CHELSEA’S LONDON: No sooner had London Fashion Week wrapped than members of the industry and others turned their attention to U.S. political affairs, and two separate events with Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
The 35-year-old Clinton, six months pregnant with her second child, spoke during a two-hour cocktail reception and Q&A at Stair Sainty Gallery in London on Dover Street on Tuesday night. She spoke once again during a dinner at Natalie Massenet’s home in southwest London.
Both events raised about $200,000 for Hillary for America, according to sources.
Alber Elbaz was one of about 150 people at the gallery event, along with Julie Gilhart and Anna Wintour. Coming out of the venue, Elbaz would not be drawn on the evening’s conversation. “Stay warm, you poor thing. It’s quite a cold night,” was all he told a reporter who was standing outside the venue.
Elbaz was in town this week to celebrate the 90th birthday of Brown’s founder Joan Burstein, and to collect the Outstanding Contribution to Fashion Award
at the Elle Style Awards in London that same night.
Another guest at the gallery Q&A, a media executive who declined to give her name, had only good words — of course — to say about Chelsea.
“She was extremely articulate and stressed how important it was for us to register early, and to vote in the primary election on March 8. She also spoke a lot about how America needs someone who has made changes before, who knows how to make changes, and who has a great track record,” she said.
Another guest, who works in finance, likened Chelsea to her parents, and said she’ll have a successful career in politics. “She was very quick on her feet, and I was extremely impressed. She was smooth and extremely articulate. She’s like her mother, whom I’ve seen many times, and she was great in a town hall situation.”
At the Q&A, Clinton fielded questions from U.K.-based Americans. “She gave good substitute answers to the questions. But most of all, she kept it very positive and she kept to the facts,” said another guest.
The cocktail reception was a precursor to the main fund-raising dinner event, which was cohosted by Massenet, Wintour, Virginia Rustique-Petteni, Mindy Prugnaud, Pamela Boulet and Elizabeth Pierson Sainty.
The dinner was held in a marquee in Massenet’s garden, with tickets costing $2,700 a head.
Massenet and Wintour greeted guests at the door, including Tom Ford, Christopher Bailey, Julie Wainwright and Stephanie Horton.
There were cocktails inside and attendees later filed into the marquee for a passed dinner of American fare: Salads, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers and lemonade. In a nod to England, there was fruit crumble for dessert.
Onstage, Massenet introduced Wintour as the “leader of the fashion world” and Wintour later introduced Clinton, who spoke for about 30 minutes.
Clinton told the crowd this year’s presidential election would be the most important one of her life: She wants Hillary to be president for the sake of her children’s future.