Before Cartier’s gala launch of the Résonances de Cartier high jewelry collection last night, New York had not seen a blowout of its size since, well, the last Cartier celebration in September 2016, which served to mark the revamp of their retail mansion on 5th Avenue. That opening may have been the stuff of legend, thanks to its sheer scale, but last night somehow managed to be even grander, starting with the party’s location: Governor’s Island. The one night only event was not contained to just one section of the island, but the entire thing—all 172 acres of the beloved New York enclave had been “privatized” to accommodate this absolute onslaught of luxury.
After a champagne-fueled ferry ride from Pier 16 in the Financial District, guests clad in black tie were met with a fleet of Cartier-branded trolleys that had been imported for the evening from Charlotte, North Carolina—along with their drivers, who candidly admitted, “I honestly had no idea what we were getting into.” At the end of the brief trolley ride from the boat slip, the select 300 guests arrived to a glowing, 20,000-square-foot pavilion, constructed specifically for the bacchanal. “I don’t think I’ve ever taken a ferry ride to a party, I mean, I barely trek out of Tribeca,” joked designer Jason Wu. “It’s always a surprise with Cartier, but I like the mystery.”
Wafting into the secretive space and glittering in diamonds were Carey Mulligan, Diane Kruger, Sofia Coppola, and even Martha Stewart, who defied convention in a strand of pearls. “I actually have a very minor jewelry collection. Talk to my daughter, she has much nicer jewelry, but I have a tree collection. I just like my jewelry to be beautiful, simple, and elegant,” Stewart explained.
Bianca Brandolini d’Adda echoed the same sentiment, though she admitted she does have an appetite for finer baubles. “I really like diamonds, so most of the time that’s what I wear,” she said. “But I know I’ll never go wrong with anything Cartier. They’re comfortable and so feminine, but never too much—even if it’s a lot.”
Once inside, the crowd was treated to a dinner by Michelin-star chef, Dan Barber, complete with personal tins of caviar, plus performances by Andra Day and Jon Batiste, and a runway show to boot. The group of ten models flaunted select pieces from the Résonances de Cartier collection, all of which will go on display for the public at the brand’s 5th Avenue flagship from October 21 to 29, in the largest U.S. showing of Cartier’s current and archival jewels—most of which come with an appropriately intimidating price tag: Priceless.