. “You can feel the romance in all their creations.”
“The exhibition is motivating,” said investor P.C. Chatterjee. “I’ll have to make a lot of money to buy something for my wife, otherwise all I can afford is the pencil,” referring to the Yellow No. 2 on display with the pencil case.
“The blue goes great with her eyes,” said portfolio manager Roberto Mignone of the sapphire-and-diamond necklace he bought for his wife, Allison, this Christmas.
Pamela Pantzer’s diamond and ruby brooch glistened. “It’s the Millennium,” her husband, Edward Pantzer, president of Pantzer Properties Inc., said. He bought it at Christie’s for her birthday.
Patrick Jouin, who designed the exhibition, raised his wrist to show his Van Cleef accessory: a watch with all the constellations hand-painted on the face.
Jouin designed glass bubble cases for the exhibition. “I didn’t want boxes like at a bank,” he said. “These create an atmosphere, like a mist in the world of the fairies,” he said.
The world of fairies carried over into the dinner tent designed by Bronson van Wyck. The chairs were covered in silk slip covers. The centerpieces contained pink peonies, garden roses and calla lilies. The meal, prepared by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, included Meyer lemon gelee and caviar, organic chicken with black truffle and key lime pie.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the art and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
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