Bairbre Power: Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events of the summer
I literally didn't want to leave London last week because there were so many great invites, and when I did, my plane home was struck by lightning. Talk about a dramatic welcome home.
I'm a mega fan of the Swedish fashion brand Cos, famous for its pared-back looks and architectural feel clothing, so I was only too thrilled to take up its invitation to attend the Cos x Serpentine Galleries Park Nights event. Given the clean aesthetic of its clothing collection, it was entirely appropriate that the setting for the party was at the 'unzipped wall,' a fascinating summer pavilion designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).
Each summer, a new pavilion is designed in the Kensington Gardens at Hyde Park and, last Tuesday, guests admired the structure of box-like fibreglass frames stacked on top of one another and a clever wall that splits to create curved entrances. There were gasps of admiration and inevitable selfies, after which the party began.
Guests from the creative worlds of art, design and fashion joined Karin Gustafsson, Cos creative director, and their head of menswear design, Martin Andersson. Fellow guests included Will Poulter, Eric Underwood, Reggie Yates, Jade Parfitt and Miranda Kilbey and Elektra Kilbey of Say Lou Lou. The sleek music offering included a live performance by the singer-songwriter Nao and a DJ set by Man Like Me.
Canapes included bowls of seared sea bass, strawberry ripple ice cream cones and vodka Amalfi lemonade.
The fashion-related chat was top class and continued to the fun after-party at the Groucho Club in Soho. Easily party of the year for me.
Shoreditch House, the beyond-cool converted East London warehouse owned by Soho House, always intrigues me, not least because they make it quite clear that they want the creatives and not the suits and ties brigade.
Last week, I dined there with Jessica Herrin (above), CEO and founder of the Stella & Dot jewellery and lifestyle brand, and Kathleen Mitchell, the Alaskan-born, Kylemore Abbey-educated Irishwoman who is VP of Stella & Dot Europe. I've never experienced such inspiring chat between starters and entrees. Jessica's new book, Find Your Extraordinary, is typical of her can-do attitude, and she left me with the recommendation to "dream bigger, live happier and achieve success on your own terms". After that soulful advice, my cravings for dessert instantly evaporated.
London is intrigued by Cork’s Ann Marie Corbett, who threw a great party beside the Gherkin to launch her online business, Ann Marie’s Dressing Room. Turns out the style start-up was inspired by the movie ‘Clueless’, in which character Cher got dressed using a computer mannequin
I bumped into Jasmine Hemsley (above), who stole all our hearts when she and her sister, Melissa, did our Weekend cookery event in March. Jasmine was at the Cos party and the sisters are busy with their new cafe in Selfridges, where their restorative bone broth is a huge hit.
Photo: Dave Benett