The negroni sbagliato may be having its moment, but it’s safe to say the true “it” drink of 2022 has been the martini.
Bartenders have taken notice of the massive upswing in martini orders from hip young clientele this year, driven by the classic cocktail’s ubiquity across celebrities’ and influencers’ Instagram feeds. And with it has come an entire fashion and social media aesthetic dedicated to the party-girl lifestyle, dubbed “night luxe” by the TikTok trend-naming crowd. If you see an influencer post a martini on Instagram, there’s a good chance they’re wearing a sparkly outfit, complete with a rhinestone-encrusted bag, shoe or miniskirt.
It may be unsurprising, then, that vodka brand Grey Goose has decided to enter the world of sparkly fashion via a partnership with Peter Dundas. The fashion designer is known for dressing nearly every major celebrity in sparkly gowns over the years. That’s included Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala, when he was chief designer at Roberto Cavalli, and Beyoncé at the Grammys, with his eponymous brand, Dundas, to name a few.
On Wednesday, Dundas dropped the first five of a set of 20 limited-edition handbags emblazoned with a martini glass image made from crushed Swarovski crystals. At $650, the bags are based on Dundas’s martini-shaped, Swarovski-encrusted bag carried on the Grammys red carpet in April by Paris Hilton, the queen of all things partying and bling.
Following the bag’s martini-filled launch party attended by Alessandra Ambrosio, Dree Hemingway, Ashley Benson and MJ Rodriguez, we caught up with Dundas to talk all things bling and hear his take on the trend (as well as his go-to martini recipe).
Let’s start by talking about the Paris Hilton bag design. How did that Grey Goose collaboration come about?
“Grey Goose approached us through IMG, and it was something I immediately jumped on. It’s an iconic brand, for me, and it’s one that I use. Martinis are my favorite drink. And then Paris is a friend of ours. I’ve known Paris for years.”
Sparkles have been everywhere recently, and you’ve obviously been doing this on the red carpet for years. When did you see the bling trend hit the mainstream?
“That’s something I’ve always done. During the pandemic, we started dressing very differently. So I think “post-pandemic,” if we can say that today, people are ready to feel great and to look great, and to be seen, and to shine, and to celebrate life again.”
Paris Hilton seems to be a big driver of this trend. Do you think this Y2K nostalgia is factoring into the current bling obsession?
“With fashion, [it’s about] what feels fresh. After one extreme, you go to another one again — and this unapologetic fashion was needed. It was logical that it came after a period that was so serious for so many people.”
We’re also seeing the martini trend all over Instagram. What is driving the martini obsession?
“There’s a timelessness to the martini. I’ve been drinking it for years,. The fact that other people drink it now is great, because it means you can get it mixed well in more places. There’s a little bit of a formality to it, as well, that comes with the idea of embracing glamour, embracing going out and celebrating life.”
Who are your top celebrity muses for a sparkly outfit?
“I’m always scared when I get that question because I don’t want to offend any of them. I really appreciate all of them. When I dressed Beyoncé for the Grammys, that was amazing. And this year, there was a great moment for Mary J. Blige at the Super Bowl. I dress the queen of Norway, as well — she wears my embroideries. And Lizzo. There are so many women I have great enjoyment dressing, and I get inspired by them, as well.”
What’s your go-to martini recipe?
“We’ve developed a new dirty dill martini, which is really delicious. We use a lot of dill as an herb in Scandinavian cooking, as well, so I was really happy when when [the drink] was proposed to me. You let the dill soak in the vodka for 10 minutes before you make the drink. Otherwise, the classic dirty martini is an amazing one, as well. I like three olives.”