Art Design People

Pattie Boyd + The Lower Third Soho London

The Other Side of the Lens

“My dog’s name is Ziggy Stardust and my son’s middle name is Bowie!” introduces Karrie Goldberg. “I’ve had the great fortune of working with rock legends like Duran Duran and Glen Matlock and Thomas Dolby so for me this project really is a dream come true. Being able to open a bar on Denmark Street – wow! To be able to bring music back to Denmark Street is truly an honour. Above you, as you may know, is the former 12 Bar Club so you are actually beneath where the likes of Adele and The Libertines played some of their very first gigs. Tonight I am especially thrilled to welcome the legendary Pattie Boyd.”

“Afterwards I invite you to go upstairs and try some of the killer cocktails!” Karrie concludes. We will. Joined by Pattie herself. Exile on Mainstreet, Itchycoo Park, Schoolboys in Disgrace, Technical Ecstasy… the alchemic elixirs are as memorable as their names. Band of Gypsys, Quadrophenia, Never Mind the Bollocks, Nursery Cryme. You 20th century music lovers will recognise those names. They’re song titles from Genesis, Jimi Hendrix, Sex Pistols, Small Faces, The Who and a few other every so slightly well known artists. Cheers! As for the name of the bar itself, turns out David Bowie recorded with a group called The Lower Third. Fellow model Twiggy rocks up. So does Queen drummer Roger Taylor. And writer and comedienne Kathy Lette. Some nights last forever.

“I thought it would be a good idea to just have a book of only photographs with the odd little anecdote, little joke, little story, but essentially about photographs,” says the eternally beautiful Pattie Boyd, model turned photographer. And raconteur extraordinaire. “I think very few people have got time to read everything that’s being written. It’s much easier to flick through and see the photos.” She should know. Pattie has not so much read the zeitgeist as has been the zeitgeist for decades.

Back to the Sixties. “In those days,” Pattie tells us after dark, “If you were booked for a shoot, models had to bring dark shoes and light shoes and jewellery, makeup, hair accessories, combs. We were definitely not spoiled. We were paid £4 an hour. Things have changed dramatically. The girls now have their makeup done, hair done, everything is super glamorous! My agent would give me a list of photographers to go and see to show them my portfolio. In order to get a portfolio I made friends with photographers or would-be photographers or assistants who would then photograph me on condition they would give me a few prints so it worked for both of us.”

The Lower Third is quite simply the coolest venue in Soho London. In Soho. In London. Denmark Street was developed in the late 17th century and is called after Prince George of Denmark. The Rolling Stones recorded in a studio on the street and Elton John wrote songs in one of the offices. It soon became known as London’s ‘Tin Pan Alley’, a version of New York’s famed music dominated district.

Pattie didn’t live the Sixties. She was the Sixties. “All my friends were filmmakers, artists, painters, designers, architects. I knew there was something in the air; people started changing their attitudes. There was a freedom that wasn’t there previously. Dresses were getting shorter and wilder. The boys were looking even better! Everyone was looking so cool and David Hockney was so wonderful – he was doing great paintings. I think about all the great photographers and fashion designers. David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Ossi and Biba and Mary Quant. Everybody was bursting out with huge creative talent. It was everywhere; it was wonderful. And music of course. You can’t forget that!” Pattie’s first husband was George Harrison; her second, Eric Clapton.

Never short of quips, Pattie is on a roll tonight: “I didn’t realise that I was shortsighted and in those days there was no autofocus.” We’ve swapped from being in front of the camera to behind it. “I was doing a job for Ringo photographing people on a Dracula film he a was doing and at the end of the day he wanted to see my photos.” He said, ‘They’re a bit soft focus.’ I realised I needed glasses to focus properly!”

“I was taking photos from ’64 onwards,” she remembers. “I didn’t know who I was and I loved taking photographs but I couldn’t be so bold to assume that I was a photographer because it was something I enjoyed so much. Then I had a few photographic exhibitions and they seemed to go down well. People liked what I’d taken so I’m fine with hanging onto that label of photographer. I take life as it comes to me. If you find yourself feeling dull, just change your mind.”

