The art of parties and beyond

The Block, Gareth Pugh, Henry Holland, Noki, David David, Louise Gray, Niketown

FEBRUARY 15, 2008

Dean Mayo Davies rolls with the gang...

Picture the scene. London's hot "The Block" designers—Gareth Pugh, Henry Holland, JJ Hudson (of Noki-NHS), David Saunders (of David David), Louise Gray and Roksanda Ilincic—and their BFFs would meet for a late breakfast at Bistrotheque, the social hub of the city's progressive fashion scene. They would then party their way on the Moët Tour Bus (yes, stocked with champagne) to Nike Town’s NikeiD.Studio to personalize a pair of sneakers in a congratulatory post-show reunion.

Of course, there was chaos right off the bat, as the Moët bus broke down before it even reached us, and news filtered through that Roksanda wouldn’t be joining us as she’d had a fainting spell. Forming a protective ring around several icy cases of Moët, guests got their tribes (and themselves) together and waited for the replacement, a red double-decker bus. There was no killer sound system or cushy seating, but Moët more than made up for it by sending through yet more crates of bubbly. Hic!

On board, Gareth, i-D's Hanna Hanra and DJ Rokk (formerly of BoomBox, now of Popstarz) claimed the back seat like naughty school kids. Henry (already in eye-popping Air Max Classics) stretched out over two seats in deep conversation with his pal, as JJ got a little cantankerous with Jeanette. Louise and David giggled with their plus-ones while Abby Bennett, right-hand woman of publicist Mandi Lennard, held court in the front seats, keeping all under control and multi-tasking with a phone superglued to her ear.

When we finally arrived at Oxford Circus, the surreality continued. Seriously, if you could only imagine the stares as our gang walked into Nike Town, champers and Bistrotheque food in hand, through the busy public entrance. “What the ell's goin' on wiv that lot 'en? Who the 'ell d'they think they are? Look, an' they all drinkin’ champagne,” I overheard one flummoxed shopper say. Obviously not a man familiar with things fashion, east or The Block.

We hurried to the NikeiD.Studio on the second floor, where the "work" would start, while still more cases of Moët were brought in (really). As everyone set about creating their shoes, I looked around the room to see what magic was being conjured. Louise whipped together a pair of bright hi-top Dunks in pink, yellow, blue and black, with her name on the heel. She has, after all, won awards for her use of color. When her sneakers are delivered in a few weeks, she said she'll personalize them further by having her friend (who did the footwear for her show) add platforms. “I think they'll look great with a bit of height, don't you?!”

The party flowed, and the gang—which included guests Jeanette (who Hint readers will remember was the door bitch of BoomBox in its glory days), make-up artist Alex Box, performance artist Jonny Woo and DJ Matthew Stone—happily toiled away. DJ Rokk spun his way through tunes, which included a thumping Phil Collins remix (seriously) and Janet Jackson’s Nasty Boys (which got a hands-in-the-air response). But it was, alas, time for me to dash up the road to my last show of London Fashion Week, MAN. I was gutted I wouldn't see how JJ’s kicks turned out (he told me he wanted to cut out the swooshes, but somehow I don't think that's an option at the factory). And what would Gareth's shoes look like? I hedged my bets on all-black with a slick of high-sheen patent leather, but I'll just have to keep my eyes on the East End streets to find out.

—Dean Mayo Davies



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