Bella! Bella! Cheers greet Sophia Loren as she visits Hong Kong
Legendary actress opened Damiani flagship store
Veni, Vidi, Vici
She came, she saw, she conquered. A name that needs little introduction, 'the' Sophia Loren attended the reopening of Damiani's flagship store in Hong Kong at ELEMENTS mall in Kowloon. Decked in diamonds and a figure-hugging black gown, the 78-year-old actress, nay icon, wore pieces from the Sophia Loren Collection as she ventured into the flagship store. Cutting the ribbon with Giorgio Damiani, Vice President of Damiani Group and Alessandra Schiavo, Consul General of Italy, she blew kisses to the teeming crowd who gathered en mass to watch the grand dame of world cinema grace the occasion.
The crowds, well, mostly the snaparazzi, alternated between yelling out "Sophia! Sophia" and "Bella! Bella!" to entice that famed name and decolletage to turn their way.
Pansy Ho and third-generation Damiani, Giorgio, were part of the cherry-picked few who entered the shop with the actress, while the others watched from the outside, nose-pressed against the windows as the few and the fabulous made their way around the 1,076 square foot boutique. A notably buff, suit-and-tie sporting bouncer kept the crowds at bay, while he held a sparking, grey, clutch that, presumably, belonged to la bellissima Italiana.
At the cocktail, dressed in a magenta Hugo Boss suit, it was hard not to miss Kam Kwok-Leung, who's been a fan of Loren for years. "I first saw her decades ago, at the premiere of the opera Turandot," said the radio personality. "I doubt she remembers me. There are so many classic Italian movies she's done that I love that I can't name one, but the combination of her and Marcello Mastroianni on-screen was wonderful." Pulling out a splendid portrait of Loren decked in diamonds and feathers, he hoped to get an autograph.
Among the sea of faces at the cocktail, lord of coif and curls, Kim Robinson was out and about with friends, including our best-dressed of the night nominee, Jessica Hui. TV personality Rebeea Yeung emceed the event. Sally and Robert Lo, Yvette Yuen were seen in the melee as well as Chitra and Manolo Chellaram. A clumsy oaf of a scribe bumped a champagne glass and a splash of Moet hit Manolo, who ever graciously said, "Don't worry, its only champagne - and it's good luck!"
The cocktail party followed an exclusive VIP dinner at Tin Lung Heen at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Attending socialites included Ivy Wu, Dennis and Betty Sun, Moses and Angela Tsang, Ming Tang, Louisa Cheng, Sharon Poon, Mira Yeh, Virginia Wu, Helen Ma, Helen Rong and a host of other glittering attendees. They wined and dined with the Diva while their courses were interrupted by a jewellery show, as models sauntered by the restaurant showcasing some of the signature pieces. However, the cynosure of all eyes was undoubtedly Loren, who sported more than a fair share of bling, which she happily posed with for many an i-cam.
Left to right: Betty Sun, Dr Dennis Sun, Lucy Yang, Charles Yang