GREAT GALA: Cartier doubled down on China last week with a landmark event at the Juyongguan Great Wall to celebrate its Le Voyage Recommencé exhibition at Beijing’s Prince Jun’s Mansion, which was unveiled on Wednesday.
Cyrille Vigneron, president and chief executive officer of Cartier SA, who spoke at the WWD x SKP fashion and beauty global summit in Chengdu earlier in the week, hosted the event alongside Cartier China CEO Cécile Naour, welcoming brand ambassadors including Gong Li and Lily Collins, as well as local celebrities Song Jia, Jackson Wang, Li Xian, Bai Jingting, Peter Chan and Guo Jingjing, all clad in key pieces from the new high jewelry collection, Le Voyage Recommencé.
Following a high jewelry showcase featuring top models Wang Wenqin, Pei Bei, Zhao Lei and Jin Dachuan on the red-carpeted Great Wall, a UNESCO world heritage site where the last major fashion event was hosted by Fendi in 2007, guests enjoyed a music performance by musician Chang Shilei and famed Hong Kong singer Karen Mok during a gala dinner. Clips of Mok singing to Gong went viral on Chinese social media.
Beijing is the second stop of the Le Voyage Recommencé exhibition after it was revealed in Florence last May.
The latest high jewelry collection was created by Cartier’s director of high jewelry creation, Jacqueline Karachi, and the company’s craftsmen, delving into the heritage and reinventing the core aesthetic codes of the house through unique pieces that hinged on interplays of geometries, volumes and new chromatic juxtapositions.
More than 380 pieces from the high jewelry collection, as well as rare watches and vintage pieces, were brought to China’s capital city for the occasion.
Vigneron noted: “After the collection’s successful launch earlier this year, we are pleased to present the collection in China, a country that has continuously inspired the maison. And we are even more thrilled to be able to share this collection in Beijing, a city whose unique combination of tradition and modernity deeply resonates with the maison.”
Naour added that the brand’s “unique style and the core of Chinese culture strongly resonates with each other. As the latest chapter of Le Voyage Recommencé high jewelry collection comes to Beijing, we genuinely invite customers to experience the maison’s creations of timely elegance, in meaningful exchanges of art and craftsmanship, at the backdrop of important historic locations.”
In modern China, Cartier has forged strong ties with Beijing since 1996. The brand hosted its first-ever exhibition “Le Pot Doré” at the Gate of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City that year. In 2009 and 2019, the brand teamed with the Palace Museum to present the Cartier Collection, epitomizing Sino-French cultural exchanges.
In March, the brand also worked with the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District to host the “Cartier and Women” exhibition.
The highly publicized event saw Michelle Yeoh returning to Hong Kong for the first time after becoming the first Asian to win an Academy Award for Best Actress and joining decades-old friends Carina Lau, Pansy Ho, and Brigitte Lin at the opening night.
The exhibition helped the Hong Kong and Macao regions reach triple-digit increases in the first quarter of 2023. — TIANWEI ZHANG
ANNA’S FIRESIDE CHAT: Chicken, grilled vegetables and political donors were served up at a Monday night fundraiser at Anna Wintour’s West Village town house for President Joe Biden’s reelection bid. Tory Burch, Michael Kors and Jordan Roth were among the 40-or-so guests who heard from First Lady Jill Biden at the seated dinner, according to a White House pool report.
While White House staffers and East Wing-ers were busy polishing up the preparations for Wednesday’s state dinner in honor of Australia’s prime minister Anthony Albanese, the first lady flew to the Big Apple for what amounted to a five-hour stay and two fundraisers.
After first addressing about 100 attendees at the Columbus Citizens Foundation’s event for the Biden-Kamala Harris ticket, the first lady headed downtown for the second stop of the night: the Wintour-hosted gathering, where guests enjoyed a seated dinner in a primarily candlelight room.
Dreamworks chief executive officer Jeffrey Katzenberg, Democratic National Committee chairman James Harrison and Huma Abedin were among the guests, according to the pool report.
