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!

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06 April
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Anouska’s birthday, Poppy Delevingne and catching up with Princess Beatrice

Back on the early morning Eurostar after a spectacular result for my younger daughter’s school quiz night – in excess of £300,000 being raised for The Whitley Nature Foundation and the Royal Chelsea Pensioners.  Not bad at all after six months’ gruelling committee work!tamara-2

My eldest daughter Anouska’s birthday loomed and I had promised we would be together in Paris, where she lives.  It happily coincided with my super Russian girlfriend Katya’s birthday and she had decided we would have a small dinner at the infamous Kaviar Kaspar.  Eating caviar and drinking chilled champagne with Russians seems to make the experience that much more exquisite.  I now stay at the Hotel Pavillion de la Reine as it’s bang next door to Anouska’s apartment.  I don’t feel weird staying there alone either if Giorgio is away working.  I have begun to feel more at home when now in Paris and cannot get enough of walking everywhere.  It all seems so blissful and romantic and there is just so much to take in, I almost always need a nap before dinner.  It must be a general beauty overload.tamara-3

Warmed croissants and French baguettes are hardly my super greens but who can resist? Next we headed for the Pompido Center and a rather ungainly queue for the Henri Cartier Bresson exhibition.  Once inside it was beautifully presented and to say it was crowded would be an understatement.  I found some of my favorite images and realised why he is on such a pedestal.  I left my beautiful girl for her romantic lunch with her equally beautiful beau, Maxime, but not until we had bought, tried and tested her birthday gift – a practical, comfortable sofa!  How I got such a sensible child is way too difficult to fathom…

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Back to London and a belated dinner to re-celebrate with Patrick Cox for his birthday at the by now almost too popular, The Firehouse.  Crammed in would be too polite a way to explain the crush in the restaurant. Luckily I know the boys one needs to know and we were discreetly escorted to the magnificent residents’ lounge.  I won’t bore you about how heavenly it is but suffice to say my business partner, Ghislain Pascal and one of our prestigious photographers, Tyler Udall, popped in for a quick aperitif with us and were absolutely blown away.  It helped that our nutty pretend bartender had the gift of the gab and looked after us all until our table was ready.  Once at the table it was worse than a school reunion as my husband Giorgio found so many friends!!  New daddy, Nick Candy, almost decided to abandon his straight business dinner for us.  Dino Lalvani, possibly one of the naughtiest bachelors ever, arrived and we knew that was trouble.  When Italian Eduardo Teodorani, part of the Agnelli/Fiat dynasty, came by for kisses it was apparent the naughties far outweighed the goodies. For coolness factor Jefferson Hack was having a business supper with The Elizabeth Saltzman; if ever there was an unofficial stamp of a place’s coolness it is bestowed by Elizabeth’s presence.  Much, much later I stumbled across ex-model and now uber nutritionist, Rosemary Ferguson, and her crew including her artist husband Jake Chapman.  I’m not sure if she invited me to sit down and chat or if I just did anyway but either way, she was far too well mannered to ask me to leave!tamara-6

If you ever receive an invitation from a girl called Rena Sindi, you know you’ll be in for a treat.  She was the queen of themed parties in New York and although not hosting quite so regularly now, she still knows how to create a setting.  One of her great friends is the legendary furrier, Dennis Basso, and since she had missed his 60th in Mexico she decided to recreate his party here for all of us Brits.  The Mexican theme translated well in her newly spruiced home and the real live Marriachi band that got us going throughout dinner was spectacular. Tequila shots, so not my bag, were flying off the waiters’ trays and I was stupid enough to try one of the many bowls of candies she always decorates the tables with.  Jeez, it was only a chilli Haribo… next a peppery jelly bean. I had to laugh at her dedication to a theme.  Dennis made a sweet speech and Glenn Spiro (one of the jewelers to go to with a big budget) made some naughty replies.  Caroline Stanbury was on quiet mode which always scares me far more than her normal full throttle. Thanks to my newly installed Uber car service I snuck off once Lisa Tchenguiz and Rena hit the dining table…tamara-5

I am a glutton for punishment but I had secretly been saving myself for the launch of Anouska and my dear friend Alice Naylor-Leyland’s website launch, MrsAliceinherpalace.com (“High street buys with runway style”).  Held in the heavenly spring bloosomed tea rooms of Fortnum & Mason it was a sight for sore eyes. Alice looked serene in her cream lace Alessandra Rich fitted number whilst her fabulous mother, Serena Freeson, scooted around being friendly.  Lady Mary Charteris was on the decks with her rock star husband Robbie on hand.  Alice’s bestie, Poppy Delevigne, fresh off the plane from LA and in wedding preparation mode, looked really great with a tan and modern red lips.  Josephine de la Baume was adding her particular brand of Parisienne boho chic to the affair and Otis Ferry and Edie Campbell just looked cool!  Alice must have felt like the cat who had the cream when Laura Bailey cruised by in achingly cool, pastel blue Chanel…  We finally headed off for an even more cool and small dinner at Annabel’s. The flowers were simple but so pretty and our individual marshmallow selfies by James Middleton were a hilarious touch.  I was happy to have a catch up with Princess Beatrice although the acoustics are not really ideal for long involved chats! I left the groovy gang to it, clutching my treasured bag of Jo Malone goodies.tamara-1

21 March
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A trip down memory lane, a restaurant opening and the WOW festival

Back in springy London with a bump and I was straight into my Gallery to take a look at the hanging of our new Vee Speer’s show.  She is terrifically talented and a huge character to boot.  Her new show Bordello is extremely provocative – my business partner Ghislain Pascal and Tim Blake of John Jones Framing have done a genius job with the framing.

Very 1920’s with prohibition, masks and voluptuous real women.  The opening was a little like a crazy cocktail party, however Ghislain was happily preoccupied with his invoice pad.  I was delighted to see an old friend from L.A., the actor Michael Wincott.  His voice is legendary and he seemed equally stunned to see me in my Gallery.  We had a wonderful reminisce down memory lane.  Lots of Vee’s collectors had come from afar to see the show and we felt it kicked off to great expectations.

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Director Mike Figgis, interior designer Sera Hersham, actor Michael Wincott & I at the Vee Speers: Bordello opening at The Little Black Gallery © Gabriel Lovas

 The following evening I was taken by another L.A. friend Adam Bernhard with his fiancé for dinner. Giorgio still being away, I invited my great and dear friend Wagi to escort me. Adam always calls me and says, “What’s up and what’s new?” – I then have to scramble to arrange a table out of thin air. Uber hotelier Andre Balazs’ new London hotel, ‘The Firehouse’ in Chiltern Street had literally opened for preview business and I decided that since we all had spent endless, fun evenings at his Chateau Marmont in LA back in the 90’s, that it would be fun to compare.

