This past week, Cartier reopened its historic mansion at 653 Fifth Avenue after a two and a half years of construction, bringing back to life this iconic piece of real estate the brand took hold of nearly 100 years ago. In 1917 in a deal over a double strand of natural pearls, Pierre Cartier exchanged his necklace for a Fifth Avenue mansion from the Plant family. At the time, the necklace was more valuable than the private home, and a great deal more desirable to Maisie Plant who coveted it.
To celebrate this four year long renovation project and the unveiling of this six story, 40,000 square foot retail mansion with 4 floors of shopping, a 5th floor workshop and 6th floor exhibition/event space, Cartier hosted a star studded “house warming” party where Hollywood rubbed elbows with musical performers who charmed powerful directors. But in the evening before the champagne and sparkling diamonds floated across Cartier’s red carpet, there was a late night dress rehearsal with the New York City Ballet.
It was this moment I chose to photograph. The intimacy of their art in the quiet empty rooms of this historic mansion the ballerinas glided around in graceful steps to a custom soundtrack by Nicolas Godin filling the rooms on dueling pianos and passionate embraces reflected in infinity mirrors and played back in the sparkles of chandeliers….
The Cartier Mansion opens to the public next week!… and let me say this: the second floor Princess Grace Salon currently displaying Grace Kelly’s magnificent engagement ring is what little girl’s dreams are made of (and even some grown ones as well.)