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

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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…

05 June
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Dior, Cannes and Leonardo!

Having driven like loonies to Monaco from Milan we arrived on the steps of the drippingly chic Hotel de Paris looking rather crushed. Giorgio was swiftly spotted by one of his old friends the genius CEO of the house of Dior, Sidney Toledano who of course looked pristinely handsome and relaxed.  He was hosting a huge Dior show Cruise 2014 the following evening in the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert and H.S.H Princess Charlene.  Would we like to attend? My French is schoolgirl and I just looked sweetly “How lovely”…

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The next day was thunderous rain.  Soggy palm trees, however, could not dampen the enthusiasm of the Monegasques.  They flocked in all their Dior finery to the pop-up fashion tent balanced precariously on the commercial port’s outer wall! Later I found out from Princess Charlene the whole project had been a labour of love for her for two years. I should add that the late Princess Grace was a Dior devotee and Princess Charlene has her own very close relationship with Dior designer Raf Simons.

edDiorshow

We had amazing seats right behind Sidney and his wife who had the misfortune to be sitting next to a very impolite American movie star’s guest who insisted on chewing gum as if her life depended on it.  Jessica Biel, dressed by Dior, looked as if she genuinely enjoys front row frivolity. Dior spokesperson Liv Tyler, on the other hand, is a real Old School movie star.  Fragile and exquisite to look at she gave very little eye contact.  A real bona fide beauty.  Marion Cotillard and a quiffed Clotilde Courau, both firm favourites of mine, of course are just sexy, French and utterly compelling to watch.  The show was greeted with awe as we were thankfully protected from the sheet rain (a last minute installation) and watched terribly tall, thin girls walk up and down in very paired down silhouettes.  Not for a curvy girl I am afraid but some of the suits were exquisite.

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The show over we all queued up beautifully and jumped into waiting blacked-out cars which ferried us up to the Pink Palace’s Musee Oceanographique.  Wow is all I have to say.  Of course it is a smaller Palace compared to our own Buckingham Palace but it’s equally very special.  I found the Fairy Godmother of Make-Up Pat McGrath and she was making us laugh at her horrendous travel plans. Dior had certainly pulled off a wonderful visual treat – at the end do the huge ballroom there was a small retrospective of Princess Grace’s vintage Dior pieces combined with some newer Princess Charlene pieces.  I was horribly pushy and took my own snaps quite shamelessly!  Giorgio and I managed to find Eva Cavalli who had come over from Cannes and she was her usual Happy-Go-Lucky self.  We had a big week at Cannes ahead of us so I was the bore who started hinting we should leave..so not like me!

Me with Tim Jefferies and Giorgio

Me with Tim Jefferies and Giorgio at the IWC Party

Arriving in Juan Les Pins, a small quieter version of Cannes we managed a little siesta before getting ourselves ready for the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” hosted by Georges Kern, the CEO.  It’s held at the Hotel du Cap – Eden Roc and is revered as a must go to party.  We have been included as part of Tim Jefferies’ posse, as he has been an Ambassador for IWC for I think about 10 years.  We had a great table with Tim and his wife Malin and Grey’s Anatomy star Eric Dane.  Kate Driver, who was accompanying her actress friend Naomi Watts, had been squeezed out of her seat by the larger than life Harvey Weinstein, and so happily joined our table.  I must admit I spent an awful lot of time studying the legendary Christoph Waltz as he was only a breath away.

Giorgio with Marpessa Henriksen

Giorgio with Marpessa Hennink at the AmFAR Party

Supermodel Karolina Kurkova, a Cannes babe looked jawdropping in Balmain and I asked her how she actually had climbed into the leather number.  The party moved to a huge marquee where Jay Kay of Jamiroquai put us through our paces.  The after-parties in Cannes are total bun fights but Malin and I had been very shrewd and found a great little corner right near the stage in the VIP and steadfastly refused to budge. Paris Hilton was being heavily accosted by young fans wanting to Instagram her and her even younger beau, the model River Viiperi was almost too pretty.  Once legendary Jack E from Le Cave took over I knew it was time for me to sneak off.  I told you I am a seasoned professional now at Cannes, it’s all about pacing oneself!!

Tim Jefferies and Mary Greenwell

Tim Jefferies and Mary Greenwell at the Eden Roc lunch

The next day we had a recovery brunch again at the Eden Roc.  Giorgio was happy to bump into his old Milan friend Gianluca Passi trying to have a romantic tete-a-tete (as the very contented boyfriend of Jessica Chastain).  In real life she is absolutely petite.  I dwarfed her.  We discovered the Bamfords have a very drinkable local rose called Secret de Leoube and promptly raced through four of them.  Did I mention the Jefferies are very bad influences!!  As star spotting goes it was quiet until Uma Thurman arrived in casual attire but with a smile to melt hearts.

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Next I headed into Cannes to do a filming piece for De Grisogono.  Fawaz Gruosi is another of Giorgio’s old buddies and he has one of the most legendary parties at the Festival.  He is notoriously naughty whilst being fabulously charming.  He was celebrating his 20 years and had made 20 commemorative pieces for the occasion.  “Melody of Colours” is one of his new lines and all the pieces were to die for.  I am lucky enough to be allowed to borrow from him and I can’t tell you how much I love that!

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That night was De Grisogono’s Party and I was squeezed into a very feminine, floaty Ralph Lauren evening dress.  A Pucci clutch, my new Cinderella earrings and I was good to go.  The red carpet in Cannes is of course a serious thing and you are meant to take it as such.  Well one Italian TV star did just that and demanded to be given a second shot at it. The girl had no shame…The cocktail reception was heaven and Fawaz was blessed with impeccable weather.  We stood in front of a full orchestra and drank bellinis.  My favourite hotter than hot girls are Jessica Hart and Bianca Balti.  They certainly are the whole package.  Flavio Briatore was in good form with his wife Elisabetta who looked beautiful in racy red.

