Easter bonnets and a decadent Indian party
Back to work and I had my usual meeting at my gallery with my long suffering partner, Ghislain Pascal. We meet weekly to discuss what plans we have to keep our gallery moving forwards. We were also rather proud of our new show by the very talented photographer Martin Usborne, entitled “The Silence of Dogs in Cars”. Our preview was that night and, as always, with these far-planned events it’s almost a miracle to not end up clashing with something else. Regardless, his deeply studied and beautiful dogs had already garnered many column inches so we just go through who we think they may be right for and which of our collectors would not be able to survive without owning one! That done, I had to head to the greengrocer as my persistence in drinking healthy greens for my breakfast has not slipped yet – in fact I’ve grown quite fond of kale, spinach, ginger, kiwi, the odd apple and spirulina. I also had to nip into my local toy shop, well I say toy shop in a very vague sense of the word but it really is a piece of children’s heaven if I wish to label it correctly. Semmalina on Ebury Street, no Chelsea Mother can avoid it!
It dawned on me that, whilst I would be busy hosting that evening’s preview at the gallery, I would have to produce a decent (well, better than last year’s effort at the very least) Easter Bonnet for Violet’s Easter Parade the following morning at 9am. Dreadful timing as always with these things! Now, I’m sure that many mothers feel no guilt at passing this duty off to an elder and more talented off-spring, or equally the nanny, but I feel quite strongly that I must make this myself. Baking is not my strong point and needlework at school was torturous, but creating a Philip Treacy or Victoria Grant-esque head piece I feel is within my grasp! So, whilst I chatted to shop owner and good-friend Sarah Standing, I grabbed what I deemed to be brilliant ideas for my four-year-old’s bonnet and headed back with 2 hours to get cracking.
It went quite smoothly as I have now learnt sewing the animals, flowers, etc is far better than gluing! I almost felt it had a teensy bit of style. Leaving it to dry, I scrambled to get ready for our Martin Usborne Preview. Vivi’s bonnet was a huge hit and I was asked by all the mothers how many weeks I had been preparing for it! One mother asked if I really had made it myself! I would imagine you can judge for yourself …..
The Gallery was filled with new faces and lots of questions – always a good sign. Martin and his super wife Anne seemed to be enjoying themselves and were more than happy to meet the crowd. All in all, a good night. The next morning it was time for a training session. Now I am renowned for cancelling training sessions with some legitimate excuses, but equally with some darn lazy/cannot-be-bothered excuses! However, it did make me laugh that whilst I was still scared enough of the trainer that I arrived early, said trainer had not even been told I was coming – serves me right! Well, I got on the treadmill and whooped it up, even adding an incline – enough to make my heart race and my face turn puce.
That night I was having a pretty rare girl’s night out. One of my great girlfriends Katya had just had a birthday and we were both dying to see Rupert Everett in “The Judas Kiss”, also starring Freddie Fox. Bearing in mind how much has been spoken about the naked boys on stage, we thought it far more enjoyable to watch it just the two of us. From the opening scene you are transported back to a time when decadence was everywhere and the staging and the setting were gloriously sumptuous. The moment Rupert Everett makes his grand entrance as Oscar Wilde, you know he was born for that role. Vanity aside, he was glorious too! The young and wicked character Lord Bosey, played by Freddie Fox, was equally enjoyable. Without recounting the whole play, I can hand-on-heart recommend it.
Another early morning and I was off to Southall with my girlfriend Grainne Stevenson. We had a huge 40th Birthday party to attend, entitled “A Touch of Indian”, and we had decided, in honour of the birthday boys (Dino Lalvani and David Peacock), that we would be authentic! In Southall we were drawn to a very bejewelled window of incredible wedding saris. Once inside of course we went a bit nuts. The shop owner and his very pretty assistant, Sharon, were more than helpful, pulling out a whole array of colours, materials and styles for us. Learning to put it on was a hurdle I knew I would fall at on the night, so rather ingeniously I asked one of the girls to film it on my iPhone! My eyes were, of course, out on stalks with the wedding saris but I was determined that there would be a modest budget. After all, it wasn’t even my own party. Saris done, we flew across the road and stockpiled bangles, bindis and hair jewels. Mission complete.
Finally it was the night of seriously successful business boys Dino and David’s 40th Birthday Party at No1 Mayfair. The entrance was enchanting with both boys in full costume, and candles twinkling everywhere. Dino was dressed as Maharaja and David as an Imperial Colonel. I love it when a party really does the costume justice and this party was exactly that. Everywhere you looked the girls had gone all out with bedazzled faces, nose rings, henna-decorated hands and glorious colours everywhere. Princess Beatrice and her longtime beau Dave were present and looked sparkling. Malin Jefferies was dressedin a beautiful powder pink sari with a Swedish twist in her blonde hair.
David Ross looked incredible as an Imperial Colonel, Andy and Patti Wong almost stole the best dressed award. Lady Victoria Hervey had flown in from LA and looked suitably Indian-inspired. My sari was giving me a little trouble as my pinning had gone awry on the shoulder. I must confess it was quite an effort to hold the old tummy in too! The gorgeous Mrs Gabriella Peacock cheated slightly I am sure, by wearing a sexy Pucci number, as did uber-chic stylist Sophia Hesketh! The debonair Arun Nayar had a head start with his Sherwani (a traditional indian wedding outfit for men) and looked sensational.
The naughty but glamorous Dori Cooperman, who had flownin from New York, was whirling and twirling in fuschia pink and shooting Instagrams incessantly. Rather a few too many gin cocktails later, I decided that most people look rather gorgeous dressed up like that and that maybe we should make it a permanent thing. No takers? At some point we were rounded up in small couplings to make a music video for the boys! Hilarious but having now seen the link, I know it was utterly genius!