John Galliano slipped through our fingers last night. Just as he turned and fixed us with his devastatingly influential gaze, opened his mouth to answer our question (what reminded you of your younger self in Fashion Fringe winner Corrie Nielsen’s collection?) his minder trundled in, turned him on his heel and propelled him out the door. Watching his retreating fishtail plait as he made his way out of the Fashion Fringe event and straight into his enormous Rolls Royce, we felt pretty smug – we had definitely connected.
But we did catch up with Stephen Jones who was on his way to reliving his earlier hazy hedonistic days with party partner Mr Galliano; 'London is the bubbling hub of great ideas. People don’t come here to see tried and tested formulas, they come to be inspired, to find rebels and raw creativity. It’s something we’re all proud to be a part of.'
We swerved by the John Rocha party in his store on Dover Street to find lots of black-clad beauties quaffing red wine in an entirely sophisticated setting. The artist Guggi was there to show guests around the new exhibition space, and the great and good of the Irish fashion scene turned out to show their support, including one Roisin Murphy. Bono arrived later straight off the stage from Paris, but by that stage we’d ventured off into the night. Grrr.
We had been told to be at Bungalow 8 at 9pm sharp in time for supermodel and heiress Lydia Hearst’s arrival. Naturally we arrived an hour late, but luckily so did she. 'I’ve been out celebrating my birthday at Aqua – the food there is so delicious and I lost track of time so had to race here on the back of my friend’s motorbike!' How did she do it in those heels?
Olivia Palermo also turned out to support her friend, fashion designer and party host Markus Lupfer, who was jubilant to be surrounded by so many pretty young party people wearing his creations. We asked Olivia why she hadn’t moved to London, as the last time we spoke to her she told us it was her dream. 'I’ve got the best of both worlds in New York' she said 'there I can focus on my career and here I’ve got enough friends that I can always come and party.'
Camping it up in the DJ booth was party bi-locator Alexa Chung. In between head banging to a retro mix that included everything from The Beatles to Eddie Cochrane I asked her was she not hot in that jumper? 'Nah, it’s just the right weight,' she said of the Alexa Chung for Madewell cable knit creation - 'of course it’s just right – I designed it!'
Just in case you ever got bored of one party at the St Martins Lane Hotel, there was ample fashion choice on offer in other rooms, and the whole hotel seemed to be overrun with fashion folk teetering around in heels with ankle socks and in so-now maxi gowns. We popped into the Osman/Tank party briefly, but the bar was four deep so decided to cut our losses and hit the sack. Three more days of party-hopping to go…
- Alannah Sparks