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LONDON — “They want croissants, give ‘em croissants. They want jersey dresses, so I’m givin’ ‘em jersey dresses,” Issa designer Daniella Helayel said at a cocktail at Number 10 Downing Street, detailing plans to revisit her classic designs this season.
On Friday night, Britain’s first lady Samantha Cameron hosted a party at the Prime Minister’s official residence to kick off London Fashion Week, with guests including Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Bailey, Philip Treacy, Claudia Schiffer, Stuart Rose, Harold Tillman, Wendy Dagworthy, Kate Reardon and Clare Waight Keller.
“So, who’s making Kate’s dress – Middleton and Moss?” asked Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, during a short speech midway through the evening. The room, for a moment, went silent as a tomb.
Later that evening, Dagworthy chatted about her latest honor: An Officer of the Order of the British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth II. “Prince Charles gave me the award and complimented my black Perspex hat,” said Dagworthy, who had worn a design from the young British talent Zara Gorman.
Hilary Alexander is also celebrating a milestone, of sorts. “I’ve turned 65, which is why I’m semi-retiring,” said the doyenne of British fashion journalism and fashion director of the Daily Telegraph.
For another British fashion great, the road to Downing Street was a well-worn one. “I’ve already been here with Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair,” said Westwood, who attended with her husband Andreas Kronthaler. “Thatcher was repulsive: When I went to shake her hand, she pulled away. But I have to say I really like Samantha Cameron.”
While Cameron may have been the hostess, one of Downing Street’s newest and most written-about inhabitants — Larry the cat — did not put in an appearance.
According to Downing Street sources, however, Larry — a four-year-old tabby who’s been brought in to scare the rats — is already a fashion victim: The Cameron children are dressing him in Mulberry pet clothing.