The Miu Miu London
Images via Miu Miu
The Miu Miu London.
Tuesday 27th November 2012 – Thursday 29th November 2012.
Cafe Royal Hotel, Regent Street, London.
The who is who of the fashion, film, TV, art, architecture, design and culture world. Profiles included Kate Moss, Dita Von Teese, Vivienne Westwood, Bonnie Wright, Jonathan Saunders, Giles Deacon, Katie Grand, Lulu Kennedy and much more.
The Miu Miu London as birthed by Miuccia Prada was a three day women’s only members club. In characteristic fashion, Prada infused her merged vision of film, architecture, art, design, fashion, culture and cuisine in the formation of a temporary club that no one will forget anytime soon.
On arrival at the Cafe Royal, guests were met with installations by Vivienne Westwood and Stephen Jones (with the latter also behind the light installation fixtures on each floor). Westwood’s was a set on climate change and Jones’ employed mannequin heads (wearing resort 2013 catwalk beauty looks and apparently based on the heads of Karen Mulder and Erin O’Connor etc ) seemingly floating and crowned in Miu Miu dresses.
Inside the club itself, the meeting place of Cafe Royal’s newly refurbished decadent interior and Miu Miu’s whimsical irreverence made for an Alice in Miu Miu land type experience. The fashion house had taken over three grand floors of the hotel, with each floor boasting delights to be explored.
After warm and attentive staff ushered you in and took your outerwear, on the ground floor was the Grill Room. Reminiscent of plush and mellow Parisian lounges in the 1920′s, here you could dine on a walk in service basis. Also resplendent on the ground floor was a Stephen Jones installation with a pinky red torso with what seemed like branches as it were. These were covered in sunglasses; red and black. The other floors would reveal another three installations. Similar to the first but focused on shoes, bags and dresses respectively.
The lift or gilded stair led to the first floor was a brooding but welcoming conversation room. Beckoning with its deep leather sofas, lamps and books, this was the space for the screening of the Miu Miu Women’s Tales. The film shorts were screened back to back each day from 4pm. The conversation room played host also to the Miu Miu salon talks. One a day, these were discourses encouraging dialogue. The first was led by Dutch film director Klaartje Quirijns. She spoke to Bonnie Wright, Felicity Jones and Caroline Harvey after a debut screening of film shorts by Wright and Harvey respectively. The second talk on the following day saw Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman magazine and Shala Monroque of GARAGE magazine explore the topic of ‘female role icons’. The final day of the temporary women only members club saw design critic of the International Herald Tribune Alice Rawsthorn speak to Stephen Jones on his millinery career thus far and high fashion catwalk collaborations etc.
A floor up The Miu Miu London revealed a beautiful club lounge and adjoining balcony terrace. Both were home for conversation, refreshment (both food and drink. All complimentary as was the case with all on offer at the club) as served by possibly the most attentive waiting staff ever. They were in service (to what was an increasingly large crowd) from morning till 2pm each day the club was in existence and the service was just as exception at the end as it was at the start. As night fell each of the three days, a DJ would entertain guests. On this same floor boasted the reservation only restaurant. For each day of the tenure of the temporary club a menu by a world leading chef; Andrew Turner on the 27th, April Blommfield on the 28th and finally but by no means least, Margot Henderson on the 29th.
The final floor held the delightful Miu Miu store. Featuring three adjoining rooms, each was the stuff of dreams. The first was a shoe lovers heaven, the next for the woman who adores handbags and the third housed garments. The garments were from the latest collections and also on offer were collaborative designs with Stephen Jones and Vivienne Westwood. The Jones design was a denim halter neck dress. The design collaboration with Westwood, a t-shirt with a Miu Miu archive print fabric back and Westwood’s call for climate change on the cotton front.
It is interesting that all those in attendance across the tenure of the club were beholden to its delights. A rare feat for any brand given how hard it is to impress a guest-list such as the creative, media and arts industries. Everyone in attendance sang the praises of The Miu Miu London, wondering how any brand could measure up to not only the concept but more importantly, the second to none execution of it.
The Miu Miu perhaps will stand apart and stay the benchmark for time to come; for creating a place to celebrate feminism minus the usually accompanying soapbox, for the celebration of intelligence and dialogue, for successfully birthing an atmosphere that one is hard pressed to find even in the best hotels and clubs of the world (think the wonder of the 1920′s, meets the inventiveness of the 40′s meets the cool of London circa the late 60′s meets modern day) and finally selling you a brand by not really forcibly selling you anything at all (how many brands would have housed the store on the 3rd floor far away from sight with no mention of the retail space on the other floors?).