With a staircase lined with women in French-maid garb and a life-size cheetah replica, the entrance to Moda Operandi’s dinner at the Café Royal in London was a fitting prelude for the evening ahead. It was hard for guests not to draw a breath as they entered the hotel’s gilded ballroom—there a banquet table set for almost 100 people, bedecked with flowers and lit by hundreds of flickering pillar candles.
Besides Friday being the first day of London Fashion Week, the stylish dinner party was gathered in celebration of Moda Operandi London, the second by-invitation-only shopping boutique that will serve as a hub for their exclusive online trunk show. Tucked away on a quiet residential street in Belgravia, the new locale has all the intimate charm of their New York City space. Moda cofounder Lauren Santo Domingo worked with local interior-design sage Fran Hickman on the decor, with artwork from Michael Hoppen Gallery by legendary photographer Guy Bourdin lining the walls.
“It’s almost like you’re not in London,” said Santo Domingo, floating in from the terrace at the Café Royal, where the likes of Alexa Chung, Mario Testino, Jacquetta Wheeler, Tallulah Harlech, and Charlotte Dellal sipped on champagne cocktails. And it’s true that the ambience was opulent enough to make Louis XIV green with envy. Perhaps the next stop on Moda’s private shopping tour will be Paris.
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