EXCLUSIVE! Grazia parties at Downing Street!

19 September 2009

downing street

Forget No. 5, it’s all about No. 10 this season. Grazia Daily was invited to Downing Street last night to celebrate 25 years of London Fashion Week with Sarah Brown and Maggie Darling.

So fashion’s new darlings are the Darlings (was there ever a more perfect LFW surname?). Alistair and Maggie hosted an exclusive pre-party party at No.11 - just Grazia, and the youngest hottest designers on the LFW schedule this season. Sipping champagne, surrounded by raw talent (and iconic images by catwalk photographer extraordinaire, Chris Moore), Grazia was feeling optimistic about the next 25 years…

henry holland matthew williamson lara stone downing street

Upstairs at No 10, Grazia was delighted to see the ever-cheerful Osman Yousefzada, but less pleased to note that he has now dropped his surname, just at the point where we’d got the hang of pronouncing it. ‘”Osman” - it’s much stronger as a brand’ said the Brummie designer. Grazia agrees, but will continue to say his full name, and very quickly, just to show off (like all those fashion types who insist on saying ‘Lee McQueen’, even though they’ve never met the man).

PR legend (and blogging queen) Mandi Lennard’s giant black Louis Vuitton bunny ears could be spotted from anywhere in the room. And there was Grazia Daily worrying about the low-cut nature of our Burberry floral print frock (oh come on, like we weren’t going to blag something to wear during our time there….). The Best Dress? Lara Stone’s stripey Christopher Kane cocktail number. But everyone was going crazy over Whistles boss Jane Shepherdson’s navy Nightshade dress, covered in giant plastic black flowers, from the store’s new Roksanda Illincic collaboration (in case you were wondering, it looks stunning in real life)

What we loved

ben grimes sarah brown erin o'connor gareth pugh

* Everyone looking at the beautiful canapés - miniscule caesar salads, dinky hamburgers, tiny cones of fish 'n' chips – with polite fascination, as if being shown a tray of pretty jewellery, but not actually taking/eating any.

* Maria Francesca Pepe’s sock-like pointy silver lurex slippers; ‘I was thinking “I need a flat shoe for parties…”’ Smart lady.

* The check point security guard rolling his eyes and waving Henry Holland past the metal detector, after spotting the designer's heavily-studded shoes.

* Discovering Roksanda Illincic smells as beautiful as she looks (no, really). Her perfume? ‘It’s Rose by Frederick Malle’. Divine.

Meanwhile, Grazia has created a monster. Model Ben Grimes thanked us for putting her on our Summer Best Dressed list last month, and said she hasn't let her friends forget it ‘whenever they question what I'm wearing now, I say “I'm one of Grazia's Summer Best Dressed.. how can this be wrong?"’ Enjoy it while you can, Ben Grimes, it'll be winter before you know it....

Times are tough, so it’s good to note that even industry heavyweights are open to negotiation when it comes to their fees. Erin O’ Connor was looking beyond elegant in a sharp-shouldered black dress, and told us ‘it’s by Hannah Marshall. She paid me a tenner to wear it – she DID!’

Thought that all those online film presentations this season were fashion’s move towards democracy? Think again. Grazia Daily was complaining to Gareth Pugh last night that we were having problems getting his Spring 2010 video to work ‘yeah, you need a super high speed internet connection to see it’ said the designer. That’s told us.

A bubbly Stephen Jones, [still beaming 12 hours after his brilliant Headonism exhibition opened LFW], took the time to break our hearts on the steps of No.10 by telling us that John Galliano has a new favourite glossy ‘whenever I go over on Eurostar, I always take Grazia for John [Galliano] – he loves it. But the last time I went over, he was bragging “I don’t need your Grazia anymore – we’ve got our own edition now”’ said the designer, referring to our recently launched Paris edition. Noooo! French Grazia, don’t you dare come between us and our ex-pats! Although the mischievous milliner noted, ‘he did still snatch the British edition out of my hands…’

Inevitable: fashion cool was (literally) left at the door as everyone clamoured to get a photo of themselves beneath the famous No 10. Door Hogs of the night: Clements Ribeiro; “it’s for [their son] Hector!”. That still didn’t explain why Suzanne Clements had to cling quite so long/tightly to that ridiculously hunky policeman (think: Abercrombie model).

But the Best Snap award goes to Osman Yousefzada, who managed the most convincing ‘just elected prime minister’ pose; arms folded, plus a reassuring, I-can-rescue-the-nation’s-economy smile. Vote Osman!


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