• What to know

    Tucked away in Kensington is one of London's many secrets: Leighton House, currently showing A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón Collection.

    From the street, Leighton House seems like a rather plain Italian palazzo. But once inside, the romantic vision that leading Victorian artist Frederick Leighton had for his home and studio, is laid bare. Building began in 1864 and on the ground floor, the 'Arab Hall' is filled with C15th and C16th tiles from Damascus, up the stairs to the elegant 'Silk Room', then through to the artist's studio with a huge north facing window overlooking a large leafy garden. And despite the many entertaining rooms, Leighton unusually felt the need for just one tiny bedroom with a single bed. 

    Mr Pérez Simón began collecting Victorian art in the 1970s, when the period was rather out of favour. He has amassed over 3000 museum quality works, and has the largest collection of Victorian masterpieces outside of the UK, including Frederick Leighton's Crenaia, the nymph of Dargle, Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Venus Verticordia and Lawrence Alma-Tadema's The Roses of Heliogabalus. It's the latter painting that proves the hero of the show; the paint so meticulously applied to create the illusion of marble, fruit and water gushing from a fountain. But also because the overwhelmingly beautiful mass of pink and white rose petals in fact disguises a scene of dark depravity, as Heliogabalus and his bored guests watch on as the figures at the front of the painting drown amongst the blooms for the onlookers pleasure.

    The last time this picture was exhibited in London was 1913. Seize this rare opportunity to view it at splendid Leighton House.


    A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón collection at Leighton House Museum

    Until 29th March 2015

    Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ

    Leighton House Museum offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win one of three pairs of tickets for an out of hours experience of A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón Collection at Leighton House Museum at 6pm followed by a special screening of Effie Gray in Leighton's studio, a room frequented by Effie Gray herself, her husband and art critic John Ruskin and Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett Millais. Monday 8th December at 6.30pm. 

    Don't miss out on future offers,   sign up to the A-List.

  • What to buy

    Surely the best party outfit is one that's already been worn on a wild night? And even better, one worn by a supermodel? Right?

    Which is why Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief Pop-Up Store at Westfield London will no doubt be mobbed by festive party aesthetes wanting a pair of Campbell's heels, Kate Moss's frock or Shirley Bassey's floor length gold sequin gown.

    In the thick of Westfield London's 'The Village', The Pop-Up Store is Campbell's project to raise awareness and funds for Fashion Against Ebola. So Naomi has called on her fashion world friends to donate clothes by designers including McQueen, Versace and Victoria Beckham, with prizes each day as part of the shop's Golden Lottery.

    But don't shilly-shally. Naomi's shop is only open for a week. 

    Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief Pop-up Store, 28th November - 4th December


  • What to see

    Memphis is a girl meets boy story done right. Enter Huey Calhoun (Killian Donnelly) with his deep-fried wit and charm, an out of work radio DJ who knows a star when he sees one. And see one he does - Felicia Farrell (the indefatigable Beverley Knight) - at an underground nightclub in 1950s Tennessee. Together they rise up, come crashing down, combat racism, segregation and abuse, fall in love and bend the system until it all but breaks.

    Inspired by true events from the stealthy club scene of the 50s and the rampant racism in the South, Memphis was a smash hit in the US, winning four Tony awards when it opened in 2010, before opening in London.

    With an original score by Grammy-award-winning David Bryan (a founding member of Bon Jovi's band), it's all about that deep soul music and the effervescent choreography - arms and legs that swing back and forth like the hands of a clock. And you won't miss the costumes, designed by four-time Tony nominated Paul Tazewell. Nothing says West End musical like a litany of sequins dancing across the stage.

    By Bridget Arsenault