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Chiltern Firehouse © Nicholas Kay

 Just entering the privately gated courtyard garden you could tell Andre had reworked his legendary magic.  He seems to be able to click his fingers and great ambience, cool, on-it staff (some quite familiar from London Café Society) all magically appear.  Their Front of House man (sadly I selfishly won’t reveal his name) came to my rescue as the restaurant bar was a serious crush. He whisked Wagi and I through into what will be the Residence’s bar.  Dreamily decorated in his recognisable style with a seriously welcoming 50s-esque marble bar in a pretty champagne colour.  Dangerously low and complete with comfortable perching sipping cocktails kind of stools.  If Frank Sinatra had mooched by I would not have been surprised.  Wagi and I felt compelled to try a bespoke martini.

The dining room is very much a working one, with a very open kitchen. Necks were craning albeit nonchalantly. Stephen Fry was doing quite a bit of greeting and the infamous Guy Ritchie was playing his part to a tee.  PR supremo Matthew Freud was dining a-deux with Heston Blumenthal.  I was just happy to see my friends the Bertarellis who were in town just for Kirsty’s birthday.  The evening was a great success; Adam, Wagi and I all ate well, drank very well and managed to take the group decision that staying for a nightcap was a BAD if not dangerous idea.

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 Anouska Beckwith & Lulu Barsotti at WOW Festival

Up bright and breezy, (not a single headache all week!) and I was off with Violet and a girlfriend Annabel to visit my elder daughter, Anouska’s Stand at the WOW festival at the South Bank Centre.  She has created a beautiful Collective of Women artists called World Wide Women and has been inundated with creative women who want to be part of something so special, their aim being to set up shows all over the World to help promote Women in the Arts.  The WOW Festival is highly regarded and she was very touched to have been included.  Her friend and fellow artist Michaela Meadow were there for three days and had numerous inquiries and felt they were definitely onto something good.  I, as a proud Mother, felt pure happiness for her as she got about the business of selling her photography and fielding questions.

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Michaela Meadows & Anouska Beckwith of World Wide Women at WOW Festival

Thrilled to get a late night phone call from one of my oldest fellow Ariens, celebrity interiors guru Martyn Lawrence Bullard. He is incredibly over the top but has fabulous taste and I adore him.  He loves and breathes L.A. since that is where he has his successful business and sometimes pops over here to make award winning TV makeover shows for Channel 4!  He was here for Design Week at Chelsea Harbour and suddenly realised he had a spare dinner slot! I of course rallied and brought a mutual girlfriend of ours, PR Queen Amanda Kyme.  A clandestine rendezvous at the scrumptious Eight Over Eight was hurriedly arranged and it was a joy from beginning to end.  Martyn always had fabulously wicked stories to share of his diva clients, of which I sadly cannot share.  The lychee/rose martinis are one of the restaurants specialities and I have to sadly remember just one is plenty for me these days!

image5Grainne Stevenson, Amanda Kyme, Martyn Lawrence Bullard & I at Eight Over Eight

Afterwards a quiet weekend beckoned…

28 February
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Dinner with Giorgio, a new friend and Fashion Week

I may be biased but Italians seem to love everything more passionately than any other nation.  Fashion and food obviously being their big ones.  Being invited to see Milan Fashion Week in action was an invite I just couldn’t resist.  PR supremo Warly Tomei, a Brazilian with a heart of gold, enticed me with Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana’s shows, both of which I knew would be off-the-chart wonderful.

 

Arriving at the Baglioni Hotel and having left Vivi with her beloved grandparents in the countryside, Giorgio and I dared to be different and slipped into a heavenly courtyard bistro called Bacaro del Sambuco on Via Montenapoleone.  Discreet and intimate I felt it was perfect for a clandestine rendezvous!  Everything on the menu was light but more importantly, delicious.  I left Giorgio to head to the Cavalli HQ for a fitting.  I was beyond thrilled and relieved, I admit, that I could get into the dresses (well, a teeny bit snug!) pulled for me by their stylist Gregoire.  I also found a new friend, the stunning society blonde with Cara D eyebrows, Ginevra Rossini, 22 years old and with the manners of a true young lady.

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With Gregoire for Cavalli fitting

Back to the hotel to have a quick soak and then off to the Hotel Principe de Savoia for an early supper with Giancarlo Giammetti and Valentino and their crew.  Giancarlo is still on his world domination tour for his book “Private”, and the Editor of Italian Vogue, Franca Sozzani, was hosting him a cocktail party that night for all the great and gorgeous of MFW.

 

Valentino’s dinner was hilariously short and light with the beautiful Charlene Shorto, Afef Jnifen, Naty Abascal, Georgina Brandolini, and a little late, Bianca Brandolini (in runway Dolce & Gabbana spots).  All the rest of us in Valentino, of course.

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Naty Abascal, me, Giorgio & Valentino 

We headed to the party heavily cordoned off with the largest security where Franca greeted Giancarlo like a star.  Anna Wintour arrived and I was a tiny bit in awe.  However my divine friend Gianluca Longo (fabulous stylist) encouraged me to take a photo. She was, contrary to the old wives’ tales, friendly and gracious, and my photo of her with Giancarlo was one of my favourites.  In one booth the new dandy (after Vogue’s Hamish Bowles crown) Derek Blasberg, was courting the beautiful Joan Smalls, Tabitha Simmons and Georgia May Jagger.  The most down to earth girl, make-up queen Pat McGrath, arrived in her usual head to toe black, and I have to confess to stealing her to sit with me and Marpessa Hennik (ex supermodel and Dolce & Gabbana muse).  There were so many important fashion players that I got a bit lost in a sea of Prosecco on ice.  My favourite had to be Anna del Russo, who was wearing a frivolous Hiawathaesque feather headband. Only a true fashionista would dare!

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Giancarlo Giammetti with Anna Wintour at the launch party for his book ‘Private’

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Giancarlo with Anna del Russo

 

The Cavalli day arrived and they were so worried about us Cavalli “Angels” looking less than perfect that we were collected and dropped at the legendary Aldo Coppola for hair and make-up. Of course, it ran late and Ginevra and I had to race back to the Principe to get ready at break-neck speed.

 

Arriving at the Arco della Pace was madness the like I have never seen; people everywhere posing in outrageous outfits, bloggers in creations that beggared belief and fashion students swarming the guests holding on to precious tickets!  Once inside I caught my breath – a circle of fire literally around a pool of water.  The enormous circus style tent was full to bursting but I was more excited to see the 90’s supermodel Nadège, looking fresh and head to toe in Cavalli leather.  Cavalli had a heavily Brit front row including Cheryl Cole, Ellie Goulding and the actress Samantha Barks.  The show itself was breath-taking with reed-thin models with endless legs stomping past us in wafts of leather and body skimming beaded fringed frocks.  I fell in love with more than one red satin evening dress.

