Tamara Beckwith

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About Tamara Beckwith…”…

I am a gallerist, columnist and occasional TV presenter as well as the mother of two gorgeous girls Anouska and Violet.

When I´m not dashing off to some fabulous location on a photoshoot, writing assignment or to attend a friend's event, I am busy juggling work at my photography gallery, The Little Black Gallery in Chelsea, with keeping my Italian husband Giorgio and our three-year-old daughter Violet happy and fed. Writing up the previous evening's adventures is not so easy if I break the cardinal rule of no drinking on a school night!

www.thelittleblackgallery.com

Parties

08 January
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Valentino, Madonna and Andrea Casiraghi

Where to start with the most wonderful but of course slightly bonkers Christmas and New Year I think I have ever endured!  Crazily Christmas now appears to start in November.  Knowing my family and I were off to Europe for Christmas, I wanted to be as well prepared as possible.  This meant present choosing and shopping were high on my agenda.  Also I was well aware I was in charge of cooking three entire Christmas suppers during the two-week festive period, and my husband was still  flying around the world for his work on Formula Electric.

I couldn’t resist an invitation to accept and attend a Christmas bash thrown by my great friend Jenny Halpern and her delicious husband Ryan Prince.  My daughter Anouska and her French beau Maxime had come over for a pre-Christmas weekend and so I thought I was pretty safe.  A heavenly red lacy Dolce & Gabanna seemed to do the trick and we headed off.  The Princes really go all out for their parties and this was no exception.  The list of friendly faces old and new was far too long to mention or now remember but upon finding one of my “starcrushes”, Pat McGrath, the legendary make-up wizardress, I was just happy to listen to her funny outtakes having just been with her in New York.

PatMcGrath

On the other side of the room I found another top make-up Queen, Charlotte Tilbury, with her new beau George Waud.  They make a truly great eccentric couple and were in festive mode. Fashionista Natalie Massenet popped in as did Sir Stuart Rose and Jenny was being a perfect hostess. With E&O feeding us tasty morsels it was all going well.  My huge downfall was straying off my usual tipple of champagne on ice – instead I got a bit gung-ho on the cocktails.  Mistake 1.  Anouska and Maxim were having a great time mingling with all my old muckers but at midnight decided to go home. Mistake 2 not going with them!  By that stage I was thoroughly over excited, over peaked and in need of assistance, but of course ranting with my girlfriends made it all worth the crashing headache the following day!  Will I ever learn…

My last Christmas obligation was to read at my cousin Nicola Bearman’s, beautifully organized Christmas Carol Service in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and their Face Value campaign to help fund new craniofacial surgery.  I was in great company at Christ Church, Victoria Road, but a bit daunted by my fellow speakers Sienna Miller, Anne Robinson, Bear Grylls and Spencer Matthews who all read beautifully, and Bear Grylls impresively wrote his reading himself.  I was honoured to have been a small part in helping raise £18,000 for the best children’s hospital in the world.

With London done we flew to Italy for Turkey No2.  My parents-in-law had been so amazing – three Christmas trees decorated to the hilt!  Even a pop-up leopard skin beauty salon for Vivi!  They are the kindest and sweetest people on earth and Violet is their treasured, slightly spoilt only grandchild. There were little children going mad on chocolate-smeared pannetone, presents being opened which I personally can’t bear unless it’s the 25th !  I was thrilled and relieved to get up at the crack of dawn the next day to set off for the snow topped mountains of Switzerland.

Gstaad is a picture perfect mountain village and our chalet for the holiday was cosy, slightly Ralph Lauren-esque and charmingly Swiss.  It helps that it’s located literally bang in the centre  of town, which my darling husband finds an absolute must. Anouska and her best friend Lulu arrived with mountains of luggage and her darling little dog Gigi.  Vivi was so overexcited to have not only her big sister in residence but also a little dog for a whole two weeks I thought she may pop.

