How else to toast the arrival of an exhibition showcasing The Glamour of Italian Fashion than with a evening of Italian style extravagance? Anything less would have been a travesty. But of course, no one was going to let such a fabulous excuse for fanciness pass them by so last week women (and men) all over London and fat further afield were digging out their finest attire to raise a glass of champagne or three at the V&A.
Martin Roth Director of the V&A, Sonnet Stanfill Curator of the Exhibition, Alexandra Shulman, President of Conde Nast International Nicholas Coleridge, Franca Sozzani & Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi
Dolce & Gabbanna
Naturally I wanted to go all Italian for the night and had a choice between three equally exquisite REDValentino dresses. This was, of course, a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming moment but also posed something of a conundrum. Did I go sweet and a little on the safe side in one of the flared hem, thigh skimming cocktail numbers? Or did I go all out in the 3D floral embroidered, ankle length, tulle showstopper? It was so goddamn gorgeous I could barely keep myself from putting it on right there and never taking it off again, but at the same time, I didn’t want to find everyone else in jeans and feel like a total plonker. Then I thought screw it, what could possibly be a more perfect occasion to don such a special garment than an evening celebrating the glamour of Italian fashion?! Paired with my beloved Pollini sandals and an amazing Marni necklace from Net-a-Porter’s exclusive V&A capsule collection I was indeed Italiano-d to the max and, on the red carpet leading into the V&A had a bit of a princess moment.
Me & Nik
I wore… REDValentino dress, Marni for Net-a-Porter x V&A Necklace, Pollini shoes & Smythson clutch (oops not Italian)
Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the only attendee dressed to impress. The V&A’s magnificent Grand Entrance hall was positively bursting with exquisitely embellished Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbanna and Valentino creations adorning the frames of impossibly beautiful people. After locating a glass of champagne – not a tricky task, there was virtually one handsome, tuxedo clad waiter to every guest – Nik and I entered the fray, raring and ready to mingle. And there was certainly no lack of opportunity to do so. Everyone from Caroline Issa, Jade Parfitt and David Downton to Emilia Fox, Jade Jagger, Laura Charmichael and Lily Allen were in attendance. I’m not usually one to get massively starstruck but when I spied an impossibly chic, Bvlgari jewels clad Caroline Sieber sashaying through the vaulted halls I did slightly go into girl crush overload.
Evangeline Ling, Angela Scanlon & Bip Ling
It was indeed an evening of exquisite Italian glamour, and drinking champagne in the V&A after hours will never cease to thrill me. After saying out goodbyes, Nik and I decided to hit the Linda Farrow party at Scotch, via the Groucho, so it was home for a high speed outfit change. Much as I didn’t want to take that dress off ever, no way in HELL was I going to risk taking it clubbing!
Love Ella. X
Images by Nick Harvey