I’d like to begin this final Party Line of the year by thanking you all for your support and readership in 1983, wish you a happy new year and hope that the Year of the Rat is a happy, healthy and prosperous one!
If things go as planned, I should be getting some R & R in the Philippines which I badly needed after all those bonenkai parties over Roppongi way. I’m now on the sandy beaches of Zamboanga in the southern part of the Visayan Islands.
The first few days of January are relatively quiet in Tokyo, so if you’re in town, take advantage of the break in Tokyo’s hectic pace of life. In addition to New Years Day, our Japanese friends have another holiday in January, Adults’ Day on the 15th. On the American calendar, New Years Day, the first, is the only holiday in January.
Swarovski Group celebrates its first decade in Japan
There was music and dancing from Austria at the Tokyo Kaikan on Nov. 8 when Daniel Swarovski, Chairman of the Board, and Gernot Langes Swarovski, member of the Board, of the Swarovski Group of Companies hosted a huge reception to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Swarovski Japan Ltd.
The program included an opening address by Daisuke Kudo, the company’s representative director here, a welcome speech by Daniel Swarovski, congratulatory speeches by Austrian Ambassador Georg Hennig, Matsushita Electric Managing Director Hiroshi Oshima and Yamagiwa Electric Co. President Hyogo Konagaya.
After Daniel Swarovski presented several special guests with “Letters of Appreciation,” there was a superb buffet of Japanese and Austrian specialties. This was followed by a program of music and dances by the “Rettenberger Musik Swarovski Wattens.” I sat at a table with Swiss Air’s Anton Arquiesch who told me that flying in the 60 people was no problem, “but look at the size of some of those musical instruments.”
Gabriella Hirth, whose husband Jacques is Representative Director of Swarovski Japan, made sure I met all the VIPs that evening, and I really appreciate that. Ambassador Hennig has a great sense of humor. When I began to take his photo, he seized my camera, removed the huge flower and ribbon out of his pocket, put it in mine and snapped my picture … “That’s one for your memoirs,” he told me. It was a marvelous reception … perfect for the occasion. Our sincerest congratulations.
Tokyo Belgians fete National Day
Mid-day the 15th there was another marvelous reception, given by Belgian Ambassador and Mrs. Jean Verwilghen at their residence to celebrate King’s Day. As seems to be the custom, the weather cleared up and the more than 400 guests were able to move out into the spacious gardens.
Guests included diplomats, Japanese government officials, business leaders and members of the Belgian community here. The Verwilghens are a very popular couple and everyone seemed to be in a festive mood. For the celebration, special pate had been flown in from Belgium—a real treat.
I enjoyed talking with Mrs. Hidesaburo Shoda who told me how much she enjoyed a recent trip to Australia. I was happy to meet Joseph R. De Roo from the St. Joseph Friary and appreciate his comments about this column. The only “down” part of the party was talking to Italian Ambassador Boris Biancheri and his wife Flavia and Paraguayan Ambassador Marcos Mendieta about their impending departures. Boy, will they ever be missed! Meanwhile, our sincerest congratulations to our Belgian friends on their King’s Day and their very special celebration.
Five’ designers from 5 nations honored at gala
Tokyo’s fashion journalists really covered The Best Five Shows, but I would like to give a brief rundown on the opening party of The Best Five ’84 hosted by Seiki Watanabe, President of the Asahi Shimbun, and John B. Fairchild, Publisher of WWD for Japan.
The evening gala took place in the Hanae Mori Building and after a sit-down dinner in the French Restaurant L’Orangerie, guests moved into The Space for a preview showing that featured selected garments by each of the five designers: Gianfranco Ferre (Italy), Calvin Klein (USA), Claude Montana (France), Vivienne Westwood (England) and Hanae Mori (Japan).
Since I arrived a little late from another very special party (Nakatani-san’s birthday), I was going to pass on dinner, but Hanae Mori’s staff swiftly escorted me to a table where I sat with Francoise Morechand, Cartier’s Bernard Cendron and his wife Tamiko and Louis Vuitton’s Japan rep and Mrs. Kyojiro Hata.