We were up and running ski-wise the following morning and as ever were just truly grateful to be on top of a mountain with crystal blue skies, whitened Christmas trees and enough snow to have a great day whizzing getting our ski legs back.  That night was to be the first of many dinners..  Gstaad can be super social if you let it.  Le Comptoir is one of our family favourites  and our friend Sabina Barone, a good friend of the couple who own it, invited us and our great Ruski pals, Katya and Ruslan.  We seemed to get through two magnums of red wine scarily easily…

TandKatya

Before I knew it Christmas Eve was upon us and that meant preparation of Turkey No3 – (No1 was in London with my Father and his amour Vivien). There would have been no need to panic if not for the small matter of designer Valentino and Giancarlo Giametti and their family being invited.

They are always consummate hosts and every detail is beyond perfect..  My secret weapon is of course Giorgio’s Mother, Marina, who drives in especially with all sorts of homemade Italian treats.  My other friends and family are sweet and would tell me it was delicious regardless!  Also our numbers had snuck up to 22!  Our chalet is perfect but a sit down Christmas supper for 22 took some imagination and organisation…  Of course we had finished the final tweak, lit the last candle, thrown a couple of extra logs on the fire and the jingly bell rang for the door.  Why is no-one ever late?

GGValentino

I emerged in my new blue Paper London cocktail dress from my friend Cavan Linde’s new site, Cavan.com and of course she was the first through the door with her super husband Stefan and their son, Tine.  Violet had her cousin’s Tatum and Amber in tow and they all disappeared upstairs to Playmobil heaven..

The Ruskis, my sister, Clare and her husband, Sebastian, and Valentino, GG and co were finally all assembled and we all seemed to fit – well with a little seasonal goodwill squeeze.

Giancarlo made a beautiful thank you speech to Marina and before I knew it we were up and sitting by the tree exchanging gifts.  I have to bite my tongue a little as the Italian custom is to open presents on Christmas Eve, however Anouska and I stash ours under the tree pretending we have opened them all!  As always once everyone has gone and the little ones are tucked up, as the hostess you finally want to have some fun!  Luckily our Ruskis are always game and so on went some loud Bob Sinclair and we had a silly boogie until about 1.30am. Luckily I just remembered the most important part of Christmas Eve – leaving out the stockings!!

Christmas Day and of course skiing was not on the agenda… however a family lunch with our girls and the Lindes at the Grand Chalet was a very welcome break from my kitchen. Lastly we all hit The Palace Hotel, a Gstaad treasure,celebrating it’s 100th year, and with a crazy children’s party to boot.

Luckily I am married to a fabulous sporty Italian who was up bright and early on Boxing Day and took us all off to the glacier.  It was an absolutely magical ski day on top of the world.

Glacier

 

As if we didn’t all have enough fun, the one and only Patrick Cox arrived to stay with the Ruskis… that night we all went for rather too chic Sushi at the even swankier new Alpina Gstaad, hotel.  It was one of those evenings where the service was shocking, the food mediocre and the bill outrageous… all wrong!  My mood worsened when my once comfy trousers seemed to be having a battle with my body!  I duly apologized and sent myself home…

The next day was another treat as I was asked to ski with the boys – not another girl in sight!  Proud of myself doesn’t begin to cover it. Patrick, being a Canadian, was full of beans and a fabulous skier to follow. I of course couldn’t help but giggle when he finally hit the snow!

RuskiPatrickCox

As I mentioned earlier Gstaad is almost as much about skiing and sport as it is about the social whirl!  That night we bravely headed off into the night – a snow blizzard to put it mildly – to the Graffs incredible new chalet for a cocktail party.  It was held by their pool and we were over 100 people, I hope that says it all!  The nibbly bits were so delicious Patrick and I befriended a particularly cute waiter and were from that point  fed on demand.  I ran into Christina Estrada and the Nuttals, Harry and Dalit, I also found the pretty Heidi Bishop as we discussed little girls in ski school – all looking forward to New Years Eve.

We ended up for dinner at The Palace where Giorgio procured a table in the mad lobby, which offers the best people-watching ever.  Next to us all the new Yummy Mummys, Margherita Missoni and Tatiana Santa Domingo with her fiancé Andrea Casiraghi, with stuning sisters Olympia and Fiona Scarry upping the glamour quota.  I thankfully left Giorgio there but the next morning he was full of stories of dancing with John Travolta and naughty Ilias Psinakis in Gringo (the teens nightclub).

