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Dazzling Bulgari Party

J.J. Watt swoons over Naomi Watts amid millions in jewels at dazzling Bulgari party

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37 Veronica Bulgari, from left, Naomi Watts, Greggory Burke and Becca Cason Thrash at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Veronica Bulgari, from left, Naomi Watts, Greggory Burke and Becca Cason Thrash, all in Bulgari. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
53 Joel Bartsch and Nicola Bulgari at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Museum president Joel Bartsch, left, and Nicola Bulgari. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
Lynn Wyatt at the Bulgari exhibition dinner April 2014
Lynn Wyatt in $7 million worth of Bulgari. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
36 J.J. Watt and Naomi Watts at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
J.J. Watt and Naomi Watts. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
7 Diane Lokey Farb at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Diane Lokey Farb. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
76 Windi and David Grimes at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Dinner chairs Windi and David Grimes. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
63 Joanne King Herring at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Joanne King Herring. Photo by © Killy Chavez/CatchLightGroup.com
70 Divya Brown, from left, Claire Cormier Thielke and Ashley Menzies at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Divya Brown, from left, Claire Cormier Thielke and Ashley Menzies. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
91 The Venue at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
The museum space was transformed into a Romanesque garden setting. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
Lora and John Clemmons at the Bulgari exhibition dinner
Lora and Dr. John Clemmons. Photo by © Killy Chavez/CatchLightGroup.com
1 Annie Amante and Mickey Rosmarin at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Annie Amante and Mickey Rosmarin. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
21 Isabel David at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Isabel David. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
78 Todd Fiscus and Ceron at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Todd Fiscus, left, and Cerón. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
Monica Hartland Blaisdell at the Bulvari exhibition dinner
Monica Hartland Blaisdell. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
43 Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, with Jean-Christophe Babin at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, from left, with Jean-Christophe Babin. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Windi Grimes, from left, with Dr. John Mendelsohn and Anne Mendelsohn
Windi Grimes, from left, with Dr. John Mendelsohn and Anne Mendelsohn. Photo by © Priscilla Dickson
 Henry Richardson, Lucinda Loya, Monsour Taghdisi at the Bulvargi exhibition dinner
Henry Richardson, from left, Lucinda Loya and Monsour Taghdisi. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
Lucas Somoza and Becca Cason Thrash at the Bulvargi exhibition dinner
Lucas Somoza in from Paris for the dinner and Becca Cason Thrash. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
Sallymoon Benz and Dr. Alan Bentz at the Bulvargi exhibition dinner
Sallymoon and Dr. Alan Benz. Photo by © Killy Chavez/CatchLightGroup.com
73 Christina Girard at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Christina Girard checks out her minaudiere loaned for the display. Photo by © Chinh Phan/CatchLightGroup.com
37 Veronica Bulgari, from left, Naomi Watts, Greggory Burke and Becca Cason Thrash at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
53 Joel Bartsch and Nicola Bulgari at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Lynn Wyatt at the Bulgari exhibition dinner April 2014
36 J.J. Watt and Naomi Watts at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
7 Diane Lokey Farb at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
76 Windi and David Grimes at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
63 Joanne King Herring at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
70 Divya Brown, from left, Claire Cormier Thielke and Ashley Menzies at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
91 The Venue at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Lora and John Clemmons at the Bulgari exhibition dinner
1 Annie Amante and Mickey Rosmarin at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
21 Isabel David at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
78 Todd Fiscus and Ceron at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Monica Hartland Blaisdell at the Bulvari exhibition dinner
43 Scotty and Jana Arnoldy, left, with Jean-Christophe Babin at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Windi Grimes, from left, with Dr. John Mendelsohn and Anne Mendelsohn
 Henry Richardson, Lucinda Loya, Monsour Taghdisi at the Bulvargi exhibition dinner
Lucas Somoza and Becca Cason Thrash at the Bulvargi exhibition dinner
Sallymoon Benz and Dr. Alan Bentz at the Bulvargi exhibition dinner
73 Christina Girard at the Bulgari exhibition dinner May 2014
Shelby Hodge, head shot, column mug, white off-shoulder blouse

Could there have been a more dazzling evening than the Bulgari dinner at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Wednesday? With 150 pieces of magnificent jewels on display and a flock of social swans draped in millions of dollars worth of exquisite bling from the Italian jewelry house, the dinner celebrating Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces was absolutely dazzling. Yes, I said it again.

