Tuesday, 28 February 2012

London's Best Kept Secret

I haven't been to a Disappearing Dining Club event yet but after reading up about them I really, really, REALLY want to! A part of me didn't want to blog about it and keep it secret but that would just be mean....!

I 'm pretty bored with the same old nights out in London, same bars, same people, same music and am constantly on the look out for new bars, pop-up venues and something generally a little different. This ticks all the boxes and sounds super fun.

The Disappearing Dining Club organise pop-up dining rooms, host monthly events and will also organise your private parties.  They specialise in unusual, reclaimed, secret venues, they'll create events in "empty warehouses, forgotten rooftops, hidden basements, secret galleries, private gardens and anywhere else we/you can find."

On the first Saturday of every month a Dinnner Dance is held, always in a different location mixing it up and ensuring a different crowd. Essentially, it's an event to get your friends together, eat really good food, drink lots, whilst listening to fun music and meeting tonnes of new people. There are DJ sets before and after dinner, with the venue staying open for as long as possible - so get your drunken dancing shoes on to party late into the next morning!


THE DEAL... Tickets cost £50, for this you get entry, welcome glass of Grey Goose Le Fizz, canapes and a four course dinner.  They also cater for vegetarians, just make sure that you send an email before hand.

The next Dinner Dance is taking place this coming Saturday at 'On the Rocks' in Shoreditch and the night is Catalan inspired. This venue was previously a strip club many years ago, but don't panic it has been spruced up and everything is brand spanking new ready for your arrival! I even have a sneaky peak preview of the menu to entice you even more, see below...

A Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktail to start proceedings off, followed by a delicious array of canap├ęs including Serrano, Green Bean & Truffle Rolls and Smoked Pepper & Manchego Tortillas.  Then the four course feast kicks off.  To start with there'll be Octopus Salad with Pomegranate, Celery & Rustic Croutons followed by a main course of Iberico Pork Belly with Chorizo & Anchovy Boulangere, Mixed Green Bean Salad & Mojo Rojo and then a dessert of Orange & Cinnamon Creme Caramel.  But there's still more...to top it all off, the fantastic finale... A Big Cheese Buffet!

There are only 20 tickets left as we speak so snap one up QUICK, here's the link...

Report back if you make this one.....I am desperate to know all the details....

http://www.disappearingdiningclub.co.uk/dinnerdance/

The Party Where No One's Famous Because Everyone Is

So we may have declared awards season officially closed yesterday with a our Oscars' fashion round-up but as we were doing so, the party of all the Oscars' after-parties was still in full swing, The Vanity Fair Oscars Party.  

What's the collective noun for celebrities?  A constellation?  Maybe a narcissism?  Well whatever it is, that's what filed down the red carpet outside the Sunset Tower Hotel on Sunday night and swarmed into the tented ballroom on a deck atop the hotel pool.  It was that constellation of A-listers that drained 420 bottles of Moet, devoured 800 In-N-Out burgers and nibbled at miniature red velvet cupcakes iced with the names of the Oscars nominees (although lets face it, Victoria probably gave her burger to David, we ca't imagine she really does beef patties and let's not even get started on the bun...).  From Pharrell Williams to Michelle Williams and Joan Collins to Lily Collins, they were all there.  All working the room.  All holding each other's Oscars.  All showing off their new toy boys (J Lo).  All complaining about the three pairs of Spanx that they wore to the Oscars ceremony (Viola Davis).  And generally all nonchalantly pretending not to be chasing their next role. 

We thought that the fashion offerings on the Vanity Fair red carpet were actually a little more exciting than those at the awards themselves.  

We loved J Lo's ceremony Zuhair Murad but her second Murad of the day with a deeper slashed neck-line in a delicious shimmery plum was even better.  We thought Miley looked stunning in silver beaded Cavalli with Marilyn-style curls and scarlet lips but we hated the turquoise nails.  Cameron Diaz also changed for the Vanity Fair red carpet and we much preferred the zingy, citrus orange, Victoria Beckham dress she wore in the evening to the bland Gucci that she'd worn earlier in the day.  We were big fans of Kate Hudson's bright red vintage Versace but on closer inspection we weren't so keen on the body-stockinged top and the hair would have been looked more polished up in a chignon or low bun.  