Tamara Ecclestone and me

Tamara Ecclestone and me at AmFAR

 

Tamara Ecclestone looked absolutely gorgeous being escorted by her fiancé Jay Rutland.  They were very sweet and quite coy.  As friends of hers, Giorgio and I were just pleased to see her so happy… Leonardo di Caprio was of course the Star of the evening.  If you try to imagine how many eyes were looking at him, times that by a 1000. He was with his mother, stepfather and his longtime best friend Lukas Haas and seemed to have one of his ecological cigarettes pretty much permanently clamped on.  Sharon Stone, I have to say, was a resplendent show piece. She arrived in a red Cavalli dress and made Fawaz look like the cat that got the cream.  Sharon is the personification of Cannes.  The dinner is always – Why??? But as soon as it’s over the dancing starts and the champagne never stops.  Again, I felt the need to steal away at a respectable 3am – no husband in sight!!!

Olivia Palermo with her boyfriend Johannes Huebl

Olivia Palermo with her boyfriend Johannes Huebl at AmFAR

Almost done we had a surprise Cavalli Dinner on their decadent, animal print boat that serves as their HQ in Cannes.  Eva and Roberto always have really fun and loud parties.  They are excellent hosts and have their old school housekeeper/chef come in and cook proper Italian/Tuscan food for the night.  To say we all flocked around the buffet would be very unchic but it’s so delicious and to be fair probably the only party with heavenly food. Kylie Minogue was a guest and was very chatty. I was happy with my pal Olivia Palermo and her BFF Sarah Harris who were making me laugh with her quandary over tough Red Carpet decisions. Giorgio and Johannes Huebl were happy eye balling the various knock out Victoria’s Secret girls who kept on walking by!  Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon arrived with a very clean, clipped moustache followed by his band member Nick Rhodes.

Olivia Palermo and me

Olivia Palermo and me at the Cavalli Party

 

They secretly revealed they would be singing at AmFar the following night… Sharon Stone was also holding court and I think I caught a glimpse of her younger sister Kelly who I used to know.  Uma Thurman arrived this time dressed to kill and was, I think, a little taken aback by the crush that had formed inside.  My old friend Julian Lennon made a late appearance with Princess Charlene where I congratulated her on the Dior show.  Truthfully I could have stayed all night but I knew we still had AmFar to get through and that’s an endurance course…  I did manage to drag Giorgio with me this time though….

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Last but not least and, of course, I have had to keep all the terribly juicy bits out, we found ourselves getting dressed one last time…  I had found an incredible black beaded Valentino evening gown and was feeling very sophisticated. Gypsy diamond earrings and I was all set.  AmFar is the party everyone dies to go to, it’s now so unbelievably expensive but the tickets literally vanish.  We had been included on Tamara Ecclestone’s table and she was right in the front row.  Of course it’s a beautiful party; you arrive through the Terrace of the Hotel du Cap and descend down those magnificent steps.  It’s all too perfect for words…  However the auction is what it’s all about. That and Harvey Weinstein cleverly cajoling all the movie stars in town for the festival to compere and present and basically sing for their supper.  Heidi Klum for once did not look her most beautiful, Nicole Kidman was quite reserved, but Sharon Stone was at her penultimate.  She is never better than when raising fortunes for Aids charities.  She comes alive and her white sheath Cavalli bespoke dress was genius.  Needless to say they (Simon de Pury is her side kick) easily raised $25 million.  I think a huge thank you goes to Leonardo di Caprio who seemed to be part of every auction lot package!  Former Vogue editor-in-chief Corinne Roitfeld added her own touch of fashion magic with an all gold fashion show which featured endless leggy gorgeous creatures.  Even brand new mother again (of three boys no less), Eva Herzigova made a little cameo.

 

Giorgio with Mark Vandelli and Johannes Huebl

Giorgio with Mark Vandelli and Johannes Huebl at the Cavalli Party

I could go on forever but I think to end my week I’ll leave you with the visual -  we were in a car around 3am headed to Leonardo’s after after party in a private villa – a sort of pop-up night club if you like! Great if you’re 20 years old but I spent the whole night in the almost pitch black with a vodka – no rocks!  That is so not me……

23 May
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Charity clay shooting and the fabulous HELLO! birthday party

The day of reckoning has arrived. My alarm sounded at 5.30am and I was up and in the shower like a rabbit. I can’t recall the last time I was so enthusiastic about something! The Highclere Shooting Challenge had been blessed with a spectacular display of British weather at its best – blue skies and sunshine. The ride to Highclere with two of my fellow team members, Grainne Stevenson and Lily Hodges, was hilarious as we suddenly realised that we were about to endure 5 drives of 200 clays per drive – for novices like us that would be a lot of shooting!

Highclere Castle aka "Downton Abbey"

Highclere Castle aka “Downton Abbey”Highclere Castle

Arriving at the gates of the Highclere Castle we got our driver to stop so we could really take in the magnificent sweeping scenery of “Downton Abbey”. It is even more beautiful than you could imagine, pulling up outside in the drive we fully expected Carson to come rushing out – but no such luck! However, once inside the hall we were met with a swarm of men all dressed in their country khakis and tweeds. It all felt a little surreal. Sir John Beckwith (my uncle) and his daughter Nicola had masterminded the whole Charity event to raise much needed funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s ‘The Face Value’ fund. Nicola’s eldest son, Oscar, was born with Crouzon syndrome and has already undergone many facial surgeries. Urgent research is still required for extensive surgery to get him and many other little children safely into adulthood. Lord & Lady Carnarvon had been so generous to allow us to have the shoot on their estate.

LilyHodges, me, Grainne Stevenson and Annette Nygren

LilyHodges, me, Grainne Stevenson and Annette Nygren

One of my girlfriends had injured her shoulder the week of the shoot and had called me in a panic for a replacement. Lily Hodges mentioned our mutual friend Jodie Kidd and thankfully she was totally up for it! Breakfast was old school bacon baps and coffee. We had to sign for our shotguns and then were allocated spanking new Range Rovers  - so far so brilliant! I had found our fourth Girls member Annette Nygren – she was our secret weapon as she is a terrific shot and flies all over the world with her husband to shoot.

Me with Jodie Kidd

Me with Jodie Kidd

Our 1st drive was exhilarating – never had we loaded and shot so fast. It actually didn’t matter that we were not hitting much but the adrenaline was huge. The second was a whole different kettle of fish and we struggled a bit. The third was incredibly impossible to put it mildly – I barely saw the clays high up above! Walking away we were a little downtrodden but perked up when we saw Geri Halliwell looking every inch a Pro. She is a very sporty girl and loves a competition and she certainly looked the part. The fourth and fifth drives were thankfully wonderful and we all blasted away. Heading back for lunch we were all filled with renewed vigour and how much fun we had had.

