I always adore a private view. It’s much like going to an exhibition (well duh) but with the additional bonus of getting to wear a fancy frock and drink limitless amounts of champagne while getting yo culture on. Generally speaking though, there isn’t much of a party vibe per se. Don’t get me wrong they’re always sociable affairs full of fabulous folk to chat with but, aside from the odd exception – Hugo Boss’s Saatchi Gallery soiree last summer, for instance – half the guests don’t end up being physically turfed out an hour after things were meant to wrap up. I’m happy to tell you that’s exactly what happened at the Barbican a couple of Mondays ago. Then again, the artiste whose work was being celebrated was none other than Jean Paul Gaultier so really, what else would you expect?
It’s not often I pull five outfit changes on a Monday but that’s precisely what happened on this occasion. Six if you count wriggling out of my A-MAZING Ada Zandtion couture dress and back into waxed jeans after the private view to continue our party at Soho House. Having debuted my snazzy new fluoro gym gear and donned a little Carven number to shoot for Metro (watch this space!) in the morning, I decked myself in virtually head to toe pink for a project prepping session with Kate Spade that afternoon. Then, come 6pm, it was time for the aforementioned waxed jeans and leopard accessories for the unveiling of Gerald Scarfs installation at the Rosewood Hotel, where Ada then met me with the beautiful creation I’d be wearing to Gaultier afterwards. The whole experience was so ridiculously indulgent and generally over exciting I practically hyperventilated throughout.
Once appropriately attired in a sculptural petal dress crafted from buttersoft swathes of glove leather (I know) I managed to regain my composure just enough not to make a total tit of myself among the A listers gathered at the Barbican. And when I say “A Listers” I don’t mean random selection of ‘slebs. We’re talking high fashion doyennes, industry icons and the kind of couture clad ladies and gents who live, breathe and dream Gaultier. You got the feeling that everyone there felt genuinely passionate about the man and his work. Not that I have any aversion to attending parties largely based on their open bar policy but given the immense impact Jean Paul has had on the worlds of fashion and pop culture I felt this was a fitting and wholly deserved tribute. Londoners ranging from Alexandra Shulman, Jade Parfitt and Erin O’Connor to David Downton and Miles Aldridge had all flocked to the museum while countless other fashion and art world figures had jetted in from Paris, New York and Japan for the occasion.
Me, Ada, Nik, Alexis & Josh
Suffice to say, it was a truly excellent evening. Besides getting to hang out with some of my favourite people while wearing a dress so exquisite it made my head hurt (or maybe that was the champagne which was indeed a’ flowing), I met Jean Paul Gaultier (the loveliest man!) and went round the exhibition at least three separate times.
If you didn’t spot my review, catch up here, and get your gorgeous selves to the Barbican toute suite!
Love Ella. X
Images courtesy of Dave Bennett for Getty