Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Liz Taylor is embracing Richard Burton to my right. To my left, emerald and diamond jewels are blinding me, almost to the point that I can barely see Lenny Kravitz and his entourage walk by followed by Johnny and Laeticia Hallyday. Then, a few minutes later, Juliette Binoche. Julianne Moore walks by and says to me: “How ARE you? So great to see you again! You look gorgeous!” (Perhaps she was equally blinded by the shining jewels?) A photographer snaps my photo. I pose in my très chic Vanessa Bruno fur vest and skirt and a bejeweled diadem on my head with gorgeous earrings dangling from my ears (courtesy of the lovely Anna Rivka). I find myself in the center of Le Grand Palais in a vast space with a massive black diamond centerpiece. I expect to wake up any minute, but in fact, I’m not dreaming this time. I’m at the opening cocktail for the new “Bulgari: 125 Years of Italian Magnificence” expo at Le Grand Palais.
The colossal Parisian monument was bejeweled with stars from across the globe including (my new best friend) Julianne Moore, Lenny Kravitz and Clive Owen who all took time to make their rounds through the eight galleries that trace the major events in Bulgari’s history from the opening of its first shop on the Via Sistina in 1884 to its modern day influence on global fashion. My favorite aging French rock star Johnny Hallyday, French Vogue Editor Carine Roitfeld, actresses Juliette Binoche and Princess Clotilde Courau and director Claude Lelouch joined the Bulgari family for champagne cocktails and a preview of the vast expo that will run from Dec. 10th through Jan. 12th in the French capital.
The expo is really breathtaking and if you’re in Paris now through Jan 12th, definitely don’t miss it. The massive diamond configuration made of mirrors in the center of the Grand Palais is extraordinary and the gallery devoted exclusively to jewels worn by screen legends of the 1950s and 1960s including Claudia Cardinale, Ingrid Bergman and Sophia Loren is spectacular. And then there’s Elizabeth Taylor… oh là là!

Elizabeth Taylor’s personal collection is on display for all to see and includes the now famous “Grand Duchess Vladimir’s Suite” brooch and necklace with matching earrings, a gift from Richard Burton during their tempestuous love affair. (Come on, did you expect an interesting evening out in Paris without a scandalous love affair involved?) The evening was definitely memorable. Not to mention, the old Italian ladies in their fur coats were just incredible – like the Italian grandmothers I’ve always dreamed of. I wanted to go home with them and have them cook me Pasta all Norma and knit me a sweater. Actually, forget the sweater, I’ll take one of their GIGANTIC diamond rings as a souvenir.
The expo is part of Bulgari’s global 125th birthday celebration. I definitely hope to celebrate MY 125th birthday in a similar way, are you all coming?
…And then Cinderella turns back into a pumpkin. The clothing and jewelry are returned to sender, the sparkling diamonds and emeralds remain in their cases and all I can do now is dream of Bulgari … And I will.

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