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Off the Record - Rumours, gossip, parties

London’s frock chicks

The launch of online womenswear boutique went swimmingly well, with smoked salmon blinis and breaded prawns all round. The Blagclub in London’s Holland Park was shaken up by the Frock team, including Liz Peters, Rachel Perrett, Ying Tong and Leanne Turvey.

Excuse me, madame…

Lingerie brand Madame V hosted the first in a series of risque events at private members’ club Hedges & Butler in central London to showcase its racy ranges. A trio of women modelled the pieces and scribbled seductive love notes for guests. Madame V muse Valeria gave a glittering performance in the brand’s gold fan corset (1), while model Amy took a firm grip of a pen to show off her text appeal to the watching crowd (2).

You talkin’ to Kelly?

Thanks to the reader who spotted Selfridges boss Paul Kelly’s more-than-passing resemblance to actor Robert De Niro, following Kelly’s interview in Drapers last week. There’s no doubt Kelly is part of the A-list in the retail world, but how would his Meet the Fockers doppelganger fare on the shop floor? Would he mimic Vito Corleone from The Godfather and make customers “an offer they couldn’t refuse”, or greet them with a curt “You talkin’ to me?” Send your retail lookalikes to

Celebrities in the warehouse

Champagne was flowing at Warehouse’s autumn 07 catwalk and party last week, with stars out in force to toast the retailer’s new collection. Guests such as Footballers’ Wives’ star Susie Amy and actress Angela Griffin (1), and All Saints singer Melanie Blatt (2) were delivered to the mysterious north London venue in rickshaws and spent the night sipping cool drinks and admiring the range.

Craving attention

The paparazzi went into a frenzy when Posh and Becks checked into London’s Haymarket Hotel last Wednesday, and the snappers were still hanging around the following morning when model Lisa B rocked up to host a breakfast launch of her new collaboration range with maternitywear brand Crave. Pictured between coffee and croissants are Crave founder and co-director Helen Worsley, Lisa B and co-director Kevin Wildman.

A novel approach

Now we all know River Island is a stellar business, but we had no idea that one of the secrets of its success is an imaginative director with a magic lantern. River Island director Julian Lewis has written his first novel, The Magic Lantern of Kimbustan, an old-fashioned kids’ adventure story which, according to the PR, is “full of mystery and suspense, with a strong, compelling and fast-moving plot rife with love, death, excitement, peril, heroes and villains, blended with fantasy and reality”. Sounds like any normal Saturday at River Island’s Bluewater store…

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