Parties

One Night Four Parties

parties carven ella catliff

FOUR PARTIES!? I hear you cry. And yes, I know it sounds a smidge excessive. But they were totes work I promise… Well, kind of. Anyway, it’s not my fault if every fash brand under the sun decides to host a soirée within the space of the same four hours. In my defence the final one was a dinner and a girl’s gotta eat, right? Enough with the excuses, you lovely lot aren’t my parents. With umpteen options dotted all over town Nik, Alexis and I laid out our options, picked the best four and began planning our outfits.

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Up first was a little get together at Carven’s divine South Kensington store to toast their collaboration with cooler than cool French sneaker brand, NO NAME. In my excitement about the evening to come I arrived embarrassingly early. As in, so early the doors weren’t open, the drinks were unpoured and a few garments were even still being steamed… #shameonme. While hovering outside deciding where to lurk until things got going I became transfixed by the adorable florals in the window and one of the team spotted me. I think I just about managed to laugh it off and actually, it was kind of great being the first person in so I could ogle and instagram the shoes free from distraction. On the subject of those shoes, they are absolute fashion catnip. So much so that I reserved a pair on the night and returned the next day to buy them. Then I also got the matching floral sweatshirt, what can I say, I’m incredibly weak willed and powerless to resist to charms of all things Carven. Luckily before I could inflict more damage on my finances the party got going.

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carven parties

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Carven parties

In between sipping Moscow Mules (possibly about to replace Passionfruit Martinis as my cocktail kryptonite) and looking longingly at Carven’s, I kid you not, wall of collars, I caught up with Bip and Evangeline Ling, reminisced on the H&M Paris trip with Elle Mag’s Harriet Stewart and toe tapped to the sounds of DJ Jean-Robert Santil. All too soon it was time to say our goodbyes so Alexis, Nik and I piled into his Jeep to make for party numero duo.

When Net-a-Porter, the British Fashion Council and Stella Magazine join forces to host a champagne reception at Browns Hotel you just know the whole thing is going to be fabulous. Naturally, their celebration of Brit fashion was just that and made me wish even more that these ‘do’s were on different nights so I could spend several hours at each one. I know, tough life, darling. By the time we arrived the room was packed fit to burst with the likes of Erdem, Christopher Kane and Roland Mouret as well as Net-a-Porter President, Alison Loehnis and British Fashion Council Chief Executive, Caroline Rush, both of whom I really want to be when I grow up.

Net-a-Porter parties

Net-a-Porter President, Alison Loehnis, Anna Murphy and BFC Chief Executive, Caroline Rush (Image by Rachel Dove)

Net-a-Porter parties

Moi (image by Rachel Dove)

Net-a-Porter parties

Richard Nicoll, Rokasanda Ilincic, Stella Magazine Fashion Editor Charlie Harrington, Christopher Kane and Anna Murphy (image by Rachel Dove)

net-a-porter parties

Mary Katranztou & friend (Image by Rachel Dove)

Between the exquisite flower arrangements, freshly poured champagne and stellar (pun totally intended) guest list it was an utterly lovely and incredibly elegant event. But, once again, we were on a tight party schedule so before long we piled back into the car and sped off towards Selfridges. This was not for a late night shopping expedition although given my recent spendthrift form that wouldn’t be entirely surprising. Like many things in life (Pringles, biscuits, biting your nails, picking a scab…) , shopping is one of those things that once you start you just can’t stop. On the bright side, you won’t get an enormous arse or a nasty scar as a result but anyway, I digress. The reason for our department store excursion was in fact the launch of Viktor & Rolf’s new fragrance, Bon Bon. Given that we were now basically running an hour behind schedule it was a pretty in-and-out affair but we still found time to sample the bespoke Viktor & Rolf chocolates and meet the men themselves which was a total “life.made” moment.

