When I worked at Harpers’ Bazaar in 2008 writing about parties and “high society,” the best bit about it was not rubbing shoulders with Sharon Stone and Linda Evangelista but rather getting to taste loads of different Champagnes. Veuve Clicquot cropped up at a lot of parties. The vibe was “the Season” and I attended a lot of polo matches and played a lot of croquet. Albeit, it was ironic croquet as the then incumbent PR, the fantastically bubbly Genevieve Alexander was trying to groove things up a bit. Things have now reached groove central at Veuve Clicquot. The Champagne has come over all shamanic and its new annual self-promotion jamboree, a 3 day art installation/happening called Rooms, stars mysterious singer/dancer FKA Twigs doing a show which she declares was inspired by spirit guides, cosmic journeys through the zodiac and a heroine called Daimas who ends up coming to “realise her truth,” as the lingo goes in all the current self-realisation workshops (spa weekends and polo are so over these days).
Mix this hippie, cosmic, spiritual vibe with the history of the Champagne house i.e. a “veuve” or widow who wore a lot of black and spend her days looking cosmically terrifying and you have the recipe for a brilliant Halloween night out. Tonight is press night and the 27th and 28th is open to punters at 2 Chance Street E1
I’m wondering if this karma drama vibe is going to be the brand’s new direction. What a relief. Why have Ayahuasca (which tastes like Chinese medicine) when you can sup Cosmic Champagne, man?
I had a wander round the exhibition this morning in preparation for tonight’s party where FKA Twigs (a Capricorn engaged to Twighlight’s Robert Pattinson ) will walk through all 12 rooms, each transformed into a physical version of one of the 12 signs of the zodiac. She she wanders she will try to come to terms with her “Saturn Return” ( that’s the tricky period when you’re 29 going-on 30 for those who are not horoscope hippies). Not all the 12 artists who did each of the rooms are into horoscopes either. Andy Hillman (Scorpio) says he was given the Sagittarius brief but mainly he was interested in creating a beautiful gigantic cellophane rotting black flower that Twigs will sing under at the end of her stroll through the rooms.
“I hate Kanye West,” he told me as we posed under the flower. “But I was a bit inspired by his Glastonbury show where he had a set with a sort of squashed ceiling.” He added that he was more into “Primal astrology.” He said, “It’s really cool. You get to meet your cosmic animal.”
The next room was the Aries room done out by Artist David White.
Aries is the first sign of the horoscope. It’s a fire sign and the room lived up to that crazy, angry, fresh vibe. It’s a cross between a strippers’ dressing room, a bar and the set of a fashion shoot. There are TV screens showing footage of Anna Nicole Smith and Hyon-Song-Wol, a Korean dancer who was rumoured to have been executed by Kim Jong-Un. It’s all about the “darkness that celebrity can bring out,” White said.
I then went on to see the Virgo room by Emma Roach (high-tech uptight and over-clean with a neurotic photocopying machine stuck half way up the wall)
Then came the Scorpio room by Gary Card, surprisingly in white and resembling a work of Jean Michel Basquiat come back from the dead.
The vibe is very voodoo and there is a pile of clay on the floor that Twigs will apparently smother herself in tonight.
For Taurus, Andy Tomlinson has tricked out an MDF shipping container (below) with Edwardian paneling, claw marks and clinical lighting inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey.
He admits he thinks horoscopes is a load of “mush” but he was told that Taurus meant “brooding, angry, dark.”
Finally, in the basement I saw Leo by the Theo Adams Company (apparently Twigs is scared of Leo people (“she runs away from the Leo thing,” said one of the designers.
Apparently the performance in the room is going to be very clinical-meets cabaret. The Leo room was next to the Cancer one by Alexander Bock which looked like a medieval dungeon-meets-a Game of Thrones set.
Very scary. The Black Widow would be proud.