Much as I’d love to claim that I’m one of those people who just doesn’t get star struck, that would be a complete and utter lie. Whenever I meet someone who’s work/life/style I’ve long since admired, I inevitably find myself knock kneed, sweaty palmed and unable to think of anything remotely intelligent to say. So as you can imagine, the prospect of meeting the one and only Karl Lagerfeld left me giddy with excitement and nerves for days. The white haired, one gloved wonder is undoubtedly one of the most revered figues in the industry, as proved by the fact that London’s fashion elite flocked to Selfridges rooftop terrace in his honour last night… And happily waited 2 hours for Karl to arrive.
After battling our way up Bond Street in the swealtering heat (glamourous, non?) we arrived at Selfridges to be ushered through the crowds into a cordened off lift which took us up to the rooftop terrace which has been given a complete Karl-over. Walls, boards, seats, Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic image was plastered on everything as far as the eye could see. I particularly loved the black and white (natch) Karl flags flying majestically from the chimneys. The champagne was flowing, caviar and tasty lobster bites being proffered around by uniformed waiters and as for my fellow guests… Think Daphne Guinness, Rosario Dawson, Hilary Alexander, Suzy Menkes, Poppy Delevigne, Edie Campbell and just about every magazine editor in town. Several hours and countless glasses of champagne later, we were informed that Karl had entered the building and the sheer excitement among a group of such innately cool and influential fashion insiders was amazing to see. As you’ve probably gathered, this was party was pretty spectacular and not an evening I’ll forget anytime soon. A couple of snaps of well dressed guests just wouldn’t do it justice so I thought I’d share this behind-the-scenes video with you instead, enjoy!
The beginning of November is always a magical time. After all, it brings with it the arrival of Starbucks’ red cups, Harvey Nicks’ Christmas window displays and last but certainly not least, party season. The festive period always seems to pass in a haze of high heels and stiff drinks and judging from last weeks jam-packed party schedule, it looks like this years going to be no different. On Thursday evening I donned my gladrags and headed over to Notting Hill where New York design legend, Nanette Lepore was hosting an evening of champagne and shopping at her divine Westbourne Grove boutique.
Nanette Lepore, Jewellery Designer Anne Bowes (AKA my mum) & Me
Guests including Zara Martin and Jasmine Guinness were treated to adorable cupcakes and an exclusive preview of Nanette’s SS12 collection. As you may have gathered from my previous post, Nanette’s new season offerings were beyond covetable. Think zesty brights, feminine shapes and super cute accessories galore. The lovely and oh-so-glamorous Nanette had jetted in from the Big Apple to be there and regaled us with tales of how she whipped up her daughter a swan costume frome scratch (lucky thing!) mere minutes before she had to leave for a Halloween party.
Zara Martin & Nanette Lepore
Jasmine Guinness & Nanette Lepore
Having not read my invitation all that thoroughly I only realised an hour or so in that as well as drinking, dancing and generally having a good time, we could also shop Nanette’s AW11 collection at a fraction of it’s usual price. Naturally most of the rest of the evening was spent trying on the entire contents of the store, and I think it’s safe to say that no one went away empty handed.
If there’s one thing I love about fashion it’s the fact that the entire industry leaps at the slightest excuse for a party. New season, mid season, collection launch, store opening… Whatever the reason, if something remotely new or exciting happens you can guarantee there’ll be a lavish bash thrown in celebration. Said soirees are not exactly few or far between and some are little more than an excuse to drink copious amounts of champagne (not that I’m complaining) but one of Londons’ hottest up-and-coming music talents teaming up with a major international brand? If ever there were a good cause for a knees up, this is it.
Jade Williams AKA Sunday Girl
Last night the fash pack congregated once again to toast the launch of Jade Williams AKA Sunday Girls’ first ever collection for Firetrap. The party was held at breaktaking 18th Century townhouse, 33 Portland Place and attended by an eclectic mix of musicians, designers, socialites and of course the usual gorgeous fashion faces. Zara Martin and Amber Atherton were their usual stylish selves both working printed silk shirts from Jade’s Firetrap range. Other guests included Professor Green, Diana Vickers, MTV’s Laura Whitmore and Chloe Green who left us all green with envy with her super cute sparkly short shorts.
Jade looked effortlessly elegant as always (not hard to see why she’s always on the FROW) and wowed us with an incredible live performance of her new single, “Love U More”. We got our groove on to the sounds of Dalston DJ, Disco Bloodbath until the delicious (and unlimited) Mahiki Coconut cocktails got the better of us (ok, me) and it was time to pile into the nearest cabs and head home to bed.
