There’s something quite humbling about seeing global celebrities being derailed by an unexpected downpour of torrential rain. The refusal to exit a car unless shielded by a brolly, the pitter-patter of rain matched to the beat of running heels. And eventually, the ultimate sacrifice, the train of a dress that’s turned from pink to crimson as it drags through wet grass. It would appear, just like us regular folk, London’s glitterati are also affected by the elements, as they were last night at the Serpentine Summer event.
Physically affected yes, (particularly those who chose to wear feathers) but mentally, despite the rain, the mood at the pavilion was filled with joy. Hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg, Lady Elena Foster, Bettina Korek and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Serpentine evening centred around Theaster Gates’ Pavillion and an immersive Alienarium 5 exhibition by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster.
The evening - soundtracked by DJ Romy (XX), featuring a very special performance from CKTRL - marked a transitional year for Serpentine and a reinvention of the event itself. Different to previous years, last night saw an array of London-based fashion designers choose a ‘squad’ to accompany them. Each designer invited and dressed people they felt represented them and their brand - a night of makers and their muses, the magicians and the ones who make the magic really sing.
Christopher and Tammy Kane were accompanied by Bridgerton star Charithra Chandran, 16 Arlington designer Marco Capaldo brought Adwoa Aboah and Alva Claire, whilst Harris Reed danced in the rain with guests Sam Smith and Sumayya Vally. Nearby was fellow CSM grad, fashion designer Chet Lo, who brought along Susie Bubble, Bree Runway and Coucou Chloe. “I think they’re the most iconic women in their industries right now. They’re so beautiful, so talented, so funny, and just a good vibe”, said Lo, when asked how he built his squad for the night.
American designer, New Yorker Connor Ives was accompanied by editor Tish Weinstock, who stood out against the grey backdrop in a fiery, vampiric gown from Ives’ AW22 collection. “I love to dress up. It’s pouring rain but we’re all here and it’s great. It feels surreal to be out again. A night like this two or three years ago might have been more of a chore but now I really appreciate leaving the house”, said Ives.
Last night also saw the war of the London summer parties, with several events happening across the capital. I asked Harris Reed what his plans were for the rest of the night, “dancing, dancing, looking at some art, and then more dancing”, he answered, and is exactly what he did.
Other guests included Ciara and husband Russell Wilson, Damien Lewis, Dolly Alderton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (the guest of designer Erdem MoralÄ±oÄlu) as well as a late appearance from Anna Wintour. Luckily, we had photographer Elliot Morgan on hand to capture the event for us…