Let me just begin by saying I am not particularly interested in the British Royal Family, although I do rather like the Queen and her enduring style.
I’m not on the Meghan Markle appreciation train and I do think the way she has spent her pregnancy ostentatiously resting her hand on her stomach is a bit weird. But I was riveted by the details of her baby shower that emerged recently.
I love how rich people are now inventing soirées and traditions that never existed and making us feel stingy for not doing the same. Like the gift bag for the baby shower attendees.
Call me practical but what happened in olden times was that we threw parties for the mother-to-be and she got the presents. For. The. Baby. Things like nappies, and Bonds suits, and baby singlets, and crocheted booties.
I guess Meghan was showered with this sort of thing too, but in this new era of ‘everyone in pass the parcel gets a prize’, each guest received an expensive tote bag stuffed with Jo Malone scented candles and body scrubs and other irrelevant toiletries.
But the really perplexing addition to the shower, held in The Mark Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, was the entertainment. The guests, who included Amal Clooney, Serena Williams and Gayle King, were treated to a flower-arranging class. I just don’t see why this would be useful.
Once you reach multi-millionaire status, normally ‘pricey weekly florist’ would be on speed dial. One bad arrangement and the housekeeper would be shot.
Is this a new trend? Maybe they go to each other’s country estates, amble through the gardens cutting fresh flowers and arrange them before lunch is served. Was there a segment devoted to: “Why is it that you never, ever have the right sized vase?” because I’m pretty sure in the before-mentioned households, they do.
But thanks, top one-percenters! Now we have to introduce activities at baby showers. Guest-gifting is a lot of pressure, which apparently only gets worse if we look at the birthday party that make-up queen Kylie Jenner threw for the first birthday her baby, Stormi. It was an extravagant theme park, with a giant inflatable replica of Stormi’s face where guests entered through the mouth, similar to Luna Park but far more surreal and spooky.
It was a truly bizarre gathering of bored grown-ups with pumped-up lips wandering around lavish gift shops, and fun rides, with themed food, Louis Vuitton french fries packets, famous DJ’s and tiny children who had absolutely no idea what was going on and looked like they’d rather be napping.
At one point, Stormi, resplendent in sequins, was handed a parcel that her mother had unwrapped, shrieking: “Oh look baby, your first Chanel bag!”
The oblivious Stormi was then gifted with a miniature red-quilted Chanel handbag on a long, gilt chain, clearly not safe for 18 months or younger. Like most one- year-olds she was probably found later playing with the box. But what I really want to know is: were there gift bags?
Is this a thing now, presents for the guests at children’s parties? This everyone gets a lolly bag thing has gotten way out of control.