TamaraSanta

Finally the night of all nights arrived… New Years Eve. We have been rather spoilt for the last few years being invited to the chalet of Valentino along with Giancarlo and their tribe.  It is of course uber elegant and the dinner is divine. Their New Year’s Eve party in Gstaad is legendary. We always take Vivi for an hour and then the party is just for us grown ups.  This year they had included my whole family.  My only hope was my sister would comply a little and wear a long gown – “out of the question” – and possibly some tights I said – “absolutely not”.  So far so good. Anouska however outshone us all with her fresh flower crown.  She looked sensational in her burgundy vintage McQueen, I was a proud Mama.

TamaraNoushyNYE

Valentino was chic as ever in a fitted tartan dinner jacket, while the ever perfectionist Giancarlo was busy introducing anyone who didn’t happen to know everyone.

Valentinonew

Our good friends Geoffrey and Lulu Moore were there and as usual Lulu and I were in matching red frocks (it’s an Italian custom to have a bit of red somewhere for good luck).  The heavenly Carlos Souza was already in Brazillian mode and instagramming furiously.  Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his lovely wife, designer Georgina (Marchesa) were in party mode while looking after her charming parents and I was rather thrilled to meet a new starcrush of mine, Tabitha Simmons, the newest shoe Queen.  Sad that at my age I can still feel schoolgirly about someone!  Madonna and her crew duly arrived in their black dance clothes.  I must say she did have a spectacular white fur coat for her entrance but would it kill her to wear a dress?

Supper seemed to be over in a blink and suddenly it was the 2014 count down!  New Year was duly kissed in properly.  Their DJ was amazing and surprise surprise we were into another serious dance off. The only scary bit is getting dragged in to the Madonna danc circle!  Bless her, Christina Estrada did and was actually rather good.  It’s definitely not my forte and I headed for the balcony to watch the fireworks.  Personally I liked Madonna’s little girl Mercy’s shy routine the best. Within half an hour the chalet was full to the brim with other guests who had come from house parties to greet Valentino and Giancarlo.  The naughty ones are always the most fun, so Principe Emanuele Filiberto and his sassy French wife Clotilde Courau, along with the Polanskis was a good start.  I found myself a quiet corner to have a catch up with the seriously chic Giulia Caltagironi, who was in emerald taffeta Oscar de la Renta no less. When David Furnish arrived we caught up until Patrick Cox and Tara Bernerd finally made their entrance.  As with all the best parties, those boys really know what they are doing, my lips have to remain zipped but please trust me it was a riot…

05 April
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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!

Martin Usborne and Tamara Beckwith

Me with Martin Usborne

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.

My Easter bonnet supplies

My Easter bonnet supplies

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 …..

Vivi and her Easter bonnet

Vivi and her Easter bonnet ©TamaraBeckwith

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.

Me and Grainne Stevenson sari shopping in Southall

Me and Grainne Stevenson sari shopping in Southall ©TamaraBeckwith

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.

Fabulous accessories from Shagoon Jewellery

Fabulous accessories from Shagoon Jewellery

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.

GrainneStevenson, Arabella Spiro and me

GrainneStevenson, Arabella Spiro and me ©TamaraBeckwith

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.

Gabriela Peacock and me

Gabriela Peacock and me ©TamaraBeckwith

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!

Me with Dori Cooperman

Me with Dori Cooperman ©TamaraBeckwith

 

28 February
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The Oscars weekend 2013

Arriving in Los Angeles for the Oscars 2013 weekend is like flying into the eye of a tornado. Novices need not apply! I have covered many Oscars over the years when I lived in LA and so am quite a pro. Even though I am not an actress or involved in the movie business so to speak, everything about the weekend needs military planning – not only organising the dresses and the jewels but also making sure that your name is on endless lists! No name, no entry.

Working hard!

Working hard!

