Parties

Yachtails with Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker

You know what they say, cocktails sure taste sweeter aboard a stonking great yacht… Actually I doubt anyone says that, with the exception of Roberto Cavalli and, as of last week, me. Having attended a couple of their events in the past, I know from personal experience that Johnnie Walker throw one hell of a party. So when they invited me to join them for an evening of stiff drinks and general fabulousness on the John Walker & Sons Voyager – a stunning 1920s style luxury yacht which has hosted the likes of Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Leonardo DiCaprio – there really was only one conceivable answer, HELL YES!

Johnnie Walker

As anyone who’s spent the past couple of weeks in England will be sweatily aware, we are in the midst of a heatwave. Despite spending every waking moment from November to June complaining about the cold, it’s now 30 degrees and I’m still whinging. No pleasing some people, eh? Anyway, I digress. If there’s one activity perfectly suited to heatwave conditions it’s a yacht party. You can wear your fancy frock free from the fear of a cross winds or a sudden downpour leaving you fleeing for the cabin. You cannot however, wear high heels (a rule many ladies shamelessly flouted I might add) which almost entirely through me off my sartorial game last Wednesday evening. Luckily I managed to concoct a suitable swish flat footed ensemble in the nick of time and, after a quick pitstop at Soho House for the Barbour & Bella Freud launch, arrived at Butler’s Warf ready to revive my sea legs.

Once on board I instantly realised that this yacht was every bit as magnificent as promised. I kid you not, it is genuinely the one in the picture above (although admittedly we weren’t sailing past mountains). From the Johnnie Walker monogrammed bars, vast terrace area and impossibly handsome uniformed waiters proffering trays of Old Fashioneds to the luxurious cabins below complete with world maps and family sized bath tubs, it was old school glamour at its deliciously decadent best. Given that this was a traditional sized yacht (AKA big but not cruise ship proportions) the guest list was tight but still managed to include Nik Thakkar, Patrick Grant, Olivia Inge, Leah Weller, PPQ designers Amy Molyneux & Percy Parker and more famous faces besides.

Johnnie Walker

Patrick Grant

Johnnie Walker

Olivia Inge

Johnnie Walker

Amy Molyneux & Percy Parker

Johnnie Walker

Me & Nik Thakkar

Johnnie Walker

Shingai Soniwa & Paloma Faith

As the night drew on, Noisettes singer Shingai Soniwa and Paloma Faith pitched up, just in time for things to really get going. Often at these kind of do’s, many people head home after doing their posing for pap duties but that certainly wasn’t the case on this occasion. We minced, we mingled, we posed for endless Instagrams, strategically positioned in front of Tower Bridge (come on, wouldn’t you?) and all in all I think it’s fair to say everyone had a very good time. When 11.30pm rolled around most of us had to be politely asked to leave and then a foolish few of us headed to Whisky Mist for the after party. An even more foolish few then continued on to Le Baron for an after, after party but I won’t go into the details!

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Party, John Walker & Sons Voyager, St.Georges Stairs Tier, Butler's Wharf Pier, London, UK

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Party, John Walker & Sons Voyager, St.Georges Stairs Tier, Butler's Wharf Pier, London, UK

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve Party, John Walker & Sons Voyager, St.Georges Stairs Tier, Butler's Wharf Pier, London, UK

As you’ve probably gathered, this was a night to remember. My only complaint would be that the boats constant movement left me in a constant state of confusion as to whether I was sober or otherwise. Given that the only drinks served were insanely delish Johnnie Walker Gold Label whisky cocktails (of which I guzzled a fair few in rapid succession), I reckon ‘otherwise’ was probably more likely. Either way, I had such a fantastic evening that I sincerely hope I’ll have to get used to the whole partying-on-a-moving-yacht shebang… Thank you Johnnie Walker, you’ve officially spoiled me rotten!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties Leave a comment

Emporio Armani Summer Garden Live 2013

Emporio Armani

On to the second instalment of tuesday’s party diaries, Emporio Armani Summer Garden Live! Every year, the Italian fashion giant transforms their already awesome Bond Street store into an even cooler indoor garden and invites a coterie of fashion insiders and famous faces along to drink cocktails, mingle and enjoy live performances from a selection of hotter-than-hot music acts… Yep, the evening is always every bit as amazing as it sounds.

