Barneys New York fetes Frederic Malle with a stylish dinner in Hollywood
“I’m so not a candle person!” said Frederic Malle during a dinner thrown in honor of his new candle collection Thursday night. For Malle, creator of Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, the line of fragrances that has garnered a global cult following, candles had traditionally been too pungent and something designed to cover up a bad smell -- until now. His range of candles is meant to mimic actual scents from nature such as a bouquet of flowers (Un Gardenia la Nuit) or re-create a place (Russian Nights). There are nine candles, which are encased in red hand-blown glass jars, with scents that travel from the familiar to the exotic. Saint des Saints was inspired by the inside of an Indian temple and Coffee Society is reminiscent of the smell that lingered in Malle’s childhood home in Paris after his parents threw a dinner party.
The dinner party thrown in his honor was held at Villa Vallombrosa, the Hollywood Hills home of photographer Tim Street-Porter and interior designer Annie Kelly. Guests such as Anjelica Huston, Paul Fortune, Peggy Moffitt, Lisa Eisner and Gina Gershon filed into the candle-lit dining room of the fabled estate (legendary costume designer Adrian and photographer Baron Adolph de Meyer once called the Villa home), which was so elegant it felt like you could have been in the Parisian home which inspired Malle’s candle.
Barneys New York creative director Simon Doonan was in town briefly to attend the dinner while his husband Jonathan Adler was down at Fashion Island for the opening of his new boutique. Sitting next to Doonan was Gelila Puck, dressed in a stunning peach colored V-front dress that drew a heavy contrast to her black Louise Brooks-style hair cut. “It’s 1970s Jimmy Galanos” said Puck of her dress. She admitted to being a huge fan of Malle and wears three of his scents.
And while the evening drew a few cultural icons and some of the city’s most stylish individuals, Doonan managed to mix it up and inject a little humor into the night, rattling off people’s “Jersey Shore” names generated from a Jersey Shore nickname website. (Doonan loves the MTV show and pulled an Ed Hardy iPhone cover out from his Goyard bag to prove it.) “Anjelica is ‘The Incident’ and Gina is Pookie,” said Doonan to the crowd’s extreme delight. And then it was right back to business, “Go mob Freddie at Barneys tomorrow!” Frederic Malle will be making a personal appearance for his candle line, Saturday from 4-6 p.m. at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. Chances are, even those who thought they weren't "candle people" will walk away converts.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Photos, from top: Paul Fortune, Anjelica Huston and Frederic Malle; a Frederic Malle candle; the dining room at Villa Vallombrosa. Donata Sardella/WireImage