Kate Bosworth was our best-dressed of the night in Prabal Gurung.  Keeping the accessories simple and sharp and the hair sleek and slicked back, she made sure that everyone's focus remained on the intricately embroidered sheer yet chic shift.  True red carpet perfection.   

On the not so hot list, we hated Claire Danes' bright pink Valentino meringue and January Jones' went dressed as a tree.  Katy Perry's Blumarine dress was pretty and along similar lines to Elie Saab gown that she wore to the Grammys but we just don't like the Marge Simpson hued hair.   

Here our our favourite photos from the party including our best and worst dressed picks (you'll note we don't name check the men's designers, we're sorry but tuxedos and ties are just not as interesting...).

Amy Adams in Vivienne Westwood


Placing bets for Oscar winners.


Chris Evans and Sandra Bullock in Marchesa.

Cameron Diaz in Victoria Beckham


 Claire Danes in Valentino


David Beckham & Tom Cruise


Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford


Diane Kruger in Calvin Klein


Steve Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow & Martin Short




Joan Collins & Carole Bayer Sager


Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen & Gerard Butler


January Jones in Wes Gordon


Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad Couture


 Katy Perry in Blumarine


Lily Collins in Monique Lhuillier


Michael & Kirk Douglas


Laim Hemsworth & Miley Cyrus in Roberto Cavalli


Martin Scorsese & Fran Lebowitz


Joan Collins


Kate Bosworth in Prabal Gurung


Olivia Wilde in Gucci


 Sean Combs

Jason Statham & Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Antonio Beradi


Sofia Coppola & Tom Ford


 Sunset Tower Hotel - venue of the Vanity Fair Party


Sophia Vergara in Roberto Cavalli


Tom Ford


Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes in Elie Saab Couture


Victoria Beckham in Victoria Beckham


Kate Hudson in vintage Versace


Diane Kruger in Calvin Klein


Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton, Harvey Weinstein & Busy Phillips in Dolce & Gabbana


David & Victoria Beckham.


Zoe Saldana in Marios Schwab


Images via: www.vanityfair.com and www.stylebistro.com

Jo Malone's London Blooms

Jo has done it again ... not sure about you but I want all three of these limited edition London Blooms scents. Guaranteed to make you smell like an English country garden with Peony & Moss, White Lilac & Rhubarb and Iris & Lady Moore. Wildly unusual ingredients but as always the perfect blend that leaves you smelling good enough to eat. 



Image via www.selfridges.com

Available from March at £72. Move fast as there's already a waiting list! 

If you're not patient enough to wait, other perfumes we're lusting after include...

Stella McCartney's L.I.L.Y, named after her late mother, the perfume's name stands for 'Linda I Love You' which Paul McCartney used to say to Linda when Stella was growing up. We love this sweet story and we love the sweet smell of this fragrance too. Prices range from £44-76.


Image via www.vogue.co.uk

Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino perfume is truly magical. It smells expensive and that's because is it! Priced at £180 for 100ml. Ouch - where's my secret admirer when I need him???


Image via www.styloko.com

All this talk of perfumes has left me feeling like a scent shopping spree is very much in need, good job I'm off to the airport again...

Monday, 27 February 2012

The Oscars: Very Serious Business

Warren Beatty famously said, "The Golden Globes are fun.  The Oscars are business."

And we're talking big business.