Our first night was mellow as our good friend Richard Sachs, whose houseguest was gallerist Tim Jefferies, had invited us to the brand spanking new Nobu. Everything about it was amazing – the food was superb and our table was right next to a roaring fire. I felt like an excited school girl when I spotted Adele having dinner with her man right next to us. I managed somehow to refrain from going over! Kelsey Grammer and his British blonde were also having a bite – in between lots of cooing…

 

Jared Leto and Terry Richardson ©Billy Farrell

Jared Leto and Terry Richardson at Richard Prince at Gagosian ©BillyFarrell

 

The following night was the opening of the Richard Prince “Cowboy” show at the grand Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. The gallery is enormous (warehouse style) and was absolutely rammed with the bold and the beautiful of LA. Bad boy photographer Terry Richardson, in his trademark flannel shirt, was schmoozing and we said a brief hello to the petite China Chow and actor Jared Leto. Red Hot Chilli Pepper front man Anthony Keidis was seemingly very keen on one of the pieces. We finally found our good friend Giancarlo Giammetti and Tim Jefferies and decided to walk the couple of blocks to the private dinner at Mr Chows. King of the contemporary art world Larry Gagosian is a serious host and had taken over the entire restaurant. It was an amazing group, Mario Testino, Elton John with husband David Furnish and the divine actress Virginia Madsen with our great friend Robert Kass. We squeezed onto the table and met the cool PC Valmorbida (more about him later) and a willowy blonde called Jessica Hart. We ate so many scrumptious dim sum and some nutty noodles! Deciding we couldn’t afford a late night so early in the week, we said our thank yous to Larry and bumped into a very jolly Ronnie Sassoon.

 

Elton John and Terry Richards at Richard Prince at Gagosian ©Billy Farrell

Elton John and Terry Richards at Richard Prince at Gagosian ©Billy Farrell

 

Up bright and early with a touch of jet lag Giorgio and I headed to the beautiful Bel Air hotel where we hiked way up into the hills for a couple of hours! I had promised my great girlfriend, the designer Tracey Ross, that I would swing by her new project as a consultant for “Just One Eye” – the most gorgeous new store in Hollywood. It’s a one-stop store where jewellery and art and serious clothes all mix tantalisingly together. Temptation was everywhere and so I had a quick catch up with LA’s flower genius Eric Butterbaugh who I haven’t seen forever and met the owner of the store Paola Russo. My friend Victoria Hervey was stuck at the decadent desserts and champagne bar or was it the off-the-chart good looking waiters?? Either way, we had to get out fast…

We were being beautifully looked after by team Valentino and their little lunch at Cecconi’s was a chic affair. Normandie Keith has made LA her home and was looking so happy and healthy as she told us she had become a yoga teacher. Alexandra Von Furstenberg also joined us with her fiancé, the dashing Dax Miller. Peggy Segal, the walking who’s who of New York society was in great form as Giancarlo made us make our predictions for the Oscars.

 

 

Alex Von Fursenberg, Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti and Normandie Keith

Alex Von Furstenberg, Giorgio, Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti and Normandie Keith at Ceconni’s

One of the most beautiful annual Oscar parties is hosted by producer and media mogul Barry Diller and his wife the designer Diane von Furstenberg. We were taken by team Valentino and luckily for us the sun shone and the legendary BBQ was at its very best. We bumped into many friends and I had a funny chat to Richard Buckley, Tom Ford’s partner, about small children on flights. I deduced their flight over had not been an easy one! Naomi Campbell arrived fresh from her TV show The Face and was saying how great all her girls she is mentoring are. I was rather taken with the beautiful young Australian model Jessica Hart, who turned out to be the squeeze of shipping heir Stavros Niarchos and a Victoria Secret’s model.

Me and Jessica Hart at Barry Diller's picnic

Me and Jessica Hart at Barry Diller’s picnic

Hugh Jackman and his cool wife Debbie were en masse with all their families in tow. He is just so charming and self-effacing, it’s quite incredible. Nona Summers, the legend, was in great form as we chatted about the latest Instagram craziness. British blondes, Laura Bailey and Amanda De Cadenet were enjoying the sun with Livia Firth and I must admit it was quite a treat to see legendary lotharios Warren Beatty and George Hamilton both having fun. Puff Daddy arrived with his bestie Lucas White. The whole afternoon was like a glorious scene out of a movie.

