Yesterday’s headlines screamed that the U.K. was finally out of a double-dip recession, and, as if on cue, Alexander McQueen opened up its flagship menswear shop on Savile Row, offering the largest selection of RTW and menswear from within the brand. It was a poignant return to the street. As Alexander McQueen’s creative director, Sarah Burton (pictured, right), pointed out, “Lee used to apprentice here on Savile Row, so it is a bit of a homecoming, and since tailoring is part of our backbone, it makes sense to be in an area that is steeped in the codes of the house.”
Guests taking it all in included Dominic Cooper, Kristen McMenamy (pictured, left), Luke Evans, and of course Sarah Burton, who all respectfully looked through the shop with the gravitas required of the occasion. Not that fun wasn’t on the menu—as Kristen McMenamy told Style.com, “I had a lovely evening—the pretty boys finally outnumbered the girls!” But one of those girls especially deserved some praise. As she stood in a room that mimicked a banquet hall, but surrounded by gold skulls, the model added, “Sarah is so humble and brilliant—I just love what she is doing at the moment.”
If the amount of paparazzi outside an establishment is any indication of its popularity—which is the only barometer I use to measure this sort of thing—then the place to be last night in London was Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair. There were dozens of paps loitering, leaning on their expensive cars and mopeds. (Side note: How much do these guys make?!) Claridge’s was ground zero for all of the evening’s big events: The Sex and the City ladies were rumored to be staying there, following the London premiere of SATC 2; the National Movie Awards after-party was there; and Diesel was throwing a swanky dinner in the hotel’s Drawing Room in honor of its recently appointed Black Gold creative director, Sophia Kokosalaki. (Read our Q&A with her here.)
That last was the reason I was there, and my goodness, it was a swanky affair: Champagne and wine (Diesel’s own vintage, thankyouverymuch) in a private salon with Alison Goldfrapp, Daisy Lowe, Elisa Sednaoui, Luke Evans, and David Gandy, followed by a delicious dinner in a room with my favorite sorts of finishings—silk wallpaper, moldings, and gilt, gilt, gilt. Kokosalaki is a marvelous dinner companion but isn’t particularly keen on public speaking and demurred from a formal toast. Luckily, her host and new boss, the irrepressible Renzo Rosso (left, with Kokosalaki and Lowe), doesn’t share that hang-up. He made a speech celebrating Kokosalaki’s designs and intelligence and welcoming her to the Diesel family. After dinner, we repaired to Bungalow 8. Sophia, who’d never been before, humored me with a dance (as did our fellow dinner companion, Jefferson Hack!), but confided that she preferred the grittier East London nightlife to Bungalow glitz. Sounds like a Black Gold girl, through and through.