Everyone in Hollywood from limo companies to hairdressers rub their hands with glee as awards season approaches and closing that season, the Oscars provide the biggest and best money-spinning opportunity of all.  On Oscar day, the best hairdressers can command up to US$5,000 a day (plus tips), security on the night costs in the region of US$3,000 and limo hire will set you back up to US$4,000.  How about the 500 foot red carpet that will be trampled under many a star's Jimmy Choo clad foot en route from limo to the venue formerly known as the Kodak Theatre (I'm sorry but the Hollywood and Highland Centre just doesn't have the same ring)?  Well a carpet hire company will be written a fat US$30,000 cheque for providing the oversized rug and the crew of sixteen who'll be needed to fit it and then pack it away again.

Then there are the parties, large fees will be pocketed by venues, event planners, chefs, bouncers and catering staff.  The cost of hosting these extravagant celebrations is truly obscene.  At the Governor's Ball that followed the ceremny last night US$42,000 of Moet&Chandon washed down 1,300 oysters, 1,450 pounds of lobster and 25 pounds of black truffle (the truffle alone cost US$25,000).  And who served this feast to George Clooney, Brad Pitt and co?  A 950 strong army of waiters clad in four different custom-designed uniforms.

It's clear that several hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on this one night in Hollywood but is it all worth it?

The Oscar stauette itself may only cost around US$500 to produce but those 131/2 inch, little, gold-plated men have a far higher value to everyone from the actors and actresses nominated to the film studios who produced the award winners to the stylists putting together the Oscar night looks and the designers who created the couture that's being paraded down the red carpet.  Market research firm, IBISWorld,  estimates that the winner of the Best Picture award rakes in an extra US$15million after the awards.  Weinstein Cos' The Artist, a black and white, silent movie picked up three statuettes last night including the highly coveted Best Picture award.  Weinstein was all but washed-up just a couple of years ago after a string of poorly performing films and crushing debts.  For him, these wins means not only a guaranteed surge in box-office takings but also a cemented reputation as a producer of independent films.  Well-worth the no doubt multi-million best picture campaign and footing the bill for couture for its stars to wear on the night.

For actors and actresses an Oscar win boosts earning power (sometimes allowing winners to charge double or triple the fees they were charging prior to a win), can provide credibility (Sandra Bullock from fluffy Miss Congeniality notoriety to serious actress overnight) and potentially opens up a whole host of new opportunities.  Jim Broadbent, Whoopi Goldberg and Antony Hopkins each won fourteen film roles within five years of winning their Oscars.

As a designer, getting Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry to wear your dress for the ceremony provides advertising that you just can't put a price on.  With an estimated billion viewers internationally (many of whom, including us, openly admit that they just watch for the dresses) and extensive coverage across the internet, in newspapers and in magazines, the dress, shoes, clutch and jewels that adorn each A-lister on Oscar night will get serious exposure.

So that leads us nicely to the million dollar question.  Who wore what last night to the 84th Academy Awards?  Who looked the business?  And who was looking distinctly Kodak?  As always, the Mice are here with the rundown...

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace
She's Angelina so let's face it she could wear Grace Woodward's BAFTAs outfit and look hot but we just felt that this was all a bit B-, could do better.  The woman has incredible legs but is it just us or does this pose leave her looking a little flamingo?

 Image via: www.nylon.com 


Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood
We loved the back of this glossy, sequinned Westwood number but the front's just a little same, same, seen it all before.  Rose also looks so scarily thin that that's pretty much all we can focus on when we look at her.

 Image via: www.oscar.go.com

Sandra Bullock in Marchesa
The Mice love Marchesa but this monochrome gown is not really doing it for us.  The jewel detailing at the waist is very pretty but seems to add bulk to the very non-bulky Bullock.  The fit also just seems wrong, the skirt's too tight and the top half is too baggy.  Pretty back though.

  Image via: www.oscar.go.com

Stacy Keibler in Marchesa
Now this is more what we're talking about.  This shimmering, gold gown was one of our fav runway pieces at NYFW a couple of weeks ago.  Love the asymmetric off the shoulder sleeve and although the rosette detail at the hip sounds wrong on paper, on the dazzling Keibler it's all so right.

