[Looking over this post, something I've noticed is that it's long, and I think that one major reason for that is I've got this new computer and I'm really enjoying getting to know the feel of its keyboard. Also, I'm using blocks of text to hide the fact that I've only got three photos to share from an evening that demanded many more.]
Here's the story: This summer, when Brittany was a New Yorker and interning at as many places as possible, one of the people she interned for was an interior designer named Celery. Celery had a project and the project was to design a plate for Tiffany's inspired by a classic Tiffany's pattern in honor of a New York celebrity. Celery had Brittany design the plate, which was based on the "Chinese Circus" pattern (that's what I remember it being called...quite possibly wrong) and their celebrity was Law & Order's Mariska Hargitay (not sure of the connection between the celeb and the pattern...an inside source has hinted that first the plate was designed and then the celebrity muse was selected.)
Anyway, two and a half weeks ago the plate, which it turns out is a part of a series of plates that are going to be auctioned off to benefit something called the Alpha Workshops (the proper title of this series being "Dining in Style: Table Settings by Acclaimed Designers inspired by Stylish New Yorkers and Hand Painted by Tiffany's Le Tallec Studio in Paris to Support the Alpha Workshops"), had its premiere at a big party at Tiffany's and I had the magnificent fortune of being invited to attend. It was the classiest New York thing I've ever done and I was surrounded by more socialites, artists, rich old ladies, rich old men, jet setters, politicians, design celebrities, and people who must have been somebody important than I ever have been before and let me tell you, they all had very good manners. It was almost a little overwhelming, considering I had never even been in the Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue before, let alone gone up to the 4th Floor after passing through the main floor, lit by dozens of little candles with after-hours sales people at the ready behind the counters just in case any partier suddenly found themselves in the mood to buy a ring or necklace.
So, yes, here's Brittany and I in front of her place setting (I had such a hard time remembering where the shrimp fork went!*).
A Portrait of the Artist as an Emerging Celebrity--even though the sign on the table said the plate was by Celery, plenty of people at the party (including Celery) knew Brittany had designed the plate and praised her with great effusiveness and cheek-kisses (that night I learned so much about the etiquette of being gushy without being gauche and the art of graciously accepting nonstop compliments**)...caught in the crossfire, I found myself invited on more Hamptons getaways than ever before in my life***.
And here's the plate itself. See? Chinese Circus with a little gold tossed in for good measure.
It was an evening of almost more high society than I could take...there I was, thinking that I had always wanted to be a billionaire and sort of finding myself longing for a simple Ward potluck...kind of like how after that time when I flew to Tokyo in first class I found myself so content and comfortable and feeling at home in coach on the way back. But still, also very fun to be there and take in all the rich eccentrics, of which there were more than plenty. Also, at the party there were lots of people living the lifestyle that fills the space between Gossip Girl and Sex and the City--a place where the girls come from nice Park Avenue families and work in design or fashion and their boyfriends are all junior aristocrats raised on Fifth Avenue who work (or perhaps "worked") in finance. Usually these girls are brought to dinners or events by their banker boyfriends and wind up bored out of their minds, but on nights like this one the girls are in their element and the fellows bored and headed back to the open bar. What a life!
*Not true. I knew exactly where to put it. But also, I didn't set table.
**People liked my tie so much!****
***Not true either.
****No, no. Of course plate-based compliments are what I'm talking about.