 

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 Me in Milan, wearing Cavalli

That evening we were delivered in another evening dress to their new flagship boutique on Via Montenapoleone.  Five floors of Cavalli creations, children’s wear, sportswear – you name it, there is a floor for it!

 

My friend Magda Pozzo and I decided to head to the dinner early and got caught by Roberto at the door. His marvellous bejewelled walking stick was obviously a talking point.  The dinner was at one of Milan’s most desirable hotspots, Il Salumaio.  A very beautiful old Milanese stone walled dining room with luscious full roses in simple vases.  Russian model Irina Shayk one of the Cavalli’s favourites was there and both sons, Daniele and Robert, hosted tables.  His wife Eva was an excellent hostess in her de rigeur black evening trouser suit.  A beautiful Italian feast followed and even better I was home by midnight.

 

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 Magda Pozzo, myself, & Roberto Cavalli

The following morning I had to pack which was no mean feat as I had gone a little bonkers in the shoe department. Gianvito Rossi being a firm new favourite … oh and some gold lame Dolce & Gabbana slingbacks – irresistible.

 

Warly collected me and my luggage as we hit first a Franca Sozzani Brunch for a new designer called Erika Cavallini in the most spectacular building called the Circolo della Stampa.  Magical and truly only in Italy.  Mini smoked salmon bagels were consumed in vast quantities.

 

Next we did a drive by the Hogan fashion show – there they had the genius idea of having all the models standing as if window mannequins and then doing semi walks, finishing with a mini fashion shoot.  All very intriguing.

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Hogan models

 

Lastly, we finally got into Warly’s car to go to the Dolce & Gabbana show which I was thoroughly over excited about.  Their clothes have become something of a staple in my wardrobe and their heavy Sicilian influence is sexy and feminine.

 

If I thought it was bonkers elsewhere, this was a zoo.  Everywhere you looked there were fabulously dressed girls and boys in creations each crazier than the next. I was, of course, stupidly impressed. The show waited for the actress Monica Belluci to arrive, as she is one of the design duo’s muses and then the music began.  Words failed me as “Once upon a Time in Sicily” started. The set was a fantasy forest. The girls were all medieval fairytale characters with Little Red Riding featuring heavily. My jaw seriously hit the floor!

 

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 Dolce & Gabbana Show

Model after model came out with the loud classical ballet themed music creating the scene.  Reds and purples and deep greens all bejewelled to death.  The finale was literally an army of silver and black girls storming the runway… staggering.  Show over we flew backstage, kissed Stefano Gabbana and found Marpessa and David Gandy. Eva Herzigova (in this season’s campaign) was there with Bianca Balti – too much beauty in one room. I was in heaven but had a train to catch.  In a flurry of heels and Dolce lace I just made it to the train in time for my journey back to the real world.

 

 

20 February
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Throwing birthday parties and heading to a book signing

Throwing birthday parties are my Achilles’ heel.  Not necessarily mine either. Even when my oldest daughter Anouska was young I always had to go the extra mile..  A Grease theme party when she was nine or her favourite, a cowboy party held in Wimbledon, complete with hay bales and real line dancing.  So my youngest Vivi may have only just turned five but, try as I might, it eludes me to keep it simple and homemade!

 

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I scoured the web for white furniture for children and came up with Birthday Dreams and a great site called Carousel, with lots of gorgeous, pretty things and genius pressies.  The Church Hall at the Brompton Oratory was transformed into a mini girls’ disco courtesy of The Giggle Company and all the little girls +  three token boys had a ball.  Bubbles, balloons and dancing galore for many little Princesses.

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Vivi enjoying party games ©Tamara Beckwith 

Following a celebratory theme, it was with great enthusiasm I headed out into the foul London night with my young friend Alice Naylor Leyand (technically she’s Anouska’s girlfriend but I am allowed to borrow her) for the infamous Lapo Elkann’s book signing of “The Italian” by Wayne Maser, which features photos of Lapo. It was taking place alongside an exhibition of self-portraits by New York socialite Anh Duong.

 

Lapo is a real character and one of my husband’s old friends.  Stylish doesn’t even begin to describe him and neither does naughty!  Robilant & Voena, the Mayfair gallery, was rammed to the rafters and I was only able to see the entrance by looking at a perfectly pedicured foot owned by none other than Elizabeth Saltzman.  A girl of many trades, she’s contributing editor at Vanity Fair and personal stylist to Gwyneth Paltrow, to name a couple.  She was just leaving with the dashing hotel supremo Andre Balzas and model Lily Cole.  We managed to squeeze in and grab copies of both Lapo’s book and Anh’s catalogue.

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 Lapo signing his book for me

Lapo greeted me wondering protectively where Giorgio was. He signed my copy with a wonderful flourish and we then headed towards the crush at the bar, where I found our good friends Eva Herzigova and her husband Gregorio Marsiaj. As it was still tipping down outside, I cheekily asked if we could jump into their car to head to the private dinner being thrown at Downtown Cipriani.  Charles Finch, the urbane agent and PR mogul, was hosting it in honour of Lapo and Anh with Hollywood actor Matthew Modine thrown in for good measure.

I was honoured to be seated at Lapo’s table with Eva and Gregorio and the wonderful Nick Mason (drummer of Pink Floyd) and his wife Nettie.  I lost Alice as she was whisked to another table.  Marpessa  Hennink, one of the original supermodels and now head muse for Dolce and Gabbana was there and I just have to see her twinkly eyes to know I need to head home early!

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 Lapo at Downtown Cipriani

Italians are a breed unto themselves. My husband Giorgio loves his birthday and this year was to be no exception.  A week before the big day arrived he wants to know what I had planned…a big nothing!  So within minutes he had drawn up a guestlist and spoken to the PR girl of the coolest new lounge and private members’ club, Rififi in Mayfair.  Remarkably, many of our fun friends were in town and able to make it.

Some beautiful flowers – dark red roses dipped in glitter – from Nikki Tibbles at Wild at Heart, gave the tables a splash of Valentine’s Day glamour.  Rose Martinis on arrival and a wonderful jazzy pianist called Jonathan created a lovely intimate feeling.  Emily Oppenheimer was one of the first to arrive and almost matched me in a white lace dress. Tim and Malin Jefferies arrived and Malin’s skintight leather number left little to the imagination!  Eva and Gregorio arrived full of beans and Patrick Cox was fast to pop her on his knee.