For the occasion, Biden changed out of the white dress that she had worn upon departure from Joint Base Andrews Monday afternoon into a black dress. The somber color choice was echoed by Wintour, who was also uncharacteristically dressed in black. The event took place as the Israel-Hamas war continues, and shortly after Wintour’s first husband died.
Seated in front of a fireplace with Biden, Wintour acknowledged “these very, very hard few weeks,” and President Biden’s leadership during his trip to Israel last week “to show support and negotiate aid into Gaza,” according to the pool report. Wintour described that as “a risk and an act of moral courage that paid off.” The Condé Nast creative leader has helped to champion other Democratic tickets over the years, and praised the first lady for “this incredible ability to connect with all Americans of all walks of life and all political affiliations. She has that smile. She has that light. And she looks fantastic in anything.”
Biden, who like previous first ladies has appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine (which was a point of consternation for her predecessor Melania Trump), delivered a 13-minute speech. She told Wintour that she has “single-handedly — and I think probably everybody here would agree — transformed the fashion industry.” Some might suggest that international job creators like Kors and Burch have done their part too, through their massive built-from-scratch businesses.
Earlier Monday, Kors announced that he would personally pitch in to donate to the International Council of the Red Cross by matching the donation being made by his parent company Capri Holdings Ltd. to support those affected by the conflict in Israel and Gaza. Biden addressed the situation and said, “In these moments, with these perils that the world is facing, there is nobody that I would want to have sitting in the Situation Room right now than my husband, and he is probably actually there,” which drew laughter from the crowd, according to the pool report.
Biden then encouraged attendees not to wait until 2024 to start their support. As the pool reporter headed for the door to leave, the first lady was heard saying, “Just remember you can tell, me anything. I’m good at keeping a secret. And if you have anything you want me to tell Joe…” — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
SPACE HOLIDAYS: The world of cinema continues to charm Prada, which is consistently tapping the new generation of movie stars for its ad campaigns.
The four talents, all Prada brand ambassadors, are captured sitting and lounging in life-size glistening baubles turned into swinging chairs hanging from the ceiling. They recall items in the most recent holiday gifting collection by the brand which included similarly checkered Christmas tree decorations.
Decked in Prada fall 2023 looks, they stare at the camera seemingly lost in their thoughts.
The starry, almost galactic, sky and checkerboard flooring in the backdrop, the latter referencing that in Prada’s storied boutique inside Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, have a sci-fi bent, contributing to the sense of escapism the brand said it wanted to telegraph with the campaign.
The holiday campaign marks the first time Kim appears in Prada ads. She attended several brand’s shows and events, including the men’s spring 2024 runway presentation last June in Milan and the most recent Prada Mode held in Seoul in September.
The South Korean actress made her debut in the 2016 psychological thriller “The Handmaiden” by Park Chan-wook which gained her awards, including Best New Actress at the Blue Dragon Film Awards, Director’s Cut Awards, Buil Film Awards, and Busan Film Critics Awards. After headlining the South Korean film adaptation of the manga series “Little Forest” and debuting on the TV screen in the melodrama “Mr. Sunshine,” in 2021 she starred in “Space Sweepers” by director Jo Sung-hee, highly regarded as the first South Korean blockbuster space Western movie. This year, she appeared in the SBS’ television drama “Revenant.”
Others faces in the holiday campaign are Prada regulars. For instance, American actress and singer-songwriter Hawke, the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, who gained global fame playing Robin Buckley in the third season of “Stranger Things,” had already appeared in the campaign for the brand’s first fine jewelry collection, alongside Amanda Gorman and Somi Jeon.
Hawke, who starred in “Asteroid City” by Wes Anderson, attended the movie premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival donning a ‘60s-inspired custom Prada green strapless dress with a structured silhouette, accessorized with blue leather elbow-length gloves. She attended the brand’s fall 2023 runway show in Milan last February.
