Last Night in London: the best parties from Frieze week
To anyone doubting the electricity of London’s nightlife – don’t just yet.
Certainly not this week, anyway. The BFI London Film Festival is buzzing and runs until Sunday night. Frieze week then blasted off on Wednesday 12 October which, along with cutting edge art and the Old Masters, brings the international art set and some undeniably good parties in its tow.
On top of that, the London Fashion Week events shuttered due to the passing of the Queen were simply swapped for this week. Fashion shows from Alexander McQueen, Roksanda and Raf Simons hit the town, alongside celebrations for Off White and soirées for Prada.
Expect queues outside Chiltern Firehouse, hoards heading to The Standard hotel’s Sweeties disco room and cocktails at Annabel’s aplenty. Buckle up, the town’s being painted red.
The bash: Many had whipped around the art fair, and it was down to Prada to send off Thursday in high style. The brand celebrated new perfume Paradoxe with a huge Soho rave, and boasted the longest queue for a do this week.
The crowd: Prada’s skill at curating big names — from faces of the brand to the likes of Jeff Goldblum walking the runway — is undeniable. And actors, designers, singers and models were all hustling for their spot. Last night that counted rapper Little Simz and TikTok trainspotter Francis Bourgeois who joined the likes of The Maze Runner’s Will Poulter and The Woman King’s Sheila Atim inside.
The looks: Monochrome ‘fits and leather trench coats with attitude were the look du jour. Liam Gallagher’s lookalike son Lennon looked punky with girlfriend Isobel Richmond, who nailed a white shirt and tie look, while Bridgerton’s Charithra Chandran and French influencer Camille Charriere were matchy-matchy in Prada’s mesh panelled midi skirts.
The lowdown: If you made it through the door (and trust me, not everyone did) guests were welcomed by a light show like no other — think thousands of lasers, a huge disco ball and vast screen with mesmerising graphics. Jamie xx took to the decks as rumour spread that Emma Watson — who is the face-of the new perfume campaign — had arrived, and guests lit up their cigerettes on the dancefloor. How noughties.
Take Me to Church
The bash: The late Virgil Abloh’s label Off-White took over the St John’s Smith Square church in Victoria for an epic live music soirée on Wednedsay night. The high fashion streetwear brand was celebrating its latest collaboration with heritage label Church’s which launches October 25.
The crowd: Off White’s new Artistic Director is Dazed Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim Kamara, who showed his first collection in Paris at the end of September. Plenty turned out to congradulate him, from Lisa Rinna’s model daughter Amelia Gray Hamlin to singer Labrinth and upcoming design talents Maximilian Raynor and Johannes Warnke.
The looks: Guyanese actor Letitia Wright, renowned for her role as Shuri in Black Panther, arrived wearing the new leather boots with criss-cross red laces from the Off-White x Churches drop. She finished off her military style look by strapping a statement brown, crystal covered vest over her navy suit. Also nailing the dress up game was Caribbean designer Jawara Alleyne, who rightly took the moment to champion his own creations wearing a magnificent pair of metallic, wide leg slacks and one of his signature, safety pin draped shirts.
The lowdown: The lofty church, lit blue and filled with fog, played host to a sequence of acts who took to the bandstand in the centre of the crowd. Channelling a modern jazz club, DJ Benji B curated a line-up of acts including George Riley and Yussef Dayes. The moment musican Cktrl appeared with his saxaphone was the highlight, though, charming the room in his typically mesmerising style.
The bash: At the annual Attitude magazine awards on Tuesday evening, the great and the good of London’s LGBTQ+ scene turned out in force at The Roundhouse, Camden.
The crowd: Old school stars counting Courtney Love and Fat Tony rubbed shoulders with favourites of the queer community, including Drag Race UK star Bimini Bon Boulash, and Fleabag’s Ben Aldridge. Netflix’s Heartstopper cast also showed up in glittering form to collect prize for the best TV series.
