Bill’s Partyline May 5th, 2009


I first heard Sarah Brightman sing at her concert in London about twenty years ago, and I instantly became a devoted fan of the amazing British diva. Needless to say, I was overjoyed when a friend called recently to see if I would be interested in doing a party at the New Lex for Sarah and her 40-member entourage (orchestra, backup singers, dancers, stage technicians, etc.). Believe me, I really moved on that opportunity. Sarah, who showed up in chic black leather, was as nice and down-to-earth as anybody could be, and her very international group was a lot of fun and really knew how to party.


Kuwait National Day

Kuwaiti Ambassador and Mrs. Abdul Rahman al Otaibi’s celebration of their country’s 48th national day at the Imperial Hotel was, as expected, a lavish and enjoyable event. The hosts and their top staff all wore national costumes while greeting the many guests as they entered. It was all very impressive. There were huge gold-framed portraits of the ruling Al Sabah family, a wall of congratulatory floral arrangements, and a tall replica of one of the country’s most prominent landmarks, the Kuwait Towers. One really got a look at Kuwait’s history, development, and culture through an excellent exhibition of photographs. There was also an exhibition of paintings by Kuwaiti artists, as well as a large model of a dhow (a traditional Arab sailing vessel). After enjoying the bountiful and excellent buffet, many of the guests relaxed in the large, colorful dewaniya (Kuwaiti gathering place), where they were served mint tea, arab coffee, and sesame-covered dates. As at most Arab events, there were a lot of great young people in attendance, including the Al Otaibis’ daughter Hala and sons Khalid and Hamood. It was a beautiful evening that brought back so many great memories of the four visits I have had the privilege of making to Kuwait, where one finds legendary Arab hospitality at its very best.

Rayban Party

It was an evening of interesting people and lots of special happenings at The Liquid Room in Ebisu when Rayban hosted a big blast to show some of their classic and new styles of sunglasses. The company is, of course, a leader in its field. Tokyo trendies there that night included Warner Brothers’ Bill and Charo Ireton, Dewi Sukarno (who’s making big news with her trip to North Korea), TV personality Chris Peppler, and many familiar faces from the fashion and entertainment worlds. I would like to extend a special thanks to brothers Aldo and Fabio La Cavera, who went all out with Rayban to make sure all the special guests I invited had a good time, which they really did.


Emerald Ball at the Westin Hotel

Kudos to all involved in the planning and set up of the annual Emerald Ball at the Westin Hotel—it was the classy, colorful, and fun event it always is. Irish Ambassador and Mrs. Brendan Scannell’s dear friend HIH Princess Takamado, who adds glamor and class to everything she does, was the special guest. For the occasion she wore a chic evening gown that had green ribbons incorporated into the design. The gloom and doom of the world economic situation didn’t dim the positive feeling shared by the guests, who included many top business leaders. The dinner was excellent, Diageo kept the Guinness flowing freely, and there were great raffle prizes, an auction, and lots of good music with the Weekender’s very own Kieron Cashell belting out both Irish and pop songs. The nonstop dancing went on into the wee hours of the morning, and from what I heard, a good time was had by all. It was nice seeing many good friends, including the Westin’s GM Andreas Trauttmansdorff and his wife Dominique. Andreas has been super busy recently—in addition to Refugees International’s fundraiser ‘The Art of Dining,’ his hotel also hosted the always successful annual Austrian festival.

I spent a recent morning at the annual Earth Festival in Yoyogi Park. It was colorful, fun, and informative, and packed with people. Jamaica will have their big festival at Yoyogi on May 9 and 10, and the big Thai festival will be in the park on May 16 and 17. I hope to see many of you at these two super international festivals. Congratulations to government officials who are making the park a place for the people.

*First published at the Tokyo Weekender

*Images Copyright: Tsukasa Shiga

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