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 Left to right: My sister Clare, Gregorio Marsiaj, myself, Patrick Cox

 

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 Left to right: Tim Attias, Tim Jefferies, Arki Busson, Giorgio Veroni

The night was full of laughter and sweet speeches.  Italians were heavily represented with our divine Giancarlo Giammetti fresh off the plane.  I finally brought out a heart covered cake which was demolished in a blink.  A few late guests popped by, including Uma Thurman and Arki Busson, and gave Giorgio more birthday kisses. All in all, a wonderful Happy “last minute” Birthday celebration for a very good boy!

04 February
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Partying with a Made In Chelsea star, a photography legend and an influential make-up artist

It’s incredible but every single time we have a Terry O’Neill show at The Little Black Gallery it goes through the roof. Both in terms of sales but also footfall. People travel miles and miles to trek to Chelsea to view his iconic images. This show has been no different and even our private view, which was not aided by torrential showers, seemed to hardly suffer. Terry is a dear friend and couldn’t be more down-to-earth or normal. He finds all the press attention and fawning a bit odd.

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Above: with Tania Bryer and Terry

The Youngs were out in force, Paul and Stacey with their gorgeous daughters, Levi and Layla, and with them an entourage of Michelle Collins and Paul McKenna.
Mark Vandelli popped his perfectly coiffed head in and couldn’t decide which print he liked.

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Above: With Made in Chelsea’s Mark Vandelli

Similarly Melissa Odabash arrived with her girl posse of Kelly Hoppen and her daughter Natasha Corrett. The large Bridget Bardot was definitely a talking point. Just as we were closing the seriously glamorous Von Bismarcks, Debi and Leopard dropped by. Both great friends of Terry and rather sad to have missed him. However, they made sure not to leave empty-handed.

January seems to be action-packed with lots of catch-up meetings. Our women’s cancer charity campaign to raise awareness for all gynaecological cancers, has been gaining momentum. I’m helping to get it underway with a group of like-minded friends, including my sister Clare Van Dam, Astrid Harbord, Mika Simmons, Jenny Halpern Prince and Kate Percival.

Still underwraps titlewise it has suddenly got some legs! It helps that my divine PR friend Jenny Halpern Prince is a serious time manager.
One of my favourite new PR couplings is Jeanette Caliva and Heather Kerzner.

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Above: With my friend Heather Kerzner

They threw an evening viewing for maternity fashion label Madderson – again the weather was beyond revolting but we all managed to get there and the flowers alone were worth the effort. The two Madderson girls, Helen and Sara, were charming and thrilled to meet everyone. Their collection is very Palm Beach and made us all dream of spring. Martha Ward was her usual stylish self, and Heather and I quietly slipped off to our great friend interiors whizz Tara Bernerd’s small birthday dinner at Harry’s bar.

More meetings where I fear I have over promised my contributions! When will I learn to say ‘No’ to being helpful! Finally the end of the week arrived and with much excitement I got my glad rags on, including some serious Saqqara diamond chandelier earrings and a black leather Ralph Lauren evening dress. It was Claire Caudwell’s birthday and although she is a rather new friend we share many others.

Rob Van Helden had surpassed himself with fuschia pink orchids; literally the tables were heaving with them. Claire and her husband John had really gone mad. She looked every inch a Marilyn Monroe movie star in white crystal Ralph & Russo with a marabou tail! Fabulous.

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Above: my husband Giorgio, Claire Caudwell and Pat McGrath.

Giorgio and I were very happy to be sitting with so many old friends. Tania Bryer, the happiest girl in the world now she has found boyfriend Rod Barker. Make-up legend Pat McGrath, always a fun dinner companion, and the Fennells, Louise and Theo. I could talk to Louise forever and am an avid reader of her novels. Rob Van Helden had pride of place as we ruffled his ego about his genius flowers!

The evening was jam packed with personal touches and entertainment but when Mick Hucknall came out and sang the whole ballroom went crazy. Claire, needless to say, was up on that stage and loving every minute!

11 October
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Julian Lennon photography, Fleetwood Mac and a fabulous ladies’ lunch

They say moving house is up there with divorce and death as a major stress factor and I can now testify that the displacement I have felt for the last 6 weeks has indeed been quite full-on! Add to that the fact that my precious little girl has just started at big school and it really is a miracle that I haven’t started midday drinkies! Our new home does seem to be coming along though, and I think I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel of the seemingly endless snagging list. Apart from the house move, I have also socially been equally rushed off my, nearly totally faded tanned, feet.

So instead of my usual long-winded, waffly approach to blogging I will try to be concise, factual and hopefully with more than a whiff of the amusing…

Me with the talented Julian Lennon

Me with the talented Julian Lennon ©Gabriel Lovas

Firstly my business partner and I had the honour of presenting Julian Lennon’s first London show of his photography at The Little Black Gallery. The run up was jam packed with press interest in Julian and on the opening night he was inundated with friends, fans and new collectors who wanted to come and meet him and see his work.

 

Malin & Tim Jefferies, myself and Boris & Lilly Becker

Malin & Tim Jefferies, myself and Boris & Lilly Becker ©Gabriel Lovas

Boris & Lilly Becker, who used to be neighbours of his, swung by, Robert & Masha Hanson came and even my dearest friend and fellow photography gallerist Tim Jefferies made an appearance. The evening was quite exhilarating and it was also fun to have boy-about-town Mark Francis Vandelli come and show his handsome face. After the show, a group of us headed to Zafferano for a true Italian feast in their newly renovated wing.

The dashing Mark-Francis Vandelli

The dashing Mark-Francis Vandelli and me ©Gabriel Lovas

A few days later, more cultural delights awaited as my naughty old partner in crime Martyn Lawrence Bullard (interior designer to the Hollywood stars) had blown into town and scooped up a ‘Best Reality TV Show’ award. I popped in to watch his Q&A alongside Nicky Haslam at the V&A and was very impressed. That evening we headed to the Christie’s preview of their Kate Moss sale from the collection of Gert Elfering.

Melissa Odabash and Martyn Lawrence

Melissa Odabash and Martyn Lawrence Bullard © Gabriel Lovas

Some of the 58 photographs were absolutey stunning. Kate Moss arrived in her trusty uniform of skyscraper stilletos and itty bitty black dress escorted by her father Peter and her husband Jamie Hince. She looked thrilled with the show and I did spot her magnificent agent Sarah Doukas looking on proudly from the sidelines.

Kate Moss with Philippe Garner of Christies

Kate Moss with Philippe Garner of Christies

Mary McCartney was also milling about as was her great friend and loyal supporter David Tang who was in deep discussion with David Linley. At that point we decided dinner was a must, grabbing Martyn and my business partner Ghislain I coerced them into joining me at Hertford Street for dinner.

