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With daylight fading from the sky and lanterns floating on a private lake over his shoulder, Vacheron Constantin’s Alexander Schmiedt stepped up onto a dock that had been transformed into a mini stage, encased in lush green foliage with a giant movie screen as a backdrop.
Taking a microphone, the luxury Swiss watchmaker’s president of the Americas detailed designs for the evening. “Tonight, we celebrate The Anatomy of Beauty,” he said referencing the title of the Maison’s short film that was about to debut but also a concept that laid the blueprints for the evening soiree. “We always say that beauty is definitely subjective but there is a common objective element to it, and that is the fact that the beauty of the whole that we see, is only a summary of all the small details. That’s the same in nature as well as in fine watchmaking. Tonight, we want to celebrate this parallel.”
Vacheron did so by taking over a private estate off Benedict Canyon in Beverly Hills. Celebrities, fashion insiders and Vacheron fans mixed and mingled on the palatial grounds of a Mediterranean escape, where all the small details combined to create a beautiful soiree, reported multiple guests. The pieces of the party included the debut of Louie Schwartzberg’s short film, The Anatomy of Beauty, the unveiling of two Overseas skeleton timepieces, performances from a mesmerizing group of modern dancers outfitted in earth-tone ensembles, beats by DJ Daisy O’Dell and music from violinist Josh Vietti.
Stars in attendance included Dakota Johnson, Chris Paul, Riley Keough, Nicole Richie, Kate Mara, Aldis Hodge, Travis Bennett, DJ D-Nice and Matt Felker. And, fitting to the night’s theme, Vacheron hosted a bevy of star stylists, people who are finely tuned to the anatomy of beauty in orchestrating red carpet looks, including Ilaria Urbinati, Jamie Mizrahi, Jason Bolden, Warren Alfie Baker, Jeanne Yang, Jenny Ricker, Tara Swennen, Tracy Shapoff, Courtney Mays and Enrique Melendez.
“As far as watches go, they’re one of my tops,” Swennen told The Hollywood Reporter. “If I had to pick one word to describe Vacheron, it would be exquisite. Look at their attention to detail, the quality, the fine-tuning. You literally have to look at it under a microscopic lens to see the amount of detail that goes into it.”
Urbinati agreed. “Even though I love watches and I love a lot of different watches, I really only like working with a small group of watchmakers and they’re one of the few that I work with,” says the stylist, who counts Dwayne Johnson, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds, Donald Glover, James Marsden as clients, among many others. “I love their history and I think their watches are really, really beautifully made. It’s a brand that I respect a lot.”
When Schwartzberg got the call to collaborate on the short film, he said it was “a match made in heaven.” He arrived at the project after decades of work as an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who has often been referred to as the master of time-lapse. Schwartzberg’s credits include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic; Wings of Life for Disneynature, narrated by Meryl Streep; America’s Heart and Soul for Walt Disney Studios; and Fantastic Fungi, which explored the world of mushrooms and mycelium.
“Being able to do a deep dive into the inner workings of the watch is really a reflection of the beauty in the macro world of nature,” he told THR. “One of the things I’ve learned as I’m trying to make anything is to ask the big question: What is life? It’s always the little things that help make the world go around. I’ve done films about pollinators, bees, bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, being seduced by flowers. It helps you get down to the microscopic level and be more observant of the little things and that makes you present, more aware and more grateful.”
He brought the same perspective to Anatomy of Beauty, a mesmerizing short that sees the impeccable Vacheron designs blended with images of nature in many forms. “I took rhythms, patterns and beautiful imagery [from nature] and mapped, composed, superimposed and blended it on top of the watch to show that there were one in the same,” said Schwartzberg, with a Vacheron Patrimony attached to his wrist.
Back to the stage. After Schmiedt laid out the plans, Schwartzberg described the emotions.
“This is an honor to be here,” he said to his rapt audience. “It’s the epitome of an orgasm for a filmmaker to see his nature imagery in nature. … Beauty is the ultimate economy of form and function. Everything has to be perfectly designed to be in harmony, I think, with the energy of the universe. This is a joy for me to be able to share this with you. I hope it will blow your mind. Blowing your mind is medicinal. It’s good for you. It’s good for the soul.”
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