Yep, another party. Last week was full of them and with Summer (allegedly) just around the corner there should be many more where these came from over the next few months. Thursday evening was a particularly hectic one with about eight different events taking place within the space of three hours. In the interest of actually enjoying myself and not breaking an ankle careering around town in my heels I decided not to attempt to attend them all. Having regrettably missed the launch of Banana Republic’s Mad Men collection due to an altercation with a dishwasher, my first port of call was Diesel’s Regents Street flagship where they were holding a get together to unveil their amazing new installation by Margot Bowman. After a hasty glass of something sparkling and a catch up with pals James Joseph and Merry Phillips of Stylenoir Magazine it was time to head to party number to, & Other Stories’ launch bash conveniently located just across the road. Rarely am I not excited by the chance to sip champagne while wearing something pretty and chatting with my favourite fashion friends but I was particularly looking forward to this particular soiree. As I’m sure you’ve probably heard, high street shopping mecca H&M recently announced the launch of their new premium (i.e slightly pricier but not bank breaking) brand, & Other Stories. Having spotted a few snaps of the promised delights in Grazia last week I was DYING to check out the whole collection and I’m very pleased to confirm that it is every bit as covetable as expected. We were promised clean cut Scandi cool with a fun, fashion forward twist and that is precisely what was delivered. Think Acne meets Whistles with a playful edge, pops of neon and perfectly placed splashes of sparkle. As well all know, great clothes alone do not a retail experience provide but a vast, two floor, homage to feminine minimalism that wouldn’t look out of place in Wallpaper Magazine most certainly does. Besides being a veritable emporium of sartorial delights, & Other Stories Regents Street store is one of those shops so lovely you could happily spend a whole afternoon wandering around it. Given the size of the place and sheer volume of stuff you’ll want to try, buy and never take off, just one afternoon probably wouldn’t be enough time.
Despite having a 20% discount on the night, I resisted the urge to shop. In theory my self-restraint was due to having learnt my lesson from the Prosecco induced Peter Pilotto pre-order incident but in reality it was purely empty bank account related. I definitely don’t need to tell you where I’ll be headed come pay day! Luckily I didn’t have too much time to sulk as this was evidently the hottest invite of the evening. Lara Bohinc, Julia Sarr Jamois, Mary Charteris and Portia Freeman were all in attendance plus fash eds from pretty much every major publication.
The fact I couldn’t stay long was both a blessing and a curse as I think one more look at their incredible marbled leather shift and I may have no longer been able to resist the urge to splurge. With great difficulty I tore myself away and dashed in the direction of Covent Garden to catch the end of Kate Spade New York’s SS13 launch.
Fashion month may have literally JUST drawn to a close but does that mean people are going to be hanging up their high heels for a few weeks? Does it hell! Having missed out on partying with Kate Nash and Rhianna last Monday night due to a 4000 word essay I had completely “forgotten” to start, by the following evening I was ready and raring to paint the town red. Luckily for me, Diesel + EDUN had decided to host a nice big bash to toast the launch of their Studio Africa collection so off I trotted to the Old Selfridges Hotel for some fun. And fun it most certainly was. Perhaps a little too much if the sizeable knee bruise I woke up with the next morning was anything to go by but hey, you’re only young once. The Old Selfridges Hotel is a truly awesome venue (remember their film launch last year?) and this time around it had been transformed into an African inspired party paradise complete with palm trees, exotic plants and and funky tribal print seating areas where guests including Pixie Geldof, Ben Grimes and Matthew Williamson could kick back and enjoy a mohjito… when they weren’t bumping and grinding on the dancefloor that is.
On the whole, fashion parties tend to be more about mingling than dancing but that certainly wasn’t the case on this occasion. When we arrived my party pal Millie (of itsaLDNthing blog) got seriously over excited about the fact that the night was being hosted by Boiler Room. Given my non-existent music knowledge I’d never actually heard of the live-radio-show-cum-club-night music phenomenon (shame on me) but having spent about four hours working up a sweat to their dance-tastic beats I can conclude that they are indeed awesome. Actually it was probably more than four hours. By the time I’d tottered home it was about 3am but despite being a little on the bleary eyed side while giving my end of term presentation at uni the next day (eek!), Diesel + EDUN’s Studio Africa launch was worth it.
We may have been to Sketch, Buddha Bar and one or two (or three) other establishments in between, but last week’s party line up was far from over at 9pm last Thursday. Our final after dark destination was none other than Burberry’s spectacular Regent’s Street flagship where they had decided to hold an invite-only Jake Bugg gig. Few brands throw a fash bash quite like Burberry and their latest knees-up was no exception. A-list guest list, endless amounts of (really good) champagne and one of the hottest new music acts around playing live… I mean, what more could you want from an evening!?
