Welcome to the Hotel Vivier. What a lovely place. With many a lovely face. Local shoe addicts checked in and checked out the shoes and bags from the spring 2019 Roger Vivier collection by the house’s new creative director Gherardo Felloni.
On Tuesday night in Bel-Air, a Champagne-pink mega mansion was tricked out in gold buckles, ostrich feathers, crystals, peau de soie silk—and that’s just the collection itself. Felloni brought the vision of a Parisian hotel as tableau background for his high-end baubles to Los Angeles after he and his team staged it in both Paris and New York.
You’d think denizens of L.A. might be slightly less familiar with Roger Vivier shoes—the famous silk buckled pilgrim styles worn by Ava Gardner, The Beatles and Queen Elizabeth—than Europeans or New Yorkers. But the Vivier brand, now part of the Tod’s empire (owned by Diego Della Valle), has been in residence here for Oscars week for many years, outfitting stars for the red carpet. And when Cate Blanchett wore Viviers throughout her entire Oscar winning performance in Blue Jasmine, movie lovers fell in love. Neiman Marcus can barely keep the shoes—flats, pumps, chunk heels, stilettos—in stock. The original Roger Vivier (1907-1998) is credited with inventing the stiletto heel. Quite a feet. (Sorry.)
Big-name celebs and fashionistas, all turned out in Vivier in toto. Mandy Moore, Patricia Arquette and her daughter, Christina Ricci, supermodel Chanel Iman, mature supermodel Maye Musk (stunning mother of Elon), Nikki Reed, Louise Roe, Rose Bertram, Rebecca de Ravenel, and Heather Marks were just a few of the well-dressed flock who went all out and all in.
Every room in the Hotel Vivier featured a different colorful tableau, and a different style of shoe and bag. The downstairs library was stocked with Vivier kicks; the upstairs pink bedroom, ostrich plume pumps. L.A. artist/philanthropist/designer and fashionista Valerie von Sobel held court in the master bedroom, posing in a gown of 5,500 Swarovski crystals and Vivier crystal-heeled booties. Her co-star was a tiny Mexican hairless named Frankie, who despite the presence of his trainer, did NOT enjoy posing, earning him the name “Cranky Frankie.”
One room played faux hair salon, with a lady in rollers and a stylist—all in Viviers—and a French maid in a pale blue uniform and red lipstick dusted throughout the maison, often crying, “I’m not going to get any shoes,” despite changing from one pair to the next throughout the evening.
Turns out, Felloni—with dramatic black lacquered hair, matching pencil mustache, and 19th century vintage necklaces worn a la necktie with his suit—is a frequent visitor to our part of the world. “I know how to drive!” he said proudly, in his Italian accent. The former accessories designer for Dior and Miu Miu, now a resident of Paris, has friends in San Diego and Santa Barbara. “This is an imaginary hotel,” he sighed, “but after doing this three times, I would love to make it real. Particularly here in Los Angeles.”
Co-hosting with Felloni was the ageless French icon Ines de la Fressange, who’s been an ambassador for the house for many years. Before that, of course, she was Karl Lagerfeld’s first favorite model muse for Chanel, because she reminded him of the real Coco.
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