• What to wear

    Unless you've been hiding in a hole, you'll know that Frieze Art Fair is on right now; a vortex of flash, trash and a lot of cash in a mammoth tent in Regent's Park.

    Aside from the 'art', there's much mirth to be had in people watching - as the boulevards between the pulsating gallery stands become the art world's catwalk.  Here are my fashion tips

    1. It's Caribbean hot in the tents.  Wear peelable layers .  You can even do bare legs if your summer tan's still gripping on.
    2. Statement shoes OR a statement coat.  Never both.  Celine seems to be the footwear of choice; either skate shoes or lace-up wedges.
    3. If you fear bumping into an old boyfriend or someone you owe money - wear a hat for sudden incognito needs.
    4. Either something leopard or something tartan.  I spotted a Roland Mouret leopard pencil skirt.  And distressed Junya Watanabe tartan trews.  Both excellent.
    5. Jewellery.  This is important.  Don't think a big diamond cuts it.  You need bespoke jewellery, something sculptural by Herve van der Straeten, JAR or Bibi van der Velden's 'Wearable works of art' from Couture Lab.
    6. Men must try hard not to look like bankers.  Wear a bow tie, a flouncing coloured scarf or Bottega Veneta woven trainers.

    If it all becomes insufferably overwhelming, head across the park for some truth and beauty at Frieze Masters.
    www.frieze.com
    www.friezemasters.com

  • Who to know

    If you're in the market for a gown, be sure to scribble Dennis Basso on your shopping list.

    For the last 30 years, this snowy haired American designer has been dressing red carpet darlings from Catherine Zeta Jones to Olivia Palermo.  Fairytale frocks for fancy ladies is his forte.

    From next week, on the 1st floor evening wear department, Basso sets- up camp in his spiritual London home… Harrods, where special dresses flown in from New York will be unveiled alongside a preview of Spring/Summer '14. 

    NB. For girls who catch their heels in long lace trains or can't avoid red wine stains - these dresses are not for you.  But for grown-up gown girls, Basso's frothy mermaidy, dreamy creations will place you centre stage. 

    Dennis Basso trunk show is in Evening Wear at Harrods from 22nd October-4th November 

    www.dennisbasso.com
    www.harrods.com

     

  • Where to go

    They're up.  The switch hasn't been flicked on yet… but the unlit lights are hovering above Oxford Street.  A pre-twinkling reminder to get on with it, like Christmas shopping's Grim Reaper. 

    I'm sorry to add to the supremely early ejaculation of festive cheer - but soon it will be all over us.  And then suddenly it will be too late.  Anyway it's true (apparently) that much smugness is to be gained from being first out the traps and having gifts wrapped and ready before anyone else.  It's not just keeping up with the Jones's - it's actually being Jones. 

    A jolly good place to start is far, far away from the high street, in the behemoth exhibition space that is Olympia where for six days 650 small, unique British designers and brands present their wares including a snow leopard bracelet by jeweler Bill Skinner, clutch purses by Madeleine St Clair and turkey print napkins by Thornback & Peel.  There are also opportunities to learn new skills at the various House & Garden workshops, including a spot of flower arranging.  Always useful.

    Christmas shopping is sort of a bore.  But this makes it kinda fun. 

    The House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair, Olympia, London 5th-10th November 2013
    www.spiritofchristmasfair.co.uk

    The House & Garden Spirit of Christmas Fair offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win one of 5 pairs of tickets to the fair, including a 2-on-1, 90 minute festive party make-over session with Space NK's National make-up artist, Graziella Vella, at Space NK's flagship store in Knightsbridge.  To enter this prize draw, send your details (name, address, email, telephone number) to competitions@bethcooperpr.co.uk by 12pm on Friday 18thOctober 2013.  Terms and conditions apply.