HTSI editor Jo Ellison
HTSI editor Jo Ellison © Marili Andre

I always enjoy putting the celebration issue together. Its themes – friendship, fun, feasting – are so wholesome, so singularly lacking in friction. There is something uplifting in creating something that seeks only to raise the spirits. And, following another bleak year of news, the call for cheer seems painfully apt.

This week’s issue delivers high spirits aplenty. I’m especially fond of our How To Host It special, where we’ve invited ourselves into some of the most stylish homes to find out the secrets behind a successful party. According to our hosts, food in abundance, a generosity of attitude and party games are the answer. The Delevingne sisters Poppy and Chloe admit a penchant for playing Sardines and performing Disney karaoke, while Jackson Boxer’s brood get so distracted by the goings-on that they frequently forget about pudding. Photographers Lily Bertrand-Webb, Adrianna Glaviano, Kate Martin and Rasmus Weng Karlsen have captured some beautiful moments of emotional warmth and spontaneity.

Poppy (left) and Chloe Delevingne
Poppy (left) and Chloe Delevingne © Lily Bertrand-Webb
Jackson Boxer and son Marlowe
Jackson Boxer and son Marlowe © Lily Bertrand-Webb

Meanwhile, in Senegal, photographer Quentin De Briey, stylist Andreas Peter Krings and the models Malick Bodian, Elhadji Fall, Kathia Ndong and Pape Seck shoot another take on celebrating that draws on the new elegance. This story appears a few days before Chanel arrives in Senegal, now a fast-growing luxury destination, to stage a Métiers d’Art show. Its fashionability will thrill as many as those who want it to remain a secret. Certainly, having seen the pictures, I wanted to go straight away. As for the shoot, fans of the late photographer Malick Sidibé will recognise the homage: in particular, the image of the couple dancing draws on Sidibé’s portrait “Nuit de Noël”, shot in 1963 – a title that lends itself also to our cover.

Malick Bodian wears The Row cotton poplin shirt, £910. Canali wool-cashmere suit jacket and trousers, £2,450
Malick Bodian wears The Row cotton poplin shirt, £910. Canali wool-cashmere suit jacket and trousers, £2,450 © Quentin De Briey
Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace
Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace © David Allen

Dancing is mandatory at any gathering claiming a party flavour; dancing on rollerskates takes it to a new level. Rising rents, zoning rules and changing demographics have found the roller rink imperilled. But thanks to Liberty Ross and other entrepreneurs, a new generation of skaters are rediscovering the joy of the roller disco. After all, what could be more liberating than spinning around a circular rink in a leotard and leggings?

Julia Garner at Milan Fashion Week this year
Julia Garner at Milan Fashion Week this year

No? Spoilsport. Maybe glitter’s more your thing. You must at least enjoy the opportunity for a dress-up? I’ve written before about the ubiquity of the pearl in both men’s and women’s jewels, and in this issue Maria Fitzpatrick further unpicks its renaissance. As with most trends, certain styles and stones will ultimately have their season. But just when you think the moment for pearls must have passed, comes another, even more popular, iteration.

Lastly, it would be a slightly less buoyant party season if we didn’t get the booze in. I have been living a life of quiet (and rather dull) sobriety since the beginning of August: an attempt to offer my liver some chance of recovery. But having been terribly, ever so good, I’m ready to end this period of abstinence and, like Patsy Stone (the patron saint of celebration), crack open a bottle of Bolly. 


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