Hubert Burda Media

The Party Line: Max Mara, De Beers, Shanghai Tang and more

Find out what star-studded parties and VIP get-togethers you missed in the Fragrant Harbour over the last seven days, and get a sneak peek of what we’ve got coming up.

Neither wind nor rain – nor T8 tropical storm Merbok – could stop the party last Monday when jeweller Fred opened its second store in Hong Kong, in Harbour City. It’s always amusing to see drenched and mildly irritated paps trying to snatch elusive shots of well-poised celebrities attending such events. Completely untouched by grime or puddles, Jennifer Tse and Jessica Jann looked as if they’d floated in on impenetrable bubbles – and beamed for the cameras.

Thursday night was our busiest of the week, as usual, and we decided polished JM Weston shoes would be laughably out of place in the soggy city, and water-resistant Nikes would be a better bet for some serious event-hopping. “You can’t do that,” one fashion scribe moaned. Whoops! Just did!

First stop: Max Mara, which unveiled its new store at ifc mall. With the brand showcasing its autumn-winter pieces in such heat and humidity, we had much tea and sympathy for the stars and socialites dressed up in cashmere overcoats and winter fabrics. Huddled in a corner, gossiping with our favourite fashionista Yen Kuok (who looked stunning in red – and is apparently dealing with stalkers online and off), we were chatting beside a gorgeous floral display when a bespectacled Sammi Cheng walked in. Suddenly, the stylists and fashion scribes all ran across to grab a pic of (and with, in the case of the lucky ones) their favourite leading lady. Oh, and we heard Korean star Ha Ji-won’s arrival a mile off, and the echolocation of accompanying squeals informed us as she edged closer. Pretty in pink, Ha also happily posed with stars of our shores.

Kuok kindly dropped us off at our next event, held by De Beers in The Landmark’s atrium. Some serious rocks were on display at the exhibition showcasing the diamond giant’s 125-year history, and the elevated stage and display area was suitably guarded. A privileged few attendees enjoyed an opportunity to manhandle an uncut chunk of diamond – in all its de-glittered, de-glam de-glory. We tip our hat to the craftsmen and women who will change that rock into a beautiful pièce de résistance.

Then, a swift cab ride to Central Pier 8 and Hong Kong Maritime Museum, there to see the latest collection from Shanghai Tang. It’s a venue that’s regularly commandeered by luxury brands for events, and we’ve dropped by for Montblanc, Pandora, Daybreaker, Estée Lauder, Safilo, The Macallan, Giuseppe Zanotti and the International Chinese Medicine Cultural Festival Media Preview! Not sure what the museum can curate beyond memories of socialites wearing trends of season’s past.

Our favourite encounter that evening was with Shanghai Tang’s menswear designer – the raspy-voiced Armele Barbier – who waxed eloquently about similarities between a Mandarin collar and a Nehru jacket, and which would suit our muffin-topped frame (for the record, its a Nehru jacket, which shields a multitude of sins). The face of the latest campaign, resident uber-model Angie Ng was wearing a fantastic power suit from the house, and we spotted our favourite comic actor, James Wong, looking suave in an impeccable Shanghai Tang suit. The ever-affable Raphael le Masne de Chermont (now that’s a mouthful of a name) is always fun to chat with and ready with a fantastic quote, such as: “The tie is the leash of the corporate man.” Indeed!

The final invite of the Thursday was for the launch of Kitchen Infinity at Cubus, but exhaustion and poor weather finally took its toll. The morning after, we heard that they had fantastic canapés, and we immediately regretted not going. For all their glitz and glamour, most fashion events are notoriously shy of good food – running purely on high spirits and champagne.

On Friday night, what was to be an intimate gathering at Intimissimi turned out to be a heavily peopled affair. With models wearing gossamer tops, lace-covered ensembles and satin slips, and with all preening for the cameras, we had to flee a field of flashes to get into the venue. Inside, actress and model Ankie Beilke had that post-baby-delivery glow and shine that we’ve heard so much about. It’s always great to strike up a conversation and pose with tall and striking Eurasian model Natalie Soderstrom, who was glad the event was held in Causeway Bay and not in the insalubrious streets of Wan Chai (her Intimissimi outfit had that fine balance between naughty and nice). And as we were leaving, we ran into Jessica Jann once again – bracketing our week beautifully.

An amber storm warning had us heading home in a cab when our favourite stylist mentioned she was heading to Play to watch Ida Nielsen perform live. The bassist and back-up singer for Prince was in the city, and we’re so glad we made the effort to hike up to the club because seeing Nielsen belt out some uptown funk was almost a religious experience. Somehow, we ended up at the Perrier-Jouët VIP table, and enjoyed seeing the magic happening just two feet away from the best seats in the house.

The week ahead: the much acclaimed and famed Employees Only opens in Lan Kwai Fong, and our entire office will be excited to attend (see our interview with EO’s founders in the July issue of Prestige Hong Kong). Thursday is chock-a-block, with Tory Burch, Giuseppe Zanotti and Alessi events followed by a long Uber ride to Amalfitana at The Pulse for the restaurant’s second-anniversary bash. On Friday, we’ll be suited and booted for A. Lange & Söhne (which we pronounce, in our multi-cultured office, in myriad ways and according to each foreign tongue), which has a cocktail bash on Friday. The week will end with an Ideal charity gala dinner.

Never a dull moment in the Kong.