ONE-OFF: After 17 years of friendship with Tanya Ling, John and Monique Davidson, founders and creative directors of J&M Davidson, have collaborated with the artist and illustrator on a collection of three hand-painted bags from the J&M Davidson collection, featuring abstract scenes of outer space inspired by “The Wildest Organ in Town” by Billy Preston, Sly & The Family Stone and band J. Walter Negro and the Loose Jointz.
To launch the partnership, the brand hosted a cocktail party at its Mount Street, Mayfair store, which opened earlier this year, where Pierre Hermé macaroons were served up with prosecco and grapefruit cocktails. The London Chatter blogger Kelly Eastwood was in a tangerine sweater dress by J&M Davidson, coordinating with stylist and journalist Katherine Ormerod, who is set to launch a new site for professional women.
“Forbes is great, but I think women need a little more rounded content,” she said. “It’s called ‘Work, Work, Work,’ and encompasses things like how to kindly fire someone, how to divorce with dignity and how to spend time away from work.”
A selected number of guests repaired to Scott’s restaurant for a dinner following the shop launch, where John Davidson explained that customers will be able to commission Ling to paint a bag in a chosen style from next week.
“Usually my work is very ‘Pow! Pow!’ very big and fluid but, painting the bags, I felt more like a jeweler or someone doing needlework, because they look intricately abstract,” explained Ling, who was joined at the dinner by artist friends Gavin Turk, Charming Baker, Polly Morgan and Mat Collishaw.
Other guests included artist Diana Chire, the Gagosian Gallery’s Georgina Cohen, collector Lauren Prakke and Pippa Vosper, founder of Chiswick boutique RSPV.
Reminiscing about some of her early memories of her friendship with the Davidsons, Ling recalled a trip to Japan in 1999. “They had commissioned a bunch of paintings of their collection for an exhibition for their shop in Tokyo. We had such a laugh, and really bonded as friends on that trip. I didn’t think the show had gone very well at all but I thought, ‘Oh well, at least I got to go to Japan,’ because I’d never been before. But it transpired that they’d sold every single piece. It was a huge surprise.”
“I’m quite scatty, and I couldn’t quite understand the Japanese toilets that do all these things and I broke the one in the hotel and water went everywhere,” she recalled. “They’d lent me all these clothes to wear and I thought I’d grabbed my old coat to clean up the mess but I’d grabbed one of the new samples she gave me. I don’t think I ever told Monique that.”
The cost to commission Ling is about $1,800 (the bags are sold separately), and will be available at the Mount Street store until Jan. 31 2017.