Ralph Lauren celebrated Asian style icon Bonnae Gokson’s coffee-table book, “Butterflies and All Things Sweet,” by hosting its US launch at his 888 Madison Avenue Women’s store in New York City.
The venue, the 22,000-sq ft grand mansion known as the historic Rhinelander Mansion which Lauren transformed into his flagship store, is stunning. Beautiful chandeliers hang from the ceiling of each floor, and every space and corner exudes timeless elegance and class.
“The atmosphere and the decor are reminiscent of the grand beaux arts architecture of the 20th century,” describes Gokson.
Celebrities, well-wishers, icons of fashion and design, as well as the author’s friends from Hong Kong, London, Chicago and San Francisco, all came to celebrate Gokson’s success.
“I was awed by the positive response to my book across America,” says the “Queen B.” “Some of the biggest publishers were present that night and they came up and told me that the book really makes one drool and want to turn to the next page for more sweet surprises.”
Ralph and his brother Leonard graciously welcomed guests. This was definitely the icing on the cake for Gokson.
Having America’s King of Fashion host the event is a dream-come-true for her. “His staff were very kind and welcoming. We worked together on their beautiful VIP grand suite, putting on sugar flowers and displays of my faux cakes that I brought in from HK,” she says.
“On the week of my event, there were plenty of other happenings and parties elsewhere in New York City, but Ralph Lauren and his senior team were there for me, and I appreciated that immensely.”
Big sister, Asia’s fashion empress Joyce Ma, was also there to lend her support.
The Ralph Lauren store in NYC, the last stop of Gokson’s book tour, which took her to Shanghai, HK and Manila, made the entire experience extra special. “It’s like fireworks, a wonderful grand finale!” she says.
Lauren’s support doesn’t end there. All his stores in the US will carry “Butterflies and All Things Sweet.”
On a brief visit here were noted—and hunky—52-year-old Spanish photographer Fernando Manso and his fiancée (yes you read it here first!), the vibrant and beautiful Bea Zobel Jr.
The handsome couple were feted at dinner given by Ricco Ocampo, Doris Ho and myself in the popular Japanese restaurant Kai at Greenbelt 3.
The guest list was a fun and diverse group, from Chris and Nanette Po, Karen Santos, Joe Miro, Haresh and Sharm Hiranand, to top models Hideo Muraoka, Fatima Rabago, Luany Ayumi Madeira and Wesley Perreira.
Manso came here to attend Cary Santiago’s “Queen of Cebu” event, which, unfortunately, was postponed due to the storm.
Manso went to Zambales and Azucarera de Don Pedro in Batangas to take photographs of our unique and beautiful landscape. He will have an exhibit in Tokyo in May 2014, to celebrate a Spanish-Japanese partnership. It will be held at the Spanish Embassy in Tokyo.
12th Philippine Tatler Ball
Next week is the much-awaited 12th Philippine Tatler Ball, with its chosen beneficiary, the Virlanie Foundation.
Founded 19 years ago by the French social worker Dominique Lemay, Virlanie has helped nearly 16,000 street children in the metropolis lead more productive lives. It provides much needed food, shelter, education, medication and clothing to these children.
In light of the calamities that hit our country the last few months, it is imperative that we help our fellow countrymen. For those going to the black-tie event, please share your blessings with these disadvantaged youth to ensure they get the best chance in life.