Institute of Maier Learning
Watch where you put that wineglass. The seventh floor of Bergdorf Goodman was looking even more pristine than usual on Tuesday night, as the store's Jim Gold and Linda Fargo threw a cocktail party in honor of Bottega Veneta creative director Tomas Maier and a new section devoted to the full range of the label's immaculate products, from leather desks to leather bags. But wait—wasn't the fabric on a white sofa looking a teeny bit puckered? "The first night we opened this, a gentleman came in soaking wet from the rain," Fargo explained. Well, you can't blame the chap for choosing such an inviting perch. The desirability of Maier's designs had already been proven in other, more lucrative ways, too: All 25 limited-edition oxidized deerskin Felice bags had sold out in a week. At $2,700 a pop. In a recession.
The Bottega furniture, ready-to-wear, housewares, and accessories in fact take up more square footage than Bergdorf's has ever devoted to a single designer—reason enough for the German-born Maier to make a rare public appearance. Sporting tinted aviators, newly cropped hair, and just-so five o'clock shadow, he chatted with the likes of Graydon Carter, Chanel Iman, and Cordula Reyer. The famously precise creative director said he had given the BG team free rein over the in-store installation and was surprised—in a good way—by the way they had put it all together. If he noticed the puckered sofa, he was too polite to say. Julianne Moore swung by toward the end to lead him off to dinner at La Grenouille. There they were joined by the likes of Rosario Dawson, Martha Stewart, and Mamie Gummer, whose schedule sounds like it won't leave much time for fashion parties this summer. On the young actress' shooting slate: a horror film set in a mental asylum and "a rom-com about lighthouse keepers in Cape Cod in 1912."