Last Thursday morning in London, a group of stylish culture-lovers gathered at the Shreeji newsstand on Chiltern Street to kick off an afternoon of all things Tiffany & Co. and Air Mail.
The occasion was the American luxury house’s new immersive exhibition “Vision & Virtuosity,” currently on view at Saatchi Gallery, in Chelsea. And before guests would visit it, a proper breakfast was in order.
Friends of Air Mail, including Anderson & Sheppard director Anda Rowland, Vogue editor at large Sarah Bailey, fashion consultant Chrissy Rutherford, actress and model Tallulah Harlech, and journalist Nick Carvell sipped hot drinks from custom Tiffany & Co. coffee cups while taking in the surrounds.
Shreeji’s Chiltern Street façade had been reimagined in Tiffany & Co.’s signature blue. Matching bespoke tables and chairs lined the pavement, and newsboys snapped their suspenders while handing out copies of Printed Matter, Air Mail’s limited-edition broadsheet. To top it off, a postbox was positioned outside next to a stack of illustrated postcards, and guests were invited to send handwritten notes to anyone across the globe.
After coffee and pastries, guests including Idalia Salsamendi, Rahi Chadda, Jiawa Liu, and Funmi Fetto were whisked to Saatchi Gallery for an exclusive preview of the show. With more than 400 contemporary and archival works on display, the exhibition is filled with historically significant pieces of jewelry. An entire gallery is devoted to Audrey Hepburn and Blake Edwards’s 1961 romantic comedy, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with the original Givenchy dress Hepburn wore in the film’s opening scenes, an original copy of the film script (complete with Hepburn’s handwritten annotations), and even the Oscar statuettes it was awarded in 1962.
Another section of the show is dedicated to the artists and collaborators who have worked with Tiffany & Co. over the years. They include Andy Warhol, who once illustrated holiday cards, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg.
Other displays illuminate the legacies of its in-house designers such as Elsa Peretti, Paloma Picasso, and Jean Michel Schlumberger, whose clients included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, and Diana Vreeland. The most talked-about bauble of all is the brilliant-cut, 128.5-carat yellow Tiffany Diamond. Thanks to augmented-reality technology, visitors are even able to “try it on”—virtually, that is.
“Vision & Virtuosity,” until August 19, Saatchi Gallery, London SW3; saatchigallery.com. Admission free; book tickets on the “Vision & Virtuosity” app
Bridget Arsenault is the London Editor for AIR MAIL