viktor & rolf parties

V&R Selfridges

Freshly spritzed and appetites whetted it was on to our final port of call, an intimate dinner hosted in the depths of East London. If ever you’re tempted to offer me a ride anywhere, don’t. I’m the most annoying passenger on the planet. I commandeer the music (Britney ALL THE WAY) and extol the kind of nonsensical driving advice only someone who failed their test epically three years ago and hasn’t attempted since can give, I don’t know why, I can’t help it. It’s a bloody miracle Nik hadn’t strangled me by the time we arrived. But of course he didn’t and thank God for that or I wouldn’t have spent the next two hours enjoying fine food and even finer company. Our host was GINZA, a really interesting brand devoted to bringing together art and fashion via t-shirts produced in collaboration with some of the top photographers on the planet. Happily seated next to the lovely Naomi Mdudu, I wouldn’t have cared if the food had been rubbished. Of course, having been concocted by pop up restaurant pros, The Art of Dining, all five courses were delectable and surprising. By that, I mean cumin scones  topped with goat’s labneh (still not entirely sure what that is) and chilli jam and beef and mushroom broth served from vintage tea pots.

GINZA parties

GINZA parties

Me & Naomi

GINZA parties

GINZA parties

With just a few of us there, tucked cosily out of the cold, chatting nonstop and playing in the photo booth it was a perfect end to a fantastic evening. Going dancing at Shoreditch House afterwards was perhaps a mistake in retrospect but hey, when in East London.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 5 Comments

Partying with Moynat, Matches & GQ Style

Mynat Matches GQ Style

Wearing Erdem @ THE OUTNET, Angel Jackson, Sophia Webster & Anne Bowes Jewellery

It’s no secret that I’m rather partial to a party so when Moynat, Matches and GQ all agreed that Wednesday is totes the new Friday and decided to host soirées that evening, my RSVP was obviously a resounding oui! This was before spending the evening prancing around Paris with Dior (more on that very soon) before leaving for London at 7am the next morning with the intention of “getting loads of work done.” Suffice to say, by the time I arrived back in Blighty the idea of getting back in my gladrags and hitting the town didn’t massively appeal. Once I’d slipped into a delectable Erdem number from THE OUTNET and enjoyed a scrumptious supper at Little House Mayfair I found that in fact, I was rather excited after all. Funny that.

Moynat London Store Opening

First up, was Moynat’s chic store launch a mere high heeled toddle up the road on Mount Street. Given that a) Moynat’s leather goods are the epitome of luxury and b) Karl Lagerfeld rocked up to the Paris party last summer, I was super psyched about their arrival in London. Launched in 1849, Moynat Paris is a heritage brand in the truest sense of the word and what they don’t know about luxury isn’t worth knowing. Many brands with a similar legacy did not in fact develop into their current guise until really quite recently but I was astonished to discover that Moynat released their first collection of women’s handbags in 1878 so have had well over a century to refine their take on my ultimate sartorial indulgence. As a result, the leather lovelies on show last week were utterly exquisite. In an array of buttersoft skins and deliciously colour popping shades it was all I could do not to grab as many as I could carry and leg it. Had I not be wearing 5 inch Sophia Webster stilettos then who knows, I may have even tried and been subsequently rendered a fashion pariah… albeit one with GREAT handbags. Seriously, the sheer craftsmanship involved in these babies is phenomenal and on the night, we were lucky enough to witness the artisanal expertise in action.

moynat matches GQ Style

moynat matches GQ

Naturally Moynat had invited the toast of the town and I spied Samantha Barks, Martha Ward, Jasmine Guinness and David Downton (remember our Rimini trip last year?) among many fabulous others. My companions for the night were brand strategist extraordinaire and AnOther Man contributor, Andrew Blysack and of course, Nik Thakkar who FYI also wrote a fantastic piece on the event. With the exception of possibly Rhianna and/or Ryan Gosling, I couldn’t have wished for better partners in crime.

