In front of St. James Palace. I knew I was meeting Prince Charles that night (firm handshake, polite speaker, good jokes), which is why I thought there was no way around a three-piece suit.
Much to my chagrin, I missed the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations this year in London. (Which was maybe a good thing: Everyone I spoke to that was here acknowledged the occasion by going on a four day bender.) So I was only too happy to have replaced that Queen-ly experience with a Prince, and a bunch of fashion queens. This weekend was the first ever London Men’s Fashion Weekend, the British Fashion Council’s stab at creating its own menswear exhibition like the ones in Paris and Milan later this month. The festivities were kicked off by Prince Charles himself at a cocktail party at St. James Palace, where the Prince resides. He was an effective, endearing and amazing host. In an off-the-cuff speech, he laughed that it took him “65 bleeding years” to be called a mens fashion icon, and then ranted off on his knowledge of mens suiting and promotion of the British wool trade. “The cutter is a terribly important part,” he said of making suits. “If he doesn’t get it right, it falls apart. Literally.” Alright, Chuck!
The shows took off the following day, and they were mainly young designers that populate the colorful London fashion scene. I had a similar note as many of the other editors in attendance: Where were the big guns? Where was Paul Smith, and McQueen? Burberry did a few cocktail parties, but it would have nice to have been reminded of the titans of the British fashion industry as well as the young kids who make it so lively. It’s my anticipation that the big guys come in as the weekend grows into a bigger, better beast.
In addition to the shows, there were drinks. Lots of them. After all, this is London, a town that knows it’s way around a pint glass. But possibly most important there was a sense of excitement and merriment, which are so often lost in fashion promotions. I loved this weekend, and genuinely hope that it takes off. I’ll be back in January for the second one, and hopefully other editors and designers will be too.
Following the Prince Charles cocktail party, a few friends and I headed to (where else?) the pub for a pint. It seemed like the British thing to do
A fellow American: Tommy Hilfiger and his lovely wife Dee at a cocktail party they hosted at Scotch
One major label that did show during British Fashion Weekend was TOPMAN. Bright and colorful, they attempted to bring back from favorite trend from the 1980s: biker shorts. My friend Miles was in the show, and this is him backstage
Alexa Chung is one of Britain’s most fashionable exports, so it was only appropriate that she would be here this weekend. Not sure how appropriate it was for us to play in the curtains at lunch, but we did it anyway.
Favorite restaurant in London: The Wolseley. Three of my favorite women in London: Dree Hemingway, Katie Grand and Pixie Geldolf
Two of London’s smartest fashionable women, Lulu Kennedy and Sarah Mower, on Grosvenor Square
On the second night of the collections, Tom Ford hosted a dinner at the restaurant 34. I had the good fortune of sitting with Daphne Guinness during the cocktail hour. I didn’t realize until someone told me on Twitter that she was wearing the same Tom Ford dress that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to the Oscars because, with Daphne, whatever she wears is so completely transformed into her own world that it becomes her own garment the second she puts it on. My favorite detail of this particular look? I long gold necklace with a big lobster which she wore backwards, so it crawled down the back of the dress’ cape.
Vanity Fair’s fabulous Elizabeth Saltzman was at her friend Tom Ford’s dinner, of course. And the next day, Momma celebrated her birthday. Happy birthday, lovely lady!
The best thing to come out of Egypt since Cleopatra: Elisa Sednaoui, who I had the pleasure of sitting with at Tom’s dinner
The fine folks at the mens retailer Mr. Porter hosted a drinks party, and this shot, for me anyway, summed up the British method of celebration perfectly
My friend Nick Grimshaw was really happy to see this guy at Mr. Porter’s party. Apparently he’s a footballer, and he insisted on a picture with the guy for his father (an early Father’s Day present perhaps?). I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know his name, but he was super fit and charming.
Only for Katie Grand and the promise of avant garde knitted face masks would I wake up for a 9am show the night after a Tom Ford dining experience. But it was worth it. I loved the Sibling show
The Beauty and The Beast: David Gandy and 10 magazine’s Antony Miles. (And, for the record, he’s the one that titled this picture!)
I’m a big fan of Jonathan Saunders’ womenswear: Always bright, always cheery. (Which is ironic coming from a grumpy Scot! Ha!) And I’ve recently really gotten into his menswear, which are just as colorful and fun as his female counterparts