You know you’re in for a dazzling night when Chanel’s name occupies the top of the invite—and true to form, the legendary French house spared no expense with the launch party for Numeros Prives, an eight-day exhibition at Wynn Las Vegas. The five-star hotel scored the high-profile event not only for its posh setting, but also because you’ll find two Chanel boutiques between Wynn and its adjacent sister resort, Encore (though the opening this week of its third Sin City location, at nearby Bellagio, was another key reason for the celebration).
Alexa Chung with Derek Blasberg
From LA, New York, San Francisco and points beyond, Chanel arranged private jets for the likes of Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren, Diane Kruger, Lily Collins, Gia Coppola, China Chow, Dree Hemingway, Poppy Delevingne, Rachel Zoe and Brad Goreski (you didn’t see this still-feuding duo sharing a jet or the party spotlight, however), as well as a cache of lucky editors. Cars adorned with the double-C’s awaited each jet upon landing, and before you could say “Coco and Karl,” each of us was whisked to a Wynn Tower Suite bedecked with white peonies and après-flight Chanel Beaute products. A few hours and one manicure and pedicure at the Wynn Spa later—chosen color: Dragon by Chanel, of course, an homage to Chinese New Year—and it was off to the exhibition and cocktail party.
Diane Kruger in Coco's dressing room
Numeros Prives examines all the signature codes—or “private numbers”—known to any fan of the fabled house, from a quilted-leather room that showcases the making of the iconic 2.55 bag to a dizzying video installation as an homage to the J12, as well as the “31” room, representing the legendary 31 Rue Cambon address, where we could enjoy up-close-and-personal views of dresses from the Fall/Winter haute-couture collection. And let’s not forget, of course, No. 5: At Numeros Prives’ entry, a curtain of pearls was pulled back to reveal a golden birdcage, inside of which dangled glittering Vegas-exclusive handbags above the diamond No. 5 necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in the famed commercial.
Imelda May performing
A garden-like setting, with camellias adorning topiaries, was fitting for glass cases holding diamond dazzlers from Chanel’s high-jewelry collection. (I toured the exhibition again the following night, and one of the necklaces, a collar-style stunner of black and white pearls and diamonds, was no longer present, while the rumor was afoot that it was so coveted the night before, it had been purchased.) If the notion of high-jewelry seems a bit out of your range, there was always the final room of the exhibition, where guests tried their luck at two carnival-claw games, your dexterity rewarded with a Chanel gift bag that contained anything from lipsticks to fine jewelry—indeed, the first woman who stepped up scored a hefty and gorgeous Chanel cuff, causing a bit of a frenzy and making the room a must-stop for every woman after that.
Alexa Chung takes to the decks
From the exhibition viewing and cocktail party (Champagne and mini truffled grilled cheese is a luscious combination), guests moved via a garden path into dinner, where Alexa Chung was already spinning her cunning mashups. This weekend being the kick-off of Chinese New Year (and make no mistake, more than a few Chanel clients from Shanghai and Taiwan made the trip), the dinner menu paid tribute to the holiday, from Pork and Shrimp Shumai to Crispy Sea Bass and Braised Short Ribs in Szechuan Peppercorn Sauce. By the time Imelda May took the stage (wearing yellow boucle from Spring/Summer 2012), our fondness for the idea of Chanel’s iconic numbers—private or otherwise—was infinite.
By Vivien Elbie