The grande dame of Los Angeles, Betsy Bloomingdale, held the seat of honor at a dinner held last night at West Hollywood's Sunset Tower Hotel to celebrate the relaunch of the iconic jewelry line David Webb, best known for his bejeweled animal forms of the 1960s. Now 90-years-old and still one of the world's most chic women, Bloomingdale was a regular visitor at the late jeweler's 57th Street shop in Manhattan.
Since its inception in 1948, Webb was an icon of 60s and 70s Hollywood fashion with clients including Jacqueline Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Nancy Reagan and Diane von Furstenberg who wore a bold David Webb necklace on the cover of Vogue in 1976 epitomizing the style of the time.
Webb died in 1975 of pancreatic cancer, and his jewelry design house was managed by the Silberstein family for 35 years until it was purchased in 2010 by estate jewelers Mark Emanuel, Sima Ghadamian and Robert Saidian to revitalize the brand. Terry Richardson and Carine Roitfeld consulted for the brand on a new ad campaign, and just last year a new flagship opened on Madison Avenue in New York.
"David Webb is the work of a true artist with a very rich, storied history. Mark [Emanuel] bought his jewelry house out of bankruptcy and is putting it back on the map," L.A. style maven Brooke Davenport, who served as ambassador of last night's event with host Emanuel, told The Hollywood Reporter. "They've got a bunch of fresh ideas, and they're entertaining a lot."
Some of Webb's most distinctive jewels, notably his line of rock crystal and diamonds, were on display both on the table as extravagant centerpieces and on the women who attended the dinner, including interior designers David Phoenix, Waldo Fernandez, Tommy Clements and Madeline Stuart, Monique Lhuillier, Kathy Hilton and Brooke Kanter, wife of Resolution Agency's Adam Kanter. (She told THR she's gearing up for her own event on Sunday, the annual Kids' Art Museum Project Benefit at the Hammer Museum which she chairs.
The evening drew 40 people for cocktails and dinner and benefited the INNERCIRCLE program of LA<>ART, an independent non-profit art space in Los Angeles.
"I'm inspired by the fact that some of the world's most glamorous women have been devoted Webb collectors," said Davenport. "I dressed a couple friends in major jewelry last night. I had about $950,000 of jewelry on."