Cartier Relaunches Jewelry Line With '70s Exhibit, Late-Night Discotheque

By Jim Shi April 17, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

Several hundred guests gathered at the after-party, the color palette for which was red, gold, and black. The oval-shaped room offered three levels, each lined with Bordeaux-colored banquettes. In order to create the "sunken" feel for the dance floor, the producers elevated Skylight SoHo's normal floor by nearly five feet.

Photo: BFA

Cartier's "Cartier & Aldo Cipullo: New York City in the '70s" Exhibition Launch Cartier's "Cartier & Aldo Cipullo: New York City in the '70s" Exhibition After-Party
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To mark the relaunch of its “Juste Un Clou” jewelry collection, Cartier threw a two-part soirée on Thursday, bringing guests like Lily Collins, Charlotte Casiraghi, Jason Wu, Olivier Theyskens, Lou Reed, and Karlie Kloss to its Fifth Avenue flagship, before hitting Skylight SoHo for a disco-style bash. Celebrating the modernized nail motif of the rings and bracelets created by in-house designer Aldo Cipullo—the same man responsible for the French luxury brand's iconic “Love” bracelet—the first part of the event served as a preview to the “Cartier & Aldo Cipullo: New York City in the '70s” exhibition.

Four months in the planning, the affair was produced by Prodject founder and president Keith Baptista and project lead Jihye Song, with Christine Goppel, assistant vice president of public relations events at Cartier.

Among the modern highlights set designer Stefan Beckman incorporated into Cartier's landmark mansion was a wall-mounted Hewlett-Packard touch-screen piece intended to allow attendees to explore the brand's extensive archival content in an engaging way. “The '70s were such an interesting period and I wanted to show a lot of different aspects of the decade,” said Beckman. To do so he researched the Cartier archives as well as historical and cultural images from the era. The exhibit's color scheme—Bordeaux walls with dark carpeting—was also a nod to the old-fashioned Les Must de Cartier boutiques. “It was all very '70s, but reinterpreted in a modern and chic way,” added Beckman.

For the after-party at Skylight, guests entered via the Renwick Street entrance to find a custom-built 5,000-square-foot discotheque installed by Prodject. The trilevel nightclub boasted plush Bordeaux-colored banquettes, table service for food and drinks, and live entertainment by the Misshapes, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and singer-songwriter Rita Ora.

“Cartier wanted to convey the spirit of the '70s, but with a modern and luxurious sensibility,” said Baptista of the production, the build for which took five days, while teardown took two. To create a completely new look for the oft-used venue, the producers added a subfloor and custom painted new walls.

In lieu of using florals for the decor, Prodject paid homage to Cipullo's designs with the shape of hard-surface tables that were architectural and graphic. Even one of the dinner menu choices catered by Olivier Cheng had a direct link to the jeweler—the sweet sausage, mushroom, and cream rigatoni “D'Oro Cipullo” dish was borrowed straight from the late designer's own recipe.

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