A tiny box appointed in robin's egg blue, filled to overflowing with a constellation of stars may sound like something you'd buy at Tiffany & Co., but for a few hours on Thursday night it was Tiffany & Co. — at least the scene on Via Rodeo in front of Tiffany's recently renovated Beverly Hills flagship that saw the likes of Liam Hemsworth, Kate Hudson, Jack Huston, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Roy and Academy Award-winners Reese Witherspoon and Halle Berry in the house (well on the sidewalk) for the big reveal.
The 18-month renovation of the three-story space at 210 N. Rodeo Drive had mostly been completed by early this month (the finishing touches are still being put on a third-floor VIP salon), but the 179-year-old jewelry company threw the Oct. 14 soiree to officially celebrate — and to introduce its 2016 Masterpieces jewelry collection. Hosted by Tiffany Senior Vice President Jennifer de Winter, in partnership with philanthropic organization The Art of Elysium, the event had guests ascending the grand staircase at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and North Rodeo (which, for the occasion, was outfitted with an arrivals red carpet in that signature shade of Tiffany-box blue).
After mingling, munching on hors d'oeuvres and posing for portraits snapped by celebrity photographer Brian Bowen Smith for about an hour outside the store (which remained locked as tight as Ft. Knox), guests were ushered to a seating area (also appointed in Tiffany blue) that squarely faced the Via Rodeo façade of the Tiffany boutique. As the lights came down and the music swelled, a woman in white approached one of the Tiffany windows. As she touched the window, the side of the building became a giant projection screen on which cascades of shooting stars climbed up, armloads of cut diamonds tumbled down, and a quintet of white-clad dancers whirled and swayed in what we're pretty sure was a wordless interpretation of exactly how everyone feels when they're waiting for a Tiffany boutique to open.
As the dancers exited, a disembodied voice said: "Please remain seated as your Tiffany experience continues momentarily." And boy, did it ever. Within a few minutes, Ariana Grande entered the Via Rodeo cul-de-sac — seemingly out of nowhere — in a short black dress, ponytail swinging and seriously blinging thanks to nearly $300,000 worth of Tiffany baubles including a platinum necklace set with marquise-shaped and round diamonds (worth $250,000), platinum and diamond bow earrings ($8,800) and a platinum and diamond bracelet ($39,000).
"Thank you to Tiffany's for having me," the pop singer said. "This is seriously one of my favorite places in the whole world. Now, without further ado …"
With that, Grande launched into a three-song set that ended, appropriately enough, with a rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," which the singer tweaked in a couple of places to name-check the esteemed jewelry company at whose behest she was crooning.
After Grande finished her set, the doors of the renovated boutique facing Via Rodeo opened and guests were invited to tour the space, descend the store's elegant marble staircase and exit through the new watch salon (the first of its kind in a Tiffany store west of Chicago) into the Rodeo Drive night.
A memorable Tiffany's unboxing if ever there was one.
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