Max Studio Blog

From the Met to Miami - Top Parties of 2012

Anna Wintour, Carey Mulligan and Miuccia Prada Host the Met Ball

From the moment Diana Vreeland, an ex-editrix of US Vogue founded a ball to raise funds for the Metropolitan’s Costume Institute it became the kick off carnival for the New York uptown social set. In 2012 it was yet again a fashion tsunami and the hottest party ticket on the planet. Jessica Alba was in gold one-shouldered Kors, Carey Mulligan in shimmering fish scales from Prada and channeling the evening’s muse, the Great Gatsby’s Carey Mulligan while Beyonce stole the show in sheer Givenchy.

Leon Max Hosts the Serpentine Summer Party

A few months later and over to London where designer Leon Max hosts London’s answer to the Met - a fundraiser for the Serpentine Gallery. There were three generations of Jaggers on parade, Bianca, Jade and Amba, shiny show ponies of rock n’ roll chic, a mild political scandal to talk about in the undulating shape of this year’s Pavilion designed by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, while model Erin O’Connor distracted in black, feathered Leon Max, as did Amber Le Bon with her Grecian chic.

London Olympics Closing Ceremony

There was another big bash in London town this summer - and this time everyone was invited. A global audience of billions tuned in to watch the creme de la creme of British music (and the Spice Girls) and the jeunesse doree of the model pack (Kate, Naomi, the Lilys, Donaldson and Cole, Jourdan, Stella et al) shake their stuff. This was legs phenomenal on parade. As well as Russell Brand popping up as a Willy Wonka-type leading the Magical Mystery Tour.

The British Fashion Awards

As Awards Ceremonies go this one had an IT moment. Stella McCartney rode out the Olympic wave and having designed Team GB’s outfits it was to universal acclaim that she stormed the podium to claim the designer brand award and the designer of the year award. But this year’s fash pack fiesta will go down in glossy history as the moment ‘The New Kate Moss’ was born - step-up young Cara Delevingne. Now, behave.

 Art Basel Miami

Actress Margo Stilley described this year’s Miami Art Basel in one succinct sentence: “There was a party for every thing, everywhere, every night with absolutely every single designer, artist, celebrity and collector you can possibly imagine and all looking better than a tear sheet from Vogue.” Sounds like that’s one art fair worth rsvp’ing to.  From the White Cube party where Owen Wilson rolled up his sleeves up and helped the bar staff to power playing at the Chanel dinner hosted by Dasha Zhukova and Wendi Murdoch where  Demi Moore arrived with a kitten and left with Vito Schnabel and the Hilton sisters bopped by Lenny Kravitz. After a week in Miami, sounds like you need a holiday.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

London 2012 Closing Ceremony

8/13/2012 11:28:00 AM

London 2012 Closing Ceremony

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

London Guide to Dining & What to Wear

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

Guide to London: Shopping on Westbourne Grove

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 2RHthe 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

Pre-Olympics Partying in London

London is in social lockdown on day one of the Olympics. A fleet of super-yachts has sailed into the futuristic Docklands skyline of East London. The most fashionable is no doubt Microsoft man Paul Allen’s 414 ft Octopus - this is the boat that socialites jostle on to when it’s moored off Sardinia or St Barths. Stratford - where the Olympics are being held - well, that’s a whole different sort of vista. Nevertheless it’s been followed down the Thames by fellow Microsoft man Bill Gates’ boat, although the guest list on the Goygpus is more mover and shaker in the boardroom rather than the mover and shaker of the nightclub dancefloor. Despite the competition Roman Abramovich’s Eclipse is rumored to be only a matter of nautical miles away. But while Allen’s after party is one invite worth sharking for a host of landlocked parties are what is getting the city’s socials overexcited. Wednesday night at the Victoria and Albert Museum Muhammad Ali was feted at the Sports for Peace dinner with a host of our finest socials - Lady Victoria Hervey and Jemima Goldsmith - queueing to hang with Boris Becker and Bob Geldof. Or anyone interested in getting down with Warner Music’s coolest acts tonight when they throw what’s set to be the most fashion-focused bash of the week with a party in the Tanks, the newly opened space carved out underneath the Tate Modern gallery on Bankside. A host of the prettiest girls Bip Ling, Poppy Delevigne, Tallulah Harlech, and Sara Brajovic - will be getting tanked up in The Tanks. All the better for when they settle down to watch Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony extravaganza on the TV on Friday night (unless they’ve cadged a plus 1 from a visiting government minister, that is) - but then isn’t it (as everyone not invited is saying) - “made for TV anyway?”

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Illeana Hoffman’s Style Guide for the Olympics

Illeana Hoffman, contributing editor and travel writer for Travel Squire Magazine, shares with us her Olympic style guide.

For daytime causal at the games, she chooses the asymmetrical navy and white long sleeved tee, classic and sporty for the cooler days. For warmer days at the outdoor venues the choice is an effortlessly cute and easy-to-pack plaid dress.

A must have, Illeana packs the swing rain-jacket to protect herself from the ever-present London summer showers.

For evenings in the city, its the asymmetrical georgette blouse paired with black trousers for a chic mix and match look that can easily transition from day to cocktail. Lastly, every fashion gal needs a LBD that has easy evening elegance, Illeana’s choice is the Leon Max lace ballet dress.


Richard Dennen’s Top 5 London Hotspots

Tom’s Deli
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.

The Hillgate
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.

The Box
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.