Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burnishing Baubles

Although I’m not much of a jewelry man, I can still appreciate a good diamond. So when asked to design a party for the launch of Harry Winston’s New York Collection, I must admit feeling honored and slightly buoyant having the opportunity to be around all that bling.

I had the chance to speak to the beautiful Sandrine de Laage (Creative Director of Harry Winston) about the collection. She said New York constantly inspires her designs, and in this collection she wanted to capture the city's energy, movement, and architecture. I think she did a fantastic job.

I must be honest, walking into the Harry Winston store on Fifth Avenue can be intimidating: the army of guards, the sparkling baubles, the elegant and yet quite formal interior designed by Maison Jansen. After performing my initial walk through, I knew that I wanted to enhance the space by making it younger and sexier. While many details went into transforming the environment for the Harry Winston launch, I’d like to speak about three fixes made to improve the space while preserving the Jansen aesthetic.

Immediately I felt the carpet took too much attention away from the vitrines used to showcase the collection, so I covered the floor with 3-foot square lucite tiles, and a twelve inch border of gold lucite. The shimmering floor made the entire room float and the main area for the party fresher and more focused on the jewelry.

Second, by wrapping the chandeliers with black tulling, the atmosphere became less formal and much more fun.

And finally, to create a more salon-like environment, I custom designed a four-sided banquette and plopped it in the middle of the room with a large water pool in the center, fitting well with the Louis 16th style of the store. This way, the room was transformed into a salon, creating more of a sexier lounge atmosphere, for people and jewelry watching.

The party was a great success, and the jewelry, amazing to be around, especially with the company of breathtaking Freida Pinto, adorned with Harry Winston Jewels. The New York Collection is sexy and fresh, especially layered as Sandrine de Laage wore it the night of the party, pared perfectly with her exquisite Miu Miu dress.

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