On Thursday I had the most hectic day imaginable (and fell over, scraped my knee, smashed my iPhone and cried in the process) so was seriously ready to let my hair down, mingle and enjoy an evening of fine wine, gourmet canapes and great company. After doing having a few pictures taken and grabbing a glass of Champagne I was relieved to spot the lovely designer Eudon Choi and made a beeline for him and his husband. After spending a happy half hour catching up and looking at pictures of their adorable miniature Shnauzer (my new fave dog breed) it became clear that the auction really was about to begin so we let the now slightly stressed PRs herd us to the second floor with the promise of an upstairs bar. I’ve never actually attended an auction before and was worried that it might turn into a repeate of the Peter Pilotto pre order party incident (2 glasses of Prosecco = 1 full PP catwalk look + 1 very empty bank account) and find myself joining in the bidding. Once the first couple of lots went for multiple thousands I realised that even I wouldn’t be tempted on this occasion and sat back, dreaming of the day I could casually drop £40K on a painting. I was very impressed to overhear that Chairman of the Whitechapel Gallery board, Rob Taylor would be matching the fundraising pound for pound so doubling the amount raised by the whole event.
Exhilerated by the auction experience, I made my way back downstairs for the third installment of the evening, oysters and champagne followed by a speech from Harpers Bazaar Editor-in-Chief Justine Picardie and the announcement of the London College of Fashion’s writers prize award winner. The gallery had invited Harpers’ Fashion Features Director, Avril Mair to select the LCF MA journalism graduate with a piece worthy of publication on HarpersBazaar.co.uk. In the end, Avril couldn’t choose between Babette Radclyffe-Thomas and Ginger Clark so it was decided that they both deserved to win. Read their incredible entries here. In retrospect, this evening sounds like something of a marathon but at the time it seemed to fly by in seconds! Next on the agenda was a much anticipated fashion show featuring four of the hotter-than-hottest young designers in London. All MA graduates of Central Saint Martins or The Royal College of Art (AKA seriously talented) and multiple award winners already, the innovative creations of Trine Hav Christensen, Hiroaki Kanai, Sabina Bryntesson and Craig Green were showcased on a crystal shaped runway alongside the work of four equally wow-some contemporary artists to rapturous applause from the audience. The show culminated in a spectacular UV lit finale and almost before we’d caught our breath, it was time to party.
Trine Hav Christensen & Ursula Mayer
Craig Green & Simon Payne
Sabina Ryntesson collection with Swarovski Amplify Chandeliers
By this point I’d established that there were in fact rather a lot of people I knew in attendence (something I’d been fairly nervous about) so I rounded them up and off to the bar for a spot of people watching. You’d think that I’d get progressively less of a kick out of seeing big names at close proximities but at an event like this, it’s kind of impossible not to be a little bit awestruck. I spied everyone from Jasmine Guinness, Marios Schwab and Phillip Treacy to Greta Scacchi, Tiphane de Lussy and Dinos Chapman. Ashamed though I am to admit it, my personal highlight had to be Nancy Dell’Olio. Having celeb spotted enough for one
evening lifetime we joined the hoards of guests who’d already climbed up on to the catwalk and danced the rest of the night away to the smooth grooves of legendary DJ Norman J.
Jasmine Guinness & Philip Treacy
Huge, HUGE thank you to The Whitechapel Gallery, Swarovski and Harpers Bazaar for a truly spectacular night!
Love Ella. X
Images courtesy of Marcus Dawes & Sophie Schorr-Kon