Emporio Armani

Having spent an hour swanking it up at the Omega drinks do, little bro and I trotted up Bond Street to the Armani store eager to escape the sweltering heat and even more eager not to miss one second of the live line up. This year promised to be especially exciting as Emporio Armani had partnered with Spotify AKA the ultimate in music sharing, playlist compiling and general music coolness. By the time we arrived the place was heaving and after posing for the paps and trying some Emporio shades (and forcing an oversized, pink, embellished style onto a reluctant Louis) we headed downstairs into the fray. I enjoy meeting new people as much as the next partygoer but one of the very best things about these kind of events is getting the chance to catch up with friends while sipping (free) Mojitos in a fabulous venue. Despite the crowds I managed to locate a gaggle of my favourites and with a bit of sharp elbowed pushing and shoving, we wangled our way towards the stage just in time for MTV presenter Laura Whitmore to introduce songstress-of-the-moment, Arlissa.

Emporio Armani

Arlissa

Emporio Armani

Bip Ling

Zara_Martin_&_Laura_Whitmore

Zara Martin & Laura Whitmore

I’m not going to lie, I’m rubbish with music. My iTunes features a motley assortment of ABBA Gold (yes really), Snoop Dogg, Taylor Swift and Britney punctuated somewhat randomly Kitsuné compilation albums, one of my very very few remotely cool favourites. Another non-embarrassing name on my playlist du jour is electronic duo Aluna George who, like the rest of the fashion world, I’m mildly obsessed with. I soon found out that Aluna Francis and George Reid would be taking to the stage later that evening and began to get seriously excited. The rest of the evening involved a whole lot of mincing and mingling around the store, sampling all the flavours of cocktails and introducing Louis to my fashion friends which basically confirmed my long running fear that he is indeed a taller, more tanned, better looking male version of me. Aluna George brought the night to a perfect end with a stellar performance, impressively managing to get everyone dancing despite the heat.

Emporio Armani

Aluna Francis & George Reid

SummerGarden2013-348

Above centre: Jewellery designer Alexandra Kaldili & Urban Times Editor Bre Cruickshank

Emporio Armani

Check out the full Armani playlist and hear interviews with the artists at http://open.spotify.com/user/armani

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties Leave a comment

Omega Summer Party

Omega

I know I’ve said this about a zillion times before but in the world of fashion there is truly no such thing as “party season”. Whenever Christmas comes around I’m always convinced that the festive period has the highest concentration of fabulous do’s. But then, some seven months later, I realise what total rubbish that was. While I won’t go so far as to name it the annual party pinnacle, July is proving to be full on fun. This week has been a particularly busy one, kicking off on Tuesday with the Omega Summer soirée in Mayfair. Accompanying me for the night was my little brother, Louis. Having just left school and not yet decided what to do next, I figured he may as well make his fash bash debut. Plus, what 18 year old says no to a night of free drinks and prime people watching? Not Louis, that’s for sure. As any fellow Londoners will be painfully aware, this week it’s been almost unbearably hot in the city. In the interest of not arriving dripping in sweat, we decided to take a cab which I have to say made for a rather sleeker arrival at Burlington Arcade than schlepping it on the underground.

Omega

After striking a pose for the photographers (something Louis found bizarre and amusing in equal measure, and mocked me about later) we made a beeline for the bar where champagne was being served in exquisite, gold rimmed crystal flutes. As you’d expect at any event hosted by Omega, the ambiance was one of tasteful opulence. In between sampling God knows how many delicious canapés and trying to discourage Louis from going to town on Lychee Martinis (hypocritical much?!) I caught up with the ever lovely Henry Conway and ogled Dominic Cooper who was looking particularly slick in grey tailoring.