Kate Moss at Christies

Kate Moss at Christies

The next morning I was thrilled to have no hangover and had the added excitement of having been invited by a new group of friends to the Fleetwood Mac concert at London’s O2 Arena. My husband Giorgio and I have quite a funny history with the music – far too long a story to enter into here, you’ll be relieved to know, but he heavily encouraged I go despite him being in New York for business.

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

For me going off with a group of people I have only met once before is not what I consider daunting and, since my host and hostess were so funny and inclusive, I had a ball. The evening itself was so wonderful and having the original line-up play with Stevie Nicks was literally like Christmas come early. I sang along to every song and could have easily listened on for few hours and hours. Mick Fleetwood deserves every morsel of his legendary status. Funnily enough my father had also gone that night with his girlfriend and they came to find us mid-show, my only peeve was that I hadn’t hit the merchandising stand before we went up to our seats – the queues on the way out were something to be seen!!! I conclude Fleetwood Mac are my ultimate guilty pleasure!

Erin O'Connor, Naomi Campbell and Caroline Winberg

Erin O’Connor, Naomi Campbell and Caroline Winberg

Later that week I was off to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden as a guest of Naomi Campbell’s to watch a pre-screening of her new Sky Living TV show “The Face” (she is also the Executive Producer!). Erin O’Connor and Caroline Winberg are her fellow supermodel mentors on what I believe is the ultimate ‘model talent show’.

Valerie Campbell and me

Valerie Campbell and me

It goes without saying Naomi is the star attraction, she is so watchable you just want more and more of her and her antics! I was super happy to bump into her glamorous mother Valerie, whom I have known for years. We caught up and took our seats in the front row. Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw was on hilarious form as he took to the make-shift runway and strutted his stuff.

Nick Grimshaw with Erin, Naomi and Caroline

Nick Grimshaw with Erin, Naomi and Caroline

Sadly for him, Naomi, Erin and Caroline really showed us why they are the top girls. The show itself was fabulous, glamorous and I think pretty true to life, showing that the modelling world can be cruel and full of rejection. I for one have been tuned in ever since!

Celia Dunstone and Jenny Halpern

Celia Dunstone and Jenny Halpern

I had one last duty with a girls’ lunch thrown by the very lovely Celia Dunstone at her more than fabulous house. Introducing us all to a new brand of casual knitwear and heavenly leather jackets by ME&EM alongside the much sought-after Monica Vinader jewellery and the best part of it all was that a percentage of our fun (i.e. our spending) went to the worthy cause of The Prince’s Trust. All in all it was a win, win situation! Lunch for over 30 women can often be a bit much but Celia’s organisation was great and I had Monica Vinader and Jenny Halpern Prince all to myself – noone really ever drew breath! Our delicious and extra light in the calorie department lunch by The Cellar Society was tip top and, to add a cherry on the top of the event, we were sent off on our merry way with gorgeous gifts so, like I said, it was win, win!

Since I have got back my weeks seem to have got shorter and fuller… (Not a great look if I was talking legs!)

22 August
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A fabulous Greek adventure

Flying into Athens you couldn’t help but crane your neck to try and catch a glimpse of Greece’s famous Acropolis. No luck I’m afraid but, having not been to Greece since 1977, the fateful summer when Elvis ‘the King of Rock’n'Roll’ Presley died, I was intrigued to see if Greece and her legendary islands live up to their reputation…  Of course, being a guest on TM Blue with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (GG) is hardly roughing it!  So laden with rather an abundance of luggage (you never know what you’ll need with these chic two), Giorgio, Vivi and I were excited to see the gorgeous captain of the GG, Francesco, come to collect us from the quayside.  Once on board it was all about unpacking and getting re-acquainted with the best crew in the world, bar none.

The TM Blue

The TM Blue

Valentino and Giancarlo are the most gracious hosts and there are virtually no rules…  Other than to be chicly dressed and lots of fun!  Vivi was in her element as Valentino’s pugs and GG’s yorkie are always along for the ride.

Our first night we headed to Athens’s Nobu.  I was absolutely stunned at the beauty of the restaurant, perched on a dramatic rock edge with twinkling candlelight. The food was absolutely delicious, with all the staples of a Nobu feast being proffered.

The next morning we were treated to one of the great privileges of Greek island hopping, choosing a deserted cove for a delicious dip in the crystal blue sea.  When I say the water everywhere was unbelievable I am not exaggerating – blue and crisp, you just never wanted to get out.

 

Olivia, Valentino and Tamara at Nammos

Olivia, Valentino and Tamara at Nammos

The seriously glamorous couple, Johannes Huebl and his paramour, fashion doyenne Olivia Palermo had come to join the tribe on the boat.  I was desperate to count their luggage as she takes fashion very seriously! That evening we headed to another Athens hotspot called “Island”. We had been taken by a fabulously eccentric character called Ilias Psinakis who had organised it all with the touch of an iPhone.

Vivi with Francesco and Michael

Vivi with Francesco and Michael

We were all a bit over excited and I was desperate to throw some plates!  Call me a tourist but every movie I have ever seen concerning Greece or Greeks they throw stuff. All I can say is that “Island” was amazing, the sushi to die for and the charming restaurant’s cool lounge interiors breathtaking.

I was of course heartily encouraged to throw some plates off the terrace and my lips remain sealed as to who else was involved but suffice to say we did not go unnoticed!  In Mykonos a girl came up to me on the beach and said she had been next to us that night and furthermore in all her many nights at “Island” she had never seen plate throwing before….

The tribe was now complete so the boat headed for Mykonos…

Arriving to Mykonos

Arriving to Mykonos

The Old Port for those of you who haven’t seen it is picture perfect.  Wonderful ultra white houses with bright blue shutters, dotted in little clusters.  The famous windmills are a legendary landmark.  We were all excited to get off the boat and explore.  Mykonos is also very famous for it’s wind.  Well us girls learnt the hard way as our flimsy dresses were lifted skywards, ala Marilyn.  Vivi was very unamused.

Gorgeous Mykonos

Gorgeous Mykonos

The shops are out of this world and of course the jewellery boutiques are crammed with evil eye everything! Olivia is a pro and within moments had found some fashion treasures… the cobbled streets were filled with people and you couldn’t help thinking June would be a better time to explore!

We were off to the famous “Nammos” for lunch, think St Tropez’s Club 55 – a known hotspot for the beautiful people.  We were of course treated exceptionally well as, the world over, Valentino is treated with reverance.  People stop him constantly for his picture or autograph and without fail he happily obliges.  A Greek feast followed, while a grilled white fish kept us on the healthy road.  As we left Olivia, Vivi and I couldn’t resist the boutique, ‘Louisa’s’. Luckily it was just way too chi chi for us, with luxury designer labels galore but we noticed a fabulous outdoor pop up nail bar. Appointments were hastily booked and we made a dash for the tender.

