LOCATION, LOCATION, WRONG LOCATION
Last night Dolce&Gabbana and Mr.Porter (click) threw a party to celebrate the former's arrival on the latter's site. Here are the hosts Stefano, Natalie Messenet and Domenico with that Naomi Campbell, all in place happily at the party at Net A Porter HQ in Westfield.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the postal district they call W12, your author was trying to negotiate his arrival on the same site as the all the aforementioned formers, the latter having typed the post code of the party into his i-phone and dutifully followed the route to the red map pin that dropped in the middle of an area half a mile behind the BBC on Wood Lane. What could go wrong?
Having worked at the BBC a bit recently, thought that as only round corner, would get tube to White City (a huge cross metropolitan schlep for a Clapton dweller), then bowl to party, self sufficient style. As I walked down South Africa Road that leads off Wood Lane, I did think this doesn't look like the sort of place to have the HQ of something like Net A Porter. But then again, you never know. I also imagined that 'Westfield' could sort of mean anywhere in the vicinity.
It looked less and less like a party location, but I persevered grateful I'd gone for a blazer, t-shirt and jeans, not the black tie outfit I'd considered. As I passsed a small gangette of youths, I was less grateful of the paperback I'd brought to read on the tube. Trying to look hard with a novel in your hand is in itself hard, no matter who wrote it. Nearing Queen's Park Rangers ground, still not a queen in sight. Just ominously quiet tenement blocks. The red pin wasn't even on a road, but I thought I'd fully investigate so as to rule out further pilot error as it is something I've become very accustomed to. In the middle of an estate, my iPhone told me I had arrived, the incompetent little bastard. What to do? Call the only person who was certain to be there that had spoken to recently. Dolce poster boy, Dave Gandy.
Gandy was useless, or busy rather. I berated him for this as I consumed my second Martini thingy on the trot, stabilising various imbalances in the system. Don't blindly trust your trust iPhone map is the moral. And perhaps pay more attention when people talk about Westfield.
The party was busy in comparison to the estate on other side of Wood Lane. Net A Porter/Mr.Porter HQ is utterly mental. Sci-Fi palatial and housed inside The Death Star of retail itself, Westfield. West being the operative bloody word. W12? I practically had jet lag by the time I'd got back to Hackney. Still, at least I got to read my book a bit on the way over.
The fashion lot give things a good go party wise I have to say. All manner of people were in attendance as well as the usual. Queen Latifah. Some Geldofs. The little, heavy cubes of very moist cake that came round were a highlight. Also on the subject of moist cakes, as a man who I'd spied in Soho earlier in the day wearing a calf length skirt, clogs, and thick rimmed glasses and sweat danced on his own like an aspergers body popper I decided it was time to leave.
So, to sum up. Between QPR FC and Westfield lies the BBC. Common sense and technology are not in synch. London is a city of contrasts. Fashion is a game of two halves. Westfield is a long way West.
TS back in the East.