Parties

Fortnum & Mason Christmas Fayre

fortnum and masons

Good God I love Christmas. No matter now technically grown up I get, the mere thought of my favourite festive pastimes puts a big, fat grin on my face. London is especially gorgeous this time of year. Even the inevitable rain doesn’t completely piss on the proverbial parade thanks to indoor emporiums of general jollity and nice stuff to eat, drink and buy like Fortnum & Mason. If you’ve never been to fortnums, you absolutely must. Less a department store than a giant, charming, old fashioned boutique stuffed with lovely stuff. At Christmas, the whole place resembles a twinkling, glittering dolls house… In a tasteful, unassuming English way of course. It’s cafés also do some of the finest afternoon teas in town but Earl Grey and scones aren’t the point of this post. Having not been able to indulge in the treats I usually do this time of year thanks to the whole final-year-uni-deadlines thing getting in the way, I was extremely excited to get myself in the festive mood with an evening at the Fortnum’s Christmas Fayre. Actually, the event’s full title was the “Fortnum & Mason and Quintessentially Foundation ‘Fayre of St James’ in association with The Crown Estate” but thats a wee bit wordy.

fortnum & masons

Olivia Grant

fortnum and mason

PPQ’s Amy Molyneux

After managing to guilt trip my dad into taking me out for dinner (mwahahaha) I headed to Piccadilly where Fortnum and Mason was already bustling with fashion, art, media and assorted London society types ready to enjoy the thrill of being in a department store after hours coupled with the obvious perks of an open bar… Or maybe that was just me and everyone else was in it purely for the charity auction. On the subject of said auction, the evening was in aid of Rays of Sunshine, a UK charity devoted to granting wishes for seriously and terminally ill children and about the worthiest cause imaginable. If ever there were a reason to drop big bucks on something fabulous that, my friends, would be it.

fortnum and mason

Henry Conway

Within seconds of arriving I spotted the usual party suspects, Alistair Guy, Lilah Parsons, Henry Conway, Oliver Cheshire, Olivia Grant and Pixie Lott. I also spied The Noisettes Shingai Soniwa looking stunning as per always and a dashing Alex Pettyfer getting shamelessly ogled (by me). Fortnum and Masons always boasts divine decor but on this occasion the it had been rigged out with an illuminated dance floor (in a non tacky way), a caviar bar, two champagne bars and a stage where we were treated to a succession of live music performances. On top of all that, they’d also laid on THE most awesome quintessentially (no pun intended) British banquet imaginable and despite having just come from a delicious dinner, I found myself joining Alistair on a battenburg cake hunt. FYI, we found it and it was awesome.

fortnum & masons

Me & Lilah

fortnum & masons

Me & Alistair (apologies for the deeply un-chic bra strap situation)

fortnum & masons

Insta-puds!

Eventually my serial partners in crime, wine and general fun times, Millie Cotton, Nik Thakkar and Christian arrived just as the main event began. In case you’d forgotten (I kind of had… blame it on the boogie, or the booze, or both) the point of the event was a live silent auction in aid of Rays of Sunshine. We all gathered round and Sotheby’s Chairman Henry Wyndham read out the jealous making lots which raised a whopping £200,000! Then, of course, it was back to the dance floor for one last whirl before it was time for us to hit the road. Things were about to get pretty wild at party number two but that, mes amies, is a tale for another post.

Love Ella x

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 4 Comments

British Fashion Awards 2013

British Fashion Awards 2013

Ah, the British Fashion Awards. Nothing like a big, fancy celebration of the UK’s sartorial clout to make you come over all patriotic. I was lucky enough to attend last year’s ceremony and adored every second of it but this time around the British Fashion Council truly took things above and beyond. I shared my outfit for the evening with you earlier this week but in case you missed it, I went all out Brit-tastic in a bejewelled, cobalt lace Matthew Williamson number with a glittery Anya Hindmarch clutch. No matter how many major fashion events I go to, I still feel a knot of nervous anticipation beforehand and considering the clout of this occasion, I felt positively giddy. Ridiculous really considering that no one would be looking my way with A listers flocking from all over the globe to attend and God knows I wasn’t nominated for anything, but there you go! By the time I arrived at the Coliseum Opera Theatre, the whole of St Martins Lane was packed with paparazzi, police and bemused passers by interspersed with insanely glamourous attendees clutching their invitations and high heeling it through the fray as fast as their Kirkwoods could carry them. While I waited for Nik to arrive, I stopped for a quick cigarette outside the St Martins Lane hotel and heard a french accented voice behind me ask to borrow a light. I turned round to discover said voice belonged to none other than Clemence Poesy, one of my favourite actresses and ultimate style crush, which naturally caused me to completely lose my cool and blurt out how much I loved her in The Tunnel. Oh well.

