"When the Serpentine Gallery approaches you, no really isn't an option, is it?" Christopher Kane said with a laugh when asked how he came to co-host this year's annual Serpentine Gallery Party, considered to be London's party of the year. "The truth is, art is really important to me, and for design in large. Most of my collections are premised on some kind of art form, and I've visited the Serpentine Gallery for years just to admire and be inspired. When they did approach me, it made perfect sense and the timing seemed right."
Several attendees observed that hosting was a considered move for Kane, part of a transition from renegade boy wonder to fashion titan. After all, the previous fashion sponsors of the Serpentine party were power houses like Burberry, Brioni and the late L'Wren Scott. But he cheerfully dismissed that notion: "Being a sponsor wasn't a strategic move for me to say to anybody like, 'Hey I've arrived I am hosting the Serpentine,' we are just acknowledging art in general and the Serpentine Gallery in particular for influencing fashion — never mind life in general. I mean, where would we be without art? I think if you are lucky enough to be in a position to support it, then why not?"
Alexa Chung, Dasha Zhukova, Nars, and rather randomly, Michael Bloomberg were some of the other co-hosts, and they were joined by a myriad of stars under the open skies. Pitching in were the adorable James Corden and his wife Julia, Karlie Kloss (wearing band-aids on her toes), Benedict Cumberbatch and his wife Sophie Hunter, Lara Stone, Kate Hudson and probably the entire roster of Next Models. For fashion junkies, the Serpentine is a pure mind blow for the amount of designers that turn up, and last night was no exception: Emilia Wickstead, Matthew Williamson, Erdem Moralioğlu, Osman Yousefzada, Alice Temperley, Duro Olowu, Peter Pilotto, Zandra Rhodes, Roland Mouret, Julien MacDonald, Jonathan Saunders all made appearances. Of course, the requisite billionaires, social climbers and sports stars showed up as well, a glamorously motley crew which made the party so darned fun.
But rubber necking was not the only sport on offer, and there was plenty last night to keep one entertained, starting with a live performance from Spandau Ballet, which sent most guests straight down memory lane. That was followed by a set by Mark Ronson, and another from Kiera Knightley's husband, the doe-eyed James Righton of the Klaxons. Guests less into the music gathered at the outdoor Pavilion, an inevitable talking point at each year's party. This year it was a suitably weird, giant sort of vacuum cleaner hose with candy colored banners (see above), courtesy of Spanish architects Selgascano.
The party was meant to end at midnight, but at the witching hour, it showed no signs of slowing down. If anything, things seemed to turn up up a few notches. We saw Burberry's newest face, Clara Paget, slip away into the night: "I better get out of here, if not, I will wind up here until 4 a.m."
See more of the evening's guests in the slideshow below.