Team Victorious Secrets

Team Victorious Secrets

Lunch was all about the auction and the talented Henry Delahunty was in rare form. Very sombre speeches ensured tears flowed and pockets emptied. I was amazed to learn a total of £315,000 was raised, a fantastic amount. Prize giving was of course what all the men had really come for and I was touched that our team “Victorious Secrets” got a booby prize! Well “Most Enthusiastic” or something!!!

Tina Hobley with my sister Clare

Tina Hobley with my sister Clare

After the day’s clay shooting, it was back to London and it was the hugely important 25th anniversary party for HELLO Magazine. As a contributing Editor I have been lucky to have been involved with them for over 15yrs. Juliet Herd, my lovely Editor has always been a great supporter and I know she has a tough job sometimes! I had chosen a really fun but slightly Rock n Roll Skaist Taylor dress and some Tracey Ross stud heels. My sister Clare was riding with Giorgio and I, as was my long suffering agent & business partner Ghislain Pascal. The venue was the magificant Wallace Collection (where Stella McCartney held her 40th birthday celebrations) on Manchester Square. It’s very grand and perfect for the beautiful party they threw. Eduardo Sanchez, HELLO!’s head honcho had flown in from Spain, was with all the HELLO! family.

Me with Stephen and Assia Webster

Me with Stephen and Assia Webster

As we arrived England’s favourite cheeky blonde, Denise van Outen, was making her entrance. Once inside more photos and bang smack into Theo Fennell and his glorious wife-turned-novelist Louise. Our good friends, Stephen and Assia Webster were also there and I promptly set about stealing her incredible blue opal earrings. Jodie Kidd arrived with her pretty mother Wendy and naughty brother Jack and her beau Andrea. I had just met her little boy the day before and to say he is delicious would be an understatement. The room was heaving with people but John Cleese and his wife Jennifer Wade stood out. Giorgio found Joan Collins and her lovely Percy. She of course looked amazing in a black sequin trouser suit! She always exudess glamour. Patsy Palmer and her partner Richard were right at the front next to the stage and I wanted to say how much Violet had liked their little chap Bertie.

Joan Collins and Ivan Massow

Joan Collins and Ivan Massow

My all time favourite Stacey Young, wife of crooner Paul Young, arrived and you can hear her giggling from the other side of the room. There was just such a huge turnout of faces that have appeared in the magazine, it was great – having obviously seen their faces before you kept thinking you knew them! The champagne was definitely flowing and all you could really hear was laughter. I think that’s a great sign for any party. We then had a fabulous speech by Eduardo and our editors before no 1 artist Caro Emerald got up and sang her heart out – in such a wonderfully intimate venue it really was something special.

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster singing HELLO! 'Happy Birthday'

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster singing HELLO! ‘Happy Birthday’

Finally whispering started and the one and only Rod Stewart was brought in with his gorgeous wife Penny Lancaster to sing a fun Happy Birthday. The room went mad and he was almost lynched! Our only complaint was that he didn’t play a full set!!! Realising we had an early flight to Milan the next day we slipped off, but not before being handed big red HELLO! goodie bags – fantastic treats and gifts, utterly spoiling. A really great night.

14 May
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Photo shoots, princess parties and fabulous art!

Being back in London feels great although I am quietly nervous about the airing of my new CH4 TV show “Four Rooms”.  It was a great experience shooting the shows and I really enjoyed working with my fellow gallerists but there is a lot that can be done in editing!

 

Tamara on the Four Rooms photo shoot

On the set of Four Rooms © Ch4

Straight back into the thick of it though, Vivi and I headed off to Euston to a serious old-school studio for a HELLO! Magazine photo shoot with the maestro, photographer John Swannell.  It was a huge excitement for Vivi and watching her have her hair and makeup done was just too precious. National treasure, Patsy Palmer’s three children were also there and they were so good looking, polite and generally charming that I would have considered stealing little Bertie…

 

Vivi having her hair done! ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi having her hair done! ©TamaraBeckwith

I was up bright and early for yet another shooting lesson with my new BFF Pat. Remarkably I seemed to really get the hang of it and even got so cocky as to suggest we try a couple of pretend rabbit targets. I must say, it certainly gets the old adrenaline pumping. Not long to go now before the actual Highclere Shooting Challenge.

Kate Driver and her daughter Lily

Kate Driver and her daughter Lily

Next we had my great girlfriend Jenny Halpern Prince’s twin girls 4th birthday party. Jenny had gone all out! Little Princesses ran amok and poor Mr. Marvel really had to raise his game to keep them in line. Vivi had decided she wanted to wear her sari. I have to say it is the best thing I have given her in a long time! All my girlfriends were there and I finally had to drag Vivi home when she decided she had to help the poor face painter. Needless to say she was an unwanted assistant. Kate Driver and I left with Vivi and her daughter Lilly laden with armfuls of helium balloons and guilty chocolate-covered mouths.

My gorgeous older daughter Anouska had come home from Paris for a precious weekend with her new beau Maxime. I was very keen to meet the boy who has made her so happy!

Anouska and her boyfriend Maxime

Anouska and her new beau Maxime

Firstly I had to be up really rather early for a Sunday to appear on one of my favourite shows, CH4’s “Sunday Brunch” to promote “Four Rooms”. I watch it usually from the comfort of my bed but it was all quite different getting there at silly o’clock as it’s live. I was thrilled to be on with my old friend Capital Radio DJ, Lisa Snowdon. She is just a gem. Always cheery and what a body! We gossiped and laughed about the old days in LA and our mutual friend Adam Bernhard. She really needs snapping up! The boys, Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer were up to their normal high jinx but the whole show was an absolute pleasure to be on.

Me, Monty and Lisa Snowdon

Me, international cricketer Monty Panesar and Lisa Snowdon

Back to my other reality, The Little Black Gallery. We had curated a “Flowers” show with stunning pure black and white photographs by Japanese photographer Hiroyuki Arakawa, and as a contrast, highly digitised colour flowers by emerging British photographer Lisa Creagh. This was slightly different for us, but with two stellar photographers we hoped it would entice our loyal client base to come and take a peek.

