It seems just yesterday I was still popping into bikinis and sandals and not much else from my Easter break. Back to London, a fast paced step forward and I have had a serious re-edit of my wardrobe. I looked at my diary and to my horror I realized I had rather a few too many social girl/charity lunches to get dolled up for. I love a girls’ lunch but day after day becomes a big effort, especially planning suitable looks!
First up was a girls’ dinner for which I had helped the super chic Italian fashion brand, Agnona, pull together. The delectable Dree Hemingway, their muse and model, flew in from New York that morning and was so naturally beautiful with barely a hint of make-up, she stole all our hearts. Her silk black caped catsuit must have helped. The evening was a huge success and The Dover Street Arts Club really spoilt us.
Left to right: Me, Dree Hemingway & Alice Naylor-Leyland at the Agnona dinner
Myself and Tamzin Greenhill at the Agnona dinner
The late photographer Bob Carlos Clarke was not only a friend of mine but also the reason Ghislain Pascal, Lindsey Carlos Clarke and myself set up our gallery, The Little Black Gallery, in 2008 after his untimely death. We manage his archive, and collectors from all over the world come to us. So any new show we open has to have a strict preview night. The Daily Mail Online has already labelled our new show ‘Living Dolls’ as “one of London’s most risqué shows” – which can never be a bad thing! Dan Macmillan was one of the first to arrive and was remarkably knowledgeable about Bob’s work – in particular a work entitled “Keeping up with the Joneses”, a photograph that paid homage to the British art legend Allen Jones. Allen himself actually swung by later on and I found him captivating company.
Allen Jones and I at Bob Carlos Clarke Private View at The Little Black Gallery
Scarlett Carlos Clarke, Bob’s daughter, is very hands on with her Father’s work and had insisted on one of the pictures being taken down. Sure enough she arrived and headed straight downstairs to check… followed closely by her childhood friend Luciano Pierre White, son of Bob’s best buddy and chef extraordinaire, Marco.
Luciano Pierre White & Scarlett Carlos Clarke at Bob Carlos Clarke Private View at The Little Black Gallery
Society chappy Henry Conway flew in with a very cute companion and was as ever fizzing with enthusiasm. My favourite florist Rob Van Helden came with his husband Seb and we gassed and gassed until I realized it was time to shut up shop!
Myself & Henry Conway at Bob Carlos Clarke Private View at The Little Black Gallery
Up and another outfit to be sourced. I had been invited to join Kiwi Amanda Newson’s table, as Co-Chair of the Foreign Sisters, for their annual lunch. It’s a fabulous charity set up by foreign women in London about eight years ago in aid of Cancer Research UK. 400 women, each better dressed than the next, there was nothing un-fashion about this crew! Held at the Philipp’s Gallery in Victoria I walked in and could not get over the extraordinary noise. 400 women chatting is almost deafening. It all calmed down once we sat down at what I must admit to being one of the most pretty tables ever.
Foreign Sisters lunch sponsored by Dior
Needless to say the lunch was sponsored by Dior and they had created the entire look. We all secretly wanted to steal not only our embroidered Lily of the Valley napkins but also the matching tablecloths. Amanda warned us she would do a count at the end! Tania Bryer missed her first speaking slot due to her plane from Texas being late, but the trooper she is had her flying through the tables before our main course and certainly making us understand why we needed to dig deep. She is a total star! They raised a massive amount of money and we were sent home in time for the school run…
Tania Bryer and Amanda Newson at Foreign Sisters lunch sponsored by Dior
As if I hadn’t done my bit already on the charity front, Giorgio and I were expected at the Caudwell’s Butterfly Ball that night. These things are never planned to be so hectic but sometimes I should learn to say ‘No’. I had been sent a gorgeous Roland Mouret evening dress and felt a bit fresher once I had some make-up on.
Left to right: Giorgio, myself, Patrick Cox & David Furnish at Caudwell’s Butterfly Ball
The Caudwells had invited so many familiar faces that you start to think you know everyone, then you realize it’s Gemma from ‘The Only Way is Essex’ and I’ve been staring at her for ten minutes! I was at a table with X Factor winner Sam Bailey and her husband. I was trying to keep Giorgio on best behavior but he couldn’t help himself grilling her on all sorts of X Factor questions. David Furnish looked amazing and was in super-good form, while sexy cobbler Patrick Cox was as usual up to no good with the boys from the Scissor Sisters. Everyone was thrilled that James and Petra Stunt were in the house as they literally hogged the auction. Tamara Eccelstone looking the best I have ever seen her, with husband Jay, were in happy baby mode and snuck off in time to feed their precious baby, Sophia. I found my girlfriend Lilly Becker, but no Boris as he was busy coaching Djokovic in Rome.
Left to right: Myself, Patrick Cox, Claire Caudwell & Giorgio at Butterfly Ball
Claire Caudwell was as always a doll, in the teensiest Ralph & Russo beaded cocktail dress ever. She is always super friendly and has time for everyone. The Candys, Holly and Nick, were on a rare night out since their baby arrived. Holly has become mother nature. Peter Andre bless him did a stellar job as compere but most of the room were just desperate to get on with dancing and cheering Kylie. And what a star she was ..not for her the four songs normally trotted out on these nights.. more like a mini concert. Everyone went home more in love with the teeny awesome Aussie than ever.
A quiet weekend and ready for one of my favourite parties of the Summer season – Cartier’s Chelsea Flower Show dinner. This year Arnaud Bamberger had taken over the legendary Hurlingham Club and as the very charmed man that he is the British weather was perfect. We all had cocktails out on the terrace, admiring the perfect green lawns. Watching members amble by all in white off to play a spot of late night tennis. All very charming, all very English…
Cartier Dinner at Hurlingham
Giorgio was unamused to have been dragged out again, let alone on a sacred Monday night – the air was blue in our car! I had popped on a Lanvin dress and a whopping diamond flower ring by the incredible Eliane Fattal for SJ Phillips. My ring was so admired I kept checking it was still firmly on. Tim and Malin Jefferies came over as we chatted to our mutual friends Mark and Katie Cecil. We had all had Bank Holiday weekend together and were laughing at some of the antics. English rose, Rosamund Pike was milling around looking rather pretty and dashing Ali Spencer Churchill was in his derigeur uniform of a skinny blue suit.
Malin Jefferies, Amanda Wakeley, myself, Heather Kerzner & Jo Manoukian at the Cartier Dinner at Hurlingham
Everyone was in jubilant form and stylist Martha Ward looked by far one of my favourites in pale pink Ermano Scervino.. faultless. Giorgio was very happy at his placement with Jo Manoukian and Heather Kerzner and the naughty Tim Jefferies… I on the other hand was equally happy with the suave Martin Summer’s and Viscount Daventry! Talk about delicious food, fabulous flowers, wonderful wine and stupendous company. A night well worth the effort even for a Monday!