Input article bMARIAH Carey's birthday bash was touted as the party of the year. We popped in to the party at London's exclusive Tantra club, only to find the diva was two hours late. But she sure knows how to make an entrance. She looked stunning in a floor-length white Chanel gown. At her request, the gates of the club had been painted gold and white rose petals were scattered everywhere. A white couchhad been placed in the middle of the dancefloor to ensure the birthday girl was centre of attention. Thesexy singer wassurroundedbyher entouragewho were constantly keeping the diva cool with Chinese fans. We couldn't help but notice that every time Mariah stood up to dance, the whole club danced. And every time she needed to visit the ladies, coincidentally so did everyone else.
The main lobby features a striking chandelier of colorful glass flowers, and a front desk backed by a garden with live trees, plants and flowers in an Italian villa setting. Off the lobby is a conservatory five stories tall, with settings that change with the seasons. The smell of fresh flowers wafted through the area as Wynn pointed out a 20-foot-tall cornucopia that will be the focus of the fall designs. A staff of 115 people operates a horticulture department from a 90, 000-square-foot greenhouse behind the hotel. Off the conservatory is the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Wynn watched intently as art consultants adjusted the rare multimillion-dollar works, fussing over placement and lighting. Wynn has spent some $300 million on the artwork, half coming from his personal fortune of $500 million, the balance from the company. He described in detail the works of masters such as Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse, saying they ``share the most remarkable power to move us. ''``As paintings go, this is tall grass, '' he said, overlooking the masterpieces. Wynn, 56, suffers from the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. A dozen restaurants overlook the lake or one of five swimming pools, and are run by some of the top restaurateurs in the country. They include Le Cirque and Circo from New York City, Olives from Boston and Aqua from San Francisco.
The Uffizi museum is houses of centuries of art and artefacts, moving from Byzantinian paintings to Botticelli, Da Vinci and Michelangelo's works to high renaissance style painted ceilings commissioned by the Medici family in the 14th and 15th centuries. Spanning two buildings connected by a corridor, the sheer beauty of it all sent us into a dizzy spell. In between the ooh- ing and hing, make sure you don't forget a shopping spree for some stunning Italian clothing and souvenirs. We headed to the Santa Maria Novella district where one can find the big fashion daddies like Chanel, Prada and Ferragamo. For local flavour, the flea market at the Parco delle Cascine is the best bet as it has a plenty of smart overcoats, T- shirts and inexpensive souvenirs to take home. We set the final day aside for sight- seeing, the tourist way. We jumped on to the hop- on hop- off bus to get around the bustling city and cross the River Arno to where residents have lived in sprawling homes for centuries.
The venue's Grecian columns perfectly complemented the tubular detail that Rolland worked into finely crafted gowns, dresses and suits that oozed feminine power and authority. An intricately knitted wedding dress with sparkling crystals was a celebration of the craftsmanship that defines haute couture, even if its broad sculpted lines veered dangerously close to those of a hotel bathrobe. Meanwhile, the Brazilian architect-turned-designer Gustavo Lins pleased his small but growing fan base by taking over a perfume boutique next to the Palais Royal to show 11 outfits that highlighted his skill at structured draping. Passers-by peering through the shop window joined invited guests in the tiny venue in watching three models with golden lips emerge in apron dresses and overcoats in black washi, a tough Japanese paper used for origami. Red copper necklaces found a purpose in clasping felt velvet collars over a silk mousseline scarf dress and a silk cape jacket over clinging trousers, while a mere leather string held up a long training black silk crepe dress. ody here...