Tom Ford threw a cocktail party Thursday night to celebrate the opening of his long-awaited Beverly Hills flagship store at 346 N. Rodeo Drive, and with the Academy Awards just 2 1/2 days away, the gray carpet leading into the store was crammed with a constellation of red carpet star power.
Milla Jovovich, wearing a Tom Ford black-and-white plaid suit and a black shirt unbuttoned to the navel, could be seen air-kissing photographer Terry Richardson in the white marble entry vestibule. Upstairs, Valentino could be seen chatting in one corner of the room; across from him, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson mugged for cellphone self-portraits with Ginnifer Goodwin. Colin Firth conversed with Harvey Weinstein near a rack of dresses, while Bradley Cooper and Eva Longoria chuckled over a flubbed cheek kiss.
Through it all, the man of the hour, Tom Ford, stood like a groom in a receiving line, hugging and shaking hands with a parade of well-wishers that included some of the folks you'd expect -- Lisa Eisner, Karen Elson, Gina Gershon, Rosario Dawson and Adrien Brody -- and a few you might not, like Catherine O'Hara, Suzanne Somers and Norman Lear.
But the evening's breakout star was the space itself -- a 9,200-square-foot, two-floor temple of luxe, the first of his stores (other U.S. locations include New York City and Las Vegas) designed specifically to offer dedicated space to the new women's collection.
So it should be no surprise that the store feels a lot less masculine -- most of the Macassar ebony wood accents having given way to light grays and silvers -- including a staircase lined in highly polished mirror-finish stainless steel that made a trek up two flights of stairs feel like a disorienting trip past funhouse mirrors (which, unfortunately, didn't include a mirrored surface that could make me look thin.)
The first floor houses the menswear clothing and accessories collection -- which includes horn-handled shaving brushes the size of a toddler's forearm, and curling, ram-horn lighters three times that length -- as well as the perfumery, with the second floor housing women's clothing and accessories, including a handbag wall and separate areas designed to display the eveningwear, daywear, and footwear collections.
In addition to being able to check out the new digs, party-goers were also afforded the first-ever, up-close sneak peek at the new women's collection -- which will be available to the rest of the world today when the store opens to the public (the spring and summer 2011 collection can also be seen online at Ford's website by clicking here).
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-- Adam Tschorn
Top photo: Photographers shoot the arrival of celebrity guests Thursday in front of the 23-foot-tall facade of the new Tom Ford flagship at 346 N. Rodeo Drove in Beverly Hills. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times
Center: Tom Ford and Milla Jovovich on the gray carpet. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Bottom: From left, Elizabeth Banks, Colin Firth and Ginnifer Goodwin were among the celebrities in attendance. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images