Design Luxury People

Pininfarina Tribute Rally Launch + Hurtwood Park Polo Club

Polo Minted

1 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

What a wonderful world. Lavender’s Blue were delighted to be invited to cover the exclusive launch of the Pininfarina Tribute Rally 2013 at the glorious Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Surrey. It got off to a flying start on a gorgeous sunny June weekend. The forthcoming September rally is in honour of the late great creative genius Sergio Pininfarina. It was an outing of the bold and beautiful, and that was just starting with the cars. Sergio’s dashing son Paolo, who has taken over as chairman of the company that carries his family’s name, unveiled for the first time in the UK the concept car made in honour of his father. A helicopter ride over the woodland, a quick spin across the grassland, and Paolo pulled up beside us. The view from the VIP marquee never looked so good.

2 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

“I’m sure my father is happy today,” he proudly announced. “This car expresses his spirit. It also represents the past, the present and the future of Pininfarina. History continues forth in the present tradition of excellence in designing, manufacturing and engineering. For the future, it shows the potential for securing new business for Pininfarina. So it is fitting that my father who created so many motoring masterpieces is honoured by this concept car named in his memory. I know he would like it.”

3 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

In polo, as we all know, players are rated on a handicap scale of -2 to 10, the higher the better. Talent shines through horsemanship, range of strokes and speed of play. A goal is a goal, whether by pony or rider. The Sergio is an equine athlete in crimson metal and grey leather. Ferrari’s pioneering wind tunnels were exploited to the max during the design process. The low front spoiler, the leading edge of the roll bar behind the cockpit and the passenger compartment are all shaped to enhance air flow. Instead of a windshield, driver and passenger wear helmets. The headrests appear to float as they are attached to the roll bar, not the seats. Holes atop the rear engine recall Pininfarina’s Ferrari 512S Modulo.

4 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Event sponsors Brokersclub – “high speed online trading” according to founder Markus Böckmann – held the four matches of the Brokersclub Tribute Gold Cup Polo Tournament over the course of the launch weekend. A VIP marquee in front of the clubhouse allowed the glamorous crowd, handbags and glad rags and hot legs, to take in all things horse power, two and four legged, while Rod Stewart laid on the foreground music. Hurtwood is owned by Kenney Jones, legendary drummer with The Who. Kenney also serenaded the crowd with his own band The Jones Gang.

5 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

6 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Ooh la la! The triumphant triumvirate of trophies, trips and tribunes kept going with a world record breaking gathering of over 200 Pininfarina designed cars. A lucky 100 owners were there to gear up for taking part in the rally. Among the cars on display were dozens of Ferraris from the past such as the 275 GTB Spider, the 250 GT SWB and the 365 Daytona. More recent Ferrari models included the 360 Modena and the 458 Spider.

7 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

Other newer brands represented at Hurtwood included the Alfa Romeo Duetto, the Lancia Aurelia B20 and the Lancia Monte Carlo. Also on display were rare models such as the Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider, first seen at the Brussels Motor Show of 1955. Eric Clapton popped over from his neighbouring estate in his one-of-a-kind SP12 EC Ferrari, designed by Pininfarina in collaboration with the Ferrari Design Centre. Some guys have all the luck.

8 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley

  • Day 1: the Pininfarina cavalcade departs from the Hilton on Park Lane crossing the English Channel at Dover and onwards to Dunkirk. Spend first night in Germany.
  • Day 2: the Swiss mountains await; stop over close to the Italian border.
  • Day 3: navigate God’s Highway aka the Stelvio Pass which has more hairpins than a Sixties beehive bouffant. After a rendezvous at the Pininfarina Design Building, onwards to Maranello, the home of Ferrari.
  • Day 4: drive across Monaco where a party on aboard mega yacht provides a travel respite.
  • Day 5: the party continues at Jimmy’z. This is Monte Carlo after all. Raise your champagne flutes to Sergio Pininfarina!

9 Pininfarina Tribute Rally copyright Stuart Blakley