The looks:Yasmin Finney, who will play Rose in the next generation of Doctor Who, opted for a sheer, strappy Nensi Dojaka lilac gown for the carpet, cementing her sartorial status. But it was Ellie Goulding who turned the most heads, committing to mermaid chic with a marbled effect bias cut satin dress from Roberto Cavalli’s Resort 2023 collection, adding bold matching eyeshadow.
The lowdown: Proceedings took a turn for the serious when gay footballer Josh Cavallo made a dig at David Beckham while collecting his award. Beckham is the face of the Qatar World Cup which will take place next month, and where homosexuality is illegal. “Take that David Beckham!” said the player, as reported in The Standard’s Londoner’s Diary. “Qatar, FIFA: the world is watching. Do you see us?”
The bash: The opening evening of Frieze week was toasted in suitable style at The Arts Club, Dover Street, as the Evening Standard welcomed guests for the annual knees up in celebration.
The crowd: A mix of London’s social scene convened in the downstairs rooms of the private member’s club, including tailor Ozwald Boateng, artist Isaac Benigson and ES Magazine editor Ben Cobb.
The looks: Daniel Lismore arrived in a flash of red, as he sported a flowing cape with his signature balaclava and a black pillbox hat. Also making a statement was Made In Chelsea’s Sophie Hermann, who wore a pearl trim, white tuxedo and a bralette by Nadine Merabi.
The lowdown: The cocktails flowed out alongside the sushi rolls, before the intimate affair starting swinging and 2ManyDJs took the decks and had the room dancing until the early hours.
Chiltern fires up Frieze
The bash: The hot ticket on Tuesday night was Chiltern Firehouse’s Frieze Week curtain raiser, the art fair which officially opened this morning. Hosted by the White Cube gallery owner Jay Jopling and American businessman André Balazs, proceedings certainly kicked off in confident style.
The crowd: Artists Antony Gormley and Tracey Emin joined James and Sophia Blunt and Jade Jagger for cocktails by Casa Dragones Tequila. But star of the show was an incognito Jared Leto. The actor, who is set to play Karl Lagerfeld in an upcoming biopic, kept his MTV cap on and flashed a designer streetwear outfit including a Gucci North Face yellow gillet and Stone Island cargo trousers.
The looks: Ivy Getty, part of the Getty family dynasty, took home prize for most glamorous with her leopard and poppy print halter neck gown with feather trim frock. As ever, artist Daniel Lismore looked the part in a red lace cape and balaclava, while Soho Revue gallerist India Rose James had a surprise under her shirt: a trompe l’oeil boob bodysuit.
The lowdown: Fun was had, but the sensible set headed for an early night before tackling the Frieze London and Frieze Old Masters galleries today – arrivals there have included Rishi Sunak, Madonna’s artist son Rocco Ritchie and Kate Moss’s boyfriend Count Nikolai Von Bismarck so far.
AJ and Naomi are the Boss
The bash: Hugo Boss faces and high profile fans turned out in strong force to the Oxford Street flagship on Tuesday evening, raising a postponed toast to London Fashion Week.
The crowd: Fresh off Alexander McQueen’s catwalk, Naomi Campbell swapped a crystal covered jumpsuit for a crinkle texture black suit as she snuggled up to boxer Anthony Joshua. Both are faces of the brand and joined the Boss-clad set counting Kate Moss’s BFF Jordan Barrett, TikTok comedy sensation Munya Chawawa and former Victoria’s Secret model Leomie Anderson.
The looks: While AJ kept his style simple in a navy double breasted suit and white tee, other men had more fun. Rapper Ghetts opted for a shin length, fluffy woollen overcoat while musician Cktrl wore a sleeveless military style vest sans shirt. Meanwhile, Romeo Beckham’s ex-girlfriend Mia Regan risked a pair of cycling shorts and an oversized, beige shade Union Jack t-shirt.
The lowdown: Having settled into the bash, it was rapper Dave’s turn to ramp up the energy. He took to the mic and brought out his guitar to play some tunes as Campbell livestreamed to Instagram from the front.
Björk, Björk, baby
The bash: There was plenty to celebrate on Monday night — but Björk’s presence in London trumped them all. The Icelandic singer’s album ‘Fossora’ is out and she is the coverstar of AnOther Magazine’s latest edition — posters of which were plastered around the party at Victoria House, Bloomsbury, “powered by Gucci.”
