Christmas at Claridge’s is fairy-tale stuff, on the list of “things to do before I die” for many. Add Lanvin to the package and the fantasy goes into overdrive. That’s what it was last night at the cozy soirée hosted by Alber Elbaz to unveil his new Christmas tree for the storied hotel.
Elbaz takes over the job from John Galliano, who had the gig two years running. And this was no new age fantasy extravaganza as Galliano delivered before. Alber’s homier tree included miniature Lanvin boxes tied in navy ribbons, reindeers, and jewel-colored streamers, but the highlights were the top and bottom. Perched at the tip was a doll version of the designer himself; at the bottom, poupées dressed up as concierge staff and customers of Claridge’s. It was a nod by Mr. Elbaz to his longstanding patronage at the hotel.
The English old and new guard who gathered to sample the ham tarts and mulled wine included Sir Paul Smith, Gordon Ramsay, and Nicky Haslam, while the younger set (mostly dressed in Lanvin) included Tallulah Harlech, model of the moment Suki Waterhouse, and Jade Jagger’s daughter, Amba Jackson. All this while Mike Figgis’ girlfriend, Rosey Chan, performed Ravel and Bach on the piano—with one hand tied around her back.
As for Elbar’s Christmas wish? “Maybe I will go to Morocco, maybe India, we shall see,” he said. “Right now, though, a good rest in a warm climate will be a great Christmas gift to myself.”