Over the years Prada has tapped actors including Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan and Ezra Miller, as well as Julia Garner, Shira Haas and Hunter Schafer, Jeff Goldblum, Damson Idris, Rami Malek, Vincent Cassel, and Letitia Wright, among others. — MARTINO CARRERA
“I’m working on a project and for sure ‘Italiannes’ and Italian craft will be at the center of it,” she said, talking at the 2023 edition of the Milano Fashion Global Summit. “It’s not going to be solely dedicated to fashion, but potentially more [categories],” she added.
The designer stayed mum on additional details, including the brand’s name and launch date, but said she’s busy with prepwork.
“[Embracing] Made in Italy for me was a life decision, a way to think and see things,” the designer said. “Today with all that’s going on I think Made in Italy can provide valuable answers…it’s about bringing quality, know-how and artisanship back at the center of the [fashion] conversation,” she said.
Facchinetti exited Tod’s in 2016 after joining the luxury brand three years earlier, an eventful tenure that saw the brand make a ready to wear push and start holding runway shows during Milan Fashion Week. Before that, the former Gucci and Valentino head designer had worked with Pinko to launch the Uniqueness brand in 2011. In the 2006-07 period, she was creative director of the Moncler Gamme Rouge collection. Earlier in her career she worked at the Prada Group for the Miu Miu brand.
After parting ways with Tod’s, the designer moved to New York before kicking off a consulting career in the Far East, beginning in China.
“I was looking for a challenge, to reset my [career] path and start again from scratch and I was asked to collaborate with a Chinese company tasked with teaching them a working method,” she said. “That was an incredible challenge at a time when China was proving a relevant market [for the luxury sector].”
In 2020 Facchinetti set up her own Atelier-01 consulting studio and joined Harlan + Holden, a South Korean ready-to-wear men’s and women’s startup brand. She has worked with Weiden + Kennedy Agency on the rebranding and international communication and with David Chipperfield Architects on a new store concept.
Last year she partnered with Editions Milano, which produces and distributes high-end furniture, lighting and accessories, designing “Circle,” the company’s first foray into the world of porcelain ceramics. She has also designed costumes for an opera production with music by her father Roby Facchinetti, musician, singer and keyboardist of the band Pooh, dedicated to Parsifal, staged at the Arcimboldi theater last March.
“When I decided to reopen my studio, I wanted to express and channel my creativity and vision in different fields, not necessarily only fashion,” she said at the summit, adding she’s now consulting with companies in the Philippines and Indonesia. — M.C.
STRONG SALES: PAD London, the fair dedicated to 20th century and contemporary design in London’s Berkeley Square, has recorded robust numbers of visitors and sales figures.
The fair took place from Oct. 10 to 15 with a turnaround of 29,200 visitors with 62 international exhibitors, including 12 newcomers.
The preview day drew in 6,100 guests with buyers coming in from the U.K., Europe, America, Asia and the Middle East.
Strong numbers were recorded by the likes of the contemporary gallery Ormond Editions, which sold a Romane Table Inox by Garnier & Linker for 24,500 euros to Franco-Korean buyers; Korean contemporary ceramics specialist Gallery LVS & Craft’s sold a Gasan Lee Yongsoon’s moon jar for 10,000 pounds to a French-British buyer; Plants Exotica, the name of a chandelier by Junko Mori, was sold for 85,000 pounds by Adrian Sassoon, and 88 Gallery sold a Lukas Cober table for 28,000 pounds to a Bahraini buyer.
Other successful sales with figures remaining under wraps were made by Galerie Philia, primarily to London-based collectors, as well as Galerie Kreo, Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Stefanidou Tsoukala Gallery and Nilufar.
Galerie Jacques Lacoste recorded sales from buyers from Spain, South Africa and Iran.
This was PAD’s 15th anniversary fair since it was launched in 2007 by Parisian antique dealer Patrick Perrin.
The fair coincided with Frieze London, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The art fair also recorded robust numbers, with the Gagosian gallery selling all of its Damien Hirst artworks. Meanwhile, the Carl Freedman gallery sold all of artist Vanessa Raw’s works on the first day, too. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED