"London is so full of energy and ideas," Isabel Marant said yesterday at her new Mayfair shop. "I honestly feel, when I go back to Paris, it's like walking into an old country—almost a museum, comparatively. This city is alive, and to get our shop here, well, it's a long, complicated story, but it was three years in the making."
Marant hit London yesterday for a belated opening party—her boutique on Bruton Street (taking pride of place next to Stella McCartney and Matthew Williamson) actually opened in September, but she has been a little busy since, what with that little collaboration at H&M, never mind her own collections. The celebratory dinner, held at the West End's architecturally spectacular Welsh Presbyterian Chapel (formerly the Limelight club and set to rise again soon as a performing-arts venue), was attended by Marant flag bearers such as Natalie Massenet, Jade Jagger, Jacquetta Wheeler, Arizona Muse, Lady Mary Charteris, and Nicholas Kirkwood. Invariably, as guests sat down, conversation turned to everyone's personal sob story of how they couldn't get past the H&M home page last month to buy any of Marant's items, or how much they were willing to pay for the items on eBay. (By the way, the answer is: quite a lot.)
Would Marant consider another partnership? "I have the whole planet calling me for collaboration, but it is not something I am willing to do every day. I am focused now on our new shop, which is opening up in Thailand, and being a bit lazy—but only in my fantasy world, because I never have time to relax."