british fashion awards

Alexa Chung

Clémence Poésy & Erderm Moralioğlu British Fashion Awards

Clemence Poesy & Erdem Moralioglu

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley 2

Rosie Huntington Whitely

british fashion awards

Suki Waterhouse

british fashion awards

Susie Lau

Once Nik finally arrived (admittedly I was stupidly early so couldn’t really get annoyed we made our way inside the gorgeous building to be greeted by uniformed waiters proffering trays of champagne. We made our way upstairs to the theatre bars which were filling up by the second. While the nominees, sponsors and über celebs dined, the rest of us got our drink n’ mingle on which, dare I say it, might have been even more fun. Had I been dining with Miuccia Prada and Gwyneth Paltrow however, I may have thought differently but anyway, I digress. Among the many, many, many industry pals I bumped into were Eudon Choi, one of the most charming fellows in fashion whose SS14 show was so unbelievably beautiful I almost wept when I watched it, as was that of the equally lovely and talented Emilia Wickstead, who joined in the party wearing a swoon-worthy candy pink ensemble from her own Spring collection. Rainbow haired model Chloe Nørgaard also pitched up in a kaleidoscopic McQueen outfit and me, her and SUITCASE Magazine Ed-In-Chief, Serena Guen had a good laugh reminiscing on a crazy night we spent party hopping in Chloe’s zebra print Jeep during New York Fashion Week last feb.

british fashion awards

Me & Chloe

British fashion awards

Me, Eudon and Abby (wearing Eudon Choi SS14… jel)

british fashion awards

Me & Nik

Several hours of champagne and gossiping later it was time to take our seats so that the main event could begin. Very conveniently me and Nik were seated next to each other (thank you BFC!) so I kept up a running commentary throughout, lucky old him. That said, I was rendered (briefly) speechless several times by the incredible, iconic individuals who took to the stage. I’m talking Miuccia, Suzy Menkes, Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs and Donatella Versace… I know! I wont list the winners because you can see them here but I will say a huge congrats to them all for being such an obscenely talented lot. With Nicholas Kirkwood, Sophia Webster, Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane Erdem and Christopher Bailey all scooping up awards (some more than “just” the one) it warmed my cockles to see such deserved recognition of homegrown design talent and the fact they all just-so-happened to be personal faves didn’t hurt a bit.

Gwyneth Paltrow & Miuccia Prada (winner, International Designer of the Year)

Gwyneth Paltrow & Miuccia Prada (!)

Jack Guinness, Harry Styles (winner, British Style Award Brought to you by Vodafone) & Alexa Chung

Jack Guinness, Harry Styles & Alexa Chung

Donatella Versace & Christopher Kane (winner, Womenswear Designer of the Year)

Donatella Versace (DONATELLA) & Christopher Kane

After that, we all piled back into the bars for tasty yet lethally strong Patrón cocktails (tequila on a Monday is not advisable) before moving en masse to the St Martins Lane hotel for the after party. I have to admit that the rest of the evening is a smidge on the blurry side but I do have a vague and rather hilarious recollection of Markus Lupfer and I deciding to “take a turn of the room” in the style of Victorian ladies. After that, me, Nik, Serena and SUITCASE’s lovely head of tech, Aaliyah finished off with a late night feast at Soho House involving macaroni cheese and honey glazed cocktail sausages, very British indeed!

Thank you British Fashion Council for what was a truly fantastic night on every level! I may not have felt sprightly come Tuesday but hell, it was worth it.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 4 Comments

Louis Vuitton Selfridges Townhouse

LV_Selfridges_Townhouse_Maids3

Remember my Louis Vuitton Cruise Icons shoot a few weeks back? Well, as those of you who read the blurb will know (don’t blame you if you didn’t, the clothes were just so fab) the point of the project was to celebrate the opening of the brand’s Selfridges Townhouse. What does a “townhouse” within a department store entail? I hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. On the most basic level, it’s a kind of shop-in-shop. But then of course, nothing Louis Vuitton does could every really be called “basic”. The label enlisted world renowned French-born, Japanese based designer, Gwenaël Nicolas to create the ultimate destination for retail theatre. As anyone who’s visited the space will agree, the results are truly spectacular.

