Cannes: De Grisogono’s Love on the Rocks
He’s one of jewelry’s most influential creators of the past half century; he’s founded and built De Grisogono into a 100-million-euros plus brand; his creations adorn some of the world’s most beautiful women and, one has to hand it to Fawaz Gruosi, he sure knows how to throw a great party.
Entitled ‘Love on the Rocks’ and staged in the Hotel du Cap, it seemed more like the opening of Hollywood blockbuster – with over 30 TV crews filming the tony guests as they entered the uber-luxurious garden of the hotel on the Cap d’Antibes.
Cannes is generally focused on dressing the stars of the Silver Screen, but de Grisogono’s annual fete is about attiring the outlandishly rich. Though this fete was more about the outlandishly rich rather than the stars of the silver screen. Still it was a party with a twist. Indeed, de Grisogono soirées are telling sociological bell-weathers of our times.
“Parties are the DNA of our company. We try our very best to give our best clients a really good night. People literally fly in from all over the world for our parties. China, America, Russia, India, from everywhere! People meet and make connections at our cocktails and then enjoy a good meal. There is no other place like this in Europe when you think of the decorations, setting and lights,” smiles Fawaz, as everyone universally calls him.
The party oozes self-assured wealth. Gulf Oil Corporation Chairman Sanjay Hinduja to South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe to Dimitry Rybolovlev the owner of Monaco football club, showed up. Though Fawaz likes to mix up his guest list. So, swarms of photographers snapped Paris Hilton, comic Chris Tucker, Hailey Baldwin, Rita Ora and Pamela Anderson – whose face had guests wondering what the French for ‘nip & tuck’ is? The dress code said see-through lace and negligée robes, with hyper-color floral De Grisogono gems.
Security was intense – guests needed invites and passports to get in; golf carts ferried everyone to a check-in which felt like entering a business class flight.
“The world today has changed. There are no more the royals like 50 or 60 years ago. There is a social evolution. Today, De Grisogono has changed the look of fashion around the world. How to dress for an event. The old days, the time of Monte Carlo, St Moritz or of Portofino. That’s over. You name it. There was an elegance – the man was dressing up,” Fawaz says, pretending to tighten his tie.
After cocktails, models marched on the black carpet down to the hotel pool and appeared before a giant screen posting mega-enlarged images of the latest de Grisogono collection. In a charming homage to departed 007 Roger Moore, four lady violinists played the theme Live and Let Die.
“Super-sophisticated is over. Trying to do that formality today is impossible. It does not work any more,” said Fawaz, before his guests dined on foie gras and lobster. Post-dinner, Jessie J played a cool concert on a stage overlooking the Eden Roc’s pool, cut into the rocks above the Mediterranean Sea. Leonardo di Caprio came to the after-party – but even the biggest movie stars in the world seemed a small afterthought at this event.