Galas in New York: beautiful ballet and victorious Valentino
The last week has been so wonderfully mad I forgot how brutal the flight across the Atlantic really is. I finished a hilarious shoot with my Russian girlfriend Katya Fomichev for Russian Tatler at the most fantabulous new members club, Hertford House. Rushed home, checked the freezer had plenty of fresh supplies for my three-year-old daughter Violet and then tried to pack, rationally! I had no clue what sort of weather I would face in the Big Apple but had been sent two of the most sensational Valentino Couture dresses to take with me for the New York City Ballet Gala. Valentino, my very dear friend and a ballet aficionado, had created all the costumes for this annual event and we were all expected to be there.
Wednesday morning arrived at Heathrow and I found myself seated next to my friend, the amazing designer of ISSA Daniella Helayel. She was exhausted after her hit show at LFW and looked terrified I may jabber jaw all the way so she sweetly pushed our partition up!
New York was bustling – did you know it´s built on a special ley line that makes people feel super charged? A little bit like Ibiza? No wonder I always feel energised there. On arriving I met up at the beautiful, recently renovated Mark Hotel with my husband Giorgio who had been working all week in Manhattan. First we had a delicious dinner at Graydon Carter´s The Waverly Inn with my great friend Tim Jefferies of Hamilton’s, who was there with his buddy Ed Mapplethorpe (brother of Robert) and designer Tommy Hilfiger and his beautiful wife Dee. We got a little merry and ended up dancing at Amy Sacco’s new No.8. Why do I never seem to learn?!
In Valentino’s World nothing is ever low key… The Red Carpet was impressive and his girls did not disappoint – Sarah Jessica Parker and Anne Hathaway looked utterly gorgeous. Giancarlo Giammetti (Valentino’s long-term business partner) and the most handsome Carlos Souza (his VIP PR) were so on it that I’m not sure there was a soul that wasn’t at the event. Seeing Stephanie Seymour with her no-longer estranged husband Peter Brand was a thrill. But even more so their two social butterfly sons, Peter Jnr and Henry who are so Oscar Wilde it´s terrifying – both openly camp they make the Hilton sisters positively shrinking Violets. I couldn’t decide how many of this season’s Valentino catsuits there were on show but more than I could count, including on my lovely old friend Tamara Mellon. The ballet was amazing and Valentino got a standing ovation, making several curtain calls as we all went wild.
The seated dinner was a who’s who of New York’s elite. Anjelica Huston had a table, Barbara Walters had a table and Olivia Palermo with her beau Johannes Huebl headed up the hip and young. Eugenie and Stavros Niarchos were there as was Diane Von Furstenberg with Barry Diller. In fact, there were so many faces I got a little blasé. Luckily I snuck off with Tamara when Valentino started the dancing…
The next morning I literally pulled on my tracksuit and trainers and made myself walk around the beautiful Central Park. There always seems to be hundreds of people everywhere and one hour seemed to pass in a nanosecond, when I then rushed back to my hotel and changed before I walked the 27 blocks to Valentino´s celebratory lunch. Anne Hathaway was with her parents before heading off to her secret location wedding – obviously we knew but she was desperate to keep it as closed as possible. Valentino was triumphant with his huge night but also with the sensational bridal gown he had specially designed for Anne. Olivia Palermo was so sweet and compiled me a list of where to shop – her style obviously! My last stop was tea with my 10-year-old goddaughter Minty Mellon who decided we had to head downtown as she must have a skate board. Her Mum Tamara and I certainly did not fit the bill, dress-code wise, and the boys in the über cool store were stifling giggles!
As you can imagine I caught my plane home exhausted but with only a two day turn around before Paris and my eldest daughter Anouska’s World Wide Women photography show launch – there would be no rest for the wicked…