moynat matches GQ Style

Me & Nik

moynat matches GQ Style

Martha Ward

Moynat Matches GQ Style

Samatha Barks

moynat matches GQ Style

Moynat Paris, Mayfair

Moynat Matches GQ Style

Jasmine Guinness

After several glasses of champagne and a good ogle of E-V-E-R-Y gorgeous thing in the Moynat boutique it was time to head to Welbeck Street for a house party, the haute-ness of which you would not believe. Obviously you’ve heard of Matches. You may well have bankrupted yourself on their fashionable delights (as I have on many occasions) and read their brilliant new magazine. Well, on top of their online and offline stores and publications, they also own THE most fabulous townhouse on Welbeck Street. Every time I visit I start imagining I live their and have to be pretty much forcibly removed, it’s that gorgeous, and usually full of unbelievably beautiful clothes. On this occasion the beautiful clothes had been replaced by beautiful people as the house was playing host to the MATCHESFASHION.COM x GQ Style Magazine party. By the time we arrived the place was packed with well dressed revellers spilling out onto balconies and even the the street. Admittedly the latter were largely taking a cig break but still, you get my point. And this wasn’t your usual rammed house party posse. While tottering up the stairs, not looking where I was going, I physically collided with James Cordon (#embarrassing) before rounding a corner to see Sharleen Spiteri and Oliver Cheshire (not together).

moynat matches GQ

Me

Moynat Matches GQ Style

James Cordon & Eliza Doolittle

Moynat, Matches, GQ Style

Oliver Cheshire

Up the next flight were David Gandy, Eliza Doolittle, Patrick Grant and Jack Guinness. In celebration of the occasion Douglas Booth, Nicola Formichetti, Tom Odell, Sam Smith, Craig Green and Agi & Sam had all been enlisted to create their own playlists. I think Nicola’s may have been my fave, it involved Miley Cyrus, the Spice Girls, Sean Paul and Rhianna… Hello my new gym/life soundtrack.

Moynat, Matches, GQ Style

David Gandy

Moynat, Matches, GQ Style

Patrick Grant & Jack Guinness

After mucho mincing which was fab, and losing my lipstick which was less so, we decided hit the road and decamped to Soho House for a nightcap.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

Bailey’s Stardust

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

David Bailey, photography legend. Perhaps one of the most legendary in the history of ever. Not a particularly eloquent way of putting it I admit but true nonetheless. Over a career spanning five decades and counting, Bailey has redefined ideas about beauty, celebrity and the very concept of fashion and portrait photography. His subjects have included everyone from Kate Moss to the Rolling Stones and continues to influence, inspire and enrapture. This was a point truly drummed home for me by Bailey’s Stardust sponsored by HUGO BOSS, an incredible exhibition of 250 plus of his finest works which opened last week at the National Portrait Gallery.

I don’t claim to be a serious culture vulture. The only two films I’ve seen at the cinema over the past 12 months were Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Anchorman two, both works of cinematic brilliance (or at least mega lols) but unlikely to earn their directors a Palme D’Or. I do however really love a good exhibition. Wandering around the hallowed halls of an artistic haven, gazing open mouthed at things you cannot comprehend a human being could create. The only thing that can improve the experience is a plentiful supply of champagne and blissful lack of camera toting tourists (iPhone toting fashion folk also obstruct the view but at least they do so wearing really nice shoes) and these qualities are what make private views always worth attending.

bailey's stardust

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Wearing HUGO BOSS

After an achingly long day of uni followed by a high speed outfit change/dinner/hysterics-and-hugging session at Soho House, my BFF Char and I pitched up at the National Portrait Gallery to be greeted by about a zillion flashing cameras. Whether or not they actually meant to flash in my direction I have no idea but they did capture a few unbelievably unflattering images of me pulling strange faces while struggling out of my many layers which are no doubt lurking on the internet somewhere. Given the vast coterie of A lister, supermodels and rockstars that have posed as Bailey’s subjects, it’s no wonder the the paps were out in force that night. And they certainly wouldn’t be leaving with empty hands, or rather empty memory cards, as Jerry Hall, Zandra Rhodes, Grayson Perry, Jasmine Guinness, Caroline Issa, Graham Norton and Mossy herself were just a few of the famous faces who showed up looking hot to pay homage to Mr Bailey.

