On Thursday night, everyone's favourite fashion brand Acne launched a capsule collection of denim shirts with transgender and transvestite fashion magazine Candy. They are (of course) intended to be unisex. After years of the standard actress/style icon/designer/highstreet collaborations, this project most definitely puts the fun back in fashion. The party was held at Bistrotheque, and it's safe to say that the evening got more than a little surreal...
Some of the Acne/Candy shirts, modelled by very beautiful girls/boys/girls...who can tell?
Mingling with a crowd of beautiful boys and extremely trendy girls (who were all trying to out pose each other; the drag queens won, hands down) the founder and Editor of Candy magazine, Luis Venegas, told me how he was pleasantly surprised when Acne approached him about creating a capsule collection, and was excited to see the final product. As a huge fan of melodramatic, uber glamorous Eighties soap operas, he has named each shirt after a character from Dynasty. Naturally, the 'Alexis' shirt features a huge denim pussy bow, and is Luis' personal favourite!
The party itself saw the usually industrial Bistrotheque transformed into a shimmering cabaret club, complete with walls of tinsel, ruby red heart balloons and a wall of orchids. Even the bar staff had got into the spirit of the proceedings!
Acne parties are always a hot ticket - the building filled up 10 minutes after the doors opened!
Upstairs there was a white painted garden shed, that contained an old television showing a film of boys in their boxers running around with exercise balls. I have no idea what that was about.
I sneaked backstage to watch the make-up artists work their magic on a group of cross-dressers and male models who had been roped in to give the evening an appropriate 'transversal' feel. Some were happier about having their faces done than others - listening to two queens debating shades of pink nail varnish was hilarious - but all looked lovely by the time they left the chair!
One slightly reluctant customer, who initially insisted he wanted to 'look like Shakira!'...
...but was swiftly told he would be rocking the Annie Lennox look that evening.
Duncan from ACNE Paper looked breathtaking with his perfect swoosh of hair and immaculate lippy. Jealous, moi?
Jeanette does her best serorita moves.
Of course, the pros arrived to show us how it is done! We love you Jodie/Jay xxx
My own evening took an unexpected turn when I found myself sitting alone in the bar area, watching the evening unfold. An older gentleman started up a conversation with me, explaining that he was here to take pictures for Candy. I was initially surprised that such a 'mature' guy worked for an uber-trendy magazine, but all became clear when he gave me his name; Barry Lategan.
(I had to look it up, don't worry)
He's only the man who took the photos of Twiggy! What a person to meet - the stories he had to tell! I became his unofficial assistant for the evening as he went around taking photos of the drag queens whilst balancing a saucer of pink champagne in the other hand. The consummate Sixties photographer, he was telling everyone how beautiful and fabulous they looked, and every person was happy to pose for as long as he wanted them to, due to his effusive charm and confidence. He even decided that I made an interesting subject, which was a beyond weird moment in my life. I was honoured to have spent a few hours with such a fascinating man, and it was the cherry on the cake of a brilliantly surreal evening. Acne and Candy = the perfect combination.
The video below shows Barry Lategan regaling the story of when he first met Twiggy. He's the perfect party guest!
Images: Candy, Acne, George Langford