To use your British understatement, it was not a vintage January. I went to the launch of the Faberge Egg Hunt at 29 Portland Place.
The event was held on two floors, which was fine until Mark Shand - the brat of your Grand Duchess Camilla - began to speak. Two does not go into one, so half of us couldn't get into the room or see anything.
However, I saw my dear friend Katherine Flohr, who is behind the reviving of the Faberge Company. She gave me a tour of the first collection, which was beautifully displayed in bullet-proof glass cases watched by security men who would not have looked out-of-place guarding our beloved Prime Minister Vladimir Vladimirovich.
There was one piece in particular that set my heart beating: it was an exquisite diamond and white gold lace cuff, set with 1409 white diamonds - 30.58 carats in total. The price was RR 7 million. I will have to ask Arkady when he's in a good mood!
Last week I heard that the house in Grafton St next to Faberge's showroom was on fire. Now that I am so becoming English, I did wonder about sending my driver Oleg to 'save' it (as your krepostnoi 'saved' television sets in the summer from the shops they had put fire to), but I don't want to be deported!
So, on to the Couture Shows. Everything was set fair: room booked at the Plaza Athenee, invitations received. Then, bedstvie! Arkady needed me for a business dinner in Moskva on the Monday evening. This meant that I would miss not only the Givenchy, Stephane Roland and Dior shows, but Gianbattista Valli on the Tuesday as well.
Catching the evening flight to Paris that evening, I comforted myself that at least I would be attending Elie Saab the next day. Only I did not: my invitation had been sent to our home in New York; the replacement had been lost in transit between his salon and my hotel, and I was unable to get hold of any of his team to solve the problem due to them all being down at the venue preparing for the show.
Meanwhile, my secretary had been trying to arrange a last minute invitation to the Valentino show. Valentino takes the line that unless you are a client, you will not be invited. Unfortunately, I had been to his show a couple of years back and did not buy anything, so no invitation for Ella - which just goes to show: there's no window shopping at the couture shows!