Witchy Films, Frieze and Face Gym: Daisy Hoppen’s October To Do List

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The Love Witch, 2016(Film still)

Daisy Hoppen shares her recommendations for October – including the best magical films to watch and a five-hour ballroom dancing extravaganza at the Royal Albert Hall

Watch: Witchy films

October is one of my favourite months because it’s an excuse to watch witch-related movies on repeat... Some of my all-time favourites are:

  • Practical Magic – Nicole Kidman is everything as the tequila-drinking, badly-behaved sister witch. 
  • The Addams Family – my go-to Halloween outfit alternates each year between Morticia and Wednesday Addams. 
  • The Love Witch – a new addition, worth watching if only for the costumes.
  • The Witches – still terrifying, even after all these years.
  • Hocus Pocus – Sarah Jessica Parker’s finest role.

See: Frieze, Decorex, and independent art exhibitions

October is always such a strong month for art – from Frieze to Decorex and independent shows. Firstly, here are some stands I have circled to stop by at this year’s Frieze London and Frieze Masters (I tend to make a beeline for the fairs straight from the Eurostar after Paris Fashion Week):

  • A solo booth at Gagosian by Sterling Ruby, the celebrated LA-based artist who investigates issues related to violence and pressures within society, autobiography, and art history.
  • Turner Prize-winning artist Rachel Whiteread’s solo presentation with Luhring Augustine (New York), focusing primarily on her important early works, both drawings and sculptures.
  • The last work by Sandro Botticelli available on the international market: Portrait of Michele Marullo is showing at Trinity Fine Art. I am so excited to see this in the flesh.
  • Iconic ceramics by Pablo Picasso at Frieze Masters, showcased alongside Roman antiquities at Galerie Chenel. It’s antiquities such as these that always make Frieze Masters such a special fair to visit.
  • To coincide with the exhibition Modern Maharajah at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Prahlad Bubbar presents Modernist and Art Deco Paradise: Indore, a small exhibition reimagining the visual world of the Indian Maharaja Yashwant Rao Holkar II, who built and furnished his palace, Manik Bagh or ‘Jewelled Garden’, with supreme examples of art and design, from Mughal and Maratha artefacts to Western modern masterpieces. The pieces on show look truly exquisite and it’s a stand that I would in my dreams do some shopping in.

And on my list of non-Frieze exhibitions and museums to stop by:

  • Jermaine Gallacher at Lant Street (until October 6): Gallacher presents Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way, a selection of hand-sewn and architectural quilts by Annabelle Harty and Sheelagh Boyce at Lant Street (incidentally also the best place for wine with crisps in London). The quilts are made from vintage or used garments from interesting people that the artists have known over the years, from Issey Miyake dresses to waiters jackets from St John. These clothes have been unpicked and the shapes then reformed, the design varying according to the place in which the quilt will live or the materials it’s crafted from.
  • Robert Montgomery at JD Malat Gallery (until November 2), Shiny Colourful Amusements for the Walls of the Bourgeoisie: Already well known for his large light installations, Montgomery presents a new series of works, including paintings, fire poems and solar-powered light installations and billboards – they are brilliantly arresting. 
  • Kara Walker at Spruth Magers (October 4 – December 21): From Black and White to Living Color, The Collected Motion Pictures and Accompanying is the first major retrospective of Walker’s video works, showcasing her specialised and unique approach to filmmaking as well as her use of silhouettes within this specific medium. (Walker’s commission for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall has also been unveiled this week: a huge, functioning water fountain, Fons Americanus, crafted with allegorial imagery and sculptures referencing Britain’s colonial past.)
  • Faye Wei Wei at Cob Gallery (until November 2): Wei Wei’s second solo exhibition in London is titled I Have Always Been A Weeper At The Cinema, and features a new suite of paintings, created in her studio in Berlin. Always romantic, dreamy and full of love, her work remains some of my favourite by a young female contemporary artist.
  • Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits at The Royal Academy (October 27, 2019 – January 26, 2020): Surely one of Britain’s most celebrated portrait artists, the upcoming Royal Academy show will be the first to focus on Lucian Freud’s unflinching self-portraits. Executed over almost seven decades on canvas and paper, the exhibition will bring together around 50 works that chart Freud’s artistic development: from his early, more linear and graphic works to the fleshier, painterly style that became the hallmark and was so cherished by many of his later work. Given that so many of these works come from private collections, this will be the first and most possibly last time to see them on public display. Book tickets now – this will be a sell-out show for the duration I am sure.
  • The National Museum Cardiff celebrates an autumn photography season with three major shows (from October 26): featured artists include August Sander, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Martin Parr. The exhibitions predominantly comprise loaned photographs, a number of which have never been exhibited before, all on display for the first time in Wales. My father introduced me to the work of August Sanders many years ago and I have always loved his reportage of people. Martin Parr also documents people in their day-to-day lives – the vivid colours and unexpected moments of humour never fail to make me smile.
  • Decorex (October 6 – 9): Designer and artist Sussy Cazalet launches a collection of painfully beautiful rugs – my personal favourite being Indigo Sun, which is produced and created from 100 per cent New Zealand wool and silk – to coincide with Decorex, and part of the visionary installation created by Sella Concept called Living Space.

