Stalking the Bay Area with Cartier for their Annual Bash

by Intern Flaunt

Whom and as it 'twas? Effusive fun chaser, Cartier, the transient Californian that she occasionally is, cooly pawing along the ridges of a rainy Bay Area eve. There she marked her hunting grounds, all luminously rosy in the edifice of San Francisco's Pier 48 for an experience of deep dance cuts and even deeper frost settings. The honoree? Many. But chiefly Alberto Santos-Dumont, an aviator for whom Cartier designed the first official wrist watch in 1904, a chap who flipped the floorboards on these very piers some moons ago, in perhaps sharper duds, leaving perhaps softer thuds. Finally, the cause? The annual need by the French to do it better than others. 

As the seductive spring rain kissed the meniscus' of our steaming hot chocolates, dolled out as we exited Michelin-draped eatery, Quince, a short get-to-show-you SUV jaunt away, it was made clear. Bold! Fearless! These would be our calling cards! A night of exceptional intrigue lies beyond this sharply dressed wall of iPads! 

Entering a club of mixed martinis, parts L'Altro Mondo Cosmo, parts Androids Dreaming of Electric Sheep (read: a sexy as hell red neon strung black rhombus), it was made even clearer: an exceptional do of indubitable decadence was underway in the great State of California! Excitedly, we necked to the bar where we bestowed curator and Desert X-inator Neville Wakefield with a round of bubbles, over to Aaron Paul who we commended for showing up to this temporary North Hollywood looking so damned sharp, then a quad of air kisses from another former Flaunt cover star, Freida Pinto, but not before greeting staidly cool David LaChapelle, a frequent Flaunt collaborator, who invited us to his very early Conversation the next AM (declined, unfortunately, for hijinks were made increasingly, temptingly apparent by the minute). Conversation here receives the capital "C", for the boldly fearless Cartier had arranged a full week of artistic tidily winks, known at the Cartier Social Lab, with types like transcendental meditation leader Bob Roth, head of content at Apple Music, Larry Jackson, chef Daniel de la Falaise, and the delightful winemaker Sean Thackry, whom we have the pleasure of learning the next afternoon possesses more books on winemaking than anyone. 

Passionate explorers. Dedicated artists. A true curation of artistic excellence. And this much we can say: sequins win winks! From every angle! Add the bewitching scene through the towering windows of the Pier 48: a Golden Gate bridge leering up and down a smoky, invisible Bay, and we felt kinda timeless, spiritually toasting the charming, stylish personas of the nocturne long gone, artists to whom we owe these tingly feelings. 

Not to be threatened into timidity with too good a time, we scoffed at the tiring who flittered away into fireflies after nostalgic sets by Hot Chip and Phoenix (all four members of whom sported the same hair cut), and let it fade to black on the dance floor of the inimitable Jamie XX, who also lobbed a few winks our way, along with some dance hall, psych-laden, sonically futuristic treats. As the scene petered out into yet another weeknight spent misbehaving, we felt watched, cat-like from the gauzy vertices of the pier. Oh, Cartier, you creature of the night. For no one stalks the after dark into welcome submission like Le Panthere.


Written by Matthew Bedard