LONDON LIGHTS: Gucci doesn’t mess around when it comes to getting a party started. Vodka shots and Champagne flutes on sliver trays circulated as guests flowed into an 18th-century mansion on Piccadilly for the party Thursday following the brand’s cruise show in the cloisters at Westminster Abbey in London.
Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof, both twinkling in Gucci sequined dresses, arrived together and headed straight to the place where all the cool kids go to have fun — the bracingly cold smoking area.
Chung said she loved the show: “The music, that choir, but especially that naughty feeling of doing something you shouldn’t be: Being in a church, but being there for fun. It was kind of like gossiping in the chapel at school.”
The evening’s venue was no stranger to high-spirited shenanigans. Formerly the St. James’s Club, which shuttered in 1978, it was a home-away-from-home for the likes of Evelyn Waugh and Ian Fleming in the Forties. Gucci gave the space — which is now used as a conference center — a lavish overhaul, importing plush velvet furniture, lacquer bars, paintings, plants and carpeting.
Gucci president and chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri introduced the night’s entertainment — a live set by Annie Lennox — with a strict warning not to photograph the performance. Of course, everyone ignored it and fired up their smartphones. Seated at the piano, Lennox belted out a concise lineup of her greatest hits, including “There Must Be An Angel” and “Here Comes The Rain Again.”
Elle Fanning, who was reprimanded by security for taking a snap of the performance, was standing almost incognito in the crowd, a Gucci-branded baseball cap pulled low over her glittery eyes, and singing along to the intro to the Lennox classic, “No More I Love You’s.”
“I’m happy just to be close to her,” she shouted over a shoulder to “Diary of a Teenage Girl” actress Bel Powley, who was spellbound by Lennox’s voice, too.
Also in the crowd were Georgia May Jagger, Jay Jopling, Stephen Jones, Charlotte Casiraghi, François-Henri and Salma Hayek Pinault, Thomas Cohen, A$AP Rocky, Elisa Sednaoui, Hikari Yokoyama, Jacquetta Wheeler, Matthew Williamson, Jarvis Cocker, Jack Guinness and, of course, Alessandro Michele.
DJs including Faris Badwan and Steve Mackey kept the volume turned up well into the evening for a party that would have certainly impressed Waugh and most other members of the old St. James’s Club.