 

Mario Testino and Jessica Hart ©David X Prutting

Mario Testino and Jessica Hart at Prism Gallery ©DavidXPrutting

 

Again we headed home full of fun memories – a quick shower and we were back out for the Mario Testino show at the equally fabulous Prism Gallery. A major shout out to PC Valmorbida and Jared Najjar who own the Gallery. It was brilliant! I have never seen so many gorgeous girls in one room.  Right in the middle, with flashbulbs everywhere, was Mario Testino himself. Supermodels Gisele Bundchen (Mario’s co-host) and Alessandra Ambrosio were zipping around and agent Omar Alberto who is drop dead gorgeous himself was there with LA fixture Todd Gordon and I was just thrilled to see them again. British dandy and fashion editor Hamish Bowles was elegant as ever and my old friend Victoria Brynner was snapping away. Liberty Ross was looking gorgeous and an old favourite Hollywood face of mine, actress Marisa Tomei, was in much demand for private iphone pics. I finally found fellow Brits Victoria Hervey and producer Julia Verdin who had been laden with free tequila! Stavros Niachos and Jessica now in a green lace Valentino jumpsuit were adding some extra sparkle.

 

Amanda de Cadenet and Catrolyn Murphy ©DavidXPrutting

Amanda de Cadenet and Carolyn Murphy at Testino at Prism Gallery ©DavidXPrutting

 

One of my favourite models from the 90’s, Carolyn Murphy, was there and she is breathtakingly beautiful. We bundled Robert Kass into our car and headed to Beverly Hills for the after party. They had taken “Fleur de Lys” (with Equipement and Dom Perignon) the exact replica of Versailles. It’s astonishing and we had been thrown a post-wedding party there by the owner Susanne Sapperstein five years ago. Once inside the party, it was spectacular. Emmanuele Filiberto and his actress wife Clotilde were the first friends we found.

 

Mario Testino, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady ©DavidXPrutting

Mario Testino, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady at Prism Gallery  ©DavidXPrutting

 

Man-about-town Carlos Souza was flying the Brazilian flag and dancing like crazy. Night club supremo Amy Sacco appeared and we had a laugh about Giorgio’s rather too close for comfort hugging. Singer Miley Cyrus was definitely causing a stir but it was only when Mario took to the dance floor himself with Gisele that the party really took off! When people clocked her football-hero husband Tom Brady, the action near him really heated up. Model Angela Lindvall, another beauty, was trying to shake off some very unwanted attention. Finally for the girls art dealer Vito Schnabel was on hand as was my old friend actor Stephen Dorff. I took one look at my husband who has a slightly innocent crush on the divine model Poppy Delevigne and decided I needed to be firm, or boring as Giorgio refers to it, and head home.

Me and Carlos Souza at Testino dinner ©DavidXPrutting

Me and Carlos Souza at Testino dinner ©DavidXPrutting

All this and we haven’t even got to Oscar night! Exhausted and needing a rejuvenating facial or something, I did my make up one more time. I was wearing an exquisite, beaded Valentino evening gown. I felt a million dollars as we headed to Elton John’s famous Oscar Party. We had only been down the white carpet for a second when I found the legendary make-up artist to girls like Gwen Stefani, Gregory Arlt.  He is a miracle man!

 

Me with Robert Kass and Virginia Madsen at Testino dinner

Me with Robert Kass and Virginia Madsen at Testino dinner

 

Elton and David Furnish have the art of throwing off-the-chart parties down to a fine tee. The whole party was washed over with pink lighting and I was incredibly excited to see Steve Tyler of Aerosmith. Aussie singer Natalie Imbruglia was at producer Diana Jenkins table and there in the middle of all these gorgeous girls was singer Chris Brown. Hollywood screen goddess Sharon Stone looked stunning with her new younger beau. Newly-weds Nick Candy and Holly Valance were in great spirits and she looked really Oscar-special in a Ralph & Russo silver number. I caught sight of Britney Spears and a newly blonde Rose McGowan. By far my favourite introduction was to the amazing photographer Ellen Von Unwerth. She is a classy cool blonde! The entertainment was by Scottish singer Emeli Sandé and she really did rock the room. It was of course supermodel Heidi Klum who stole the body show – four children have come from that tummy and it is perfect. She does Red Carpet glamour incredibly!

