Latex lingerie, car trouble and Halloween fun
So with half term over, life can be a little more regimented and back on track. Still husbandless, I was invited to Lingerie London with the big-billed return of Agent Provocateur to the runway – their last show was 4 years ago. This year Atsuko Kudo’s new risqué latex lingerie show was part of the attraction when I asked one of my best friends Karim Halwagi to come with me. We have been thick as thieves since we were 15 and so I knew he would be a suitable catwalk companion. It’s a huge bonus to take someone who you haven’t seen for ages as you get to have a mammoth chit chat. I decided to wear an outfit by one of my favourite new brands, Beulah London. It was a purple and white, patterned satin sheath with a massive slit – I hadn’t noticed the slit until I slipped it on. White legs are not my best look but with 10 minutes to go I was stuck! The Red carpet was very funny as I was asked all sorts of lingerie-related questions and as I have little knowledge in that area, I kept trying to sound somewhat aloof!
Then, finally, I attended the fabulous cocktail party at the old Billingsgate Market. Trays full of brandy cocktails were wafted around but I decided to steer well clear. My girlfriend, model Claudia Mason, had been flown in from Milan for the show and she was excited that we were going to be in the front row, or so she said… I was thrilled to bump into uber glamorous Andrea Dellal and we set about comparing our Charlotte Olympia shoes. I was being super brave by wearing my purple metallic pair as I am a tad wobbly in them but Andrea’s looked awesome. Charlotte had designed the shoes for the Agent Provocateur show and made a later entrance with her signature red hair. Football legend Peter Crouch was mooching around in anticipation of his sparky wife Abbey Clancy’s runway moment. The much revered stylist Katie Grand had done the casting so we expected great things. Newlywed Patrick Kielty was our host for the night and gave the crowd a telling-off for not being enthusiastic enough. He then made the bold statement of disappearing behind the curtain and then re-appearing. I thought it was quite funny! Then finally the lights went down. To describe it all would take too long but the girls in the first part for Atsuko Kudo were amazing – the feathery light latex was inspirational. The clever lace designs, again all in fine latex, were absolutely on the money and all the girls on my table, including my old friend and PR whizz Inge Theron, agreed.
Agent Provocateur’s show was opened by a demure Peaches Geldof in a pale grey Miss Havisham-esque lace number. Then a striding, unrecognizable Sarah Harding took it up a notch gracing the catwalk as a saucy military style policewoman. The show was high energy and skimpy outfit after skimpy outfit came out on one gorgeous-looking model after the other. Olivia Inge, Marie Helvin and Claudia looked amazing and Abbey was stunning. The burlesque star Modesty Blaise was quite simply sensational – her ample curves were really sexy and she certainly worked the room…Feeling I had had quite enough flesh for one night we whisked backstage keeping our eyes diverted, and found Claudia to congratulate.
I had a truly idiotic blonde moment a couple of days later when I was heading to the airport to collect my beloved husband. My car started to pull back a little as I raced in the fast lane, trying not to be late. To my horror the petrol gauge and my “how many miles I should have left in the tank gauge” were not correctly aligned and so I had to use my trusted AA yellow card after 20 yrs of having been signed up as a member. Shamefully I had to say that I was precariously parked on the hard shoulder of the M40 with a small child on board. They were amazing and arrived to rescue us within 35 minutes! My husband has still not quite forgiven me but my little girl has told anyone who will listen that “Muma ran out of gas and we got rescued!”
Having embarked on a wonderful but never conveniently-timed “Detox Juice” week, I was hoping I wouldn’t become too irritable and starving. The detox company, Raw Fairies, was recommended to me by a good girlfriend and they deliver a small bag of fresh raw juices just for that day and a salad every morning at around 7am. Other than missing sitting down to eat, so to speak, it was relatively easy. I found going out for dinner a bit dull though as I would be sipping my juice whilst those around me were tucking into delicious hot plates of yumminess. Going to the Lionel Richie concert at the O2 with my Uncle John and his daughter Nicola was almost an ask too far. I was loving the show, as of course I am a huge fan and even interviewed him years ago for the Big Breakfast, but being unable to have any naughty burgers, nachos or even a coke was dire! Why I hadn’t thought about this before starting the detox, I don’t know…
Tuesday was a work night as we had the opening at my gallery, The Little Black Gallery, for our new show ‘Holiday’ by my very good friend and truly fabulous photographer Alistair Taylor-Young. The night was a great success with the pictures flying off the walls. The show features some of his many stunning pictures shot for Conde Nast Traveller – who are celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. Alistair whizzed there on the Eurostar from Paris where he had been working, only to arrive 5 minutes before the end of his own private view – what a diva! However, he was in time for our post-show dinner at our lovely local Eleven Park Walk where everyone, apart from me still on my detox, dined on scrumptious Italian food and drink into the early hours of the morning. I left Alistair propping up the bar with my business partner Ghislain Pascal and our Park Walk neighbour Danny Shahaf of World Club Travel, who had very kindly sponsored the show.
Lastly we had Halloween. My little girl Violet was so excited as this was the first year that she was able to totally grasp the American tradition. My lovely friend and International hair wizard Daniel Galvin Jr had asked me to throw a children’s party at his bespoke salon in Belgravia to launch his new “Dubble Trubble” children’s organic hair and body washes. What is extra special is that he has done it under his patronage of the Prince’s Trust with a percentage going to the charity. We had Darren Black work his creative magic, turning the salon into a witch’s lair and it looked spectacularly spooky. Violet was in heaven with face painter Carragh Buxton transforming all the children into whatever their hearts desired. Davinia Taylor arrived with 3 naughty little skeletons and Donna Air popped by for a blow dry with her pretty daughter Freya. Yasmin Mills’ youngest, Maddie, was laughing about how she was a bit too old to join in. However, she had on the most wonderful costume and had been working on it all day! There were delicious cookies and evil cupcakes by Bunny and Boo Cupcakes. All us Mummies decided we wanted our faces painted too – I guess there are some things you never grow out of…