The crowd: It was simply the start of the week, but you wouldn’t have guessed inside. Burberry’s old guard set held court as former creative director Riccardo Tisci joined his muse and model Mariacarla Boscono for glasses of SeventyOne gin — the alcohol brand by their photographer pal Mert Alas. Elsewhere, TikTok stars like Francis Bourgeois found themselves side by side with veteran scenesters including Princess Julia. (Both looked to be thoroughly enjoying the party).
The looks: Björk was eaily best dressed too. In her signature sculptural facepiece, she let loose on the decks, swinging her a crystal strand headpiece around and sporting an emerald green corset satin top and multicolour puff skirt.
The lowdown: Much talk at the party turned to Michèle Lamy. The French designer and ‘life partner’ of Rick Owens is a vision, and has bounced off walking in Ye’s controversial Yeezy fashion show in Paris and is lapping up London’s scene. “I already love her and love her music, but this is beyond,” tells us Lamy of Björk. “I don’t think there is anybody now like her to DJ. That energy. I text Rick [Owens] right away, and said we need to do something and she has to come to DJ. Ah you’ll die.”
Marie Antoinette Goes to Liverpool
The bash: Jimmy Choo (yes, there is a real man behind the shoes) helped clap on the next generation of young fashion designers at his Jimmy Choo Academy in Mayfair last night. After five new designers, and the more established designer in residence Patrick McDowell showed, it was off to the home of egg toilets, Sketch, for more fizz.
The crowd: Amongst the front row counting Everybody’s Talking about Jamie star Layton Williams and singer Ella Eyre, it was the grande dame (and actual Dame) of British design Zandra Rhodes who held court.
“You know, I think there might be some rising stars,” Rhodes told us afterwards. “It’s important to come out and see what’s going on.” And what caught her eye yesterday evening? “I liked seeing the complete variety of fat, thin, and different aspects. I think that’s the way the world’s going.”
The looks: Naturally, the best dressed came on the runway. McDowell’s collection — titled Marie Anotinette goes to Liverpool — came in the genre of camp you might expect. Ancien Régime style wigs were made of hair rollers, neon gowns came with metres long trains, old Jimmy Choo heels had been mended by The Restory and embellished with ruffles, and black mesh masks were tied over models eyes. All very ‘off with their heads’.
The lowdown: “It’s my first big runway in three years, and it felt like a big step forward,” said the sustainability-centric Northern designer post-show. “I went to Versailles during the pandemic and was struck at how similar it was to Liverpool. The hair gets bigger, the dresses get bigger, more makeup!” If the shoe fits.
Tom of Finland Fest
The bash: Preceding Frieze Week by a few days, the Tom of Finland Foundation flew in from LA with a festival celebrating all things erotic art last weekend. The foundation, named after the celebrated illustrator known for homoerotic sketches, was founded to preserve his legacy and fight against the censorship of LGBTQ+ art today. Saturday night saw leather-clad party guests descend on The Maine in Mayfair for a supper in celebration. Dress code: Fashion Fetish, naturally.
The crowd: Attracting London-based fashion designers both established and upcoming, JW Anderson took his seat by ToFF co-founder Durk Dehner, while rising star boyfriends Ed Curtis and Benny Andallo snuggled down on the adjacent table.
The looks: Sculptor Nick Hornby certainly looked the part in his tight white vest and leather harness, while Loverboy designer Charles Jeffrey dug out a lace blazer that, he said, had not seen the light of day “in years.” Standing out amongst the swathes of black was DJ and ‘events enthusiast’, Aimee Phillips who sported bright pink latex for the occasion.
The lowdown: After margaritas and the odd long island iced tea, guests took their seats for a feast including zingy tuna tartare, buttery scallops and some perfect pink beef. As the room dispersed at 11pm, gift boxes suddenly appeared. Inside? CBD infused lube from Howl. Oh, and mini butt plugs – cute!
Scroll the gallery above for the best party pictures this week in London