WWD Digital Daily
Jonathan Anderson hosted a magical dinner Wednesday night at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England, once the seaside holiday home of the hard-partying King George IV and now a national treasure, to mark the second Uniqlo and J.W. Anderson collection.
Anderson said he visits the pavilion, with its Taj Mahal-like exterior and lavish 19th-century interiors, a pastiche of Chinese and Indian art, about once a year. He said he loves it so much he wanted to stage an event there.
Guests took to the Banqueting Room, with its glittering dome, one-ton crystal chandelier and Chinese paintings, and sat at a long table that had been built, just for the evening, alongside the 19th-century one that was set for King George and his guests.
Earlier in the evening, they also got to see George’s bedroom, with its secret door for special guests, the sprawling kitchen with its great fireplaces ready to roast dozens of chickens at a time, and the chic bamboo furniture that was imported from China by the spendthrift king, who used the pavilion as his pleasure palace.
Anderson said he loved the juxtaposition of the lavish pavilion with the seaside, resort-y feel of Brighton, which was the inspiration for his second collection for Uniqlo. He said he looked at Fifties wallpaper, thought about the Great British summer (more dream than a reality, what with the rain) and democratic clothing.
“It’s a summer version of what I did last season, and I wanted something that was kind of old school, with a preppy edge, and bleached by the sun,” said the designer, whose breezy collection was displayed on racks and tables in the pavilion’s kitchen.
There were stripes everywhere, from the long jersey dresses and knit polos with uneven hems to the collarless cotton shirts with epaulets. Anderson popped a seagull print onto T-shirts and backpacks and worked a Fifties feel into the collection via denim work wear tops and long tunic shirts. Fabrics were easy and included cottons, French linen and jersey.
There was also a water-repellent parka that can be stuffed into a pocket for the famous British summer. Prices range from 14.90 pounds for a T-shirt to 59.90 for outerwear. The spring-summer collection launches on April 19 at Uniqlo stores and on the retailer’s web site. — SAMANTHA CONTI very insane. Wonderfully chaotic is what we say.”
Bell has been a fan of the brand since her formative years. “My mom donned me in Bonpoint head to toe since I was little. She is a designer and has a very European sensibility,” she explained.
While hands-on motherhood is her topmost priority right now, the actress and director is also busy on the work front. Her comedy “I Do…Until I Don’t,” which she wrote, directed and starred in, came out last September, and she is working on the pilot for a new show about marriage, called “Bless This Mess,” which begins shooting next month.
Pairing a bright dress by Elizabeth and James with a Max Mara cape and clutching an embroidered Valentino purse, she had a quick change in store before heading straight to the latter brand’s couture show.
Marie-Agnès Gillot, who is to retire from the Paris Opera this year, arrived at the show like a pantomime horse, her son Paul hiding behind her beneath her long cape, with just his legs peeking out from underneath. “He’s very shy,” she explained.
The prima ballerina just began rehearsals for performing Maurice Béjart’s “Boléro,” at the Opéra Bastille in February. The role is particularly special to her. “I’m the last woman who Béjart gave [the role to] when he was still alive,” she explained before the show started, her cute son fidgeting on her lap.
Marc and Sarah Lavoine were there to see their younger son, seven-year-old Milo, walk the show. The French singer and actor is preparing to release a new album as well as working on his second novel. “My first was about my father, and the second will be about my mother,” he said. He also has a movie coming out, “Love Addict,” a comedy starring Kev Adams and Mélanie Bernier, later this year.
Actress, writer, director and philanthropist Sonia Rolland also has a movie in the works, on a subject the former Miss France knows well. “It’s about a candidate for a beauty pageant. It’s called ‘Miss,’ it’s a social comedy,” she said of the project, due out next year.
She arrived at the show with close friend Imany, who was taking a break from touring. “She needs it,” quipped Rolland.
“I’ve just finished an 130-date tour, and then we are doing a final tour for the summer, and then I’m going to take a bigger break from music and do other things,” the singer explained. — ALEX WYNNE