Eat: Luigi’s Bar, Shoreditch

I always have new local eateries on my radar, and this month sees the opening of Luigi’s Bar in Shoreditch, a restaurant and bar focusing on spuntini, antipasti, and trammezzini, alongside contemporary aperitivi and wines made with native Italian grapes.

Eat: The Vegetarian Butcher, Broadway Market

The Vegetarian Butcher opens east on Broadway Market, specialising in all things plant-based – even taking over a traditional butcher shop, Hill & Szrok, for the month of October.

Eat: Ozone, Bethnal Green

Ozone, the Kiwi coffee specialists open a new all-day eatery with pizza, cocktails and coffee roastery in Bethnal Green.

Eat: Lagom, Hackney

Eat Lagom opens with a residency at the Hackney Brewery Co, go for the weekly pub quiz as well as their famous beef bun with 12-hour featherblade beef.

Other longtime favourite east London eateries include:

Shop: Fashion and photography books

There are some really special books launching this month, and so I am choosing print over clothes for my October shopping list:

  • Paul’s Book by Collier Schorr: Launched by IDEA and published by MACK, one of the world’s leading fashion photographers documents her time spent with a French artist and model Paul Hameline over two years. Schorr will be at Dover Street Market London on the October 4 between 5.30pm and 7pm, signing copies of her new book.
  • Cloakroom: Launched by Claudia Donaldson, this new biannual magazine explores exceptional spaces, design, interiors, and the lives of interesting and wonderful people. My highlight is Matthew Donaldson’s portfolio of Harrison Ford. Available now Dover Street Market as well as specialist retailers worldwide. 
  • Simone Rocha x Harley Weir x Robbie Spencer: Rocha’s fifth self-published book investigates the ideas of intimacy, privacy, security and femininity that informed her A/W19 collection, via photographs shot by Harley Weir – one of my favourite artists – alongside Louise Bourgeois artworks and prints. Available at Dover Street Market London and all Simone Rocha stores worldwide.
  • Aesop: Loved and recognised globally for its meticulous approach to retail design, products and hospitality, the brand (now in its 33rd year) celebrates with a linen-bound book. Co-authored by the company’s Dennis Paphitis and featuring images by renowned photographer Yutaka Yamamoto, this debut publication from the brand charts its history in an intimate, reflective volume. The book will be available for purchase in signature stores and online from October 22, 2019.
  • Francesca Woodman: Portrait of a Reputation: One of my favourite photographers of all time, this book features portraits from Woodman’s days as a college student and beyond. As well as showing how her childhood informed her work, Portrait of a Reputation includes select photographs of Woodman herself taken by friend George Lange, along with ephemera such as cards, notes and letters.
  • Nathaniel Goldberg: The photographer launches his self-titled book that traces 25 years of his career – looking at fashion, portraits, landscapes and personal objects. Published by Damiani and available worldwide.

Watch: The Goldfinch

I raced through Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch when I read it, so have been avidly following the production of the film as the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel comes to life. I am sure everyone has their own very personal feeling of how the film and characters should be portrayed, but most interesting to me was how the director brought Americana – in particular New York and Las Vegas – to life.

See: The International Ballroom Dancing Championships

Every year, my mother, sisters and I book tickets to go and see the International Ballroom Dancing Champsionships at the Royal Albert Hall, this year taking place on October 10. A must for any Strictly Ballroom fan, you can see the ‘bogo pogo’ in action, as well as the Rumba, the Viennese Waltz and Samba. I love the outfits, the fact it lasts for over five hours and that at several intervals the entire audience from the Royal Albert Hall is invited to take to the dancefloor and dance the waltz en masse. Book early (tickets always sell out) and remember to dress appropriately.

Do: Face Gym

Finally, if your face feels as broken as mine is starting to after a month back at school/work/fashion shows, I highly recommend a 30-minute session at Face Gym, where trainers essentially do deep tissue massage on your face. The procedure is totally non-invasive and proven to reduce puffiness; it has saved me numerous times, and is perfect for when you feel that no amount of extra moisturiser or make-up will hide those tell-tale signs of fatigue and anxiety.

Daisy Hoppen is the founder of DH-PR, a London-based communications agency. She also works in house with a small number of brands, companies and personalities across fashion, art and culture.