Last night in London – there was only one place to be: the ballroom of Claridge’s, the Mayfair hotel, where Leon Max threw a Winter Dinner and Dance in aid of the charity Too Many Women, an organization working in the fight against breast cancer. Guests had drinks inside a wall of flowers, a vast winter woodland wall of scented roses and gardenia, a display inspired by the designer’s gardens at his country house, Easton Neston. And quite right too. This was going to be a fashion party with a difference, bestowing a taste of old-school chic into proceedings. Amidst the hard-edge aegis of trend this is a sort of glamour that hasn’t been seen around for a while. “Do you like my art deco earring?” asked IT-model Edie Campbell as she arrived, “No, I haven’t lost one – I only ever wear one,” she explained. Now we know. “I want my wedding to be like this,” said Mary Charteris, “everyone is here and it looks amazing.” After a terrine of foie gras and pigeon and a filet of sea bass pudding was served – but it’s not every day you get to see a collection during pudding. “I wanted to show all my friends in London what I actually do,” said Leon Max. And they were all there to watch; fashion was represented with designers Nicholas Kirkwood, Louise Gray, Lara Bohinc and Marios Schwab, the social crowd with Amanda Sheppard leading in her boyfriend, rocker Bryan Ferry’s sons Otis and Tara, Dan MacMillan came with girlfriend Sasha ‘The Volcano’ Volkova, Rose Cholmondeley and Jerry Hall, as well as fashion editor Sara Parker Bowles and the artist Polly Morgan. The doors of the ballroom were sealed, the lights were dimmed and the first Leon Max collection of evening looks (to supplement a well established Max Studio daytime line) to be shown on this side of the Atlantic was unleashed onto a quietly impressed Mayfair. It’s fresh spring/summer face, Katia Elizarova, led out a long line of the label’s London muses, all the hip models of the moment including Amber LeBon, Daisy Lowe, Clara Paget and Suki Waterhouse. Georgia May Jagger, on the other side of town, heard how much fun everyone else was having at Claridge’s and arrived in time for the last looks. “When does the shop open?” Pixie Geldof asked expectantly, referring to the imminent arrival of the Leon Max store on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, before she got onto the dj decks to really get the party started.
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen
Photo Credit: Dave M Bennet/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images