Mark Vandelli, Tamara, Giancarlo Giammetti and Heather Kerzner

Mark Vandelli, Tamara, Giancarlo Giammetti and Heather Kerzner

Well the preview night was crackers. Ex Supermodel Marie Helvin, looking quite unbelievable, was one of the first to appear as she is longtime friends with Hiro’s wife, the heavenly Maxine Van-Cliffe. Maxine arrived from Tokyo and I must say between the two of us we never drew breath. We had met years ago at the Cannes Film Festival at the legendary Hotel Du Cap.

 

Marie Helvin and Hiroyuki Arakawa

Marie Helvin and Hiroyuki Arakawa

It was also quite mad to see another old familiar face, Charlotte Lewis.  We used to hang out in LA when she was still acting. She brought her very well behaved little boy along and was another old friend of Maxine’s. I remember so many crazy nights with Charlotte it made me feel ancient just recollecting them…

Tamara and Maxine Van-Cliff Arakawa

Tamara and Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa

Scent by Design, a seriously cool florist and candle maker run by my friend Charmian Taylor, had made some special arrangements for the show and even legendary florist Rob Van Helden made encouraging noises although it was his naughty sidekick Sebastien who was after more photographs for their home. Heather Kerzner swung by looking svelte and happy and full of vigour for her charity, The MacMillan Trust. Bless her for being such a tireless Charity Chick.

Heather Kerzner, Grainne Stevenson, Charmian Taylor and me

Heather Kerzner, Grainne Stevenson, Charmian Taylor and me

Designers Betty Jackson and Edina Ronay, both uber elegant, also came by to say their hello’s to Hiro. It was a huge success and we were all a bit worse for wear, having drunk the many Hibiki Japanese Whisky Highballs courtesy of Suntory Whisky, as we slunk off for a small supper afterwards next door at Eleven Park Walk. I was told off, in a nice way by Hiro, for not letting Maxine eat as we gossiped all night!

Edina Ronay and Betty Jackson

Edina Ronay and Betty Jackson

Another day, another lunch!  So much for eating light and exercising like a lunatic! It was off to Harry’s Bar for a small welcome lunch for the incredible Lorraine Schwartz, jeweller to the stars thrown by Denise Rich. The food is always the same old but I was seated next to Lorraine and I was allowed to touch and try all her magnificent rocks. OMG I was in heaven. Sliced 10 carat diamonds, I know they sound OTT but trust me, once on your little finger they so lose that vulgarity!! She was a character with a capital C and I loved every minute of her chat. I learnt more about Hollywood from her than I have seen in the 20 odd years I have flitted back and forth! All I can say is that I love Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds even more now….

So another quiet week has flown by but I have my eye firmly set on the prize of next week’s Highclere Shooting Challenge. Excited? Like a kid? You bet…

25 April
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Sunny Miami and Beautiful Art

Arriving at Miami airport is an endurance test, pure and simple. As if flying 9 hours isn’t trauma enough with little people – the battle to get to the Passport Control first is an olympian task in itself. This trip was no different! We must have still waited in line for a good 30 minutes, bearable compared to one poor friend who stood for a mind-boggling 2 hours before getting that precious stamp and smile!!

Once we arrived at our hotel the SLS Hotel South Beach all my stress disappeared and Vivi, Bea (my rather too cute 22yr old Italian Nanny) headed to the pool to watch our first Sunset. As I knew the PR girl from Harrison & Shriftman back from my old LA days, we were literally treated like the Middleton’s relations. A perfect white-smiling, red-carpet genie called Leo Demarsh checked us in and literally never left my side. He was drop dead handsome, charm personified and was absolutely what a great concierge should be.

 

The fabulous SLS hotel

The fabulous SLS hotel

 

 

The hotel is the latest cool place on the uber hip South Beach and I hadn’t quite taken on board the heady mix of a Philip Starck Hotel in collaboration with the one and only Lenny Kravitz, meaning it was hardly a kids’ place! Not that Vivi cares terribly much! She finds fun wherever she goes and the beach was fantastic. All the staff, notably Terry, Andrea and Leo all made Vivi feel very special as she was usually the first by the pool in the morning. Our saving grace was also that a lot of my great friends were there with their children. We made a plan for everyday and heading off to various other hotels makes you realise where would have been a more sensible choice!

 

Our beautiful hotel room

Our beautiful hotel room

 

We arranged to see my dear friend PR whizz Jenny Halpern Prince with her delicious twin girls. We had a mad and much needed dip at The W Hotel before lunch  –  it was also where Nick and Holly Candy were staying. We bumped into another friend Damian Aspinall who had all three of his girls with him. The food was delicious and totally geared towards the kids and we spent a great afternoon with the girls leaping in and out of the pool.

 

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

 

That night my husband Giorgio was flying in from New York and some friends had planned a dinner at Mr Chows. The table ended up girl-heavy but Robert Hanson, who has moved to Miami with his lovely wife Masha and their little boy Max, was quite capable of handling us all. Our friends the Stevensons were off the following morning so actually it was relatively quiet. Nick Candy stopped by and was funny about the service at the W being so hopeless. Giorgio finally arrived rather bleary-eyed but by that time I was incredibly tired and so we jumped into a taxi and headed home.

 

Bara Boheme gorgeous glass bracelets

Luis Morais and Bara Boheme bracelets

Of course, staying right on South Beach means you have the famous boardwalk right on your doorstep. It is ideal for early morning runs or just watching the world go by. There are also quite a lot of street traders now. I had taken Vivi off for a morning jaunt and we came across a lovely lady, Bara Boheme who had made some really pretty pieces with coloured opals. Being as keen a shopper as her mother, Vivi picked some out for her cousins, one for her and one for her mummy!

Another plus to holidaying in Miami whilst your husband works, is that if the weather isn’t amazing, there is still plenty to do. One such day arrived and so I decided I would take Bea and Vivi to Jungle Island. Sat Nav or no Sat Nav I still didn’t listen to the very simple instructions. Robert and his son had called to say they would meet us there and so off we headed…a slight diversion and we added 20 mins to what should have been a speedy little trip!

 

Flamingos at Jungle Island!

Flamingos at Jungle Island!

 

Once parked and inside the first monkey shed we were in heaven – Americans really do do theme parks brilliantly. The humidity was a problem but over the course of three hours we saw every animal imaginable. A small lake covered in flamingos, parrots & cockatoo’s galore, lions, tigers, snow tigers, jaguars, leopards and cheetahs. However one feels about animals in captivity it is still quite something to see these magnificent animals up close. Apparently there are more big cats bred in captivity or kept in captivity than there are in the wild! That’s quite a sombre fact.

