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Red, Red, Ready – Cartier Arrives in Collins Street

February 6, 2012

Red, Red, Ready – Cartier Melbourne Arrives in Collins Street - Photo John Hoerner

Stepping out onto the red carpet at Cartier’s new store at 101 Collins Street, surrounded by a bevy of glamorous celebrities, Hollywood certainly didn’t feel very far away at all. The dress code was red, from red capped bellhops to wonderfully dressed women in red and even a flashing tasseled red fez on the head of iconic Melbourne Milliner Richard Nylon.

Red, Red, Ready – Alison, Richard Nylon - Photo John Hoerner

Fashionable young Melbourne women forsook their standard black dress code to be swept up in the glitter and colour of the moment. As Shirley Bassey once memorably said “men come and go but diamonds are for ever”.

Alison and Rachel Finch - Tony Zhang

This wondrously stylish cocktail event was one of Cartier’s most elaborate launches to date in Australia. The extraordinary setting of 101 Collins Street, one of Melbourne’s most prestigious landmark buildings, took on a palatial aura of red and gold as the Cartier Leopard strolled elegantly across the overhead screens. Melbourne’s marvelously effusive Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle cut to the chase with a quick snip of the huge red ribbon to launch this new Melbourne “must do” haute jewellery destination.

Red, Red, Redy - Andrew Mackinnon - Photo John Hoerner

Celebrities I spoke to during the night included Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, gracious Rachel Finch former Miss Universe Australia – we shared a passion for red lipstick and jewels – the supremely talented Milliner Richard Nylon and iconic fashion designer Gwendolynne Burkin. Emma Abrahams wore a beautiful vintage Le Louvre leopard printed gown that was exquisite. The Regional Managing Director of Cartier for South-East Asia and Australia, Christopher Kilaniotis joined head of Cartier Australia, Vincent Vuillaume to officially put the Cartier stamp on the new boutique.

What Does Madonna’s new film have to do with Cartier?

What Does Madonnas new film have to do with Cartier

Duchess of Windsor Cartier JewelsIts fitting that in Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee year Madonna’s latest film W.E. is about King Edward VIII’s abdication of the British throne for the woman he loved, American divorcee Wallis Simpson. (See my post Style and Illusion over Substance) Weaving back and forth in time, the film is a fascinating comment on 20th century celebrity from the ultimate insider – Madonna. According to Australian actress Abbie Cornish who stars in the film, the movie is about  “class and romance”

Duchess of Windsor's Cartier Diamond and Sapphire Panther Pin 1949One of the world’s top milliners and one of my personal favorites, Stephen Jones provided the millinery for the movie. Costume designer Arianne Phillips helped create the clothes. Many were real vintage pieces; others were re made from museum archives. Edward and Wallis were about as famous as Burton and Taylor for their expensive jewellery gifts to each other. The Duke gave the Duchess feline bijoux to make her feel “royal”. Cats have been the symbol of British royalty for thousands of years. Phillips established contacts with designer labels like Cartier to replicate a cross bracelet and other Cartier pieces for the movie. A particularly striking diamond and sapphire panther pin from Cartier was acquired by the Duchess in 1949 and later purchased by Elizabeth Taylor, a good friend of the Duchess of Windsor’s.

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, in 1935.  The picture on which Edward wrote 'We are two'.I am pleased to hear that Madonna ditched early drafts of the script that had the Duchess of Windsor dancing with her pugs to the Sex Pistol’s God Save The Queen and instead went with Mrs Simpson hitching up her Dior gown and dancing the Charleston to the Sex Pistols. ‘We’re so pretty, we’re so pretty vacant’ the song goes, and it certainly encapsulates the life of decadent hedonism the couple led – Australian Director Baz Luhrmann would have approved.

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