Omega

One of the most exciting aspects of the Omega party was the guaranteed presence of brand ambassador, Jessica Ennis-Hill. Having minced and mingled for almost an hour with still no sign of the guest of honour, I started to worry that we’d have to head on to party number 2 without seeing her. Luckily, just as we were about to give up, Jess arrived looking flawlessly gorgeous in a figure hugging, orange Antonio Berardi number. Then Bill Nighy rocked up and we left feeling very content indeed!

Omega

Love Ella. X

Images courtesy of Mike Marsland Photography

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards 2013

As I may have mentioned once or twice (or thrice, sorry I was too thrilled!), this year I was given the enormous honour of being shortlisted for Fashion Blogger of the Year in the inaugural Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards. Being nominated, let alone shortlisted, for a journalism prize is the kind of thing that I could never have imagined happening as a result of “giving this blogging thing” a whack three years ago. The fact that Fashion Monitor is basically the industry’s online bible and my fellow shortlistees were Reem Kanj, Susie Lau, Abi Marvel and Menswear Style’s Craig Landale was enough to very nearly give me a heart attack. Suffice to say, when the big night finally arrived I was a in a state of both over excitement and blind panic. So much so that I, once again, turned up unfashionably early and had to spend fifteen minutes lurking in a nearby loos. Not chic, but such is life.

Fashion Monitor Awards

Given that Fashion Monitor was hosting and Hilary Alexander, Vogue’s Lucinda Chambers and Business of Fashion Founder, Imran Amed were among those up for awards, I expected the London fash pack to be out in force and it most certainly was. Within seconds of walking in to the champagne reception I spied British Vogue Deputy Editor, Emily Sheffield and Company Magazine Editor, Victoria White to Forward PR Founder Courtney Blackman. There was also the usual spattering of celebs including Rosie Fortescue, Oliver Proudlock, Lilah Parsons, Kate Nash and, rather randomly, ex Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts.

Fashion Monitor Event 2013

Courtney Blackman & Stylenoir Magazine Editor, James Joseph

Fashion Monitor Awards

Hilary Alexander

BENP_Fashon_Monitor0059

Rosie Fortescue & Oliver Proudlock

Fashion Monitor Event 2013

Kate Nash

BENP_Fashon_Monitor0071

Ashley Roberts, Nick Ede & Lilah Parsons

In between ogling everyone’s outfits and catching up with my favourite fashion friends, cocktail hour whizzed by and before I knew it the curtain serving as one of the room’s walls drew back revealing a magnificent dinner set up illuminated in pink and black.

Fashion Monitor Awards

The Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards 2013

Fashion Monitor Awards

Fashion Monitor Awards

Several increasingly firm “dinner is about to be served” announcements later we were all in our seats and Nat Mag’s former President and CEO, Terry Mansfield CBE and Fashion Monitor Publisher, Hannah White treated us to opening speeches. Three courses, numerous glasses of Pinot and a fair bit of table hopping to catch up with late arrivals (Reem Kanj and Nik Thakkar I’m looking at you!) later it was time for the awards themselves to begin. The evening’s presenter was the lovely Laura Whitmore who, I have to say, did a cracking job as per usual. Vogue picked up the prizes for Feature Writer of the Year (Jo Ellison) and Editorial Shoot of the Year (Lucinda Chambers), while Elle won both the Fashion – Long Lead (Stacey Duguid) and Online Beauty (Amy Lawrenson) categories. Stylist won both the main short lead categories for Fashion (Alexandra Fullerton) and Beauty (Joanna McGarry). Among the other winners was Hilary Alexander OBE, who won the Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Media, recognising her longstanding position at The Daily Telegraph and work with Graduate Fashion Week. Click here to see all the winners and shortlist.

