Should we rename LFW “London Party Week”? Well, Ok, it might be an exaggeration, as the business of fashion still looms large at this bi-annual celebration of creativity that is London Fashion Week. That said there is no doubt that London Fashion Week is as famous for its emerging talents and established local names as it is for its parties. And this year, the Top Awards in the latter category has to go to the party hosted on the 21st of February at Liberty by New York designer Alexander Wang to celebrate The Androgyny Issue of LOVE magazine: where else indeed could one dance to a live performance by Beth Ditto while eyeing up David Beckham in the corner?Beth Ditto performing in front of Fashion It Girl Alexa Chung
As many of my French compatriots (the Latin DNA probably…), I do -always did and hopefully always will- love a good party, especially when it is held in a beautiful place, has got its fair share of attractive and creative individuals, provides some good music and what seems like an unlimited supply of cocktails…
Therefore I was quite happy to be invited at the LOVE party held at Liberty on Monday 21st of February during Fashion Week, where I mingled amongst a glamorous crowd that included singers Boy George, Alison Goldfrapp, Alison Mosshart, Elly Jackson -aka La Roux- and Holly Johnson (ex-Frankie Goes to Hollywood lead singer), but also actress Jaime Winstone, fashion It Girl and TV presenter Alexa Chung, fashion designers Peter Pilotto, Pam Hogg and Louise Gray, and models Amber Rose (Kanye West’s ex), Erin O’Connor, Daisy Lowe and Pixie Geldof (amongst many, many others).
Hosted by New York designer Alexander Wang, LOVE magazine’s editor-in-chief Katie Grand and Liberty’s managing director Ed Burstell, it had all of the aforementioned ingredients but also a crowd willing to let their hair down way past the official closing deadline for the party. In my experience, fashion parties can often be quite boring. Yes, they might be more glamorous than a hedge fund managers’ reunion, but guests are here to showcase themselves. They might have rainbow coloured hair and helium balloon dresses, but it remains business after all, and everyone is here to network, show the world their trendy factor, bag some new contracts, find gossips to write about or snatch a good interview (much more efficient than having to brave an unlimited amount of phone calls and emails to agents and PR).
So that was a good surprise to attend one that was truly fun -in good part no doubt to the free flowing amount of Belvedere vodka. The music was undoubtedly a winning factor, with sounds provided by stars DJs Nicholas Grimshaw (of Radio 1) and Jesse Marco, as well as by the inimitable Beth Ditto, who offered the crowd a surprise and very animated performance. So by 10pm, Liberty’s international designer room, bedecked in silver survival blankets and adorned with oversize versions of LOVE’s three front covers -featuring Kate Moss, Lea T, and one of them both kissing- had been transformed into a frenetic dance floor… which has to be a first for the venerable store!
At one point, I came very close to a man who looked surprisingly like David Beckham, although I thought he was a little bit short to be the famous footballer. It is only the day after that I realised that he might have allegedly been a bit short, at least in my vodka-imbued mind, but that he was nonetheless David Beckham, who had been invited to the party with his wife Victoria. Oh well… My keen sense of observation might have been slightly thwarted on the night, but my regret at missing an interview opportunity vanished when I read that the celebrity couple apparently refused to talk to other guests and to have their pictures taken. Oh well… To conclude, I would say that dancing the night away on a Monday while downing “Love martinis” and “Liberty mules” might not be the wisest way to start the week, but there are definitely worse ways than that to spend an evening “at work”…
Below from left to right: singer Alison Goldfrapp, actress Jaime Winstone, singer turned DJ Boy George, singer Elly Jacskon (La Roux) and model Jade Parfitt. Underneath: Beth Ditto performing (photos Richard Young).