EMOTIONAL TIES: It’s been 11 years since Emporio Armani held a big shindig in London. The return, to mark the reopening of the brand’s Bond Street store, was celebrated with a huge party at the Tobacco Dock in East London that followed a showing of the spring 2018 collection.
“We’re very emotional about this show and, also, my uncle (Giorgio Armani) is very ’emozionale’, like we say in Italiano, with coming back to London to show the collection,” Roberta Armani said. “London is a very special place to us. It’s important that tonight we do something special.”
Sources said that Armani spent upwards of $2 million on the night, much of that going to securing the night’s entertainment.
Guests were expecting big things. Back in 2006, the brand took over Earls Court to show its spring 2007 collection and throw a party to raise awareness of AIDS, with Leonardo Di Caprio and James Franco, plus Beyoncé performing.
Immediately after the show, as guests moved across an open outdoor terrace and through the doors to a one-night-only club, lit with colored box lights in a new take on an old-school disco dance floor, wild speculation about the entertainment circulated around the party.
“I heard it’s going to be Tina Turner,” said one guest. “No, it’s Rihanna,” countered an editor, “she’s definitely in town.” They were all wrong.
Frequent and heavy-handed Prosecco top-ups made up for the teensiest canapés and served to prep the audience for the night’s first performance from A-ha, who performed a set of four songs, including “Crying In The Rain”, culminating with their 1985 hit “Take On Me”, which saw the dance floor swarmed with fans young and old.
Ellie Goulding was the other big name on the bill, and there were DJ sets from Disclosure and Horse Meat Disco, the London fashion set’s favorite DJs, that kept the dance floor full all night.
Former One Direction star Liam Payne was among those rumored to be performing: his single “Strip That Down” outstripped all expectations on the charts and is still one of the most-played songs on American radio after 16 weeks.
“We never expected it to last as long [on the charts] as it has. It’s great but a nightmare at the same time because I want to get my new song out, but no one is letting me do it,” he said, explaining that buzz has to die down around the current single before his label will release the new track, resulting in some unexpected free time.
“I got to go on holiday and everything! We went to Mallorca; I had my birthday out there, which was nice, spent some time with [my son], Bear, and Chez (Cheryl Cole).”
Payne has just put the finishing touches on his new album, which is due for release early next year. “I wanted to base [the album] off of the albums that I listened to as a kid, that were my generational albums, like, say Justin Timberlake’s ‘Justified,’ that’s a great album,” he said. “Each song [on my album] has a different sort of feel. We’ve got some bubblegum pop on there, got some dance tunes, urban tunes, loads going on!”
Poppy Delevingne just finished filming “The Aspern Papers,” a period drama based on Henry James’ book, and was set to attend the premiere of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” which opens in British cinemas on Sept. 20.
“I play a lady villain in the film,” said Delevingne, who appeared on screen earlier this year in “King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword,” in which she played Igraine, Arthur’s mother.
When asked about her character’s costumes, Delevingne chuckled and said, “Ahem, you’ll see why that’s a funny question when you see the film. As it starts out, the vibe isn’t that different to what I usually channel but later on it kind of goes off kilter a bit.”
Other guests at the party included Olivia Palermo, Paloma Faith, ballet star Eric Underwood, Lady Amelia Windsor, Chelsea Leyland, Hermoine Corfield and fellow actress Millie Brady, who is soon to star opposite Elle Fanning in “Teen Spirit,” a musical drama due for release next year, written and directed by Max Minghella.
“Next month I am hopping off to Budapest to go do the second series of ‘The Last Kingdom,'” Delevingne said. “I am playing Aethelflaed, a British warrior queen who’s a real character from history. It’s quite cool to be stepping into the shoes of an amazing woman from our history.”