Thursday, March 27, 2008

Swarovski Fashion Rocks 2007

"Music is fundamental to complete an outfit," said Frida Giannini, Gucci's creative director at the Swarovski Fashion Rocks 2007 on Thursday night at London's Royal Albert Hall. The evening proved her point as 15 designers, including Gucci, sent models down the runway to tunes of their inspirational rock star collaborator. Armani paired with Alicia Keys while Chanel chose self-proclaimed Chanel fan, Lily Allen. Versace models strutted, bright as canaries, as they dodged a writhing Iggy Pop. Dolce & Gabbana preferred a loud and proud soundtrack from rapper Timbaland.

The evening's star quotient was exceptionally high. Uma Thurman, who wore a stunning crystal-scattered Valentino gown and Samuel Jackson, in a series of Armani suits, played hosts while Gwyneth Paltrow presented the evening's highlight: a lifetime achievement award to her dear friend, Valentino, who recently announced his retirement. "I want to leave when the party is still full of people," said Valentino of his half-century in the fashion world. "This is very emotional for me." The audience stood as Valentino accepted the award and later his fans cooed over his talent. "Valentino is frills, bows and dots," said social Tamara Beckwith, who arrived in full-length red Valentino dress. " He makes you feel like a million dollars."

Other surprises included the unconventional Scottish designer Christopher Kane's runway show with Beth Ditto and The Gossip. Ditto has a reputation for making fashion 'don'ts' - like spandex and horizontal stripes - into fashion 'dos.' Kane fully supported her with a magenta crystal skirt suit. Ditto kicked her shoes into the audience during the last extended shout of the performance.

"Chris Kane and the Gossip were definitely the stars of the show," agreed Charlotte Hamlett and Miguel Pascal, ASW members who moved on to the Kane after-party at Paper club on Regent Street. Other attendees also dispersed into the night. Jasmine Guinness, Elizabeth Saltzman, Harvey Weinstein, Calum Best, Courtney Love and Princess Beatrice headed to the official after-party at Baglioni.

Bungalow 8 attracted the sophisticated set, which included members of the Armani group while Punk Club drew fashionista and rock offspring Peaches Geldof. The parties continued well into the wee hours – evidence, if any was needed, that fashion indeed rocked.

— Taraneh Ghajar

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