The first thing you see upon entering is a magnificent spiral structure that winds its way upwards through the historical Selfridges building. Within the structure is a circular lift that connects the different levels of Louis Vuitton loveliness, rotating as it travels up to offer panoramic views of all Selfridges’ sartorial wonder.

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

louis vuitton

While we’re on the subject of those levels, the Ground Floor showcases Louis Vuitton’s latest collection of leather goods, accessories and travel items within the Maison’s first ever Digital Atelier where you’ll be guided on an interactive journey through the history and craftsmanship of the brand amid specially crafted glass art pieces. On the first floor you’ll find the full Men’s ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories collections exquisitely arranged within modern-luxe amber brown décor contrasted by strong patinated glass elements. Travel up again and you’ll arrive at floor number two where the chicer-than-chic women’s collections are displayed amongst an array of original furniture especially selected to compliment it. Like I said, the place is awesome.

Louis Vuitton selfridges

Me & Nik

And how did Louis Vuitton toast the unveiling of this exquisite feast of luxe fashion splendor? With a party of course! A seriously glam one. I had been looking forward to the event ever since I found out about it some months before. When the lovely folk at LV offered to dress me for the occasion, my excitement rose to embarrassing levels. Bedecked in what was definitely one of my favourite outfits EVER I made my way to Bond Street where the place already resembled a “who’s who” of the worlds of art and fashion. Alannah Weston, Jodie Kidd, Tamsin Egerton, Langley Fox Hemingway, Gillian Anderson, Portia Freeman, Joanna Froggatt… You name them, they were in attendance, looking divine in the Louis Vuitton collection.

Louis Vuitton

A Vuitton style welcome…

Louis Vuitton

Jodie Kidd

Louis Vuitton

Tamsin Egerton making an entrance…

As we entered the townhouse, my fellow guests and I were greeted by French maids and butlers who I thoroughly enjoyed and tried, in vain, to resist taking a selfie with. After locating Nik and Maddison and, of course, a glass of champagne we set off on an exploratory tour of the townhouse. This took rather longer than expected due to everyone being in attendance but if you enjoy mingling (which, shocker alert, I really do) this kind of situation is ideal. Plus it makes the inevitable losing-your-party-pal infinitely less awkward. By the time we returned to the ground floor, Mary Charteris and Robbie Furze were on the decks and the Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne was certainly still flowing. I remembered the INSANE canapés at Louis Vuitton’s Paris soireé so made a beeline for those bad boys on this occasion. We were treated to an array of quintessentially British treats, made using locally sourced organic ingredients like fresh black truffles from Dorset, salt marsh lamb from Cumbria and honey from Regents Park. Suffice to say, they were beyond delicious.

Louis Vuitton
Mary Charteris on the decks

Louis Vuitton

Bip Ling & French Maid

louix vuitton

Yum!

Louis Vuitton

Langley Fox Hemingway (what a name!)

Louis Vuitton

Me again

I always say that the mark of a truly great party is when you feel genuinely sad once it’s over. This was definitely the case at the Louis Vuitton Townhouse launch. Although admittedly, we were off to the Carven party next, so I cheered up fairly quickly.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 3 Comments

Gordons x Temperley Launch Ten Green Bottles

Picking up where we left off at the J.Crew ‘do, up next on that crisp Wednesday night’s party agenda was a trip to the Temperley boutique on Bruton Street where Alice was celebrating the launch of her latest collaboration with none other than Gordons Gin. Gorgeous frocks and top notch booze, a match made in party heaven don’t you think?

Gordon's And Temperley London VIP Launch Party

Gin o’clock…

Gordon's And Temperley London VIP Launch Party

Moi

We arrived at around half past 9, fairly late for this kind of affair, but the festivities were still in full swing thanks to a heady blend of delicious yet lethally strong gin cocktails and general joie de vivre. Naturally there were famous faces a’ plenty with Laura Bailey, Jade Parfitt, Emilia Fox and Jodie Kidd heading up the bevvy of Temperley clad beauties mingling up and down the stairs. Equally unsurprising-yet-enjoyable were the spectacularly handsome waiters stationed around the place serving traditional English delicacies such as Union Jack shaped finger sandwiches, hot smoked mackerel and piccalilli on granary toast and roast dexter beef complete with mini Yorkshire puddings and horseradish cream.

