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Stars, Van Cleef & Arpels jewels sparkle at pre-ballet event

September 24, 2012|By Adam Tschorn
  • Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied, from left, Dita Von Teese and Mindy Kaling attend the opening night performance of the L.A. Dance Project presented by Van Cleef & Arpels.
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied, from left, Dita Von Teese and Mindy… (Alex J. Berliner / ABImages )

The world premiere of choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s newest ballet, “Moving Parts,”  at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday evening ensured that the Emmy Awards weren’t downtown Los Angeles’ only star-studded event of the weekend, with a guest list that included Robert Pattinson, Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones, Dita Von Teese, and Millepied’s wife Natalie Portman, radiantly attired in a haute couture white bustier flower embroidered gown by Dior and platinum and diamond snowflake earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Van Cleef & Arpels baubles were sparking elsewhere in the Saturday night crowd as well; Von Teese complemented her Burberry Prorsum gown (“straight off the runway,” we think she said) with Birds of Paradise earrings and ring in diamonds and white gold and the Arabesque bracelet of yellow and white diamonds, while Jaime King accessorized her Jason Wu gown with a Jackie cuff in 18-kt gold and carnelian and onyx vintage earrings.

The robust representation of the brand was hardly surprising though, since the Richemont-owned jewelry brand both presented the performance and hosted the pre-performance dinner.  But there's a deeper connection too.  

“Van Cleef & Arpels has a relationship with dance that goes back to the 1940s,” Van Cleef’s President and CEO Nicolas Bos told dinner guests, “And even played a role [in the creation of George] Balanchine’s ‘Jewels’ in the 1960s,  and we’ve been happy to be associated with dance ever since.”

(Apparently a mutual friend introduced the choreographer and co-founder of the New York City Ballet to jeweler Claude Arpels; one result of that friendship was “Jewels,” a three-part, non-narrative ballet inspired by, and named after, emeralds, rubies and diamonds, that debuted in 1967.)

Millepied himself briefly addressed dinner guests before everyone decamped upstairs for the opening night of the 10th anniversary season of Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center (the world premiere of Millepied’s latest work -- which also happened to mark the world premiere of his new L.A. Dance Project dance company -- was preceded by two additional performances, William Forsythe’s “Quintett” and Merce Cunningham’s “Winterbranch”), and profusely thanked all his collaborators -- a list that included a couple of familiar names we were surprised to hear: Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who had designed the costumes.

It marks the second time the Rodarte design duo has collaborated with Millepied -- the first being ballerina costumes created for the Millepied-choreographed film “Black Swan,” which starred Portman. (Although they’d apparently attended dress rehearsals earlier in the week, the sisters Mulleavy were not in attendance on opening night.)    

The costumes were simple, black, form-fitting outfits with sleeveless tops, each dancer's outfit accented with a pair of perpendicular lines of color; a horizontal one across the chest and a vertical down the right side of the dancers’ body from shoulder to ankle, with the two lines intersecting near the heart.


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