We caught the Wild Encounter cat show which, of course, had Vivi transfixed. Bea and I were about to pass out from dehyrdration but Vivi was far from done! Robert and Max had long gone but the sweetest bit was when we had finally convinced her to leave and were just paying for some drinks, Vivi piped up “Oh and Mummy can we buy a baby Cheetah?”

 

NEST

NEST

 

Although it all sounds lots of fun I was actually in Miami to work! One of my great friends Sara Colombo has an amazing new interiors showroom in the design district called NEST.  She and I had been collaborating over a Terry O’Neill show she thought would be perfect for her Miami market. As Terry is a very old friend of mine and The Little Black Gallery, he was thrilled to come over on his way to another show in Brazil. I was shocked at how much press he generated! Sara had sent out beautiful, chic invitations and we just hoped the show would be a huge success.

 

Me, Sara Colombo and Terry O'Neill

Me, Sara Colombo and Terry O’Neill

 

Terry and his business manager Robin Morgan arrived late – another passport control nightmare – but were staying with me at SLS. Sara and I had decided to take them on their first night to the most beautiful restaurant in South Beach, Casa Tua, owned by a very naughty, handsome Italian called Miky Grendene. It also happens to be one block from the hotel. He is thick as thieves with London naughties, Arki Busson and Tim Jefferies. Sara and Terry hit it off immediately and he adored the charming flowery terrace.  Miky was his usual charming self and had arranged a wonderful feast and actually sat with us. Fawaz Gruosi (owner of De Grisogono jewellery) arrived for his gang’s dinner and my husband’s great pal Marco Bizarri was hosting a think-tank for luxury label Bottega Venetta. As if we needed any further glamour, ex-supermodel Elsa Benitez arrived in a teeny red Herve Leger to celebrate her birthday.

 

Me, Miky Grendene and Terry O'Neill

Me, Robin Morgan and Terry O’Neill

 

The night of Terry’s “It Girls & Boys” show arrived and I arranged a car to take us to the Design District. Terry was such a trooper arriving not a single minute late, and I remembered to get a quick shot on the steps of the hotel for posterity. Sara’s showroom is absolutely sensational, beautiful Italian style furniture with very expensive looking accessories stylishly dotted around. Terry’s iconic images looked amazing. Bridget Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton and Bowie – all instantly recognisable.

 

Me, Sara Colombo, & Masha Hanson

Me, Sara Colombo, & Masha Hanson

 

The party was crammed full of Miami faces, decorators and in the middle of all this were the few Londoners who had come to make Terry feel loved. Jo Wood and her sister Lizzie slipped in and bought books for Terry to sign. The glamazon Masha Hanson made a very stylish entrance and the seriously sought-after Luis Morais (another very cool jeweller) came by in a fabulous black leather ensemble. He is a huge star and a trip to Miami is never complete without visiting his studio!

Blaine Trump, Steve Simon and Bambi and Nigel Goodhew

Blaine Trump, Steve Simon and Bambi and Nigel Goodhew

 

Miky and Fawaz came by as did art collector Guido Orsi who was holding court, and there were a huge amount of rather pretty, tanned limbed females! My favourite sighting however was Blaine Trump and her dashing partner Steve Simon. They really are quite a knock-out couple. We finally headed off to the after dinner at Bazaar with Terry and Robin, Jo and Lizzie and Sara’s lovely parents feeling we really had earned a delicious feast….

16 April
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Family, fun and sun!

You may or may not know I am cuckoo for a West End musical and luckily have some equally nutty friends who accompany me to these nights of bliss. I was thrilled therefore to be invited to see Chorus Line at the Palladium, it hasn’t been in London for 30 years. Unsurprisingly it has been one of the most successful Broadway shows of all time so I was beyond excited to see it. The opening scene was so fast, showy and complex with such incredible energy, I just knew it was going to be a wonderful evening. The storyline was pretty simple but the fact that there was no interval and that these incredible dancers literally never got to rest just took my breath away! I adored the actor John Partridge who was playing Zach, the ambitious choreographer (based on the famous Bob Fosse) – he was just phenomenal.  In fact the whole cast was utterly watchable – I couldn’t wait to know what was coming next. The costumes for the finale are worth going to the show for alone!

 

The fabulous actor John Partridge playing Zach in Chorus Line

The fabulous actor John Partridge playing Zach in Chorus Line

 

Next morning I was up bright and early, ready to head to the West London Shooting school with my old mucker Grainne Stevenson. She is a great girlfriend and is always up for any of my mad ideas! We have entered an all-girls team for a clay pigeon shoot at Highclere (the beautiful Estate where they shoot Downton Abbey) in a month and I have never shot before! My cousin Nicola Bearman is a tireless charity girl and is putting on a beautiful day to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. I have always wanted to shoot, not live things I hasten to add, and so I jumped at the opportunity. Of course, the weather was beyond freezing and once I had been introduced to my instructor Pat he immediately disappeared to bring me an extra coat! I had also forgotten gloves. Despite the severe weather, I loved it from the moment he showed me how to hold the gun. I found it quite hard to follow the clay but once I had hit a couple I was encouraged to keep at it. Grainne has shot many times and was therefore popping away. Pat was a hoot and a great teacher. I left with a total understanding of how addictive the hobby could become. I’m already looking forward to my next lessons.

 

Me, Pat and Grainne at Highclere

Me, Pat and Grainne at Highclere

 

From country pursuits to London life – I have a new TV show on Channel 4 called Four Rooms coming out the end of April and so the press bits have started. A portrait shoot at my home for the Telegraph Magazine and I was being my very unusual relaxed self. I am far from uncontrolling but instead had got my two looks ready for the photographer to choose from. He was a super chilled guy and I think it rubbed off on me. I usually want to see the frame and check every detail but instead I just let him get on with it!

 

Me at a shoot for The Telegraph

Me at a shoot for The Telegraph

 

Finally the Easter weekend beckoned and Vivi and I packed our numerous bags with glee. We were off to Milan to see her beloved grandparents and then off to the sunny shores of Miami. Milan was freezing and of course Miami would be searing heat. The luggage was ridiculous…

Getting to Milan is almost like an immediate decompressor for me as my parents-in-law literally take Vivi off to play from the moment we arrive until the moment we leave. Giorgio had been in Rome for work and so we all met at his home for some serious Italian home cooking and downtime. We also have our ritual of going to his old friend Christian’s pizzeria in the village. Vivi especially loves going there as she gets to play waitress!

