Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Glamorissimo Armani!

A belated update on last week's Armani dinner - there was major buzz at the Museum of Modern Art, where Armani staged his couture collection.
Two looks from the Armani couture show. The gown on the right would look fantastic on Cate Blanchett on Oscar night (photos: Marcio Madeira/

Though the invitation was for 8 p.m., the Italian designer had planned to broadcast the collection live on the Internet an hour later. We whiled away the time drinking champagne surrounded by samples of Armani's new skincare line, Crema Nera, which comes with an obsidian stone extracted from the island of Pantelleria. Do I believe that massaging a cream into my face using a piece of petrified lava will make it worker better? No. Did I do it anyway? Yes. The stone, incidentally, is great for massaging your forehead when you have sinus headaches, like I do. Anyway, I digress. Guests at the show included New York socialites like Tinsley Mortimer and French actress Natacha Régnier (who saw my friend Kerstin and I looking at her, gave us a big smile and said hi) and her boyfriend Bruno Ghiomà (who gave my friend a cheeky smile). With some 600 guests, this was Armani's biggest show in Paris since he started doing couture two years ago. With me sitting in the entrance and Kerstin right opposite the celebrity section, we were texting franctically in the run-up to the show. Katie Holmes and her green sari? So-so. Cate Blanchett sweeping in wearing a black skirt suit? WOW.
Cate Blanchett and Katie Holmes; Natacha Régnier and Bruno Ghiomà (photos: Stefano Guindani/

With all that going on, it was hard to concentrate on the clothes, inspired by India's maharajahs but given a classic Armani touch with minimalist cut and neutral colors. After the show, I asked Cate Blanchett if she was wearing Armani to the Oscars (she is nominated for best supporting actress). She told me she hadn't decided yet, though she pronounced the show "extraordinary". But word is she had her fitting earlier that afternoon, after jetting in from New Orleans (where she is filming with Brad Pitt) on Armani's private plane. She showed up at the SAG awards later that week wearing an Armani gown that many said was the dress of the evening.
Cate Blanchett in Armani at the SAG awards on Sunday (photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

After the show, we repaired to the basement, which had been transformed for the evening into a chic restaurant with mirror-lined walls and rows of white banquettes. When I got to my table, I found Cameron Silver - owner of the vintage boutique Decades in Los Angeles - entertaining a gaggle of blondes, but I decided to go and sit with Kerstin instead. The champagne was flowing, and after several servings of bread rolls (carb alert!) we were served vegetable maki, crab with caviar and a delicious black truffle risotto. We had to force ourselves to skip dessert in order to go back to the office and file our stories.

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