24 February 2010

LFW party report: An Olympian tea party, lost in translation & a peep through the looking glass

By the time I got to the Langham Hotel for Charlotte Olympia’s ever so civilised afternoon tea, I had mascara down my face and a fringe stuck to my forehead from cycling through the rain. So not a good look.

Charlotte Dellal and her magnificent mother Andrea took me around the collection – tall metallic pumps in jewel colors and perky velvet courts with vertiginous Perspex heels – all perched delicately on tables where guests balanced their tea and cupcakes. Jasmine Guinness was having trouble choosing between between the green satin platforms and the Schiaparelli-esque piano pumps – in the end she went for a pair of leopard print kitten heels that complemented her outfit perfectly.

The tea made for a particularly convivial atmosphere – Jo Wood joked with Lulu Guinness and Ben Grimes chirped away to Susie Bubble. Olivia Palermo was more sweet and charming than you could believe. Sparkling in just-off-the-catwalk Tibi (with a bit of Topshop thrown in for good measure) she told me that she could see herself moving to London one day: “I love it here, the people are wonderful and you know as much as everyone goes on about it, the weather’s really not that much worse than New York.”

Liberty was the next pit-stop of the night, and Carla Sozzani of renowned Milanese style emporium 10 Corso Como was here to talk guests through her new collaboration with the British heritage brand.  Inspired by the buffalo mozzarella canapés and flowing prosecco, I tried to break out my best Italian to her but it turned out I was a touch out of practice - and when she started explaining the graphic similarities and the conceptual sensibilities of the two stores I must have looked a bit lost because she brought the conversation back to the mozzarella.

Man of the moment Antonio Berardi was hosting a party back in the wonderful Corinthia so I took the opportunity to swipe a few more of their delicious canapés and pose in a hard hat (so AW 2010).

I was LOVING what I got to wear last night – another incredible Julian J Smith dress (frills and ruffles appropriate for the “mad” dress code at Alice party) with a PRPS jacket and some gorgeous Astley Clarke jewellery. And my little mother of pearl bag – a gift from Bangkok – was the piece de resistance.

I’m a bit of a Tim Burton fan so when Alice Temperley announced she was throwing an Alice in Wonderland part to celebrate her new Alice collection, I was more than a touch excited. Held in the basement of a new hotel at Selfridges, we were greeted by two white rabbits who told us were were late! So we stooped through a hole in the wall to arrive to a fantasy of painted soldiers holding “drink me” cocktails, magicians playing card tricks and thumping dubstep music – mad.

London’s good-time girls were out in force, and they were more than game to sip punch from teacups and pose on the checkered tiles. Jade Jagger was there to support her party pal Alice, as was accessories wizard Lara Bohinc. The real Alice took a moment out to tell me why she just had to have the Wonderland-themed party, “I grew up with that fantasy,” she said, “and I grew up thinking I was Alice of course - but now I have my own Wonderland!”

 New Young pony club came on stage and ranted to us that fashion folk don’t dance hard enough – though I thought I was giving it enough down the back for the whole crowd. I chatted to the sexy front woman Tahita Bulmer afterwards and she said I should shave half my hair off like hers, as apparently it “gives you killer cheekbones.”
 
A new look for next LFW perhaps?
 
Watch this space…
 
- Alannah Sparks

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