September Parties! Dîner en Blanc, Retrospective and Paradise

Nothing like a good party to beat the back to school/back to work/end of Olympics September blues… So no matter if the suntan is fading and the days are getting shorter, there is always something to celebrate. Here is a small selection of outings that Chic-Londres recommends…

Retrospective, the Vintage Fashion Show and Party on Saturday 15th I do have a very soft spot for the Bourne & Hollingworth parties (Blitz, Prohibition, Belle Epoque, Chap Olympiad and Wyndstock) -the frocks, the bands, the sets, the cocktails…- which never disappoint. So I’m really looking forward to Retrospective, their new offering, organised in collaboration with some of the best vintage experts in London. There will be a fashion show with beautiful one-off pieces from the world’s finest design houses (Givenchy, Ossie Clark, Chanel, Dior and the like), as well as floorshows capturing the key moments in fashion history, with live re-enactments by performers of some iconic fashion events, from flapper flash mobs to Studio 54 dancers on horseback, plous DJs and cocktails. As usual, guests are expected to dress up and don their finest vintage attire, be it their granny’s Vionnet debutante dress or that funny little psychedelic number found on Portobello.

Dîner en Blanc, the UK’s First Epicurean Flash Feast on Thursday 20th Despite being a Parisian by birth, I’ve never attended any of my former city’s famous Dîners en Blanc (literally “Dinner in White”) -which has now spread over 20 cities around the owrld- so I’m delighted to hear that the very chic picnic event is now coming to London. Created some 20 years ago by a group of Parisian friends, it takes the pop up/flash mob concept to a new mysterious level, with the same formula applied everywhere: people wishing to attend must sign up to the guest list, limited to 1,442 people for an as-yet-to-be-disclosed location, with the site being revealed at the last-minute to preserve spontaneity and secrecy. All guests are asked to dress in elegant white, bring their own banquets, tables, chairs, glasses, silverware and white table linen and come together for a “chic picnic” in a public space (usually a prestigious site such as the courtyard of Notre-Dame de Paris or the Cour Carrée of the Louvre) with live music and dancing.  For its U.S. debut last year, more than 30,000 New Yorkers signed up for a coveted spot on the 1000-person guest list so sign up fast if you want to go!

Paradise’s Anniversary Celebrations, Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th It has been five years since this Kensal Green’s institution got a total revamp to become the best party pub -and one of the best gastropubs- in West London (and I’m not only saying that because I’m a local). To mark the anniversary, Paradise -a favourite of Alice Temperley, Mark Fast, Peaches Geldof, Jade Jagger and the like- has teamed up with Kids Company to offer a five-day programme of events for the benefit of the national children’s charity. The program includes a comedy night, a party hosted by Amber Le Bon, sets by celebrity DJs Ben Bridgewater, Dan Lywood, Jazzie B, Norman Jay and Sam Young, the return of Paradise’s popular boutique flea market Kensal Flea and a special “Recovery Session” with a fleet of leading ladies taking to the decks, including Jameela Jamil and Miquita Oliver. Last but not least, head chef Tim Payne -who officiated in some of the best Michelin starred kitchens in London- has created a “£5 Menu’” available on the Wednesday and Friday and offering Paradise signature favourites at £5 each to diners who pre-book.

Photos: The last Dîner en Blanc in New York (main photo), party at Paradise and Retrospective flyer (below)

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