 

Me in Valentino with Amanda Eliasch at Elton John's party

Me in Valentino with Amanda Eliasch at Elton John’s party

 

Lastly we were swept off to the afterparty of all afterparties – Madonna‘s. The fabulous Souza boys, Sean and Anthony had been flown in to start the music and we were so excited to see them up on the DJ deck. I was dying to take their photo but was swiftly informed “zero camera tolerance”! The house was beautiful and lit with a thousand twinkling tea lights. The dancing was like I have never seen before. It was wonderfully surreal and as for the rest, my lips are tightly sealed!

Over-the-top spoiling as the whole week has been, I can’t wait to get back to London – my favourite city in the world -and climb into my own bed…

 

18 February
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Ponies, new dinner friends and cool art

Having recovered sufficiently from all of the costume stuff it was with a spring in my step that I hit the Smythson’s tea party – hosted by the somewhat elusive Samantha Cameron and the uber chic and achingly stylish Calgary Avansino. Smythson’s has now opened what I would describe as a mini department store on Sloane Street. The blustery rain didn’t deter the invitees and the poor photographers outside braved the elements and even seemed pretty cheery.  Inside, Samantha Cameron was the perfect hostess, while I spent my whole time sipping amazing green juices. The waiters were definitely all part-time models and were offering  old fashioned treats such as cucumber sandwiches!  Calgary was in a jazzy purple pant suit by Emilia Wickstead – certainly not a onesie for this style icon and former Editor-at-large of Vogue.

 

 

 

Mary Greenwell and Yasmin Mills at Smythson

Mary Greenwell and Yasmin Mills at Smythson

I bumped into Jeans guru Donna Ida (one of our brilliant clients at the gallery) and I had a quick girlie catch up with the divine make-up queen Mary Greenwell and Yasmin Mills. Alice Naylor Leyland and her sidekick Astrid Harbord, both naughty girls about town, kept me busy and tried hard to stop me going on a shopping frenzy!  Alex Shah from Premier was escorting the lovely Francesca Versace, who was showing off her new line of handbags. I left having fallen in love with so many little leather goodies and so was thrilled to be handed one of their famous sky blue bags with a wonderful set of notes as a gift.

 

 

Vivi riding in Richmond Park

Vivi riding in Richmond Park ©TamaraBeckwith

The weekend ahead I had planned as a family affair and was very excited at the thought. My sister had smartly booked all the girls a riding lesson at the fabulous Stag Lodge stables in Richmond Park.  Violet and her cousins Amber and Tatum were totally oblivious to the swamp-like conditions the ponies were trekking through.  To warm us all up afterwards, we had a good hearty pub lunch at The Fox and Grapes on Wimbledon Common – just what the doctor ordered.

 

 

One of the pictures from the Privatus Warhol show

One of the pictures from the Privatus Warhol show

Straight back to all things of an arty persuasion – a dinner held at the very smart and discreet Privatus (co-owned by Mark Brooke) in Mayfair for the hugely collectable Andy Warhol polaroid show.  I felt a huge dose of flu coming on but I hate cancelling a sit-down dinner after midday – it’s one of my little rules.  The show of Warhol photographs was everything I could have hoped for and Dean and Dan (the designer twins for their brand D Squared) had already chosen a couple for their own collection.  I particularly liked a self portrait of Warhol eating a banana – I’ll leave that to your imagination!

Me with Yasmin Mills, Heather Kerzner, Melissa Odabash and Loree Rodkin

Me with Yasmin Mills, Heather Kerzner, Melissa Odabash and Loree Rodkin

Swimwear aficionado Melissa Odabash was there in one of her little black creations, and my old friend jewellery rockstar Loree Rodkin was showing off her hand of precious knuckleduster diamond scattered rings.  She and Daphne Guinness must be some of the only girls I know who can really carry off one on each finger.  I was so thrilled to have not one, but two fabulous previously unmet dinner companions – that really is a result!  One being the huge British movie producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, The Dreamers, Crash) who was enchanting and I could have happily been left alone with him for hours, such was his knack with an anecdote.

Warhol's picture of Valentino

Warhol’s picture of Valentino

 

To my right I was lucky enough to have the musician and film scorer Christopher Taylor – we found an immediate bond, us both having four-year-old treasured daughters.  Schlepping to a dinner alone can sometimes be a travesty but, in this case, my night was a triumph.  I also managed to only consume one glass of wine, as I knew I would otherwise get carried away and buy myself the Valentino polaroid which hung dangerously close in front of me!