Leading the parade of beauties gifted with Bulgari for the evening was actress Naomi Watts, who recently joined Bulgari as glamorous spokeswoman. Resplendent in a yellow flowing gown by Preen, she wore a "Serpenti” necklace emblazoned with close to 50 carats in emeralds and approximately 175 carats in diamonds. Value $1.335 million.

"I think every woman has an interest in Bulgari and for obvious seasons — the beautiful gems and incredible craftsmanship," Watts said in her lilting British accent. "I think their pieces are classic and bold and they do make a statement. I feel it very fashion forward but very much honoring the old Italian heritage." 

Lynn Wyatt was drenched in emerald-cut diamonds, wearing a suite that would top $7 million. 

Asked about current projects, the actress allowed that with the recent completion of three films, she has taken the first quarter of the year off. She isn't sure of release dates, but you'll next see her on the big screen in Birdman with Michael Keeton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton. She said that her two other films, sans release date, are When We Were Young and St. Vincent's.

Among those casting admiring glances at Watts was Houston Texan J.J. Watt. One partygoer, observing Watt's moonstruck looks at the film star, noted approvingly, "She wouldn't have to change her initials."

Not quite the fish-out-of-water, the Texans defensive end admitted, "It's definitely a different world from what I'm used to. But my mom loves it when I dress up so I make sure to take a lot of pictures for her (on this night particularly with Watts). But it's pretty cool to see all this fine jewelry on display and it's definitely different from my days back in a small town in Wisconsin."

Jewels galore

A full entourage of Bulgari notables flew in from various corners of the world for the exhibition opening party including patriarch Nicola Bulgari, Veronica Bulgari of New York, Bulgari president Jean-Christophe Babin, Bulgari USA president Alberto Festa and Bulgari executive vice president Sabina Belli.

The company was quite generous with its wares on this evening, dressing close to 10 belles of this ball in millions of dollars worth of jewels. Lynn Wyatt was drenched in emerald-cut diamonds, wearing a suite that would top $7 million. Greggory Burk, Christina Girard, Isabel David, Sima Ladjevardian, Becca Cason Thrash and Joanne King Herring were among the lucky Cinderellas who sparkled Bulgari-style on this evening. Wyatt, Herring and Girard had vested interest in the exhibition since each had contributed one among the 40 pieces in the collection that were on loan from private vaults.

 "This is one of the greatest jewelry exhibitions ever put on display on Planet Earth," Bartsch noted. 

The gala event was chaired by Windi and David Grimes with Nicola Bulgari and museum president Joel Barstch serving as hosts and Northern Trust providing sponsorship. Gracie Jeff Early and Colter Lewis, honchos of the wealth management firm. "This is one of the greatest jewelry exhibitions ever put on display on Planet Earth," Bartsch noted in brief remarks.

The party began with cocktails and viewing of the glittering, not-to-be-missed exhibition, then moved to a temporary exhibition gallery for the Italian-themed dinner from City Kitchen. The space had been so transformed by LA party guru Ben Bourgeois that few if any of the guests could determine exactly where in the vast museum they were. It felt like dining in a lavish Rome garden, complete with floral chandeliers.

The sophisticated coterie of guests included Tony and Isaac Arnold, Laurie and Reed Morian, Janet Gurwitch and Ron Franklin, Ceron and Todd Fiscus, Lora and Dr. John Clemmons, Linda McReynolds, Anne and Dr. John Mendelsohn, Pat Breen, Divya and Chris Brown, Sara Dodd, Gregory Fourticq, Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson and Valerie Sarofim. 

And among the lucky ladies displaying their very own Bulgari on this night were Diane Lokey Farb, Monica Hartland Blaisdell, Sallymoon Benz and probably more, but one dare not ask.

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