It's been ages since I have had to wear black tie, tux and the whole shebang, then lately I have been deluged with events where it's necessary. Well, deluged is a slight exaggeration. But certainly a few times in recent months. One of them was on Wednesday, the opening of the London Film Festival. I bought a fitted suit about a year ago figuring it was something I really should own. And so, given that, I wore it happily, but annoyingly I was one of the few. I confess I felt a little like serving staff or a doorman. Everyone seemed to take their own interpretation of the dress code, even to the extent that some considered that a suit and tie of any kind was enough. No! Most irritating.
Not a big deal, really. Anyhow, the event was a great thing. The above was taken from the bar at the Empire Casino overlooking Leicester Square, one of the great armpits of London (in my opinion) which is perhaps one reason I have rendered it in black and white. An upper vantage point was much appreciated. The Odeon is all lit up in the middle of the shot, and that's where the main event, red carpet, camera flashbulbs, all that stuff, was occurring. I did quite enjoy walking the carpet, not least because Kevin Bacon was giving an interview behind me as I went into the cinema. And the movie - Frost/Nixon - was fantastic, which does help on the opening night of an event celebrating cinema.
Naturellement, I got to go to the afterparty, at the Hilton on Park Lane. This I had not got high hopes for. Maybe the friend who invited me had been a little down on it, suggesting that the nibbles were likely to be deep-fried and ghastly. Not so as it turned out! That said, my strict rule at those things, even the fanciest, is that any kind of seafood circulating on a platter in a warm room is utterly verboten for obvious reasons. Indeed, I am thinking that waiting by the door the food leaves on its way to the crowd is probably the way to go, to ensure it's the freshest. Thinking about it, if I was really that hygiene-sensitive, given that I and the waiters were wearing the same kit and nobody else was, I could have just slipped into the kitchen and helped myself.