By the time we finished dinner, much of the crowd had already moved into the Space, and it looked like every seat was taken. Once again Hanae Mori’s staff came to the rescue, and I was given the great privilege of sitting with Takako Shiinazu and Tokyo Governor and Mrs. Shunichi Suzuki. I really appreciate that. Talented Tetsuko Kuroyanagi did a masterful job as emcee. There was a speech by Asahi Prez Seiki Watanabe and ano¬ther by Governor Suzuki who spoke in both
Japanese and “average Japanese English,” as he put it. Tetsuko counted the pages and jokingly told him in Japanese and English, “That’s a little long, isn’t it?” This was followed by a large cash donation to Red Cross Vice President Koike-san for the organization by Watanabe¬san, and an introduction of the designers by John Fairchild. Each designer had about 15 minutes to present a sample collection, and the variety was really dynamic. Ferre’s collection was feminine and sexy, Klein’s very American and very clean, Hanae Mori’s elegant and chic, Montana’s presentation of some very original creations theatrical and fun.
My compliments to all the models who worked very hard that day, but always managed to look gorgeous and somehow keep it all together. One of the mannequins, Gloria who flew in from New York, had four pages in the Nov. 21 issue of “People” magazine. Read it if you have the chance and you’ll see the life of a really top model isn’t all that easy. It was a fantastic evening full of fantasy and full of beautiful people, the perfect opening for The Best Five 84
Then there were more fashion related parties. First there was the Isetan party for Calvin Klein who arrived in Tokyo with his entourage on his private plane. The party was in L’Orangerie Restaurant in the Hanae Mori Building following the last of Calvin’s collection showings that day. The crowd was a mixture of critics, businessmen and fashion personalities.
I enjoyed meeting New York fashion photographer Charlie Gerli and was happy to have the chance to see Eileen and Jerry Ford again. Calvin’s “fiancee” Kelly Rector (whom I heard he met through his shrink) was there; a pretty and charming woman.
The next day Calvin took off with his staff for Bali where they planned to spend 10 days “with a little work but mostly just enjoying.” I saw a lot more of Eileen and Jerry Ford the next evening when I helped Askew Model Agency set up a party in their honor at the beautiful Bee Club in Roppongi.
Gloria Askew and Eileen have been friends for years. It was Thanksgiving and Tokyo’s beautiful people really turned out for the event. In addition to the Askew staff, models and clients, models from other agencies tried to (and a few succeeded) in crashing the party. Special out-of-town guests included designer Prince Egon von Furstenberg, Cynthia Volman Gilbert of Dragonwyck Designs Ltd. and noted Intl Herald Tribune fashion journalist Hebe Dorsey. The superb buffet included turkey, beef, salmon, sashimi, sushi, salads and fruits. Martin Koleff, Bee manager, had his efficient staff keep the food and the champagne coming well past midnight.
I Party honoring `French Vogue’ staffers held at Embassy
As expected, the crowd at the French Embassy party, given by French Ambassador and Mrs. Andre Ross and French Vogue President Jean Poniatowski, was a mixture of Japanese and French fashion at its best. The guests themselves were a mixture of French and Japanese society, familiar faces in the fashion, arts and entertainment world and, of course, leaders in the business world who deal directly with marketing fashion.
Junko Koshino, always an individualist, showed up in her own “Cats” (from the London musical) fashion. Since it was Mickey Mouse’s birthday, I made the mistake of asking if that’s what she was celebrating. Luckily Junko has a sense of humor and didn’t slug me. The Embassy residence was really wall-to-wall people and there were a lot of people there I hadn’t seen for quite some time. I wish I had more time to move around and mix, but had to get to Roppongi to get ready for the “Sophisicated Ladies” party. French Vogue is planning a Japanese edition of their magazine soon, and that should be very popular in this fashion-conscious society.
Dr. Klaus Blech, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, accepts the honorary presidency of the Klaus Pringsheim Society founded earlier this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the noted German composer, conductor and musicologist. Making the presentation is Kosaburo Hirai (left), noted composer who studied under Pringsheim.
At the German Embassy. Jassim S. Al-Sarkal, Chargé d’Affaires, United Arab Emirates Embassy; Alhadhri Mohamed Al Hadhri, adviser; Mohammad Sultan Al-Darmaki, Under-Secretary of Agriculture for UAE, and adviser Hicham Sharkas.