Bulgari's Dinner Decor Builds on Roman Roots

The retailer looked no further than its Italian heritage for the design of a private dinner that marked the reopening of its Fifth Avenue store and the new Metropolitan Museum of Art galleries.

April 23, 2007, 12:00 AM EDT

Custom wood tables, candelabras covered with grapes and ivy imported from San Remo, and touches of greenery set the scene for gardenlike dinner in the Carroll and Milton Petrie European Sculpture Court.

Bulgari's Private Dinner at the Met
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On Wednesday, April 18, the same week the Metropolitan Museum of Art debuted its new Greek and Roman galleries, Bulgari took advantage of its status as the underwriter for the opening to host a private dinner that promoted the relaunch of its Fifth Avenue store. The event reflected the roots of the luxury brand (founded in Rome in 1884) with a nod to the historic items in the museum’s classical collection.

For a rustic, Bacchanalian-inspired feast in a gardenlike setting, Bulgari imported elements such as ivy, wine, and even chef Elio Sironi from its resort in Milan. Four long rows of tables topped with loose fruit and candelabras draped with grapes echoed traditional Roman banquets. And caterer Olivier Cheng worked closely with Sironi to present a lavish, multiple-dish Northern Italian meal.

The music, however, was not a reference to Rome but to vice chairman Nicola Bulgari’s favorite music, with the Juilliard Jazz Quartet playing throughout the cocktail hour and a performance from jazz pianist Peter Cincotti during dinner.

For the 200-person affair, Bulgari director of external relations Rory Hermelee collaborated with the museum’s special events team, led by Ashley Potter, and its in-house designer Remco van Vliet, as well as freelance production consultant Gretchen Bylow. Hosted by Nicola Bulgari and C.E.O. Francesco Trapani, social types and fashion heavies such as Margherita Missoni, Fern Mallis, Glenda Bailey, Mario Buatta, and Vanessa Weiner von Bismarck attended.

Anna Sekula

Posted 04.23.07

Photos: Francine Daveta for BizBash

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