Who? In the traditional sense, the term "private members club" conjures up an array of images, from tailcoats and bowler hats to lavish décor and flowing champagne, all for the enjoyment of men alone. But a new project by Miu Miu, opening today, has turned such stereotypes on their head. Set in the wonderfully ornate environs of the Café Royal (shortly to open, post renovation, for the first time since 2008), the–miumiu–london is a member's club with a twist. First off, it is a private club for women, with the aim of celebrating the numerous facets of Miu Miu femininity. Secondly, it is a pop-up concept, whose abundant luxury can only be enjoyed during its three-day appearance.
What? Members of the club will be met by window displays from Miu Miu collaborators Stephen Jones and Vivienne Westwood, the former's comprising a striking collection of 7 hanging mannequin heads decked in pieces from the brand's latest resort collection, styled as hats. Meanwhile, inside the elaborately stuccoed and golden-embossed walls, and among décor overseen by legendary set designer Caroline Smith, fashion, art, culture and cuisine collide for the delectation of the guests. A unique shopping experience offers the chance to preview and purchase the Resort and S/S13 collections from a carefully curated boutique, while The Conversation Room will host screenings of Miu Miu's film series, The Women's Tales, as well as talks and discussions with leading London women of style and intellect (including Bonnie Wright and Penny Martin). Elsewhere, a club lounge and cocktail bar will serve exquisite refreshments, and the club's restaurant will be taken over by a different world-renowned chef – Andrew Turner, April Bloomfield and Margot Henderson – each night.
"the–miumiu–london is a member's club with a twist...a private club for women, with the aim of celebrating the numerous facets of Miu Miu femininity."
Why? The Miu Miu club stands for the concepts embraced and embodied by the design house itself. As collaborator Stephen Jones said, “I have always loved the Miu Miu woman. I went to the first show in Paris many many years ago with my dear friend Anna Piaggi, and I remember seeing all the girls walking past and thinking, “Wow, I have never seen anyone like this before.” I love how she is." In distilling the qualities that make the Miu Miu style so unique, the–miumiu–london aims to integrate what are often viewed as contradictory aspects of the fashion world – "creativity and shopping, conformity and expressiveness, intellectualism and frivolity" – showing their ability to coexist in perfect harmony in what is, for many women, a member's club hitherto only dreamed of.
the–miumiu–london opens today and runs until November 29th at the Café Royal, Regents Street, London.
Text by Daisy Woodward