The best thing about a fancy dress party is the dressing up. Being both a perfectionist and strapped for time the idea of getting a good outfit going was somewhat hellish. Luckily my dear friend Giada has been in London for many years and being an artist/fun loving gal herself she is most resourceful when it comes to mad endeavours. So in preparation she dragged me through Soho’s seedy backstreets and right into the Horse Hospital a treasure trove of a place if you are looking to rent a vintage costume. Within moments I found a perfectly surreal red big-shouldered 80’s ringleader-esque jacket, a top hat and a whip. Where was I going you might wonder? To a surreal circus of course where else? What a theme, what a party, what a night. At first I was slightly apprehensive about my sister’s choice of venue for her 30th Bday bash. After all Café de Paris, was one of the clubs we escaped to on weekends while locked up at boarding school all those years ago. My sister is the queen of randomness meaning that her choices and tastes are quite unpredictable. You are always in for a surprise. This time she landed a downright coup. Seeing the venue for the first time after so many years I realised it was not only, not that bad but in fact turned out to be the perfect place for our theme. The venue oozes cheap cabaret, burlesque and even a bit of Studio 54 vibe. The main floor, where we ate and later danced looks onto a small stage. All around the dance-floor a gold curtain hides little tables and sofas in booths. The club’s entrance one floor above curls all around a railing looking onto the dance floor. Standing up there in the theatre loge so to speak, gives you the impression that the people dancing bellow are all part of the performance. A big chandelier hangs in the centre.
That night we had great performers on and off stage. I must say our friends clearly made an effort even though my sister’s e-invite did not exactly give away how eccentric the party was going to be. Rather it looked like a straight- forward grown-up dinner party or even a condolence card in black writing on white paper. Nevertheless people went all out. My sister and a couple of friends came over to mine that afternoon to have our looks perfected by an amazing make-up artist and crazy hairdresser Patrycja and Pshemko both Polish and both fabulous. If in need of good, crazy styling let me know and I will pass on their details. The whole preparation set the tone for this spectacular night. I had more fun dancing and seeing every ones crazy looks than I have had in a while. A couple of my favourite looks of the night were: My brother dressed as a flying pig wearing a boob strap- on. Doesn’t every flying pig wear one? Two Argentine girlfriends Sofia and her sister Marina, who came as Siamese twins wearing one gigantic long dress, customised for the event. They were also wearing matching make-up and wigs and looked utterly surreal. They stayed in character all night long, somewhat an inconvenience to them as they literally stuck together of course. Spectacular sight! Giada looked fab in her glitter dress and eyeball accessories. And of course our night’s queen, my sister Maria in her teddy bear dress and snowqueen tiara hidden behind the Alexander Mc Queen alian hairstyle Pshemko had created. She was pretty out there as well.
On stage we had a string of great performances. My contribution to the entertainment was an amazing Ska band called No1 Station. Later my sister surprised everyone with a performance by The Correspondents. It’s protagonist an artist and an amazing showman rocked to his DJ’s tunes almost acrobatically. A tiny little stick of a man with dance moves and energy that would shame Mick Jagger in his best of years he twisted and turned to Swing and 20’s tunes mixed with old school Rock n’ Roll aka “I’m the king of the jungle” until blue in the face. How did he manage I asked him later “whisky and bananas.” Obviously! It was not only captivating watching him dance and sing but his snake-ish madness was utterly contagious. Everyone who hadn’t already been boogying to the previous band’s tunes, were now shaking it like a Polaroid picture if ya know what I mean. Although not exactly your average beau (skinny and short with specs and a strict side parting) Mr Correspondent seemed to have us girls enthralled. My friend Kinvara said she was madly in love. Weren’t we all.
Last but not least our friend and favourite DJ of the moment, Isaac Ferry played a set till we were virtually thrown out, way after curfew. How perfectly reminiscent of boarding school I thought? The core of the gang ended up in a plush boudoir full of big red beds and a way too low ceilings as though we had wondered right through the rabbit hole. Chatting and chilling horizontally and being able to kick off our vertiginous heels was a relieve.
I could ramble on for hours as I tend to usually do but today I feel the fabulous pictures Giada took seen above, say it better than words ever could. Giada’s visual contributions to Viveteria will be a lot more plentiful in near future we hope. As we all stumbled out of this Soho joint in the early morning hours dishevelled but still very much in costume (myself quite formal in top hat, boots and whip) I thought that this hasn’t happened to me in years. I can’t even remember the last time I was last to leave a nightclub let alone a nightclub in Soho. My brother was ambitious enough to head directly for a classic Eggs Benedict and Club Sandwich post-party breakfast in Chelsea still dressed as a pig, wings and all. Now that my friends, is prove enough for a good party.