Vivi at the beach ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi at the beach ©TamaraBeckwith

Giorgio and I were worried Vivi was getting a slightly distorted idea of reality being looked after by the divine, attentive Italian crew so we took her off to the beach in the afternoons.  The idea being we would find some young children for her to play with. Amazingly a lot of London had taken up residency at the beautifully immaculate, serene and best kiddie friendly beach in Mykonos, the Hotel Santa Marina.  My girlfriend, the designer Alessandra Vicedomini, was holidaying with her family and welcomed us to crash her sunbeds and drink delicious homemade iced lemonade.

Alessandra Vicedomini at Santa Marina beach

Alessandra Vicedomini at Santa Marina beach

Vivi of course found plenty of little friends and came across a couple who were home schooled living between Tokyo and Mykonos.  She liked the idea of this very much!  I was a little childishly excited myself as Giorgio found an old friend and one of the original Supermodel’s, Karen Mulder.  She had been one of my favourites and also one of Valentino’s big girls.  Needless to say she still looks wowee in a bikini and her face is still that pretty! Giorgio invited her to come back to the boat and say Hello to Valentino and GG.  My day was made!

Me with Olivia Palermo at Brian's birthday

Me with Olivia Palermo at Brian’s birthday

We had been invited to the birthday party of top cobbler, Brian Atwood.  The theme was genius, “Togas or Greek Gatsby”! We all managed to cobble some form of ensemble together and of course Valentino and GG did the ‘Greek Gatsby’ with their usual panache.  Magically I had thrown in a Stella McCartney toga-ish evening dress and some even older Greek inspired Jimmy Choos.  For once my overpacking paid off!  Olivia arrived on the deck beautifully coiffed with a little headpiece she had discovered on one of our Mykonos village raids.  We headed of to a wonderful house high up on a rocky point of the island.

Brian's birthday

Brian’s birthday

Greeted by exquisite toga clad young men with gladiator sandals to boot.  Thoughtful baskets with crowns of laurel leaves were on hand to add an extra touch.  Brian is a very handsome man and therefore looked wonderful as a Gladiator.  Within moments of our arrival fireworks exploded into the night sky and a cake the size of a small island was grandly carried through.  My good friend Evangelo who is from Athens, looked the genuine article in his slashed to the waist toga and was keen to introduce us to his friends.  It was a magical setting and all the guests had really dressed up to the theme. As we left I spotted the uber hotelier Andre Balzas with his current squeeze, Chelsea Handler dancing like crazy.

The Tribe - Port of Hydra

The Tribe – Port of Hydra

We awoke the following day to the boat heading for the very special island of Hydra…….

01 August
1

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Moving house, a HELLO! photoshoot and a lovely Love Ball in Monaco

They say moving house is as stressful as a divorce or a death in the family… and I totally agree! After four blissful years at our old home we have moved on to a new home… only it’s not ready! Luckily the dream team movers over at Cadogan Tate, who have looked after me for at least 18yrs, came to the rescue. All I know right now is that all our worldly possessions are now in brown boxes so I am just letting it all float over me…

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing

Wonderfully, to break up the sheer monotony of packing and tidying, my beloved father called to invite me to see the return of Dirty Dancing at the Piccadilly Theatre. It was fantastic and the audience seemed to think so too. I saw Gok Won in the front row and Bruno Tonioli of Strictly Come Dancing singing along quite happily. Even rock chick Jo Wood seemed to be having fun. We decided to skip the afterparty as I was up bright and early to head to the Cote D’Azur to shoot my dear friend Julian Lennon for HELLO! magazine to promote his forthcoming photographic exhibition at my gallery.

Julian Lennon & Deborah Anderson

Julian Lennon & Deborah Anderson

It had taken me a while to persuade him it would be a great idea. Sadly I cannot divulge too much as the piece isn’t ready to publish yet but his home was incredible. Very L.A. in some respects, with incredible, sentimental pieces strewn around. He is a very respected photographer, as well as a serious musician, so there was definitely enough to get him to talk about in our interview. I had a great 48 hours, culminating with a delicious dinner with the LA based photographer Deborah Anderson and her brother Damion in my favourite village – Villefranche…

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Back to London and I bravely tried a new hairdressers on Fulham Rd called “Massato”. A terribly cool Japanese whizz who has three salons in Paris and is already very popular with some hip London heads of hair. I left and was more than thrilled with the result. Later that evening I headed off to David Gandy’s Johnnie Walker party on the most awesome yacht moored alongside the Tower of London. It was the most divine sunset and alongside my old friend Astrid Harbord and chic stylist Martha Ward we had a wonderful couple of hours…sipping whisky sours!

Vivi at Pony Club

Vivi at Pony Club

Finally our summer vacation beckoned. Vivi had been in a local pony club with her Italian grandma for 10 days and was beginning to dream of owning a pony – dangerous territory at only four years old! We flew to Milan, despite our life still being in boxes, picked up Vivi and then promptly drove to Monaco. We had been invited to our friend Natalia Vodianova’s 3rd Loveball in aid of her Naked Heart Foundation. This time she had created a 1960’s Riviera theme and Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco were her patrons.

Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova

First we had a delicious day of sun and sea at the Monte Carlo Beach Club where our English skin got a decent exposure to some real rays. Next I discovered my dress was far from appropriate and I snuck off to the central square for a spot of shopping. Lanvin had an incredible boutique and the guy who helped me couldn’t have been more fantabulous: Loutfi, my new BFF. So one dress down I headed for the Valentino shop where, of course, I was spoilt for choice and I ended up with a divine black lace jumpsuit. Feeling I was at least going to be suitably dressed for the occasion, I then headed for a very late hair appointment.

 

Lanvin

Lanvin

 

Arriving at the Hotel de Paris terrace overlooking the Monte Carlo bay, the scene was quite breathtaking and I was pleasantly almost knocked over by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. He seems to have traded his de rigeur black leather gloves for black fishnet. You have to give him credit for all he has accomplished and that he continues to do so at 77 years of age. My great girlfriend Astrid Munoz was also there with her dashing husband Edoardo Novelli. Harry Blaine and his bombshell wife Bodil were on great form and I found our partner in crime Tim Jefferies equally as chipper.

 

Opera at the Love Ball

Opera at the Love Ball

 

Albert and Charlene of Monaco duly arrived with Natalia – who looked as ever radiant in red Dior  – dinner was called and we crossed over into the famous casino. We actually had the dinner in the L’Opera Garnier, it was only the second time that all the seats had been removed for an event. Quite the most beautiful room I ever saw. You really just stood back to admire the craftsmanship. Natalia had her lovely beau Antoine Arnaud giving her encouragement, as well as the uber photographer Mario Testino. Mario and Natalia are old friends and I am sure his support was of huge importance.

