Fashion Week parties provide the ultimate inspiration for entertaining. From on-trend eats to stylish table settings, PENNY MC CORMICK does FASH BASH FUN at home like a front row regular and tells us exactly how to throw a fashion week party
THE INVITE: You want it to be memorable and, most importantly, Instagrammable. Recent winners in this category were the MOSCHINO invite printed on men’s briefs (!), a monster claw at GILES DEACON, SIMONE ROCHA’s arty photo poster and MULBERRY’s vintage book of wild flowers. In general though, invites are becoming increasingly techie using laser cut outs, neoprene, perspex (DRIES VAN NOTEN) or origami-inspired. Luxe stationers CUTTURE create mini masterpieces, as do Poppy’s Papercuts, the company recommended by Amanda Sheppard of Rose Productions (Bryan Ferry’s ex and party organiser du jour). If in doubt, the handwritten invite trumps all, as does a simple stiffie, still very much in favour at CHANEL. Invest in Iain Webb’s brilliant coffee table book Invitation Strictly Personal: A Collection of Fashion Show Ephemera 1961-2015 for further inspiration. The rule of thumb; will my guests frame it?
THE FLOWERS: We’ve reached peak peony and flower walls are over. White blooms are still a firm favourite; they contrast so well with guests’ LBDs. Camellias, white ranunculas and hydrangea are on trend (EMILIA WICKSTEAD) while all white Avalanche, Naomi or Norma Jean roses are classic and elegant. Succulents are also big, as is the high-low appeal of potted herbs with Baccarat stemware on tables (LOUIS VUITTON). So-called, long low “tank” arrangements now outweigh candelabra at more formal dinners (Proenza Schouler). London florist, McQueen, does Mulberry’s events while Vic Brotherson of Scarlet & Violet is on KATE MOSS’s speed-dial having done her wedding. She favours the spontaneous look of undone or scattered flowers which is also the style of Putnam & Putnam in New York. In Paris expect more sculptural arrangements from Baptiste Pitou, seen at Sonia Rykiel, while in Milan, Tearose is synonymous with blooms noted for their fragrance (at Etro).
THE FOOD: Head honcho at the Cellar Society in London, Bertie de Rougemont served lilac duck egg and soldiers at PRADA and vegetarian fare at STELLA MCCARTNEY, though toasted cheese sandwiches and black truffle always go down a treat. So too does avocado and goats’ cheese on toast. When finessing your menu, avoid those huge china spoons for serving canapés – very ungainly. As for dessert, say au revoir to macarons – so last year, darling – and you’re a dinosaur if you’re still in the thrall of cupcakes. PRADA served chunks of dark chocolate. Bring out when you want your guests to leave.
THE EXTRAS: Scent rooms with your signature candle; DIPTYQUE’s Mimosa works well for this time of year, though Baies is still the fashion favourite as is JO MALONE‘s Blackberry and Bay. If you’re doing a goodie bag then think of an essential fashion week beauty item. Most designers gift their perfume and detailed notes of each look or a catalogue. Novelty items include Compeed Blister Plasters and Peppersmith gum, otherwise CLARINS Beauty Flash Balm, THIS WORKS Deep Sleep Pillow Spray or CAUDALIE’s Beauty Elixir are all crowd-pleasers.
THE POST MORTEM: Hashtag your party. The next day you can retweet the compliments.
For more, see our September issue of THE GLOSS Magazine, which is out today, free with The Irish Times — don’t forget to pick up your copy.