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

David Bailey & Kate Moss

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Caroline Issa

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Grayson Perry

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery sponsered by Hugo Boss and cocktails by Ciroc, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Zandra Rhodes

Jerry Hall and David Bailey

Jerry Hall & David Bailey

As for the photos themselves, well, where to even begin. After navigating the paparazzi fray – throwing my assorted cold weather accoutrements at a mildly bemused Char as I went in an attempt to look vaguely elegant – we entered the gallery to be confronted by a vast shot of Michael Caine mischievously lifting his glasses. This image just about sums up what is so utterly awesome about David Bailey. He doesn’t just create beautiful photographs, although he certainly does that too, Bailey captures his subjects’ personality. Walking through the thematically arranged exhibition, this was the what struck me most about the works on display. Whether it’s Bailey’s shots of Rudolf Nureyev, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and the Kray twine from his 1960s Black and White Icons series, or a topless, space headgear clad Abby Lee Kershaw from an i-D Magazine spread just a couple of years ago, every image appears to leap from the frame while epitomising the zeitgeist of the period during which it was conceived.

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Having had a look at other reviews of Bailey’s Stardust I was rather dismayed to see it slated by some critics. Admittedly, I’m no professional in the field, but the exhibition promised a riveting, enjoyable overview of Bailey’s incredible career and from where I stood it seemed to deliver. One publication, somewhat pointedly disparaged the entertainment value of Bailey’s work and the retrospective. Indeed, both are entertaining, but as fas as I’m concerned that doesn’t detract from the beauty of and talent behind some of the most iconic, recognisable and character packed images taken in the fifty years. The entertainment V art dichotomy opens up a debate I’m not even going to go into right now for fear of boring you all senseless. But rest assured, it’s coming soon, perhaps when you least expect it…

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Bailey’s Stardust will be on at the National Portrait Gallery until June 1st 2014. I highly recommend seeing it! A huge thank you to hosts with the mosts HUGO BOSS for a wonderful evening and for dressing me so beautifully.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

The Week of Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto, Christopher De Vos

Christopher De Vos & Peter Pilotto

As you may have gathered from this subtly nuanced post title, last week was all about Peter Pilotto. On Tuesday the uber talented design duo scooped up this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund Award, a seriously major achievement by anyone’s standards especially considering that their fellow nominees were OSMAN, House of Holland, Emilia Wickstead, Mary Katrantzou and Zoe Jordan. I was lucky enough to be at Cafe Royal with the great and the good of London’s sartorial community for the official announcement soiree which was lovely, obvs fancy do’s always are. But it was even more exciting for me because I’ve posted about the award since 2011 and always dreamt of getting closer to the whole thing than just reading about it on Style.com! I’d also chosen to wear my beloved Peter Pilotto pencil skirt for the occasion (partially because I love it, partially because I don’t own any Mary Katrantzou or Emilia Wickstead… yet) so felt thoroughly smug about that. Anyway, enough unattractive smugness, that evening was all about Christopher and Peter whose boldly beautiful take on colour, print and eye boggling awesomeness wows critics and consumers alike.

Peter Pilotto

Wearing Peter Pilotto c/o THE OUTNET (available to buy here)

The very next night my eyes were boggled by their talent once again at an intimate dinner hosted by Net-a-Porter to celebrate the Peter Pilotto x Target collection. I can’t even begin to describe my excitement when that invitation arrived! After a very, very long day involving a major uni presentation and many hours spent in an archive all the while feeling an unpleasant combination of grubby and stressed because I’d overslept so badly I hadn’t had time to shower, it was both surreal and wonderful to be slipping into a silky Peter Pilotto number and whisking across town to what I knew would be an incredible evening. The venue was the incredible Dairy Art Building, an achingly cool, architectural triumph of a place with raw concrete floors and neon strip lighting. After walking in (via the photo board for a quick pose, natch) the first thing you saw was a selection of outfits from the collection itself, artistically displayed amongst black glass mirrors. I’m often dubious about high street/designer collabs as you know but this one is frankly brilliant. As in, I literally want all of it and ideally to be a fly on the wall the morning it hits stores. I predict a riot (sorry, couldn’t resist!).

