Last Saturday, Issis Monteverdi and her husband opened up The Wellington Club for a party where we were under strict instructions to be ‘Villains’. The food was good and Issis looked exotic in a dress slashed up to her waist. But since then, what a week it has been: Fergie's birthday bash and Tatler’s 300th anniversary squeezed deliciously between Frieze, Zoo, and The London Film Festival – including the premiere of The Fantastic Mr Fox. Of course, one could bullshit and try to sound intellectual, but I want to make everything in my life as enjoyable as possible. So…
Frieze was a little disappointing. I went at the wrong time and the whole place was deserted. Morning people are just not as amusing and night people - especially rich girls in expensive dresses pretending they know a lot. I plan to go tomorrow, to get some feeling of what it should be. I want to see the rough and tumble of organized criminals, artists and galleristes, gossiping about the prices obtained in the latest sales. At Claridge’s, you can guarantee those sort of conversations. Just sit quietly and speak five languages, and between the laughter and nudges, you’ll get the truth.
Be careful however. When things become too establishment, they become sort of ordinary. Not so that naughty devil Damien Hirst, who showed his paintings at Wallace Collection, and brought out the true characteristics of the dealers. ("Dreadful paintings. Why show his art there?") But the truth is, he is so clever, he can do what he likes. I liked his blue series actually the best, I know
I am in the minority, he is slightly cheeky, comparing his blue period to Picasso’s, but so like him. Apparently, he managed to sell every one of the paintings for a million quid each - so again said "f...you" to the art establishment.
In another gallery, his wife Maia Norman sold me some hot pants with prints of butterflies by Matt Collishaw on their behind, and a shirt or two. And in yet another was a group exhibition starring Paul Fryer and Polly Morgan. Polly's work has gone huge now. She shows stuffed baby birds in coffins, and a flock of birds circling a cage suspended from a ceiling. Included in the exhibition was a ‘shrine’ to John the Baptist and Salome, Jesus Christ on an electric chair and a crucified great ape, so One Marylebone proved to be a great escape from the white washed corporate world. Meanwhile, round the corner in Portland Street was a small show for newcomers. The charming half-Balinese, half-English painter Karim Rabik, a great old friend, was finishing a painting ready for the opening that evening.
Next, I skipped off for the premiere of The Fantastic Mr Fox, an adaptation of the book by Roald Dahl, shown for the first time at the opening of the London Film Festival. Directed by Wes Anderson - with voices by Bill Murray, George Clooney and Meryl Streep – it had some charming moments, with music by Alexandre Desplat winner of many Globes and Bears.
At dinner beforehand, I had great seating opposite the saviour of Film Four, Tessa Ross. I knew she was clever, I could see it. If I tell you that she is the producer of Slumdog Millionaire, there is nothing more to say. An honour, Miss Ross.
Then - wow - today was the first showing of A Single Man, adapted from a book by Christopher Isherwood and directed by Tom Ford. This man is so very talented, and he's done it again. Colin Firth's portrayal was very realistic and meaningful, with some powerful insights into the gay life. It was very well directed, beautifully shot and also featured a great performance by Julianne Moore. (I want my hair done like that.)
So that brings me up to date in a rather flash way. It doesn't mention my diet or my new house. They are being dealt with. And me? I am off to Claridge’s to have drinks with some charming rebels…