STARRY NIGHT: “Buckingham Palace one night, Claridge’s the next, where else would we ever want to be?” asked London’s vintage princess Virginia Bates from under a sparkling, mantillalike headdress at the party to celebrate Diane von Furstenberg’s Tree of Love.
Von Furstenberg and her cohost, Edward Enninful, pulled together a 250-strong crowd to mark the unveiling of the latest Christmas tree that’s aglow in the lobby of Claridge’s and decked with fruits, birds and animals — with a zodiac motif in the background.
A pattern with 12 star signs covers the walls of the lobby, and extended to the theme of Thursday night’s party, where guests were a transcontinental mix of fashion types, socialites and glittery people.
They included Barry Diller, Joan Collins, Erin O’Connor, Ashley Hicks, Patrick Grant, Lara Bohinc, Lady Amelia Windsor, Alice Temperley, Nicky Haslam, Natasha Fraser, Martina Mondadori, Jourdan Dunn, Paloma Faith, Roland Mouret, Alexa Chung and Tania Fares.
They didn’t swing on a star — but on a big, white crescent moon, hamming it up for the cameras and draining more than few bottles of Champagne. “We’re going to have a goooood time tonight,” said von Furstenberg, who shimmered in a flapper-ish dress made of long, swingy fringes that she only had made the day before.
Others in the room were taking a break from a variety of creative projects, with Fraser set to publish a book on Lucien Pellat Finet early next year and Hicks writing about his design inspirations, having earlier this year penned a book on Buckingham Palace interiors.
Bohinc, who made her name in London with her big, coiled gold jewelry, has moved onto bigger designs — furniture and objects for the home. “I don’t have to think about size — or weight! It’s a dream.”
Some guests, including vintage fashion expert and former actress Bates, had started partying earlier in the week, filing through the big black gates of Buckingham Palace for a cocktail to mark London College of Fashion’s Better Lives projects around sustainability, diversity and social responsibility.
Guests at that event, hosted by the Countess of Wessex in a room filled with Old Masters paintings and silk-covered sofas, included Simon Burstein, Hilary Riva, Nicholas Kirkwood, Stephanie Phair, Richard Caring and Professors Frances Corner and Helen Storey from London College of Fashion.