 Image via: www.nylon.com


Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Take away the accessories and this would have been perfect.  We've been disappointed in Michelle this awards season with nothing she's worn really having had the Wow that her mustard Vera Wang of the 2006 Oscars had.  But last night's bright coral, ruffled number was much more MW 2006.  She's so slight that she can carry off the peplum and the ruffling and the colour is beautiful .  We just dislike the clashing pink clutch, the chunky necklace and the bow at her waist.

 Image via: www.nylon.com


 Jessica Chastain in Alexander McQueen
Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  Gorgeous.  We just loved Jessica Chastain in McQueen.  Total full-on, filmstar glamour with beautiful detailing.  We love the burnished gold against her pale skin and russet hair (which is perfectly princess tousled).


 Image via: www.nylon.com


Rooney Mara in Givenchy Couture
In a departure from her recent signature black, Rooney went white last night, apparently a choice that she made just hours before the awards.  Paired with the sharp Girl with a Dragon Tattoo haircut and old Hollywood pin-up make-up this very almost looked stunning but somehow something was just a little off.  We love the delicate, wispy fabric and the full fishtail silhouette but we're not sure about the bodice and particularly the boob eyelids...


 Image via: www.nylon.com

Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford
Topping our best dressed charts is Gwyneth in Tom Ford.  The white column sheath is stunningly simple but could be forgetably so if it weren't for the punch of the fabulous cape.  Perfect minimalist elegance.  

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad 
Taylor Swift was one of our Grammys' best dressed in Zuhair Murad and JLo got a touch of the Murad magic last night at the Oscars.  Making the most of her curves and really setting off her caramel skin, we thought the Latina looked lovely.

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Milla Jovovich in Ellie Saab Couture
As one of the first stars to arrive on the red carpet last night, Milla Jovovich set the fashion bar high with this stunning sequinned one-shouldered gown.  The slash of scarlet lipstick gives the look a real old Hollywood feel.

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Viola Davis in Vera Wang
The Help star won widespread accolade for going wigless on the red carpet and she looked fantastic.  Unfortunately the dress was a miss for us.  Had the colour been a bit deeper and the skirt a little less split-personality, it may have been a different story but it all felt a bit Aerial from the Little Mermaid.

Image via: www.gma.yahoo.com

Berenice Bejo in Ellie Saab Couture 
The leading lady from the Artist had the opposite problem to Viola, Berenice's gown was just too washed out especially for her pale complexion.  The beading's very pretty and we're big fans of a puddle train but the colour and the sleeves just leave us cold.

Image via: www.mirror.co.uk 

Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli Couture
All the Oscars fashion coverage has drawn the inevitable comparisons between Emma's hot pink, pussy bow look and Nicole Kidman's 2007, red, Balenciaga gown.  We have to agree that the dresses are remarkably similar.  Despite the sense of de ja vu, we love this colour on the flame-haired, milky-skinned Stone we're just not quite sure about the enormous bow under her chin (a vast improvement on the two-toned, eagle-belted, Lanvin oddity that she wore to the Golden Globes though).

 Image via: www.celebuzz.com

Kelly Osbourne in Badgley Mischka
We were pleasantly surprised by Kelly's red carpet choice.  The E favourite was hosting the fashion coverage for the channel with Giuliana Rancic (who also looked good save for a bit of a savage hairstyle).  We thought the black dress with sheer panels and emerald sequin detailing was beautiful and really figure flattering.  Hated the make-up though and we wish she'd ditch the granny hair.

Image via: www.mirror.co.uk 



Kate Mara in Jack Guisso Couture

Rooney's elder sister dazzled in this delicate, beaded, blush gown.  We love the draped single shoulder and the messy side-swept bun.  Mara really showed other pale-skinned girls how to look etheral rather than insipid (listen up Berenice Bejo).

Image via: www.nylon.com

And with that, we officially declare Awards Season closed for another year - sniff sniff, roll on Paris Fashion Week.

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