 

The beautiful Rubiera in Italy

The beautiful Rubiera in Italy

 

On Easter Sunday Giorgio is quite particular about Vivi going to Church. Like a good Italian papa he likes her to be dressed properly and then go to see everyone. She actually likes to go and there are always loads of other children. She has just twigged about Jesus and also likes to light a candle or two for my lovely mother.

 

The beautiful church in Italy

Our beautiful church in Italy

 

There is something very embraceable about church-life in little villages and I am always happy to go. The church was absolutely rammed and even standing room was tight. So much for the decline of the Roman Catholic faith!

 

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

 

Easter lunch is an amazing feast and we often head to the world renowned Arnaldo’s. Again, children are encouraged to play and wander around (my idea of heaven) and the food is really delicious. It’s a family run hotel and the two sisters who are now in charge are like characters out of a movie. Both are very glamorous!

 

Lovely Easter decorations

Lovely Easter decorations

 

As always when we have to leave, Vivi’s grandmother cries. She always asks if Vivi can stay behind but this time Vivi was definitely coming with us to get some much needed sunshine. I was never a girl to care too much about the sun before but now I am a devotee. England’s horrendous weather has just been enough already!

 

Vivi playing in Arnaldo's ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi playing in Arnaldo’s ©TamaraBeckwith

 

Off to mad Miami we headed… It wasn’t to be all play as I had a very exciting first collaboration show in America for The Little Black Gallery with my dear old friend Terry O’Neill at my girlfriend Sara Colombo’s new showroom “Nest”. So although the beaches beckoned there would be time to work too even if done poolside in a bikini!

 

25 March
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A magical Mother’s Day and a fabulous party!

Having had a super quiet week I was unprepared for my spectacular Mother’s Day treat. My lovely husband really went for gold, or a ‘pink ticket’ as we call it, and brought up a breakfast tray that was fit for a Queen. Vivi has got quite accustomed to our little family breakfasts upstairs. I do try to tell her they are a treat and not the norm but still!

 

The fabulous Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre

The fabulous Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre

 

Next we were whisked off to the matinee of The Lion King at The Lyceum Theatre. I remember going to the opening which I believe was in 1999! I might be going mad but I have no recollection of it being so funny or so gobsmackingly fabulous. We all sat transfixed for the entire show. The dancing, costumes and of course the singing were all absolutely breathtaking. We left the show so happy, with jazz hands flapping and in jubilant singing form. My last surprise of the day was still to come. Giorgio suggested we go to Balthazar, the new New York brasserie that has only just arrived in Covent Garden. I have been dying to get there and to my amazement we found a bend-over-backwards helpful Maître’d in the shape of Sam. He snuck us in on our solemn promise we would be fast! The food was scrumptious and piping hot. Well I can only say the whole day was chocolate-box perfect and my dinner at Balthazar was the cherry on the cake. God bless my Italian husband.

 

Balthazar restaurant

Balthazar restaurant

 

A fun birthday party or four loomed ahead so I decided to head to the best find of my year, Noble MacMillan, and most importantly a cheeky chap called Henry. They have heavenly leather goods and everything can be individually engraved to your exact specification or mad idea. Also the engraving can be in a funky range of metallics. So without ruining all my surprise gifts I sorted all the birthdays out in one hilarious coffee-fuelled half an hour.  I just hope they all love them as much as I loved creating them.

 

Some of the heavenly goods from Noble MacMillan

Some of the heavenly goods from Noble MacMillan

 

Thursday was my beautiful eldest daughter, Anouska’s Birthday in Paris. I had come across a wonderful new florist, via style-guru Gianluca Longo, called Rambert’s in Paris. I was so pleased with myself at remembering his suggestion and couldn’t believe that he actually answered his own phone. He has already being flagged by the likes of Vogue and all their little fashionistas. He was absolutely the most charming man I have spoken to in a long time. So helpful and kind and gentle. What a wonderful and rare quality! Needless to say Noushy called me to say WOW they were the best flowers she had ever received. Ever. Now that’s saying something…

 

Next day I had a very rare girls’ lunch at the super chic Harry’s Bar. I have to really get my head around the idea of dressing so smartly for lunch – high heels, the works! I slipped into my Ralph-Lauren-does-Downton-Abbey tweed ensemble and added an olive green furry thing and was good to go. Once inside Harry’s it was great to catch up with a whole other clique of girl. The fabulous hostess Anastasia is always good at pairing you up with someone like-minded and there is always something to be achieved. I found a great girl who suddenly found out about my gallery and before I knew it had introduced me to a friend of hers and now I might be off to Athens! All over a small lunch!

 

Patrick Cox and Arthur Mornington

Patrick Cox and Arthur Mornington

 

Last but by no means least was the spectacular 50th Birthday party for one of London’s most popular boys, the cobbler Patrick Cox. He had gone frightfully grand and was hosting us all at The Café Royal Hotel. Patrick is a hoot and Giorgio and I were very touched to have been included in his dinner. I was even more happy to have the dashing Arthur Mornington, husband to the pretty make-up star Jemma Kidd, on one side and the notorious Arki Busson to my left. Not bad for a Friday night! Patrick made a sweet speech and had his BFF Elizabeth Hurley encouraging him from the wings. His other BFF is Camilla Al Fayed and she looks amazing having just had her second child a couple of months ago. Calvin Klein model Lara Stone (wife of our national treasure David Walliams) was flying solo and had many admiring glances at her almost cooked baby tummy.

 

Me and Katya Formichev ©Patrick

Me and Katya Formichev ©TamaraBeckwith

 

I had been sent by the DSquared boys a black full length “breathing not necessary” evening gown to wear. Getting into it was interesting, getting out of it was a nightmare! They had flown in especially for Patrick, all fellow Canadians, and were in the most stylish matching DJs. The twin brothers are definitely good value at any party.

