On The Avenue

Cool Catroux make Manhattan meow

by Michael Gross Photographed by Diane von Furstenberg, Francois Catroux, David Netto
Thursday, November 3, 2016
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Francois and Betty Catroux, the Parisian eminences, lit up midtown and downtown on Wednesday night with a pair of parties honoring the decorator and his wife, long the legendary, lank-blonde, louche muse of Yves Saint Laurent.  The doubleheader book launch for Rizzoli’s sumptuous and frankly breathtaking Francois Catroux, with a knowing text by writer David Netto, and a forward by Diane von Furstenberg, resembled a reunion of Club Sept survivors from the Seventies, but it was also a reminder of the power, style and endurance that have made the Catroux and their crowd living legends.  The book covers the long span of Catroux’ career from his first major commission, a Milan showroom for fashion designer Mila Schön, through his latest, completed only this year, and includes the interiors of houses and apartments from Paris to New York, and Hong Kong to Los Angeles, as well as a unique train project, and the extraordinary interiors of several boats, among them Barry Diller‘s ninety-three-meter, three-masted motorsailer superyacht Eos, the largest private sailing vessel in the world. 

The festivities began with cocktails at Phillips auction house on Park Avenue, where the walls were hung with contemporary art that was mostly ignored by guests queueing for Catroux and Netto’s signatures, and then vectoring to see who else had arrived.  The sharp-eyed spotted Giancarlo Giammetti and Valentino with Rebecca de Ravenel, Diller in black tie, Roger and Bara de Cabrol, Tom Scheerer, Deeda Blair, and Louise Grunwald.  A dinner hosted by von Furstenberg and Diller followed at The Beatrice Inn.  The Dillers presided over an eclectic table of swells including Wendi Murdoch, Seth Myers, Giammetti and the rarely-seen-in-restaurants Annette de la Renta.  In a second room, four tables of ten held the Catroux and Netto and guests like Marina Rust, Alex Hitz, Grunwald, Valentino, Blair, Architectural Digest’s Amy Astley, architectural eminence Paul Goldberger, Reed Krakoff, Allison Sarofim, Stephen Stills, Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, and Doris Brynner.  Lauren Santo Domingo represented the present in an after-dinner cameo.  “It was couture crowd,” a slightly shell-shocked Netto marveled the next morning.  “What can I tell you?”

Photos by Leandro Justen/BFA.com.


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