 

 

Grace, Belgravia

Grace, Belgravia

The next day, having joined the most outrageous new all-women health and beauty club called Grace in Belgravia, I finally found my way to their Matt Roberts gym.  Duncan, my assigned personal trainer, was exactly what I needed from a gym motivator – all sinewy muscle, he certainly looks as though he practises what he preaches. I am a tad jaded by trainers as I have never been a keen, or willing, gym bunny, however, the hour whizzed by.  On questioning why there were no clocks in the gym, I was told that it’s against Matt Roberts’ ethos to not have their clients clock-watching – maybe they’re onto something!  I skipped out feeling pretty well-stretched and clasping a green concoction with promise of a new healthy Tamara.

 

 

Me with Tyler Urdell (centre) and his boyfriend Cole (left)

Me with Tyler Udall (centre) and his boyfriend Cole (left)

To finish off my week I had the very talented Tyler Udall’s opening show at my gallery. My business partner Ghislain Pascal and I were so thrilled to have got him in the first place – he is a well-respected member of the cool gang as ex-fashion editor of Dazed & Confused and Another Man. He is so removed from Chelsea it’s not funny.  He arrived with his agent, Peter Halpert Hay, and very handsome boyfriend Cole.  The gallery had never had so many new and unfamiliar faces, Tyler’s photography is very stark and, dare I say it, bares a slight nod to the hardcore photographer Juergen Teller.

 

The easy-on-the-eye gentleman at Tyler Udall's event

The easy-on-the-eye gentleman at Tyler Udall’s event

 

The opening caused much amusement to our guests and neighbours as we had two rather gorgeous hunks in our window – making it feel more like an Abercrombie & Fitch party than an art opening! Rob Van Helden and hubbie Sebastian Barbareal arrived and we were keen to discuss the upcoming Oscars week where I am heading next week.

12 February
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Pirates, Diamonds and Warhol

My 4-year-old’s pirate party consumed most of the week as I wanted it to be entirely over-the-top, crazy fun. I had invited her whole class (big mistake) and various good friends’ children. PR queen Jenny Halpern Prince’s twin girls are great pals of Vivi’s as is Tim Jefferies little Swedish doll, Coco.  I had decided to utilise our dear Priest Father Ronald’s good nature and hired out Brompton Oratory’s St Joseph Hall.  A wonderful, slightly tired room with double height ceilings. No chance of any of us feeling cramped!  Party entertainer George came as a wicked slightly scary pirate and had the kids hiding in parachutes and screaming for mercy in no time. Violet had decided she wanted a pirate party rather than a princess theme… not sure what that spells for the future. Little Amadeus Becker came in a beautiful costume and was more intrigued with the helium balloons than anything else. Oh and my rather random inflatable palm tree complete with parrot. My father came with his lovely girlfriend Vivien and my sister Clare’s beautiful girls were dressed as wonderful Peter-Pan-style Lost Boys. Poor Father Ronald popped in for a tea and I think was quite happy to see the hall so full of happy, crazy little pirates. Vivi’s Dragon Chocolate cake – made by the one and only Armine at The Chelsea Cake was gobbled up so fast I think I only got a spoonful. Clearing up when all the kids had been picked up was quite another story but I can hand on heart say the hall was certainly left in far more sparkling form than when I found it.

 

 

Dressing up at Vivi's party!

Dressing up at Vivi’s party! ©TamaraBeckwith

 

The party certainly set a precedent for dressing up, as on the Tuesday night Giorgio and I had to be Pop Art characters for our dear friend Giancarlo Giammetti’s Birthday. He is one of the best dressed men ever so there is no hope of getting away with a mere token gesture. It requires full on revelry and he and Valentino were hardly going to not notice a lack of effort! My great girlfriend Emma Gold, Event Director of GSP had been given a lightning two weeks to whip up a party to be really talked about. Giancarlo and his crew are sticklers for detail and they adore a party. The night was rainy and we were all a bit glum until we entered the immaculate reincarnation of 60’s Warhol.

