The Crowd: Jewels sparkle at this Gatsby party

Costa Mesa chic met New York City glamour last week as Tiffany & Co. hosted the celebrity-studded Blue Book Ball. A return to the 1920s "Jazz Age" social milieu was the central theme, embracing the glittering April week of events in the Big Apple created around showcasing the 2013 Blue Book Collection of Tiffany & Co.'s most fabulous jewels.

Some 400 VIP guests converged in New York City from around the nation and beyond, mingling with celebs including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, Jessica Biel, Sarah Jessica Parker and Carey Mulligan, star of the soon-to-be-released film remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby." Mulligan reportedly shines in the role of Daisy Buchanan, the 1920s society temptress who is the downfall of Jay Gatsby, the mysterious millionaire played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Sharing the Tiffany & Co. spotlight with Mulligan was Gatsby producer-director Baz Luhrmann and his exquisite wife, Catherine Martin, who served as both costume and production designer on the film. The brilliant duo entered into partnership with Tiffany & Co., producing the diamonds for Daisy and even the cufflinks and pinky ring for Gatsby.

The magnificent centerpiece of this week of social whirlwind activity was the Blue Book Ball in Rockefeller Center. Party planners erected a 31-foot-tall replica of the iconic Tiffany Blue Box, which covered the center's 15,000-square-foot ice rink. The crowd gasped at the sight of the box and the Art Deco-inspired party setting, which featured a towering champagne fountain set on mirrored risers supporting 240 glasses and 142 magnums of Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne.

Tiffany & Co. chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski said, "The Jazz Age was a time of great energy and creativity. All eyes looked to New York for the latest in music and style. As the city's first great jeweler, Tiffany provided the diamonds for this nonstop party — and I am happy to say we still do."

Later in the week, Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza Tiffany store director Michael Botsko was amidst the glittering throng entertaining close friends and loyal O.C. Tiffany devotees who had traveled to NYC for the debut. Local celebs spotted on 5th Avenue were the classy Teresa and Simon Lee, Patricia and Glenn Carpenter, Darilyn and Herman Thordsen and Mary Jane and Jim Calkin. The O.C. crowd converged upon the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on 5th Avenue for a private cocktail party and "first look" at the fabulous Blue Book jewelry collection. Then it was off to Le Bernardin, one of the city's most celebrated dining rooms, for an amazing four-course dinner.

The following day, guests enjoyed private appointments with Tiffany & Co. staff examining the collection before heading to Park Avenue for yet another "Jazz Age Glamour" evening at the Waldorf Astoria. Following cocktails, Botsko and guests traveled by vertical lift (otherwise known as an elevator to the stars) to enjoy dinner in the world-famous Starlight Room overlooking the city. Special guest Natalie Cole stopped by for a 90-minute performance that wowed the crowd. Then they danced the night away.

THE CROWD runs Fridays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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