Menu for the Love Ball

Menu for the Love Ball

The evening was packed with amazing musical vignettes and a very beautiful ballet performance by prima ballerina Diana Vishneva of St. Petersburg Mariinsky Orchestra and Ballet – we really were spoiled. The auction, which is what the whole evening is about, raised a whopping €3.5 million, absolutely incredible! Natalia’s team at Naked Heart Foundation were beyond ecstatic. Finally we were allowed to head off and play in the casino… British comedian James Corden, our compere, looked relieved to be off duty, man-about-town Dennis Blasberg had Camilla Al Fayed and Margherita Missoni on his table and looked like the cat who’d the cream. Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was as ever a genius at making that extra pot of gold materialise, by way of some Academy award tickets and some impossible to get Vanity Fair party tickets – harder to come by than golddust! My only peeve was that singer Bono was in the audience sitting with Princess Charlene and didn’t sing one note!

Laurent Reiss and me at LoveBall

Laurent Reiss and me at LoveBall

One last lunch the next day with our lovely Tim Jefferies before we packed again and headed back to the airport – this time destination Athens. The last time I was in Greece was 1977, the fateful Summer Elvis Presley died. We are heading for more adventures with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti…..

01 July
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Mummy duties, red carpets and celebrities galore!

Summer craziness has finally arrived and looks pretty determined to stay. I try my upmost to be a non-flaky friend which means that due to my constant asking for people to attend my gallery viewings and other parties all through the year it falls to me to reciprocate! The next 3 weeks are always brutal…

Chicken Pox Day for Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Chicken Pox Day for Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

We had just arrived back from Tamara Ecclestone’s beautiful, very private engagement/wedding surprise weekend, when my little daughter came down with the dreaded chicken pox! Good as gold she asked me if that entitled her to a week of chocolate and TV! I thank our lucky stars she didn’t get them too badly.

Kensington Mums shoot with Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Kensington Mums shoot with Vivi ©Juliana

The next day I had to get the legs running fast as I was due to pop my head in at ‘Kensington Mums Motherhood’ exhibition at Beaufort House. A lovely girl called Dina had stopped me in Chelsea Green and asked if I would be part of her ‘Mummies’ project.  Never one to say no, I found myself filming a small segment at my house and as a result wanted to see their finished product. The response was amazing and the collage was beautiful. It’s a great cause and I think their hard work had really paid off. If you are keen to learn more take a look at kensingtonmums.co.uk.

 

Kensington Mums

Kensington Mums

More charity and even more worthy causes… our dear friends Holly and Nick Candy had a very small dinner at their sumptuous home in No1 Hyde Park. “Summer in the City” was created as a platform for Holly to share her intent and passion as an Ambassador for DRI (Disabillity Rights International).  They had just returned from a grueling five day trip to eastern Europe and Holly had shown Nick what dreadful conditions huge numbers of the orphans were living in. The evening was a weepy one with a very cleverly put together video and a speech by Holly that was brilliant. I think they raised all our awareness to levels that cannot be ignored. The Duchess of York was guest of honour and as we all know she is a relentless campaigner for these orphanages and the conditions. It definitely makes it all sink home just how lucky we all are.

 

Carrera's latest collection

Carrera’s latest collection

The following evening I was raring to go albeit to Soho! I am just hopeless these days at being adventuress of spirit and so rarely venture further than Mayfair! The Carrera Ignition Party was enough to get me moving and our good friend Ermes Steffanuto, the CEO of Safilo, was thankfully in the lobby when we arrived.

Me and Georgio at the Carrera party

Me and Georgio at the Carrera party

The queue to get in was almost down Greek Street. I can’t remember the last time I had to queue, very good for the ego!!

David Gandy wearing Carrera frames

David Gandy wearing Carrera frames

Once inside the party was already electric. Supermalemodel David Gandy was almost mobbed as he arrived sporting a great pair of tortoiseshell Carrera frames.

Me in my Carrera frames

Me in my Carrera frames

I lost my gang almost immediately as House of St Barnabas is a rambling venue and my Cassidea shoes were terrifyingly tall. I was also in immaculate cream Pucci so was a bit paranoid about spillages!

Me and James Rousseau

Me and James Rousseau

I found one of London’s most gorgeous boys James Rousseau and found the perfect excuse to park myself on a chair for a catch up… My sister Clare arrived in one of her trademark itty bitty dresses and the talented photographer Deborah Anderson was also in tow.

Nick Grimshaw

Nick Grimshaw

Amber Le Bon was the opening DJ which was fabulous. Next came the pretty Mary Charteris followed by Nick Grimshaw of BBC Radio 1! What a line up.

Pixie Geldof doing a DJ set

Pixie Geldof doing a DJ set

Pixie Geldof then had a set and they finally finished with Chelsea Leyland. All way too trendy for me and my crew!

 

Chelsea Leyland's DJ set

Chelsea Leyland’s DJ set

I met the legendary blogger DJ Bip Ling with my girlfriend Amanda Kyme and also young girl about town Zara Martin.

Amber Le Bon at the Carrera party

Amber Le Bon at the Carrera party

The cocktails were flowing and the glasses were flying off the stands – the huge garden in the back was thankfully our refuge and miraculously the evening was a beautiful Summer night.

Mary Charteris at the Carrera party

Mary Charteris at the Carrera party

Giorgio was anxious to get our crew to dinner and so we dragged socialite Dori Cooperman in from New York and the naughty Dino Lalvani off to Hertford St…We left the young to it.

Legendary blogger DJ Bip Ling

Legendary blogger DJ Bip Ling

Finally the Summer Party at the Serpentine. Giorgio was firmly on the wagon and beginning to moan at the sheer amount of parties I had said yes to. I had a divine Missoni dress I was supposed to wear so threatened to go alone. Our arrival couldn’t have been better, with Kate Moss in her trademark rock’n’roll black and Naomi Campbell in her trademark AlaiaJade Jagger and Trudie Styler in crisp white lace. Giorgio finally had to smile as he kissed Naomi hello! The annual cocktail party has become such a scene, this year Tim Jefferies was co-chairing with L’Wren Scott and Caroline Peyton-Jones.

