ALL THAT GLITTERS: Stephen Webster and Christopher Bailey pulled the rip cord on holiday celebrations in London, hosting parties filled with gold — in various forms.
Webster launched his first book, a memoir called “Goldstruck: A Life Shaped by Jewellery,” with a party at Fortnum & Mason, with guests including Tracey Emin, Heston Blumenthal, and his wife, Anastasia Webster.
Webster wrote much of the book at 35,000 feet as he flew around the world for work, and it includes creative writing and poetry — which he admits he loves penning. “I won’t stop writing because I enjoy it so much. I’ve been a jeweler for 40 years and whether it [the writing] is good or not it doesn’t matter and it occupies those times when I can’t be a jeweler,” he said.
Webster is also looking forward to the introduction of his jewelry collaboration with Tracey Emin, set to launch on Net-a-porter in February 2016, and a new commercial deal he signed in China.
“I have so many amazing things going on in my life now and they kind of keep on coming. I really wish for this to continue,” he said.
Anastasia Webster said that reading through her husband’s book, she was touched to look back at their time together: “Our life has been all luck and hard work,” she said.
Emin, meanwhile, admitted that she wrote the foreword to Webster’s book in a day, “but it took me three months to hand it over because I kept thinking it wasn’t good enough. Stephen is such a lovely person — it sounds so gushy — but he genuinely is a good human being and it’s really hard to communicate that.”
As for their jewelry collaboration, she said: “Stephen is known as a rock ’n’ roll jeweler and I’m known as a wild person, but actually we like classic jewelry, and it was amazing working on the collection. We created very classical and feminine pieces and we also both love animals, so you’ll also see a lot of that in the collection.”
Over at Claridge’s, Bailey welcomed 300 guests to mark the unveiling of the hotel’s first Burberry Christmas tree — made from nearly 100 umbrellas finished in bespoke gold and silver metallic fabric.
The model-heavy crowd included Lily James, Matt Smith, Alice Eve, Emin, Sam Rollinson, Charlotte Wiggins, Matilda Lowther, Toby Huntington-Whiteley, Jack Guinness, Alex Jennings and Erin O’Connor.
Asked about his own Christmas tree at home, Bailey said it’s very different from the shiny, motion-responsive creation that’s currently sparkling at Claridge’s. As guests walk by the towering structure, 77,000 individual lights are triggered, sending twinkling beams into the lobby of the London hotel.
“Our tree is the complete opposite. It’s so traditional and boring, and we actually hand-make little decorations to put on it,” he said with a big smile, adding that Christmas for him is less about models and more about children. “At the last count there were about 10 cousins and kids at home — and a lot of presents.”
Bailey was also amused about the timing of the party — more than five weeks before Christmas. “I keep wishing people Happy Christmas and it’s only the middle of November. It feels so strange.”