What a lot of luxury houses don't realise is that there is a difference between fine taste and expensive taste. Take Cartier's over-the-top soiree at Shaw Studios on Saturday night. La Villa Cartier was meant to evoke the impression of high art and high culture to sell a new selection of pricey baubles. So they created a big self-important 45-minute spectacle with lots of meaningless modern dance, bejewelled models doing their peacock moves and a majestic gazebo set with fake classical columns (above). It was all very Andrew Lloyd Webber with its high-art pretensions and low-brow ingredients - for example, the soundtrack: an Ennio Morricone aria? Donna Summer's I Feel Love redux? 'It is Cartier's tradition to surprise you,' the French house's executive boasted. Well, we were shocked by the goofy pomp and artifice. One of the highlights was a 50.41-carat diamond ring. Still, three-quarters of an hour is a long time to pay attention to big shiny rocks on a distant stage. As for the glamorous guests, our favourite surprise was the arrival of a princess, Yabshi Pan Rinzinwangmo (inset), the daughter of Tibet's 10th Panchen Lama. Who knew Buddhism and bling were bedfellows?