Behind the Scenes at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week: Betsey Johnson for Chambord
While the biggest stories surrounding Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week are most often about what is taking place on the runway, sometimes some of the more interesting events are happening behind the scenes and off of the runways. I was fortunate enough to attend one of these events - a small gathering held backstage at the W Arrivals Lounge by Chambord to unveil what is being hailed as the most expensive beverage container ever created - and also the most breathtaking.
I was on hand with my friend and colleague, photographer Kelly N. Saunders, to cover the event from start to finish. We were ushered into the W Arrivals Lounge shortly before 6 men suddenly poured through the doorway with a very small, important package. Five of these men, it turns out, were there to "secure the bottle" - as one of them very gravely told me. The sixth man was the internationally renowned jeweler Donald Edge.
And the "bottle"?
The bottle that these five guards were in charge of securing is called 'Chambord by Donald Edge' - a bottle of the black rasberry liqueur that was designed by Edge. The spirits bottle is adorned with the finest round pearls, hand-wrought 18-carat yellow gold, and over 60 carats of diamonds - including 1,100 brilliant round cut diamonds, pear-cut diamonds, a square cut emerald diamond. Edge himself was a riot - very kind, friendly, and quite the character! I was able to grab a few moments with him to ask about his design journey - and he told me that it took him over 2 months of constant, grueling work to complete the bejeweled beauty. I think my eyes crossed just thinking about it!
The bottle itself was unveiled by Edge and iconic designer Betsey Johnson - a breast cancer survivor and advocate who was a part of Chambord's "Pink Your Drink" initiative. Josh Hayes, Chambord Brand Manager, told the crowd "Our 'Pink Your Drink' program throughout the year revolves around raising funds and awareness for breast cancer, so it was natural to tie into this very fashionable occasion and very fashionable designer."
The bottle is beginning a world tour, having already made it's debut in London and Berlin, it will now travel to Orlando and then to Australia to continue to raise awareness for the campaign. I am so thankful that I was able to witness the collaboration of three classic, powerhouse brands all coming together for a very worthy cause during my Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week experience.
Of course, after the stress of the unveiling was over - we all got to cut loose and have a little fun! It was a small crowd - there were roughly thirty people in attendance - so we were milling out, chatting about the bottle, Johnson's wildly successful Fall 2010 Runway show, and how to make a proper French Martini. Johnson was extremely friendly and generous with her time - she spoke with everyone as if they were old friends.
Donald Edge was an absolute delight - one of the friendliest and most down-to-earth people I've met in a long time. We all had a lot of laughs as you can see from the photos! He even offered to design a ring for me - which I'm sure would be breathtakingly gorgeous but solidly out of my price range! Oh well, a girl can dream!
A big thank you goes out to Kelly N. Saunders for the use of her photos, as well as to the Chambord team for allowing me to be a part of this amazing event!