Stella McCartney celebrated turning 40 last night and achieved the seemingly impossible by effortlessly stealing the style spotlight from her BFF guests, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Kates Moss and Kate Hudson, in an incredible navy sequinned dress of her own design. Floor length and slinky with a low back, this just might be the most glamorous we've ever seen Stella looking.
The style brought back memories of Ms Moss' own 30th birthday look, when she wore a 1930s vintage bias cut midnight blue sequinned dress with a matching capelet (here's a reminder). McCartney was also wearing her hair scraped back into a very-Moss ballerina bun.
And what did Mrs Jamie Hince opt for, having had her style stolen by the hostess? Well, wore a strapless black jumpsuit with pouffy tapered trousers and an enormous bow accross the bust (think: Mama Kardashian at her daughter's recent wedding) from Azzaro but showed her brand loyalty by clutching a silver Stella McCartney evening bag. Kate Hudson also opted for a floor length gown, a slinky backless peach jersey number by Elie Saab, with a cowl boat-neck top, draped back, and a thigh-high split, from the Elie Saab's S/S'11 collection. She was also wearing sky-high beige suede shoes with super-sparkly heels, and arrived with her fiance Muse frontman Matt Bellamy for a night out away from their two month old son Bingham.
Also in attendance: Bono and his wife Alison Hewson wearing a black lace dress from her own label Edun (hot off the NYFW catwalk), Paul McCartney and fiancee Nancy Shevall, and Tom Ford looking the picture of matinee idol perfection in a midnight blue velvet smoking jacket and bow tie. Sigh.
The party was held inside the Wellington Arch, a 1835 British Heritage landmark building set smack bang in the middle of the traffic chaos of London's Marble Arch. It is topped by a winged figure entitled ‘Peace Descending on the Quadriga of War’ - the largest bronze statue in the UK. An intimate setting, there is room for between only 35 - 80 guests. The party continued at the Groucho club in Soho. And like all the best parties, nobody went home empty handed: Gwyneth was spotted leaving clutching two mugs printed with photographs of Stella as a baby. Aww.
Of course, the designer will soon be jetting to France where she'll be presenting her S/S'12 collection during Paris Fashion Week - and you could be there! Yes, enter our fabulous prize to win the chance to rub tailored shoulders with the Grazia fashion team and get up close and personal with the new season’s collections as they happen. For more details visit our competition page. And to enter, just fill in and submit the form at www.stellamccartney.co.uk.
UPDATE! Our expert frock watcher has brilliantly noticed that we've already seen Mossy's jumpsuit somewhere before... Recognise it? We'll give you a hint: it's got the X Factor. Oh yes, CHERYL COLE sported the very same style on the show last series during one of her many frock-offs, which rises the question: WHO wore it best?