PaperCity Magazine

September 2014 - Houston

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PHOTOGRAPHY MICHELLE WATSON BRAVO, A fter a night spent amidst the nobles that constitute Bulgari's top brass, it became clear how citizens of the ancient Roman metropolis have long been skilled at conquering with their charm. Then again, how could one not be seduced by a double-coil Serpenti necklace in white gold with scales fashioned from 50 carats of emeralds and 170 carats of diamonds, which twined around the equally elegant neck of actress Naomi Watts, in for the evening as one of many guests of honor. Orchestrating it all, with the bravura of La Scala maestros, were Bulgari family members Nicola Bulgari (company vice chairman), Veronica Bulgari and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin. Each took to a red carpet built for the occasion in the museum's grand central hall to have pictures taken with Houston ladies who not only lent for the exhibition but had the honor of wearing some of the house's most prized pieces for the night, including Lynn Wyatt, Joanne King Herring, Sima Ladjevardian, Becca Cason Thrash, Christina Girard, Greggory Burk, and Isabel David. Contrasting with the abundant flashes from cameras was the ethereal and otherworldly exhibition itself, "Bulgari: 130 Years of Masterpieces" (through October 5), which guests previewed before dinner. The show's gallery, pitch black but for lighting aimed at the dazzling pieces, collectively illustrates the sublime 130- year evolution of the renowned jeweler. Choice pieces are the exquisite minaudière lent by Christina Girard, and breathtaking suites of precious stones, in quality and carat weights that boggle the mind. After the preview, supper was served in a room just off the new Morian Hall of Paleontology, with namesake beneficiaries Laurie and Reed Morian amongst the night's group. The dining room was re-imagined as the Spanish Steps piazza, with floral chandeliers and a sea of tiny tea lights atop the dozen or so banquet tables. While dining on roast saddle of lamb from City Kitchen, speeches were given by former chairwoman of the HMNS board of directors Windi Grimes (who chaired the evening with husband David); president and CEO and curator of Gems and Minerals of the HMNS Joel Bartsch; and Nicola Bulgari and Jean-Christophe Babin, who expressed their pleasure in being able to mount such an exhibition in Houston, where Bartsch has amassed and curated one of the finest collections of gems and minerals in the world. Afterwards, it was strawberries and mascarpone before everyone parted ways with copies of the hardbound book created to commemorate the show. Besotted with Bulgari: Diane Lokey Farb, Mark Sullivan, Linda and Walter McReynolds, Lucinda and Javier Loya, Claire Cormier Thielke, Ashley Menzies, Valerie Sarofim, Mickey Rosmarin, Sara Dodd, Annie Amante, Karol Barnhart with daughter Kelly, Sallymoon Benz, Ceron and Todd Fiscus, Patrick Burk, Gerald Hines, Divya and Chris Brown, Carson and Arthur Seeligson, Tony and Isaac Arnold, Karen Turner-Smith, Jana and Scott Arnoldy, Greg Fourticq Jr., Monsour Taghdisi and Henry Richardson, Pat Breen, Monica Hartland Blaisdell, along with Bulgari notables Sabina Belli (managing director) and Nathalie Diamantis (VP of retail and wholesale). JEWELS SPARKLED, BOTH MORTAL AND MINERAL, AT THE RESPLENDENT ROMAN JEWELER'S RETROSPECTIVE MAGNIFICENTLY MOUNTED AT THE HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE. SETH VAUGHAN SUCCUMBS TO LA DOLCE VITA AND REPORTS BACK. SEPTEMBER | PAGE 10 | 2014 Chairman Windi Grimes Naomi Watts Lynn Wyatt Greggory Burk Claire Cormier Thielke Diane Lokey Farb Christina Girard Becca Cason Thrash Chairman David Grimes Matt Johns Gerald Hines Martha Turner Glen Bauguss Lucinda Loya Ceron Todd Fiscus Kelly Barnhart Monica Hartland Blaisdell Serpents rule Tony Arnold Lora Clemmons John Clemmons Linda McReynolds Divya Brown Bulgari! Jean-Christophe Babin Veronica Bulgari Living statue Mise en scène Nicola Bulgari Pat Burk Karol Barnhart Kelly Barnhart Ethereal projections Joel Bartsch John Cary Renee Lewis Cary Karen Turner- Smith Carson Seeligson Arthur Seeligson Joanne King Herring Sima Ladjevardian The entertainment

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