Tamara Beckwith is our new columnist she will be writing about the London photography scene. She is the co-founder of The Little Black Gallery, London’s boutique photography gallery.
Whistling around London I was super excited to make the effort to trip along to my Italian husband’s great pal Lapo Elkann’s book launch. Aptly titled “The Italian” and with the wonderful photography by Wayne Maser and the interviews by Glenn O’Brien. The opening evening was held on Dover Street’s swanky Robilant & Voena Gallery and was easy to spot due to the blinding flashbulb popping as the cream of London and European cool swung by. Honoury Brit Elizabeth Saltzman was leaving with uber cool hotelier Andre Balasz and model Lily Cole as I arrived. Once inside the impressive gallery space – owned by Count Edmondo di Robilant – it was clear the fashion pack was out in force. Supermodel Eva Herzigova and her husband, Gregorio Marsiaj were being feted in the middle of the main room, model Laura Bailey looked her usual high fashion voltage self, even the somewhat reclusive Camilla Al Fayed made the effort to show up. I was just over the moon to stumble upon my bad-ass girlfriend, ex supermodel, Marpessa Hennik. Once you find her you need no one else for a great time! Lapo was in a cool study signing books at a frantic pace, always referencing Vive Italia… and seemingly oblivious to the crowd pushing for a sighting…he is that sought after! There was a crazy, intimate dinner afterwards held at, where else, but Downtown Cipriani. I was just relieved to be sitting with Nick and Nettie Mason (he of Pink Floyd fame) and the divine Lapo and Eva and Gregorio.. Who could ask for a better front row seat!
More Italy, Milan being next on my list with my younger daughter and husband. A little work and a bit more play was on the agenda. That night we headed for an early supper with our good friends Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti at the Principe de Savoia. Straight after a super healthy dinner we headed into the cocktail party being thrown by Italian Vogue Editor, Franca Sozzani, for Giancarlo’s book “Private”. It’s an incredible collection of private and personal photographs all taken by Giancarlo that shows what a truly blessed professional and home life they have created. The party was attended by almost the entire Milan Fashion Week who had begged, borrowed or stolen a scarce Invitation. US Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour was in bonne form and I swear I saw her giggle. Pat McGrath, the Makeup Queen, who recently was awarded a British MBE and has been voted the most influential makeup artist in the World, arrived as always full of backstage stories and delicious throaty laughs. US Vogue’s Hamish Bowles dandy as ever in a raspberry bow-tie, whilst his younger boy in the wings for the same title, Derek Blasberg, was hosting a table with Joan Small and Georgia May Jagger. So much glamour all in one room…
Another day and another spectacularly beautiful building in Milan, Circolo della Stampa. I went with a great friend, Warly Tomei, to a brunch thrown again by Franca Sozzani for new designer Erika Cavallini. Creatively displayed on easels was the great photographs of the late Deborah Turberville. Simply entitled – “A Tribute to Deborah Turbeville”, it was a wonderful mix of fashion and art.
Finally back in London it was straight back to my gallery for a meeting with my favourite Brit photographer Alistair Taylor-Young, who was on a whistle-stop visit from New York to discuss his new show with us in the autumn. We then popped over to the opening of Sarah Moon’s new exhibition ‘About Colour’ at our neighbour Michael Hoppen Gallery. A beautiful show of pastel colours in her own inimitable style. I would have liked to have seen more of her dreamy fashion pix and less of the birds – but still worth a visit. As one would expect, a good crowd turned out for Ms Moon and I bumped into photo guru Philippe Garner (Head of Photographs at Christies), photographer John Swannell, and photo critic Sue Steward.
Later in the week it was off to Art 14, the newest and most interesting global art fair in London, with my business partner Ghislain Pascal and Max Houghton, Senior Lecturer in Photography at the London College of Communication. It was great to see so much photography from around the world on display. Our favourites were Erwin Olaf at Purdey Hicks, Harry Cory Wright at Eleven, Eric Rondepierre at Paci Contemporary, Karine Laval at Crane Kalman, William Klein at Hackleberry, JR at Lazarides and Lakin Ogunbanwo at Rooke & van Wyk. After hours of pounding the aisles we settled in their new concept restaurant ‘Food 4 Art’ – with a glass of champagne and delicious food by Rainer Becker from Zuma restaurant. Good food and art .. what more could a girl ask for!