PART 2: Chanel 1932’s Big Reveal

March 25th: How  I loathe it when the perils of motherhood over the last 7 years plague me with early mornings, even when I don’t actually have to wake up!  I looked over at the alarm clock and it read 6.30am. I was awake in my big double bed with  nary an obligation until lunchtime!! Ugh streuth… so I rolled over in my big double bed (do I sense a pattern here? loving the space,perhaps?) all to myself and forced and extra 3 hours sleep. I counted sheep for the first thirty or so minutes but the next time my eyes opened it was 9.30am… are you jealous yet :P?

Today was the big day for Chanel’s 1932 high jewellery collection. The Park Hyatt Beijing was choc full of women donning interlocking C’s from Hong Kong, China, Macau, Taiwan,  Korea,  and Singapore, all guests of Chanel. To prep for the event, I decided that a workout was in order. I am a stickler for daily exercise and so I ventured to the gym. It was Sunday and much to my delight it was empty, so after 90 minutes of good cardiovascular solitude on the cross-trainer and the “wave”, (you can burn 1000 calories in 46 minutes according to this Vickie Loves: Cardio Wave and Kettlercise welcome to my world!.) I  headed to my suite for a shower.

With major muscle burn and a good sweat I was ready for my day. I skipped the lunch in the hotel that Chanel had organised and decided to have some peace and quiet with a book before the onslaught of make-up artists and hairdressers etc. Tiffany and her team had arranged for all the HK guests to have their make-up and hair done in their room. So right on the dot at 3pm I received a call from Roy (our friendly go to guy from Chanel) to inform me that my make-up artist was to arrive. They arrived at 3.45pm due to many delays before me. I still had lots of time.

And so the transformation began. Despite my somewhat mediocre putonghua my make-up artist and hairstylist from Beijing managed to come up with this… what do you think? Here is a shot to emphasize my double rowed eyelashes. The make-up artist decided that she wanted to make my eyes look bigger, (when it comes to vanity I force myself to converse every which way and how!!) so she used a set of lashes from Shu-Uemura as the first layer across the entire upper lid, and then she took a second pair from Korea that flared out to the side and stuck them from the middle to outer corner. My eyes look HUGE!!

This is a better shot of the second set of lashes.

I left the hair quite natural. Believe it or not I’m not as adventurous with my hair as I am with my face. I figure if all goes wrong, I can always hide behind the hair!! hahaha..

Anyway with hair and make-up done, and a time check of 5pm, I was ready to  dress. I decided not to wear Chanel rtw, for fear of not wanting to wear the same thing as someone else. (With all the couture and diamonds that night I doubt anyone wore the same outfit!) Instead I opted to for something completely different. I decided on a cream and navy gown by Alessandra Rich. I paired it with YSL platform black suede shoes, my engagement ring, Chanel’s secret Camellia Diamond ladies watch, a pair of Cartier diamond earrings, and  a metallic silver, 2.55 limited edition lame bag. Nothing over the top and subtle enough to be respectful.

A fellow blogger suggested that I should post my outfits. I’m taking your advice.  So here it is: a quick snapshot in the mirror before I head out.

I was as ready as I’d ever be. I picked up my M.I.L, who in my book is probably one of the most elegant grannies over 70. Always known for her elegant choices, my M.I.L was in top-to-toe Chanel. Also with us was fellow Chanel buyer and stylista, Teresa who wore a beautiful suede cutout shirt dress also  Chanel.

All bedecked and bedazzled (with diamonds, not the bedazzler!) we jumped into the limo and headed for  the secret venue. This time to the Beijing World Arts Museum.

The beautiful Tiffany Lam, welcomed us all dressed in Chanel of course.

After a flutter of kodak moments, the Hong Kong group were led towards the exhibtion. The Beijing World Art Museum was transformed into the Chanel museum where every surface enroute was covered in black. On  occasion it made it somewhat harder to walk but with a little friendly assistance from your neighbour, we managed to navigate our way through without a slip or a fall!

We were shown to a small theatre that showcased a beautiful video about Gabrielle Chanel. However, one minor lost in translation moment for me, was that it was all in french with chinese subtitles. Unfortunately my french is much more fluent than my ability to read chinese, and that’s not saying much, since bonjour, merci, combien, c’est ca, and à droit and à gauche are all I can manage!   I was pretty darned lost! From what I could comprehend, it documented her life, she was a leo, and she loved stars.

In the next room was a beautiful black table which show cased  pictures of signature jewellery pieces, such as Chanel Cometes series. When you touched the screen and pushed the piece away another small documentary would appear and a brief description of the piece would appear. Very clever.

We then entered a circular space that remained black. The ceiling was dome shaped  (Chanel had built the Dome as part of the exhibition) and once all guests were inside, we looked up and stars adorned the dark sky of the dome. Shooting stars aplenty flitted across the dome and when these stars landed, the back lights behind us lit up, revealing the stunning 1932  High Jewellery collection. The exhibition itself was magnificent, but lighting and security prevented me from taking any decent photos within the exhibit.

Lucky for us, there’s more!

After the exhibition, we were escorted down a black carpet (had to be in theme) to the basement of the Beijing World Art Museum, and it was here that the glamorous event was unveiled. A banquet hall cloaked in Chanel black debuted 4 long rows of banquet tables, with sparkling table tops.. or so it seemed. Little lights glowed below a perspex table top. A magnificent touch to the starry night.

The room was filled with Chanel High Jewellery VIP’s, who marvelled at the elegance and grandeur of the night, anticipating more starry adventures.

The dinner was exquisite starting with an entire tin of kaluga caviar for each guest… delicious!

But this post is not about the food, but more about the event and the “Bijoux de Diamants”.

Once the main course was served we were delighted with an amazing reveal of the one-off 1932 collection.

I LIKE 🙂 !! This collection  presents Chanel’s very first tiara. A beautiful and original tiara with three diamond stars in a headband-style. The back of the gown was equally stunning.

POINT OF INTEREST 🙂 : The lion or Leo representing Gabrielle’s star sign was a theme of the collection. This necklace features a large carved yellow rhodolite quartz in the shape of a lion.

I LIKE :): Another interesting piece is the Etoile Filante necklace drapes around the neck but then cascades into a flow of diamonds that end in a star brooch that can be pinned to create the desired fall of diamonds.

 
The first high jewellery collection certainly put Chanel on par with the likes of Cartier. (Oh by the way, their designer is formerly of VCA and Cartier…)  In case you are interested, this collection is priced between  €11,000 to €5m.
Oh the brightness of the carats and clarity ended our evening on a stellar note.  At the end of the night each guest was given a bottle of 1932 Eau de toilette, and some  even left with new jewellery.  We jumped back in the limo(elegantly of course)  and headed back to the hotel to pack for our flight, first thing Monday morning.
My weekend of glamour was nearly over, yet I was glad. I had just enough pampering to ready myself for a busy week ahead before the our Easter vacation. There’s a lot to do in a week! stay tuned…
Flying high with the comets and  stars, I hope you enjoyed this post. Oh and by the way, it took a lot of Shu-Uemura cleansing oil to remove 2 sets of fake lashes!!

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