You can’t deny it, there’s something about the August bank holiday that make us want to party. Maybe it’s because we want to send off summer in style. Maybe it’s excitement at the year ahead. Or maybe it’s because feel in need of one last hurrah before going back to work/school/university etc. Whatever the reason, the last weekend of summer seems to justify the same levels of over indulgence and general merriment as Christmas… but with much less dismal weather. On this joyous weekend the yummy mummies of Holland Park retreat to their country piles as the streets of Notting Hill are overrun with revellers eating, drinking, dancing and soaking up the carnival spirit. Now I love carnival as much as the next twenty-something Londoner but after battling the crowds all day I was fairly relieved to go somewhere with a rather tighter guest list and headed to Bumpkin in Ladbroke Grove where Wrangler had organised an end-of-summer shindig. The party has been hailed as the most exclusive bank holiday soiree in town and Bumpkin was evidently THE place to be for apres-carnival fun. All four floors of the gorgeous gastropub where jam packed with equally gorgeous guests including Jamie Winstone, Zara Martin, Nick Grimshaw and fellow bloggers Prince Cassius and Aizak Buyondo.
Prince Cassius et Moi
Nick Grimshaw & Vanessa White
Diana Vickers & George Craig
We drank, danced and tucked in to what must be THE most delicious BBQ I have ever tasted.
A girl can only drink pre-mixed vodka coke out of a plastic bottle for so long and the unlimited Sauvingnon Blanc supply laid on by Wrangler was much appreciated. I think it’s probably safe to say that none of the guests (myself definitely included) felt all too fresh come Monday morning but it was a bank holiday so who the hell cares.
The French have brought us many wonderful things over the years. Fine wines, delicious cheeses, croissants… But frankly they can keep their vin blanc, camembert and pâtisseries as in my opinion the best French import to grace the British isles in recent years has to have been Über cool Parisian brand, Sandro.
For some time now it has been possible for Londoners like myself to tap into Sandro’s inimitable Parisian chic via their Selfridges concession. But in recent months something magical has occurred and more and more boutiques devoted solely to the brand have been opening up around the city. As you may remember, during my time in Paris I became slightly obsessed with the hotter-than-hot French label. So imagine my joy when a few weeks ago I received an invitation to Sandro’s very own launch party at their brand new Westbourne Grove boutique. Not only would this be a gathering in honour of one of my all-time favourite labels, but the event would be DJ’d by Brit fashion icon and serial FROW-er (that’s front-row-er for those who didn’t know), Alexa Chung. Suffice to say, nothing was going keep me from attending that party.
When we arrived at the divine Sandro boutique the room was already full, and at 7.30pm that’s pretty impressive for a fashion event. Even more impressive was the fact that despite both the Dior and Alice Temperly parties taking place on the same night (’tis the season after all), by 9pm the place was absolutely packed. The London fash pack turned out in force to celebrate the opening of Sandro’s flagship store. As I danced next to Razorlights Jonny Borrell and his girlfriend, model-of-the-moment Edie Campbell it occurred to me that I had unwittingly happened upon one of the hottest tickets in town.
IPR London certainly know how to put on a party. Fashion Director and event organiser, Lucy Willis was the perfect hostess and the well-dressed revellers enjoyed a delicious and never-ending stream of champagne and canapes. What struck me the most about the Sandro party was the fact that, despite being a gathering of the famously intimidating fashion elite, it was really, really fun. Sure it was a fantastic networking/outfit-perving opportunity, but mainly it was just a real laugh. Much to my surprise I didn’t recognise my fellow guests solely from the Vogue party pages, but bumped into lots of familiar faces from Fashion Week, the Erdem trunk show and various other events. Everyone was gratifyingly friendly and although this probably had something to do with the copious amount of champagne we’d all guzzled, the general atmosphere was rather more ‘festive knees-up’ than ‘serious fashion soiree’.
As the evening went on more and more beautiful and sickeningly stylish people continued to arrive and join in the festivities. Things may have been a little cramped but this point but when the food, drink, guests and general ambiance is this fabulous, who the hell cares if you can’t quite move? The soundtrack to the evening was brilliant. A good blend of classic tunes mixed with newer stuff and guaranteed crowd pleasers. Even my music-obsessed boyfriend was forced to admit that Alexa was really quite good, despite his initial scepticism at her DJ’ing abilities.
All in all, the Sandro launch party was absolute perfection and definitely one of the most enjoyable events I have attended this year. Judging by the spirits of all who attended, not to mention the sheer number of guests who flocked to Westbourne Grove that evening, I was not the only one who felt this way. Much like their divine collections, Sandro’s launch party brought a slice of Parisian cool to the London streets and became one of the hottest tickets on the city’s Fashion calendar. When it comes to ‘must-have’ French imports, this brand beats a stinky old piece of brie any day.