Peter Pilotto x Target

The collection!

peter pilotto x target

Would like all of these please

Peter Pilotto

Lucy Yeomans, Peter Pilotto, Ben Matthews, Alison Loehnis, Christopher De Vos, Lisa Bridgett

This space also played host to a whole lotta mingling going on. And with fellow guests including the likes of Net-a-Porter Editor, Lucy Yeomans and Business of Fashion Founder, Imran Ahmed it was some pretty fantastic mingling. Aside from ogling the collection,I caught up with fellow bloggers Ella Gregory and Catherine Kallon, chatted about our upcoming Aspinal of London x Glamour Magazine event with Angela Scanlon and indulged in an Instagram session with Kim Hersov and Alison Loehnis.

Peter Pilotto

Me & Angela

Peter Pilotto target

Me, Ella Gregory & Catherine Kallon

Peter Pilotto x Target

Me, Alison & Kim

Several hours of mingling later it was time to take our seats and the dining area took my breath away. In the centre of a vast, raw concrete floored room stood a long table, exquisitely decorated with silver candles and delicate crystal goblets (well, fancy wine glasses anyway). Once everyone was happily ensconced with a drink in front of them a troop of model gorgeous waiters filed out and stood behind each seat. The dinner that followed was complete and utter perfection. My only issue was that I desperately wanted to enjoy the conversation and the incredibly delicious meal and it was tricky trying to concentrate on too such delectable things at once. I know right, poor me.

Peter Pilotto x Target

Le Table!

Peter Pilotto

Lamb-stagram (sorry)

Peter Pilotto x Target

Pud

Peter Pilotto x Target

Dinner in action

Peter Pilotto’s 9 piece, limited time only collection for Target will be available to buy on Net-a-Porter from February 9th… Or in stores for those based in the States and have extremely sharp elbows.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 2 Comments

Lacoste in Paris

As you may have gathered from my no doubt infuriating Instagram feed, last week I managed to fit two trips to Paris into the space of four days. Admittedly the first trip wasn’t exactly full on fabulousness, research days spent in archives rarely are, but the second which came courtesy of Lacoste most definitely was. Before we go any further, let me take you back a few years to the start of my relationship with the quintessential French sportswear brand. Picture the scene, your’s truly aged 11 or 12 finally, after months of whinging, moaning and sulking manages to persuade her long suffering parents to buy her the Lacoste crocodile logo polo shirt she so covets. Baby blue in colour, immaculate in cut, she wears it with everything (particularly denim mini skirts, footless tights and over straightened hair… oh the shame) until eventually it becomes a health risk to do so anymore. Back then I had no idea about the brand’s legacy, or how to dress for that matter. Fast forward a decade and I like to think I have slightly more of a clue about the two, at least I hope so.

lacoste

You know how much I love me a label with a legacy and, mes amies, Lacoste is just that. Founded by René Lacoste, French tennis star nicknamed “the crocodile”, back in 1933 the company’s ingenious mesh material polo shirts soon transcended the heat of the American courts they were originally designed to combat and became THE preppy staple of the late 20th century. No WASP’s wardrobe was complete without several. But of course, a polo shirt alone does not a global mega brand make and through diversification into everything from bed sheets to beachwear Lacoste expanded to become just that. Today though, the company is about far more than the bottom line. Under the Creative Direction of Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Lacoste has begun to be hailed as a fashion force to be reckoned with and having attended their breathtakingly chic shows during New York Fashion Week several seasons in a row, I can attest to that. The catwalk collections garner critical acclaim while their classic sportif staples continue to fly off shelves all over the globe, an impressive feat no doubt about that. So when Lacoste invited me to attend the unveiling of their new campaign, “Life Is A Beautiful Sport,” in the French fashion capital I didn’t need to think twice before saying yes. The idea of witnessing the next step in a sartorial journey spanning almost a century was too tempting to resist and come on, what sane individual turns down a whirlwind Paris trip!?

