Leave it to Miuccia Prada to bring a bonafide “salon” back to London. For three nights only, Mrs. Prada has opened a private members’ club at London’s Café Royal, a nineteenth-century institution where speakers, artists, filmmakers, chefs, and general influencers unite to share ideas. Considering Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw were early patrons, Café Royal was an enlightened choice for Mrs. Prada, who’s an intellectual heavyweight in her own right.
Film, food, art, and, of course, shopping are all on offer at the gilded baroque venue, which, last night, featured talks by Shala Monroque and Gentlewoman’s Penny Martin. The likes of Daphne Guinness, Katie Grand, and Lulu Kennedy sat on velvet couches while discussing the topic of the evening, “female role models,” which, after inspiring a few eye rolls from the gents in the crowd, left everyone riveted in their seats.
Kate Moss, Jamie Hince, Giles Deacon, and more popped by to take it all in, with many lingering in the rooms filled with Miu Miu’s yet-to-be-released 2013 Resort collection. Plus, guests were treated to a special surprise: a collaboration with two of London’s most beloved designers: Vivienne Westwood and Stephen Jones, the latter who, for the first time in his career, ventured away from hats to design a garment. His first sartorial venture? A denim apron.
“Mrs. Prada asked me to collaborate with her, and of course, I was honored to do so,” Jones tells Style.com. “I love aprons, I wear them all the time in the studio when I’m working because I am very hands-on and just make a mess. Aprons really are a symbol of hardwork put in by people throughout history.”
So, is a Stephen Jones clothing line in the works? “Hmm. I think it’s a wait and see—I’ll have to give it some thought, but it must be said that it was fun and challenging to do a piece of clothing for a change.”
For two guys who started the crotch-baring, NSFW, gay—make that very gay—magazine BUTT, Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom are far more well mannered than you might expect. They’ve even gone so far as to call their new women’s magazine The Gentlewoman—paging Miss Prim! But even if their first and latest mags—a glossier, more fashion-oriented men’s title, Fantastic Man, came in the middle—aren’t exactly kissing cousins, a smart, chic sensibility unites them. No crotches were bared at the quintessentially Parisian launch party, held in a salon in the Saint-Germain last night, but the design and edit crowds gathered to sip Champagne and toast newly minted editor in chief Penny Martin (pictured, left, with Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Brian Phillips, and Jonkers) and cover girl Phoebe Philo, shot by David Sims with a proper Celine scarf knotted around her neck. (“She brought that with her,” Jonkers reports, “but it’s vintage. I imagine she took it out of the archives, or maybe she bought it on eBay.”) Philo is the gentlewoman to a tee, say the editors. “We’re already thinking of the next issue, and who would be good,” Jonkers went on. “But it’s true, a good gentlewoman is hard to find.” Van Bennekom, sadly, wasn’t feeling up to snuff at his opening; he had a cold and decided to duck out from the party early. On his way out, though, he was kind enough to refuse kisses and would only shake hands after a dose of disinfectant. “I don’t want to get anyone sick! That would not be very gentlemanly, or gentlewomanly, either.”