 

Katya Formicev, Masha Hanson, Inga Rubinstein and Dori Cooperman

Katya Formicev, Masha Hanson, Inga Rubinstein and Dori Cooperman

Party thrower extraordinaire Amanda Ferry was at the entrance to greet us and had obviously upped the anti. Gone were the scores of tacky Russians of years gone by and in their place were the uber cool … Trillions of PYT’s in scaffold high heels and some of the best frocks I have seen all season. Eva Herzigova looked incredible in leather L’Wren Scott, especially bearing in mind she only had her third little boy a minute ago! Daphne Guinness has become a weird vision of her previously beautiful self, almost a cabaret dame. I was happy to bump into my old pal from LA Bruce Payne – a wonderful British actor and his other half Laura. I kept trying to disappear into the throng near the stage but Giorgio was having none of it! Tailor Ozwald Boateng was his usual jovial spirit and the privileged acceptable Russians, Katya Fomichev, Masha Hanson and Inga Rubinstein all looked sensational. Astrid Munoz was out again, twice in a week I was thrilled, with partner in crime, fashionista Annabelle Nielsen. Feeling we were off home I had a last laugh with make-up rock’n’kohl queen Charlotte Tilbury before we bade our goodnights to Tim and Malin Jeffries as they headed off to a crazy packed Hertford Street.

Me, Alice Naylor and Charlotte Tilbury

Me, Alice Naylor and Charlotte Tilbury

I was actually quite relieved we had had a curfew so to speak as we were up early the following morning to fly to Naples……

18 June
1

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A Parisian family adventure and a glam A-list supper!

Fresh and off to Paris to spend a couple of quality days with my two girls. Vivi loves that her big sister Anouska lives in Paris and of course she thinks she actually lives in the Eiffel Tower. We were staying at one of the prettiest, private Parisienne boutique hotels called Le Pavillion de la Reine, on Place des Vosges. It’s quite exquisite, and more importantly right next door to Noushy’s apartment. Anouska and her heavenly new beau Maxime, a bona fide musician, came over and whisked us off to Le Petit Marche. Vivi was so enthralled with Maxime she was oblivious to the fact that it was 10.30pm and slightly past her bedtime…

 

Vivi and Anouska in Paris! ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi and Anouska in Paris! ©TamaraBeckwith

The next morning we were up to go to the new Ron Mueck show at the Fondation Cartier that Noushy thought we should see. His sculptures are quite spectacular and I found his elderly couple on the beach as giant human’s absolutely breathtaking in detail. Vivi naturally found it almost impossible to avoid the temptation of treading over the grey security lines and was on the verge of being escorted out. Although it had been rather rainy, we decided that some walking was in order and so off to the Seine we headed.

Vivi and Anouska on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi and Anouska on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

It goes without saying that we put our heads in many dazzling little boutiques and a few small purchases made their way home with us. It was crossing the Pont de L’Archeveche that took all our breaths away. Vivi was thrilled to bits to be told that all the padlocks were placed there by couples in love. Back at our little hotel, Vivi had found a friend, a lovely little boy called Aleph who was far younger than her but desperate to play. He turned out to be Natalie Portman’s little chap and Vivi thought he was rather dinky.

Vivi on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

Back to London via the Eurostar – which I absolutely adore – we headed pretty much straight to the West Sussex countryside to stay with some friends. Bright and early we headed off for a serious bike ride and found a wonderful retro fair in the grounds of Knepp Castle.

Grainne Stevenson at a gorgeous food stall at Knepp Castle

Grainne Stevenson at a gorgeous food stall at Knepp Castle

We shot home and changed into some more vintage inspired clothing. I fell in love with a super stylish lady called Lucy who lovingly restores caravans. The one she had on display was absolutely perfect and all our kids piled in and held an imaginary teaparty. You should take a look for yourselves at lucyjaynecaravans.com.

The girls having an imaginary tea party!

The girls having an imaginary tea party!

Back to work, and we had a very packed Little Black Gallery for the preview night of our Anja Niemi “Starlets” exhibition. She is a very talented Norwegian girl and we are always inundated when her show is up. Anja and her husband Thomas are so lovely and she is always so happy to talk to the guests.

Amanda Kyme, me, Anja Niemi, Lily Hodges and Katya Formicev at the opening of Anja's Starlets at The Little Black Gallery

Amanda Kyme, me, Anja Niemi, Lily Hodges and Katya Formicev at the opening of Anja’s Starlets at The Little Black Gallery

The following afternoon there was a special tea-party being held at the very chic Temperley store in Mayfair. Our good girlfriend Yasmin Mills was hosting with Alice and they both looked very summery in floaty Temperley frocks. Kim Hersov was sporting her de rigeur rock chick armour and Donna Air looked absolutely fabulous in a new Missoni number – a gift from her daughter Freya. Loree Rodkin, jeweller extraordinaire, passed by and it just made me dream of more of her sparkly rings to adorn my fingers. Alice is the perfect model for her very romantic take on fashion.

 

Donna Air, Alice Temperley, Yasmin Mills and Kim Hersov at the Alice Temperley tea-party

Donna Air, Alice Temperley, Yasmin Mills and Kim Hersov at the Alice Temperley tea-party

One mad whirlwind and suddenly we were all trussed up in black tie for the annual Ormeley Dinner hosted by Damian Aspinall, Zac Goldsmith and Trudie Styler – a very chic event held at Bridgewater House in St.James’s. The House was breathtaking and is still privately owned. Everywhere I looked there was another familiar face and it was all I could do to get around and kiss all my girlfriends! Tamara Ecclestone was in the centre of the room with her darling sister Petra. Petra was full of smiles at the mere mention of her little daughter Lavinia. We were off to Tamara and Jay’s engagement party the following week so we all discussed what exactly was going to go on! Dora Lowenstein and her company had organised the evening and I must say she had done, as always, a special job. I found Camilla Al Fayed who of course always dresses quite impeccably – I love that she always has her hair done! Patrick Cox was in good form and had already decided what we were going to be bidding for. Jemima Khan outdid herself and looked knockout in quite a racy Chanel number with strappy heels. I have always had a bit of a soft spot for younger brother Ben Goldsmith – I just find him delicious and quite mischievous. Tara Bernerd looked great in a Cavalli number and Caprice was proudly showing off her baby bump.

My invitation to the Ormeley Dinner

My invitation to the Ormeley Dinner

Of course, beside all the glamour and power and money in the room it was all for a great cause.  To save our planet for future generations! We were all silent as HRH Prince Charles took to the intimate stage and made a very warm and intelligent speech – you could have heard a pin drop. The dinner was then served and was absolutely delicious – stuffed quail and some very tasty potato substitute. The dreaded auction came and went but Stephen Fry was snapped up for £100k to go for tea and needless to say he was more than chuffed. We were all given wonderful yellow, solar-powered torches to use in the auction and so naturally we all took them home! Finally we were treated to our surprise, a private audience with the one and only Chris Martin. He was incredible and terribly nervous, or so he kept telling us. He sang whilst playing the piano with one hand and the room went wild. He was on about his 4th or 5th encore before he leapt to safety! Damian Aspinall looked pleased with the evening as his three daughters hugged him and lavished him with praise, and rightly so, a fabulous evening…

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