Amber Le Bon, Becky Tong and Zara Martin also made the journey there from the ZEO ‘do, making me feel a little better about my own incessant party-hopping. Other “OMG” attendees included actors Bonnie Wright and Jack Whitehall plus Cara Delevigne and the ever-wonderful Christopher Bailey. After having a good, old fashioned boogie to Jake Bugg’s set I dragged the bf (who had a baptism of fire into the London fashion circuit last week, poor thing) off for a tour of the AMAZING interactive store during which, much to my delight, he declared his desire to own a bit of Burberry himself! Even more delightful was the fact that the SS13 collection had arrived so I got to spend an extremely happy half hour ogling those fabulous metallic trench coats. There’s not that much more to say about this particular soiree except that, like every other Burberry bash I’ve attended, it was a lot of fun and vast amounts of champagne were consumed. Just check out the video of Jake Bugg performing…
I was about to start this post by saying that fashion parties in London have been a bit thin on the ground since Christmas but then I remembered the 3 day champagne and shows bonanza that was London Collections Men’s and realised I was talking rubbish! In fashion land every season is party season and last week was particularly packed. I definitely should have vetoed the lot given the vast amount of uni work I have to cram in before I leave for New York on Wednesday. Obviously I didn’t (cocktails trump essay writing, always) and first on my after-dark agenda was Diet Coke’s 30th Anniversary celebrations at Sketch. Not a “fash bash” in the traditional sense but Diet Coke is the industry’s favourite (soft) drink, the evening’s host was Hilary Alexander so I think it qualifies. After an afternoon so manic it made my head spin I was dying for a drink of the decidedly non soft variety so the second we arrived my blogger pal Millie and I made a beeline for the bubbly. Thirst quenched we had a good look at our fellow guests who included everyone from Sophie Ellis Bexter to Jade Parfitt and Patricia Field, the stylist responsible for putting Carrie Bradshaw in Manolos.
A few glasses later it was time to toast and Hilary treated us to a fantastic speech full of with anecdotes about fashion’s longstanding love affair with the drink. Apparently Karl Lagerfeld loves it so much he has his own personal Diet Coke butler! Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more brilliant than that snippet of sartorial juice they got oh so much better. Remember the original Diet Coke hunk of 1994? Well I don’t because I was only 3 years old at the time but having googled it since I can confirm that he was hunky, but perhaps not quite as hunky as his 2013 counterpart who appeared in the flesh that evening to introduce the new ab-tastic advert, immediately causing 99.9999% of the attendees (AKA women and gay men) to swoon visibly.
Once we had just about recovered from the sight of Andrew Cooper’s (the hunk does have a name you know!) sensational six pack Bip Ling took to the decks and got everyone on the dancefloor with a party perfect playlist of the past three decade’s top tracks. Several hours of throwing ever-so-slightly embarassing shapes later we decided to call it a night and tottered off home to hit the hay.
I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, there are parties and then there are parties. Just in case my pointed use of italics left you bamboozled what I mean is that there are some events you leave feeling “meh” and others so fabulous you never want to leave at all. Tommy Hilfiger and Esquire Magazine’s bash at The Zetter Townhouse was definitely the latter.
Combine a legendary American fashion empire with one of the coolest men’s mags around then add unlimitled amounts of champagne, A-List guests and a famous music act or two and you’ve got yourself a killer party formula. Those were precisely the ingredients that went into making this particular London Collections Men celebration utterly awesome. You know you’ve struck fash bash gold when you arrive 5 minutes after the start of the party and the venue is already swarming. On the way to check our coats we bumped into Tinie Tempah and Daisy Lowe… It was that kind of evening.
After grabbing a glass of bubbly (priorities!) and catching up with a few familiar faces we decided to take ourselves on a little tour of our surroundings. I’ve had drinks at the main hotel – a cooler-than-cool boutique affair in Clerkenwell – once or twice, a couple of times but have never been to the Townhouse. Well, one way or another I’ll be going again soon as it’s utterly gorgeous. Think luxe antique velvet sofas, original wooden beams, roaring fires and playful newsprint wallpaper. Not that we had that much opportunity to ogle the interior given the prime people watching opportunities! Besides familiar fashion party faces like Nick Grimshaw and the omnipresent (not that I’m complaining!) David Gandy, I also spied Benedict Cumberbatch and Victoria Pendleton. The night wore, or rather whizzed on, in a blissful blur of champagne and chit chat until at around 11pm a paparazzi swarm signalled the arrival of Tommy Hilfiger himself accompanied by Ronnie Wood and Jamie Hince (AKA Mr Kate Moss) who treated us to a DJ set.
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