Gordon's And Temperley London VIP Launch Party

Jade Parfitt, Alice Temperley & Jodie Kidd

Gordon's And Temperley London VIP Launch Party

Emilia Fox

There isn’t a great deal more to say about this soirée except that a jolly good time was had by all and there were bottles of Gordons gin in the goody bags, hooray!

Love Ella. X

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WGSN Global Fashion Awards 2013

Another appallingly late party post, sorry guys I will catch up at some point… I hope. As I mentioned in my outfit post yesterday, this year’s WGSN Global Fashion Awards were held in none other than the regal surroundings of the Victoria & Albert Museum, one of my favourite places in London. Suffice to say, it was a fabulous evening.

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Arrivals

After a particularly long afternoon of very studious and ever-so-slightly tedious thesis related stuff the idea of slipping into a fancy frock and drinking champagne somewhere lovely was extremely welcome indeed. Well, locations don’t get much lovelier than the V&A’s magnificent dome ceilinged entrance hall where I enjoyed pre dinner drinks with some of my fave fashion people including Nik Thakkar, Courtney Blackman, Metro Fash Ed Naomi Mdudu, Red Carpet Fashion Awards Founder Catherine Kallon, Stylenoir Magazine Editor-in-Chief James Joseph and the ever stylish Angela Scanlon. While requesting an ice cool glass of Sauvignon Blanc from a rather handsome barman I also bumped into Spanish super blogger Aida Domenech who seemed to have got even more stunning since the Gucci trip.

WGSN Global Fashion Awards

O-M-G

WGSN Global Fashion Awards

Catherine Kallon, Angela Scanlon, me & Naomi Mdudu

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Arrivals

Nik Thakkar

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Arrivals

Hilary Alexander

WGSN Global Fashion Awards

Me & Dulceida blogger, Aida Domenech

A few more pre dinner drinks than strictly advisable later, we were ushered through the galleries themselves and down a flight of stairs where tables had been set below gold framed Old Masters.

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Ceremony

Dinner is served…

As if the excitement of dining beneath Renaissance paintings within one of the world’s most exquisite museums wasn’t enough, the food was delish and my table mates equally so. On my left, sat lovely Catherine who proved to be excellent dinner company. On my right, the place name informed me, sat journalist Leisa Bernett whose Vogue.com articles I had been researching for my thesis that very day! This obviously got me very excited indeed and I no doubt bored the poor woman to death recounting things she’d written four years ago in between stuffing my face with beetroot carpaccio and pan seared Sea Bass.

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Ceremony

Me (smizing hard enough to make Tyra proud) & Leisa Barnett

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Ceremony

Zara Martin & Laura Whitmore

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Ceremony

Annabelle Wallis & Emilia Fox

WGSN Global Fashion Awards

Insta-pud!

As our equally scrumptious chocolate puddings were served, host Cat Deeley took to the stage, all honey blonde locks and California tan in a slinky, black, bedazzled number, to kick off the main event. Having already spent three (or was it four?) thoroughly enjoyable hours wining, dining and generally having good time I’d almost forgotten about the actual awards! But, the calibre of fashion faces that were subsequently announced left me in little why we were all gathered in our gladrags that rainy Wednesday night.

The WGSN Global Fashion Awards - Arrivals

Cat Deeley & Amber Le Bon

A coterie of gorgeous and glamorous presenters ranging from Amber Le Bon to Gwendoline Christie proceeded to announce who would be receiving this year’s prizes. As per usual, I won’t list them all (click here if you want full deets) but I’m very happy to tell you that Erdem Moralioğlu, Nicholas Kirkwood and THE OUTNET all scooped up gongs with Christopher Bailey taking home the very well deserved Hall of Fame award for his outstanding contribution to the fashion industry. As is usually the case post ceremony, we all mingled around the tables chatting and polishing of the remains of the wine until eventually being ushered back in to the entrance hall for post dinner hijinks. Thank you WGSN for a magical evening, looking forward to next year already!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment