Last night was the final party before St Pancras International opens tomorrow and the first trains depart for Paris. It was hosted by GQ and as we walked into the station the huge vaults were floodlit with pink and blue lights as the champagne bar had its official debut last night. Nothing prepares you for how spectacular it looks. With over 400 people, there were waiters along the platform with trays of champagne and music filled the space. The massive statue in bronze of an embracing couple had been unveiled that morning under the elegant Dent clock that dominates the entrance. As we all left that evening we felt we had experienced a bit of history.
It is just two days until the first Eurostar leaves from St. Pancras and we love the digital clock that is in countdown mode! Paris will now be just 2 hours and 15 minutes away and we are excited to be going to drinks this week hosted by GQ at the longest champagne bar in the world.
The Model for a Hotel by Thomas Schütte stands on Trafalgar Square’s 4th plinth. This project was designed to engage Londoners with art in an everyday context and represents a 21- story building. The striking contemporary and boldly coloured sculpture is in direct contrast to the history setting and will be up for 18 months. While it has many admirers Sir Roy Strong, a former director of the V&A joked, ‘Las Vegas comes to Trafalgar Square’.
An undoubted highlight of stay in Los Angeles was a trip to the Walt Disney Concert Hall by architectural superstar Frank Gehry. Occupying a whole block atop Bunker Hill at the junction of Grand and First Street, the new concert hall is utterly spellbinding in its form. Nothing quite prepares you for the first sight of the buildings exuberant, swooping façade. Quite simply, I was left dumbstruck by the building’s breathtaking beauty. The stainless steel curves of the building twist and curve in the Californian sun, casting an intricate patina of shadows that change throughout the day.
I have been a fan of Takashi Murakami since I saw an exhibition of his work at the Serpentine Gallery in 2002. So I made a beeline for the major retrospective at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. The exhibition, in the hanger like Geffen Contemporary featured some 90 artworks including paintings, sculpture, installation and film.
In a perfect merging of art and commerce, the exhibition also incorporated a temporary Louis Vuitton store displaying and selling Murakami’s celebrated brightly hued logo designs.