 

giancarlo-tamara-beckwith

Giancarlo Giammetti and me (with Les Mis star Eddie Redmayne in the background)

 

Amazing Warholesque pink, blue and green flower stickers were casually clustered on the marble floor. A pink hue washed the fabulous walls of Giancarlo’s home. Warhol images blown up full size were just the detail for us all to feel like a time machine had whizzed us back to the 60’s. Pretty waiters and waitresses were in fabulous themed costumes and a couple of cheeky girls were in super skimpy numbers with old school cigarette trays filled with extra party favours: sequinned masks, fruit-flavoured faux cigarettes…the mind boggled at the attention to detail.

Giancarlo Giammetti with friends

Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece with Giancarlo Giammetti and friends

Our Birthday boy was cool as ever with a Lichtenstein eye design and a raspberry moire evening jacket by Tom Ford, simply adorned with a POW! Hands down newlyweds Anne Hathaway and her husband Adam won the competition for the most outrageous but brilliant outfit, as matching bananas… Anne had to explain to me it was a nod to the Velvet Underground album cover! She is one of their most treasured girls and she was on bubbling form. Fresh from all the excitement of copious nominations in the heady awards season she had flown in from LA just that day.

Adam Shulman, Valentino and Anne Hathaway

Adam Shulman, Valentino and Anne Hathaway

Fashionista and Spanish aristo, Naty Abascal, was just in heaven in vintage Oscar de la Renta couture frock from 1967. Her hair was bouffed to perfection and her eyelashes practically required scaffolding. The actress Andrea Riseborough was also on tip-top form and I was dying to hear who had designed her dress for her win the night before at the Evening Standard Awards. It was a knockout Jenny Packham - just dreamy. Tom Ford arrived with his darling partner Richard in head-to-toe black, holding a can of Campbell soup. I think that could be cheating a little…

Anne Hathaway and Valentino

Anne Hathaway and Giancarlo Giammetti


Princess Marie Chantal
was a dead ringer for a blonde Jackie Kennedy and her beautiful daughter Princess Maria-Olympia was fretting about homework and a play the following day at school. Charlotte Dellal (of Charlotte Olympia shoe fame) looked totally at ease with her perfect blonde waves. She has a natural period look about her. The whole party was verging on naughty as the porn-star cocktails and coloured flutes of champagne began to work their mischief. Fashion guru Suzy Menkes was in her element and she too seemed to fit rather well into the theme.

Cameron Diaz and Giorgio

Cameron Diaz and Giorgio

Valentino, as always, had tweaked the theme to suit his own personal style of deadpan chic. It was left to Carlos Souza to whip us all onto the dance floor and dance like dervishes. Actress and comedienne Chelsea Handler seemed to require very little encouragement with her beau Hotelier Andre Balzas. My Giorgio fell in love at first sight with the blonde bombshell Cameron Diaz who,I must grudgingly admit, in the flesh is just as gorgeous as on the screen! To report everything that took place would take too long and spill too many beans but it was truly a night to remember. Due to the strength of the cocktails all I have to say is thank goodness for photos!!

 

Holly Candy, Lisa Snowdon and Mark Foster at The Little Black Gallery

Holly Candy, Lisa Snowdon and Mark Foster at The Little Black Gallery

 

Finally, my week drew to a close with the delicious Lisa Snowdon hosting a wonderful, if slightly raucous, soiree at my gallery, The Little Black Gallery, with Laurie Wickwire of The Berkley Diamond Group. It coincided with our closing of the very successful Bruno Bisang show. Us girls were all lucky enough to be adorned in their fabulous jewels which of course were cruelly removed from our wrist’s, lobes and necks before we headed off into the night. Designers Melissa Odabash and Julien MacDonald were back which was a lovely surprise and the handsome swimmer Mark Foster came and decided to keep his black trench coat firmly on. He was a huge hit with all the females and was in much demand for pictures.

 

tam-mcdonald-obedash

Me, Julien Macdonald and Melissa Odabash at The Little Black Gallery

 

Singer Laura Wright treated us to a magical performance. Whilst the Beckers, Boris and his lovely wife Lilly swooped by on the way to his eldest son Noah’s DJ spot at The W Hotel much later that night. I had every intention of trying to make it but a whole night of meeting and greeting finally gets to you and I was on my merry way home by a conservative 10pm… So much for when the husbands away the wife will play!! I think a quiet weekend beckons…

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