Fashion Monitor Awards

Now I know everyone says this when they’re up for a prize and don’t win but I really, genuinely did not expect to in any way, shape or form. Given that Susie Lau is both a pioneer of blogging and one of the most intelligent writers in the industry, it would have been frankly bizarre if she didn’t take home the trophy this time. However, knowing that this would undoubtedly be the case didn’t stop me being so pathetically nervous I basically shook through the entire ceremony. It was only after Imran Amed had been named overall winner, the charity raffle had finished up and it was time for the after party that I felt a little less like I might throw up at any minute. With a flight to Berlin at at unholy hour the next morning, the sensible thing for me to do would have been to head home to bed straight away. Surprise, surprise, I did not. Instead having a fabulous few hours indulging in some slightly embarrassing dance moves with my friends. The 6.30am wake up call that followed was pretty unpleasant but hey, you only live once.

Fashion Monitor Awards

Thank you again to everyone who nominated me, the judges who shortlisted me and of course Fashion Monitor and my table hosts, F+F for a wonderful evening.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 3 Comments

Julien Macdonald & Melissa Odabash Round II

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

If ever there were a fashion combination so goddamn perfect it would be a crime if it didn’t happen then Julien Macdonald and Melissa Odabash are undoubtedly it. London’s King of catwalk to red carpet glitz and LA’s Queen of poolside to party beach chic, total no brainer right? The similarities between their aesthetics certainly didn’t escape the designers and last year they teamed up to release a collaborative collection that went down a storm among glamazons both sides of the Atlantic. Last week the decadent duo where back with a whole new array of holiday ready delights which they showcased, of course, by way of an extravagant rooftop catwalk show and cocktail party.

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

For some ridiculous reason, when I received an invitation to a “Crusie 2014 Presentation” I thought it was going to be a low key affair. A few fashion press looking at clothes. Relaxed, casual… You get the drift. Considering the designers who’s work was being presented, this was never going to be the case. I arrived at the super swanky ME Hotel to witness a paparazzi frenzy with snappers sprinting all over the show in an effort to get a shot of whichever celeb had been unfortunate to wander out unattended. How wrong I’d been about the nature of the evening became immediately clear and I felt extremely grateful hadn’t worn flats as I originally intended.The sleek, chrome lift-cum-futuristic-space-pod doors opened to reveal a bevvy of long limbed, Julien Macdonald clad beauties (models or customers? Who knows!) and familiar fashion faces sipping champagne and basking in the evening sun. I don’t know whether you’ve ever been to the ME Hotel’s rooftop bar but I’d definitely recommend paying it a visit next time you’re in town. With a vast terrace over looking London and glass as far as the eye can see, there’s nothing understated about the place but it’s certainly a lot of fun.

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

My party pals for the evening were the lovely Colin from Kenton Magazine and equally lovely Lilly Bridger from Monica Vinader. Given that a lot of your work is done alone in your bedroom/office, the life of a blogger has the potential to be a lonely one. I feel incredibly lucky to have made several good friends directly and indirectly through blogging, apart from anything it certainly makes the parties a lot more fun! Several glasses of champagne (and half a rather regrettable tequila cocktail) later it was time to put the mingling on pause so that the main event could begin.

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Both designers are major celeb favourites so naturally the show was opened by The Saturdays, Mollie King. Zara Martin and Made in Chelsea’s Rosie Fortescue also took to the runway, as did the super sweet Dionne Bromfield who got an extra loud cheer from me. And the clothes themselves? Everything you’d expect and more. Julien and Melissa know what their customers like and what they like is BLING. From animal print kaftans and glimmering gold Grecian style gowns to uber embellished yet barely there swimwear, every ensemble screamed “St Tropez”. Admittedly, this kind of thing is not to everyone’s tastes but if you’re partial to a bit of glamour then you’re going to LOVE Julien Macdonald & Melissa Odabash Resort 2014.

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

Julien Macdonald Melissa Odabash

After the show drew to a close, or rather erupted into a suitably flamboyant finale, I grabbed a couple of words with the lovely Julien who was posing for the paps just off the runway. Anyone who read my London Fashion Week posts last season may remember Julien’s glittering extravaganza. Well according to the pint sized Welshman “that was nothing” and he promises “more 90’s glamour” next season. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what he concocts for September!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment