The 5,000-foot new concept store at 499 Broadway seems like an amazing corporate extravagance in this battered economy. A glittering, two-story tall chandelier hangs in the stairwell of the serene, crystal-and-white interior which evokes a better, future era -- as if we'd all been transported in a Bedazzled Austrian time machine to the end of the recession.
Blake Lively, meanwhile, has that effortless "It Girl" energy that makes her the center of attention of whatever room she's in. She's a bit like a Drew Barrymore 2.0, back from the shop a little taller, a little prettier and without those troublesome addiction issues. Would we flock to see her in "The Seagull?" I'm not sure that we would. But for the buoyant roles we know her in, her beauty and spirit have rightly made her a star.
Apart from the ladies, guests were fascinated by the hundreds of drawers containing different Swarovski crystal styles, that slide themselves shut like something glamorous and motorized in the dashboard of a new Mercedes. The idea of the "Crystallized" concept store is that you can chose an existing design, or make one of your own. This seems to place the brand somewhere between "Build-A-Bear" and Tiffany which, frankly, is probably not a bad place to be.