Sunday, March 18, 2007
Wonderfully Whimsical Waris
Anyone who knows me in the slightest is aware of my massive crush on Waris Ahluwalia. Now don’t worry. He is well aware. Well, I think he is. He is so handsome, so chic and so damned funny. Waris, where is your twin? Do I need to start spending evenings at Desilicious?
I have known of Waris for years (who hasn’t in NYC?) but our paths never crossed until two years ago during a very drunken night at Bowlmor Lanes.
I was in drag (don't ask, please) and Paper Magazine was hosting some bash. Clicking and clomping around in my heels I spy Waris calmly bowling by himself away from the hullabaloo.
What a perfect time for an introduction I thought!
"Warissssss! Hey! Oh wow. I have wanted to say hi for so long. Looook, I am a writer for loads of publications and I hear you have some dazzling jewlr'y that I would love to see. Oh wait, I'm in drag! I don’t usually look like this. Wait? Do you like the way I look? So, anyways here is my card. Lets meet so I can do some writing on whatever you do. Nice to meet you! Hey did I give you a card? Oh no, I just ran out! Do you have a card?"
Waris just stared at me enchantingly as I had diarrhea of the mouth and dropped a card in my handbag and I teetered off to God knows where. I wake up the next morning and email him apologizing for my messy moment and ask when he is available to meet.
Two days later I am buzzing his door in Soho and he makes tea and like a prince guarding his treasure, he slowly opens numerous boxes of enamel, gold, diamonds with careful explanations of each piece. This must be what it was like back in Vreeland's day of editorial appointments. Elegant, peaceful and most of all, stimulating. Waris has such a effervescent way of doing everything! Did I mention he is drop dead funny? That is how we bonded. For some reason I turn into a total giggle box around him. He cracks me up to no end.
Two years on and many giggles later I have been lucky enough to cover him for several publications and he has floated to the top of the jewelry ranks with Bergdorf Goodman taking his latest collection. To celebrate such an occasion last Tuesday Bergdorf hosted a cocktail party for Waris, showing his jewelry to many friends and family. It was a packed house but nice to see so many people supporting Waris. The collection? Well, what I could see from ladies circling like vultures around the displays, it is dazzling. His semi precious stones wrapped in matte gold, resembling a Victorian woman's miniscule glittering handbag are so chic. His enamel cufflinks are always lush to me as are the APC diamond teardrops sported on a blazer to give the appearance of a fresh shorn tear...
The cocktails were fun but what I was most excited about was his small dinner held at the Consul General of India. A short walk from Bergdorf’s, I arrive to find a tent erected at the front entrance of the Beaux-Arts building with two Indian guards welcoming guests. Inside, lotus blossoms bloom amidst candles floating in a central fountain and a floralific iron staircase transports me to the cocktail bar and to dinner.
I would say there were around 100 people invited. Editors (Anne-Christiansen brought her adorable tot), Socialites (Fabiola looked like the chicest 60’s vinyl flapper in her shiny black Fendi!) and Artists (The Posen’s, Clemente's naturalment) all poured in for a drink and then massive curtains opened to reveal the dinning room. The massive room with 30-foot ceilings had been completely swathed in white silk to resemble a tent, thanks to Jacques Carcanagues.
Most of my friends, Sophie from Elle Decor, Spencer from the Observer and Alix from T, all sat at table 4. Who was at table 12? I was curious to find out. Luckily I sat next to a very cozy looking man who said, "Oh you may know my son Zac."
Bingo! I have always heard the Posen parents are a fun batch so I was thrilled to get to know them. If you ever sit next to them, pray Mrs. Posen is wearing her Victorian snake that wraps around her wrist. It is amazing and I of course had to try it on for size.
During dinner Suphala, a divine tabla artist pitter patted while we sipped white wine and began nibbling on Indian treats from Floyd Cardoz of Tabla on Madison Square Park. For a moment I was transported back to Agra where tabla artists drummed me to sleep on the grounds of my hotel as I gazed at the serene Taj Mahal.
The rest of the night becomes a blur, Mr. Posen and I had loads to talk about and at dessert everyone played musical chairs and I landed next to Dennis Freeman from W, who I interviewed 3 years ago for Fantastic Man. He was chatting with Waris' girlfriend Chiara who I ADORE. She is always such a ray of sunshine and they complement each other perfectly.
I know, I know. I haven't mentioned a word about Waris. It was his big night. He had to entertain hundreds for hours and I let him do his thing. At nights end we had a quick moment when he invited me to the Beatrice for the after party. You know me. Someone says 'Beatrice' and I am on 12th Street and 8th Avenue before they can say 'Inn'. But not tonight. I was uptown, near home and wanted to end the night on my sari silk cloud before falling into the pile of Jaipurian elephant dung that I usually end up in after a night at the Bea.
I descended that grand staircase with another new friend, Marissa Anshutz, and we hailed cabs and I headed to my nirvana in Harlem.
Wednesday morning I woke up with a smile on my face. I had dreamt that Waris had invited the entire dinner party to Samode Palace in Rajasthan where we celebrated his jewelry and each other over a long weekend.
Waris, please make this dream come true! Besides, I need to find my gay Waris (would his name be Gwaris?) I promise, you can make the wedding rings.