 

Dean and Dan of D-Squared ©Patrick

Dean and Dan of D-Squared ©TamaraBeckwith

 

After dinner we all went downstairs to an even more beautiful room complete with gilded ceiling, black patent dance floor and a funky DJ. Fran and Charlotte Cutler were already dancing up a storm in a fashion that I can’t even imitate. Jemima Khan arrived with her old pal Johnston Somerset and I was thrilled to see my airport pal Charlotte Tilbury, the makeup queen, holding court furiously in the corner.

 

Arun Nayer and Margot Stilley

Arun Nayar and Margo Stilley ©TamaraBeckwith

 

The party seemed to fill up and Grey Goose cocktails were certainly spicing things up! David Furnish, one of Patrick’s other great pals, Margo Stilley, Amanda Ferry and Kimberly Johnston all added to the girlie glam quota but David Gandy was certainly getting a lot of attention! Whilst the action hotted up it became quite apparent that Patrick was hugely loved…

14 March
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Spring ponies and a brilliant Bar Mitzvah

So much for the Spring!  I came back from LA full of girly ideas about short sleeved dresses and ultimately have almost hibernated in my cashmere cupboard.  Not to be deterred I flew down the M40 for a fun weekend with two old girlfriends who have decided country living is the way to go.  First stop was my oldest friend, Tasha from boarding school who conveniently has two little rosie cheek girls Violet’s age.  Violet didn’t seem to notice that all the other kids at the Birthday party  were new to her but what she did notice was the sublime pony hiding in his stable across the lawn!  Desperate to get to him she tried every trick in the book to escape.  Promises of pony treks the following morning were thrown down if all three girls had baths and went to sleep immediately!  Highly unlikely or impossible  just down to the gargantuan amounts of sugar that had been consumed..  remarkably the three little bears had only one illicit trip down stairs and then true to their word hit the sack until bright and early the following day.  Violet couldn’t believe her eyes when two other ponies arrived tacked up and ready to go.  What a genius friend I have!  Only complaint I have is when our girls wanted to go for a trot us Mummy’s looked ridiculous trying to keep up, leading the energetic ponies and making sure no one fell off!  Talk about a work out!  My lungs almost exploded. It was all worth it as the look of wonderment on their faces was priceless.

editVivi&Tasha

Vivi & Tasha © Tamara Beckwith

Off like the crackers to make my other girlfriends kiddies party in Great Tew. We lost count of chocolate box pretty thatched cottages but Vivi still finds driving through the countryside fascinating.  My girlfriend Linda has no clue how to do low key and so we were greeted by a gang plank and a mean Pirate. The rest was hilarious until again us Mum’s have to start flying around on a fiercely competitive treasure hunt!  It is genius and she ropes in a lot of her friends to assume characters.  Vivi thinks it’s a hoot!  I found my sister and her youngest daughter Amber and we ambled around.  Ed Allen, the writer and son of the legendary comedian, is a popular local and always helps out with the best BBQ in Tew.

 

The treasure hunt craziness!

The treasure hunt craziness!

My country bit over with it was back to the fast pace of London. I have vowed my bottom will not drop any further and so headed back to Grace Belgravia.  The new Health Spa and Gym is so perfectly located for me as I really can’t back out of going!  I worked out surprisingly hard but was told that my co-ordination was useless!  I don’t think I am used to being spoken to in such a blunt way!  It sure worked though!!

 

Nick Rhodes' exhibition "Bei Incubi"

Nick Rhodes’ exhibition “Bei Incubi”

I was super excited to get to my old friend Nick Rhodes photography show “Bei Incubi”  at The Vinyl Gallery, Chelsea. Obviously he is far better known as the keyboard player of Duran Duran but as long as I have known Nick he has always carried a small camera.  The Vinyl Gallery is quite small but it was bursting with so many old faces of the past that no one was leaving.  His sexy polaroids were beautiful and the only thing holding me back were the multiple red dots on all my favourites. Bumping into designer Pam Hogg was a sight for sore eyes, as I first met her in Kensington Market and she sold me a tartan lycra, faux fur and silver tassle trouser suit!  I thought it was the most beautiful thing I ever owned!  I am sure it was not a good look for me. Miliner Philip Treacy, one of Nick’s close friends was there as was John Taylor, also of Duran Duran, who was accosted by a young fan who wanted to create a Duran opera from what I could work out.  Brit actor Nick Moran was lurking around and I was hoping to catch up with the designer Anthony Price who used to be the King of all the pop bands styling including Bryan Ferry.  No such luck as we were in a hurry…

 

Me with designer Pam Hogg

Me with designer Pam Hogg

Being good, healthy and on the wagon just seems an impossible path for Giorgio and myself.  We were off to The Dorchester’s “China Tang” with Tommy and Dee Hilfiger and had had high hopes of a quiet night.  Well as soon as I saw bikini-babe Melissa Odabash, and her lovely husband had joined the group, I knew we were in for trouble. Tommy ordered the David Tang Special menu (they are great friends) and we literally seemed to sample every dish known to their chef!  Great wine flowed and that famous and terribly familiar feeling of  “I’ll go back to the programme tomorrow” washed over us.  I thought I spied my girlfriend the jeweller Zara Simon and teetered off to find her but got way laid in the fabulous restrooms where David has some entrancing poetry going on in a loop.  By the skin of our teeth it was a midnight curtain…

 

Me with the girls (Tara B, Eliane, Arabella and Lisa B)

Me with the girls (Tara B, Eliane, Arabella, Lisa B and other guests)

 

The big whooopppee of the weekend was a good friends middle son’s Barmitzvah.  I must admit I love a good Barmitzvah.. a lot of good old fashioned singing and speeches galore.  I think the fact that I knew there were going to be 100 kids alone filled me with huge excitement.  I had decided to wear a slightly too short apple green Valentino number with some scaffold-worthy Charlotte Olympia’s.  We headed off to the secret City location..  The first obstacle was the slightly scary, open steep staircase. I know I did not handle this in anything resembling a lady-like fashion as a friend who will remain nameless imitated my efforts.  There were so many good friends of ours there that I lost Giorgio immediately.  Our hostess looked sensational looking every inch a 1940’s Parisienne.  Our Barmitzvah boy, Louis was brought into the party by a bevy of naughty, appropriately clad girls as if he was James Bond.

