LONDON FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT
“Certainly no overcast English sky was going to dampen proceedings at the IWC Schaffhausen and BFI London Film Festival opening gala dinner - it was the big event of the week, here in London.
And so the celebrity set descended on Battersea Park; Emily Blunt, Douglas Booth, Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Mick Jagger, and Erin O'Connor, a former face of Leon Max were all there. They dined on grass-fed beef and truffle tagliatelle, they laughed as British comic legends Walters and Stephen Fry were presented with the ‘Honorary Award in Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Comedy’ - and they gave them a standing ovation too.
I saw Marc Jacobs model Eliza Cummings cozying up to Topshop heiress Chloe Green while Stephen Fry was embarrassed to admit that he had worn the wrong brand of watch (rather than a piece from IWC) he was sporting an expensive Patek Phillipe design which he hid when I enquired about his timepiece…
And, of course, they partied into the early hours - let’s hope they aren’t too tired for the next 12-days that is the movie marathon of the London Film Festival. I’ve already seen Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley taking to the West End streets to promote their films - I wonder who we’ll spot next?”
While the fashion editors and celebrities crowd into the shows the rest of us go to the parties. For me, they’re the best bit. I’m always short of a smart, evening jacket and this season my Leon Max was just the thing.
A world away from the jostling bloggers crowding in to see the latest in women’s designer clothing, my favourite boutique in Chelsea , Austique, threw a pop-up party for Tallulah Rufus Isaacs’ Paris, Space. Then it was on to Belgraves Hotel, where Tallulah’s cousin, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs was hosting the preview of her Beulah label. My sister Davina looked smoking dolled up in the new season, and James Middleton was showing off his post-Mustique tan. Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Proudlock was bubbling about his plans for the rest of the week, he’s got a style blog he’s very proud of.
Meanwhile TV presenter Natalie Pinkham and I decided to hit Guy Pelly’s Tonteria for margaritas. The perfect way to sound in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.
Monday night is meant to be staying in night but that doesn’t seem to apply to our crew. Off we went to 5 Herford Street, Robin Birley’s chic new-ish club. I went with Tatler Hong Kong’s fashion editor, Olivia Buckingham, for the Moncler/Vistajet party, although any excuse would’ve done. Its desperately glam there. We ran excitedly around LouLou’s, the basement nightclub there, bumping into (literally!) Otis Ferry and Edie Campbell, the shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood and man-about-town, Zafar Rushdie, the son of the great writer, Salman. He admired by black Leon Max cape - well, when its this cold who wouldn’t be jealous?
Written By: Astrid Harbord
Astrid Harbord is a fashionista and London girl-about-town.
Fresh off the Runway from LFW we give you the hottest trends for Autumn 2013 and how to get them now. Bold red in every shape, dark romantic black tie dresses, fun and flirty heart prints and cotton candy pink day dresses were the highlights. Shop the trends now
photo credit: getty images
I love fashion week in London. It’s when my friends from all over the world come to town, and it’s my chance to be the ultimate host in my favourite city!
To kick of LFW in style - the place to be seen is the IMG party! It’s the great opportunity to ‘dress to impress’ and the perfect place to rock a cool Leon Max evening look. No one wants to be overlooked in the company of Lara Stone.
When the catwalk pavilions shoot up next to the Saatchi Gallery, taking some time out to enjoy Kings Road is a must between shows. It’s one of London’s best shopping areas, and with beautiful boutiques, squares, and restaurants. Grab lunch in Colbert if you are on a budget, or Le Colombier if you are looking for something more refined. Keep your look sophisticated and you’ll fit right in!
Chelsea is my home and I can’t talk about fashion week in London without mentioning a hot new spot to hit after the sun goes down. Guy Pelly’s Tonteria is the place to be, if you enjoy decadent dress with a tequila slammer on the side. This place is edgy with a hint of glitz - perfect for a little black dress with big bold statement accessory.
Another hot spot this LFW will be Burberry’s pavilion in Hyde park. If you make it out there and the weather holds out - head to the Serpentine for some tea and scones. Overlooking the lake with a tea cup in the afternoon will make you feel right at home in London. Just be sure to wear something very British, and you’ll fit right in.
Of course if the weather is too English for your liking - and you hanker for somewhere warm and welcoming - just round the corner from Hyde Park you can find yourself in the welcoming arms of a Russian babushka. Visiting Mari Vanna, arguably London’s most cozy restaurant will lighten and warm your mood. Comforting food; amazing atmosphere; and best of all - it’s a stone’s throw from Harrods.
When you have run yourself ragged flitting from show to show, and you are desperate to escape, then new health sanctuary Grace is your must have recovery treat. Designed for the better half of the human race - just us girls. Seriously, no men allowed! Grace is situated in the heart of Chelsea, where the belles of Sloane street and Belgravia are attended to by the best beauticians.
By: Katia Elizarova
Check the behind the scenes fashion action at the official launch of the Leon Max store on Westbourne Grove in London’s fashionable Notting Hill and its rock n’roll afterparty right round the corner at The Lonsdale. It stars the likes of fashion plates Kristen McMenamy, Mary Charteris, Katia Elizarova as well as young n’ fun socials like Sascha Bailey (son of David) and Leah and Natt Weller (children of Paul).
In celebration of the start of London Fashion Week we asked industry locals, including model Katia Elizarova, actress Margo Stilley, and columnist Richard Dennen, to share some of their favorite London hotspots. From must-visit restaurants and nightclubs to hotels and museums we have the entire week covered.
Follow this guide to ensure a first class London experience complete with all of the fashion, eats, drinks and comforts that a fashion gal needs.
