The Serpentine Gallery summer party has come to act as an annual barometer of the state of play in London—and never more so than in this unpredictable year, 2017. Like Britain itself, the Serpentine has a new woman leader since this time last year: the dynamic 43-year-old CEO Yana Peel, who cohosted the spectacular—and packed—fundraiser with Chanel.
A longtime patron of emerging artists and designers, Peel is one of London’s great proponents for keeping the city’s reputation for creativity, diversity, and openness flying high in the face of Brexit—and that’s what she pulled off last night, despite the British weather doing its bit for unforeseen change by plunging to a chilly 55 degrees after last week’s 86.
A huge intergenerational and international crowd swirled around the newly opened Serpentine pavilion—the gallery’s annual commission—built by the African Berlin-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who based its spreading canopy on the shape of a tree in his hometown in Burkina Faso. Surprise visitors Rick Owens, Michele Lamy, and Virgil Abloh milled around the lawns observing the social melee, which included a long list of young London fashion people
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