lacoste

lacoste paris

lacoste

On Thursday night I could barely sleep for sheer anticipation of the events to come. Well, a combination of excitement and mild stress because I would be going straight from a crack of dawn gym/wash/work start to and very exciting photo shoot (ooooh you just watch this space!) to the Eurostar, hoping to catch up on emails, blog posts and uni reading somewhere along the way. For once, all went without a hitch and I even found time to pick up an itsu box and gross my fellow passengers out by gorging on sushi half the way to Paris. Even arriving after darkness has fallen and temperatures have plummeted, the city is magnifique and I spent my taxi journey gazing out onto the exquisite streets feeling a mixture of unattractive smugness and sheer unbridled awe. As for the hotel itself, what can I say, it was awesome. Located in the super hip area of République and Oberkampf (think Shoreditch but infinitely better) Hôtel Fabric is a rare combination of achingly cool, perfectly decorated and deliciously welcoming. Think shabby chic, exposed piped loft meets pop cultural homage to fun meets interior designer’s wet dream; it’s both wonderful and strangely homely. Sadly I didn’t have much time to kick back in my gorgeous room or loll on my super chic, art deco fab pink and stripy bed. After a swift but delicious room service-while-getting-ready session followed by a drink in the bar with fellow guest Menswear Style’s Craig Landale it was time to party! And Lacoste’s campaign launch celebration was one HELL of a party.

Lacoste

Lacoste

Lacoste

lacoste paris

lacoste

Held at La Générale, a vast warehouse esque space on L’Avenue Parmentier, the second our car pulled up I knew we were in for a good night. The entire venue had been transformed into a brightly lit and beautiful, high ceilinged emporium of fashionable fun. Set over two floors there were live installations, ping pong tables, multiple bars and live music. Despite being a mere half hour or so fashionable late the place was packed, no meat feat considering its size. Given the whirlwind nature of the trip, I didn’t have much of an idea which other bloggers Lacoste was shipping out for the event. I was delighted to be reunited with Betty Autier and Mathieu Lebreton who I hadn’t really seen since the Gucci trip and both of whose blogs I stalk endlessly. Other Lacoste bloggers included Fashion Toast’s Rumi Neeley (another one firmly bookmarked) so all in all, I was in pretty major company.

Lacoste

Lacoste

Lacoste

lacoste

lacoste

I read an article in February Vogue musing on whether there’s much point to fashion month shipping (or rather flying/Eurostar-ing) basically the exact same group of people around the world for half the year. Personally this is one of the things I adore about it so much. Whatever stylish city you’re fashion weeking in there are guaranteed to be people you know, like and want to party with. This was most definitely the case at Lacoste’s campaign launch bash and my over excitement at being reunited with Michael Shane bordered on hazardous to those around me. By the time this excitement subsided (well, ish) there was something else to get pumped about, namely the grand unveiling of Lacoste’s “Life Is A Beautiful Sport” campaign a breathtaking film directed by Seb Edwards and starring rising French actor Paul Hamy.

lacoste

lacoste

The film, and accompanying campaign set in a cityscape skyline, beautifully merged Lacoste’s sporting heritage with the clean lines and pared back everyday elegance associated with the brand today. The overarching message; life is a beautiful sport, whether you live it on the sidewalk or the tennis court. The full campaign video will premiere on February 7th and trust me, you’ll want to put that date in your diary.

A huge thank you to Lacoste and Starworks for a truly wonderful not-even-24-hours in Paris!

Love Ella x

Event & Campaign images courtesy of Stephane Cardinal and SAY WHO Jean Picon

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 4 Comments