Luxury goods player Hermès strutted its impressive social prowess Tuesday night with a swank party that drew an exceptionally stylish crowd for the VIP launch of the Festival des Metiérs.
Let's start with the elegant, 5,000-square-foot party tent, erected in the vast parking lot behind the Hermès boutique in BLVD Place. Created by Italian interior designer Paola Navone, the tent features Hermès-inspired carpeting so grand as to have interior decorater Randy Powers swoon, "What are you doing with this when the party's over? I want it!"
Wiry sculptural arches in the signature Hermès orange and complementary colors played through the space where stations spotlighted each of the 10 Hermès artisans, flown in from France to display their special skills.
Those who owned anything Hermès carried it, wore it, dangled it.
Hermès customer Marcy Taub Wessel was among those admiring the surroundings. "This is awesome. I'm so blown away," she exclaimed. "I love Hermès. It's a classic."
Had party host Hermès USA CEO Bob Chavez heard the comment, he undoubtedly would have been pleased, Wessel's sentiment echoing that of visitors in New York and San Francisco, where, in the latter city alone, more than 17,000 toured the festival. The public is invited to visit and view the craftsmen at work through Sunday.
On this night, it was Centurion-packing customers, tastemakers and friends of the house who made the invitation-only guest list. Those who owned anything Hermès carried it, wore it, dangled it. We were particularly taken with partners Kirk Kveton and Daniel Irion, who each carried his own travel-sized Haut à Courroies. And, oh, how we envied Duyen Huynh for her lavender crock Birkin. (That baby, depending on material, can easily price at the six-figure level.)
While servers from A Fare Extraordinaire kept busy pouring champagne and French wine and offering a wealth of rich hors d'oeuvres (three varieties of raw oysters), the well-heeled crowd circled the stylish landscape. Most were absorbed by the printing station for scarves and others were mesmerized by the jeweler applying rose-hued diamonds to pyramid-shaped studs destined for the Collier de Chien bracelet in rose gold. That beauty would set you back somewhere around $100,000.
Soaking in the luxe atmosphere were Audrey and Brandon Cochran, Monica Hartland and John Blaisdell, Kelli Kickerillo and Todd Forester, Sharon Morgan, Penny Wright, Mindy Hildebrand, Tana Wood, Dena Prasher and Lorraine and Ed Wulfe, BLVD Place developer.