It was always going to be a quintessentially British affair. After the grandiose Opening Ceremony had been dubbed ‘quirky’ by the US, then why not give them more of the same? The first thing that had to be made clear to the global television audience of 1 billion was that Great Britain ROCKS. Jessie J in a figure-hugging nude catsuit burst out of white Rolls-Royce, the Spice Girls were reunited and swiftly flung into the stadium on London taxi cabs. And that was all after giant models of London landmarks like Tower Bridge and the London Eye had burst into light before our eyes. Even John Lennon and Freddie Mercury were not going to be left out of the picture returning from the grave to be beamed to the masses of their adoring fans. British ‘quirky’ humour certainly played its part with Monty Python’s Eric Idle leading one of the more light-hearted moments singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ surrounded by rollerskating nuns and an opera singing incarnation of Britannia. Britannia certainly rules the waves when it comes to being jaw-droppingly and hilariously bonkers. Russell Brand even popped up as a Willy Wonker-type leading a Magical Mystery Tour. Don’t think for a moment that the Brits don’t like to keep things fiercely cool though - as five trucks rolled into the arena drawing in vast Nick Knight-shot posters of the biggest British supermodels. Well, biggest might not be quite the right adjective. After two weeks of watching the toned torsos of the female Olympians it was a snappy reminder of a more leggy, languid body-shape, as the posters were ripped down and out strode a McQueen-wearing Kate Moss, followed by La Campbell and their fellow supes, the gilded Lilies (Donaldson and Cole) as well as Jourdan Dunn, Stella Tennant and a Victoria Beckham-wearing Georgia May Jagger. Weird, wonderful - and fashionable too. Case closed. Roll on Rio!
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen
To Olympic or not to Olympic, is that the question? Dining in London this week there are a number of short and tasty choices that need to be made. Does one avoid the morass and stay safely tucked away far into the depths of the crisp coziness of West London, and it’s nirvana of class and culinary delights? Take GRANGER & CO. (175 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SB). You can get into the international flavor of things at this Aussie-owned restaurant that seems to be the hip Notting Hill hang out at the moment for all the pretty fashion girls. It’s the simple and sharp Australian fun set in a bright and airy dining room where plates of deliciousness from the classic modern menu are served. They don’t take bookings and at the weekend the queue snakes down the street. The LEON MAX store (229 Westbourne Grove, W11) is conveniently just a hop, skip and a jump away. If the Olympic Park has turned out to be your thing no doubt it was all about troughing your way through a supersize Big Mac meal in the hope of bumping into Ryan Lochte in the 600 seater McDonalds. If that doesn’t sound appealing in the West End is to be found the cool restaurant of the moment; LA BODEGA NEGRA, (16 Moor Street W1D 5NH) just a short cab ride away from the the kowabunga cheerleading fun being had by the Beach Volleyball viewers at Horse Guards Parade. It’s hidden behind the faux-front of an adult video shop in Soho. On entering you are promptly whisked past the black doors and two sets of clipboard girls and into London’s answer to the hip New York hang out LA ESQUINA. Le-tout Londres can be spotted here, skinny blondes in black sheaths and sparkly party numbers downing frozen margaritas amongst the rough plaster and tiling. It’s all quite Kate Moss and Chloe Sevigny, really. Olympian fun.
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen
Why Westbourne Grove? Well, quite simply because it’s the chicest street in town, the epicentre of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Royal? Yes. Good shopping also! Yippee. Want a break from the Olympic madness in East London then head west, and to this smartest of the smart thoroughfares that runs from the Notting Hill hedge funder heaven that is Kensington Park Road in the west, crossing over the famously fabulous Portobello, to the ice skating rinks and souk busy-ness of Queensway in the east. It’s circled by such fashion nirvanas as the Ledbury Road, Clarendon Cross and the Portobello Market, of course. But it’s Westbourne Grove (which takes its name from the River Westbourne now not to be found, hidden instead beneath Ossington Street towards the eastern W2 postcode end of the thoroughfare - now you can wow locals with your insider historical knowledge) which is where the money is. It’s got the best shops where money can buy….whatever your heart desires. To prepare for a hard days shopping, stop by Tom’s (226 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH) the deli founded by Tom Conran in 1990 before the neighborhood was gentrified. This is the place for a cooked breakfast or a healthy lunch in between hitting the shops. The Leon Max store (229 Westbourne Grove, W11) is a never ending cocktail of fashion fun where within its white washed walls you can get everything you need for lunch, dinner, the beach, cocktails and the races. Round the corner, just off on Ledbury Road is Wolf and Badger (46 Ledbury Road, W11 2AB), the concept store including 70 brands that bridge the multitude arts of fashion (men’s, women’s and children) accessories, jewelery and objets d’art. Good forth and browse. Meanwhile opposite the Leon Max store is the divine Daylesford Organic food shop (208-212 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RH) where one can buy the finest foods in the Royal Borough, shipped in from the billionaire Bamford family’s rolling Gloucestershire estate and South of France vineyards. You may have traveled to London for the Olympics, but you’ll want to stay for the shopping.
Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen
226 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH
This is the best place to start the day - a delicious cooked breakfast or healthy snack from the most relaxed outpost of the Conran family’s restaurant empire.
24 Hillgate Street London W8 7SR
This is the posh pub of the moment. Populated by the Beautiful People both behind and in front of the bar.
American Bar at The Savoy
The Savoy, Strand, WC2R 0EU
If you feel like a sophisticated West End drink this is the place to go. During Prohibtion the best American bar staff headed here hence the name.
The Scotch of St James’
13 Mason’s Yard, London SW1
This is one of the trendiest clubs at the moment but has real rock history as Jimi Hendricks and the Stones both held famous gigs here.
11-12 Walker’s Court, W1
The London outpost of the famous New York boite was insane last year, packed full of the hottest girls and boys - while maybe not quite as achingly hip it’s still one of the most louche places to hang.