The stars come out to shine on night of glitter and grandeur for Van Cleef & Arpels

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 September, 2011, 12:00am


The opening events of Van Cleef & Arpels' Maison made for a long night of grandeur at the Mandarin Oriental and Prince's Building. As actress Cate Blanchett and other international VIP guests partook of a special gala dinner created by Pierre Gagnaire at the hotel, local celebrities such as Michelle Yeoh Choo Kheng, Josephine Siao Fong-fong and Nansun Shi made grand arrivals on the pastel green carpet at the street entrance to the two-storey boutique.

The stars smiled and posed for pictures, but most of them sauntered in without stopping to chat to the press. Special guest Deanie Ip Tak-han was one of the few to accept short interviews. Looking chic in black silk and an upswept quiff, and flush with success from her recent best actress win at the Venice International Film Festival, the 63-year-old kept a level head when asked about her renewed fame.

'I actually don't read or watch entertainment news and gossip,' Ip said. 'The paparazzi haven't been any more aggressive towards me since my win. But as it is, often I look at how they run at break-neck speeds just to chase a shot, and worry if they'll get hit by a car or hurt themselves somehow.'

The evening moved upward to Sevva after the official ribbon-cutting. From every corner of the rooftop venue, lights with the Van Cleef logo and a flying pixie were projected on neighbouring buildings, creating a surreal effect on the skyline.

Sevva owner and fashion icon Bonnie Gokson took the dress code to heart, sparkling in a mini-dress studded with sequins, while socialite Lumen Kinoshita arrived in a bouffant skirt that highlighted her tiny waist. Claudia Shaw, in an all-white ensemble looked stunning as always, while Claire Hsu Man-kai was in all black. Lane Crawford's Jennifer Woo, Aaron Harilela and Peter Cheung were suave and sophisticated in black jackets with discreet diamond accessories (tie pins, studs, cufflinks). Local supermodel Jocelyn Luko arrived husbandless (model husband Anthony Sandstrom was away DJ-ing) but floated around in a flowing black gown.

Though Lisa Stansfield - nearly unrecognisable from her '80s avatar with her chestnut curled hair and plunging neckline - took the stage and regaled the audience with half-a-dozen of her '80s pop hits, its safe to say the star of the night at the after-party was Van Cleef's very own Peter Cheung, who pumped up the audience with his wit and verbal dexterity. Even the president of Van Cleef, Stanislas de Quercize, concurred. 'How can I follow up after that? Peter's a star.'