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London sure knows how to pre-party — the town has been ablaze this week with celebrations leading up to tonight’s Swarovski Fashion Rocks extravaganza at the Royal Albert Hall.
On Tuesday, Matthew Williamson welcomed guests, including Thandie Newton, Francesca Versace, Yasmin Le Bon, Leah Wood, Christopher Bailey, Lady Gabriella Windsor and Katie Leung, to London’s Design Museum, where the retrospective, “Matthew Williamson — 10 Years in Fashion,” is running until Jan. 31.
“I was hanging neon poles until 6:30 this evening,” said Williamson. “I am a real perfectionist.”
Across town that same night, Sir Philip Green hosted a black-tie dinner and fashion show at Annabel’s to showcase Kate Moss’ Christmas clothing collection for Topshop, which drew the likes of Daphne Guinness, Amanda Harlech, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Jade Jagger, Sadie Frost and Chrissie Hynde. Grace Jones made an appearance, and even sang her classics after the show.
Over at Harrods, Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman hosted a party in the store’s Rococo Ladurée tearoom to fete their spring Marchesa collection with help from Jasmine Guinness, Harvey Weinstein, Erin O’Connor, Tamara Mellon and Olympia Scarry. The evening doubled as a family reunion: Both Craig and Chapman’s mothers, Bobbie Hollier and Caroline Wonfor, respectively, looked on as Craig’s brother, Alex Ward, a magician, entertained the crowd with card tricks.
At Christie’s on Bond Street, London’s artists and their supporters, such as Amber Nuttall, Scarry and Princess Michael of Kent, turned out in force for an event to raise money in aid of Parkinson’s disease. Peter Blake, Juergen Teller, Marc Quinn, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Rachel Whiteread and Sam Taylor-Wood all created — or donated — works that raised $1 million for The Parkinson’s Appeal for Deep Brain Stimulation.
Londoners aren’t the only Europeans who know how to party, though — a sizable group of Francophiles gathered at the French Embassy in New York to fete interior designer Jacques Grange, who was nominated as a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and is about to begin revamping The Mark hotel. Charlotte Sarkozy (sister-in-law of French President Nicolas), Anh Duong, Babette Fribourg, Zac Posen and Jacqueline Schnabel wandered through the elegant mansion, formerly the home of the Payne Whitney clan, admiring the gilded and mirrored Venetian room and the Alexander Calder mobile on the second floor. It was a truly multiculti evening at the embassy — the guest of honor was French, the meal was Italian and, by the end of the night, it was the Americans who shut down the place, smoking and drinking as “Guantanamera,” of all things, played in the background.