RAISING A GLASS: London Fashion Week wouldn’t be complete without a series of fizz-drenched celebrations, and the standouts this year were hosted by the brand Alexander McQueen to mark its Bond Street store opening and Hussein Chalayan, who is celebrating 25 years in business.
“Ever since we’ve known you, you’ve been humble, shy, hardworking and loyal. We love you, Sarah!” gushed Naomi Campbell, who made a spontaneous toast to McQueen’s creative director, Sarah Burton, on Saturday night at the end of a candlelit dinner at The Charterhouse in east London, an exquisite 14th-century maze of buildings and gardens resembling a Cambridge college.
A few seconds later, Eddie Redmayne, who was decked out in a McQueen pre-fall 2019 suit with beetles on the lapels, jumped up to say a few words.
“I have had the privilege of visiting the store and it was not only inspiring, but deeply moving,” said Redmayne, who was referring specifically to a show of Burton’s historical inspirations, and to the space on the top floor the designer has reserved for talks, projects and exhibitions for fashion students.
It was mainly a family affair, with guests including Kering chief François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, Marc Quinn, Shaun Leane, Philip Treacy and McQueen staffers, models and members of Burton’s design team in addition to chief executive officer Emmanuel Gintzburger.
Monday night saw Chalayan invite some friends to a Turkish dinner at Rüya London, with guests including Katy England, Rebecca Lowthorpe, Suzy Menkes, Lucinda Chambers and Róisín Murphy.
He gave a moving speech between courses, and introduced his team and family to the guests. Some of the team have been with the designer for more than 20 years. “So 25 years, what does it mean? You just live through it. You don’t think of it as 25 years,” said Chalayan. “I am grateful that I have my friends, family, professional friends who then become friends all together in the same space.”
Chambers praised him as the unsung hero of the fashion world: “Very rarely do you find a designer who is fully formed, with an incredible vision and solid ideas from the very beginning. Hussein is definitely one of those designers. The only one besides him is Christopher Kane.”