Bar Mitzvah boy Louis and the girls

Bar Mitzvah boy Louis and the girls

Raising that party bar even higher…  Lisa B and Anton had managed to leave the mountains to put in an appearance.  Tommy and Dee were there and I finally had a chance to catch up with the stylish Elizabeth Saltzman whom I last saw whilst guzzling curry at the after Oscar Party. Elizabeth is quite a must have ingredient have for any soiree – she is always up to speed on all sorts of fabulous insider knowledge.  She also happens to dress some of the most sought after girls in the A List world so – yup she’s a fun one! Sadly we didn’t do much cheesy singing – this was certainly a chic affair..  A few too many champagne’s later I was terribly confused as to why all the kids suddenly seemed to be wearing individualised Onesies… I half expected (Model of the moment and Onesie Queen) Cara Delevigne to appear on the dance floor.  The party was a smash and we all headed home very merry and laden with pompom hats, glasses and onesies…..

04 February
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A Valentino paradise in Paris!

If there has been one treat I have been privy to, it’s being invited to the Haute Couture shows in Paris. For those women who don’t care about the frivolous world of fashion, I get it. But for those of us who drool and gasp as each creation wafts down the catwalk, I can think of no greater indulgence. As soon as the stiffest of the stiff Invitations are hand delivered you get a childish excitement in sheer anticipation. This year I was off to see the genius pair Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino with my beautiful daughter Anouska who lives, works and breathes Paris. It is one of our shared guilty pleasures. I had to fly to Orly which was a super pleasant experience as I normally get to Paris via Eurostar. With only my hand luggage and a bag full of late Christmas presents for Noushy, I was in and out of the airport in record time.

 

Me, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli

Me, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli

 

I soon arrived at the Valentino HQ – a small slice of paradise in itself – and was whisked off to play with rail upon rail of chiffon, georgette, silk and embroidered delights, all of which you must fit into. This is the only incentive I have to stay somewhat in shape.  World Brand Ambassador, Carlos Souza – one of the most handsome and chic men on the planet – has been one of my pin-ups for the last 14 years and he is of course bonkers naughty. We have had so much fun over the years that he seems like family. He is always brutally truthful about what suits you or not, and as I squished my Christmas-bottom into various ensembles, I caught on fast that I was not going to be an exception to this rule! So many bags and shoes, it was like a girl’s dream come true! He chose a beautiful pared-down, nude ensemble for Anouska and I was off again.

 

A beautiful Valentino shoe

Beautiful Valentino shoes

 

My girlfriend, Sara Colombo, was out shopping and finding treasures for her sensational home store in Miami called Nest. She used to live in Paris as a model and so hits the city by foot and is happy finding new little places. She was, however, off-course and ended up in Lanvin on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. This was not a good place for us to meet. I knew it was a dangerous idea and sure enough within 20 minutes the two of us had bought a few goodies each that the genius sales assistant Dorian Mezzasoma had packaged up and snuck our credit cards away for. Just like that. We then headed to a little frou frou French café for tea and macaroons.

 

Anouska and Gigi in her Paris apartment

Anouska and Gigi in her Paris apartment

 

 

I was staying at Anouska’s apartment and so collected all my bits and headed to Le Marais where she lives with her little pooch Gigi. It was so lovely to be treated as a mummy and be made fresh herbal tea and looked after like a guest. Anouska, on the whole, leads a very Parisian-style life and avoids all the obvious fashiony places like the plague, so she had been in charge of booking dinner. A Japanese place called Yen apparently was our destination. I am not a hardcore sushi fan so in all fairness the incredible menu was a bit lost on me, but delicious it definitely was. Sara and I seemed to have got a bit lost with our French translations and ended up with rather gargantuan amounts of tempura but we had a delicious supper and had a few sneaky glasses of sake. Looking at the watch, I decided against joining Anouska’s group and headed on home.

 

More Valentino treasures!

More Valentino treasures!

 

Wandering around the galleries in Paris is one of my favourite hobbies as it helps with fresh ideas for my own Gallery. I took off to find a slip to wear under my divine cream Valentino dress coat which Carlos had instructed me to find and Noushy had work to do. So off I went, only, of course, to get a little lost and then four hours later be in a terrible flap to be ready for the show at 6pm. We emerged from her apartment looking and feeling prepped and ready for some high octane glamour. Our blacked-out car gave the impression we had a car-full but it was just to be the two of us. We arrived to a scrum of photographers all jostling outside the iron gates of Hotel Salomon de Rothschild. The building was just so beautiful and the candles lit the red carpet perfectly. Once inside we were kissed carefully by Carlos and then photos duly followed. Inside the gilded rooms with the most beautifully painted ceilings, we found the real King of Couture, Valentino Garavani himself, flanked as always by the equally suave Giancarlo Giammetti. I was thrilled to see them as we had not seen each other since before Christmas. Just being in their presence makes you stand properly, hold your tummy in and smile slightly more sweetly!

 

Hamish Bowles looking dapper

Hamish Bowles looking dapper

 

Livia Firth was already on her prized front row seat with Franca Sozzani of Italian Vogue right beside her. British model Tallulah Harlech and Greek-American It girl Eugenie Niarchos were flying the younger generations flag. More interestingly, we were almost diagonally across form the fierce glare of Anna Wintour which was a treat in itself. Hamish Bowles just is fashion… A glamourous Italian Movie star arrived in the new apple green lace for Spring/Summer 2013 and I must say it was fabulous. Natalia Vodianova (the world’s favourite model) snuck in, looking her usual nonchalant chic self in a tapestry inspired evening coat.  The show was a hit and even Valentino applauded a few of his favourite dresses. I could go on about how thin and lank the girls were but that’s just how it is. Model of the moment Cara Delevigne was perky and pretty and I marvelled at the lack of calves any of these little creatures have!

 

Suzy Menkes, Giancarlo Giammetti and Franca Sozzani

Suzy Menkes, Giancarlo Giammetti and Franca Sozzani

 

We had to wriggle backstage as I was dying to congratulate Maria and Pierpaolo and we did quite a speedy job of it! We left and headed straight for the Plaza Athenee where we were met with a glass of champagne with crushed strawberry. We had an hour to kill before we headed back to Giancarlo’s private after-show dinner. You know never to eat before one of his suppers as the food is sooo naughty and totally unavoidable! Sitting looking over the River Seine view with Suzy Menkes (the other important lady in fashion!) was just heaven. Valentino was in high spirits, as was boy-about-town Derek Blasberg who entertained everyone with his personal Americana wit. Another hard night with the Valentino crew!!

 

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