ABOVE all, a fair is a marketplace but at the top international events there must also be an element of glitz, glamour and, like it or not, celebrities. Well known names may be gossip column fodder but they add kudos, have money and some of them spend.
Masterpiece had the lot in spades and spotted trawling the stands were Lord Thomson, Sheikh Al-Thani of Qatar (a legendary big shopper at top fairs and auctions), Charles Saatchi, Terence Conran and Jeffrey Archer.
Also seen were fashion luminaries Jasper Conran, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith (pictured above at the fair).
There were noticeably more Americans this year as a result of the fair’s American Committee who brought over interior designers Susan Gutfreund, Scott Snyder and, always welcome at any fair, Rose Tarlow who buys (in quantity) for Oprah Winfrey.
London godfather of 20th century design Gordon Watson said: “We sold well and restocked on three occasions! Where in the world would Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Eddy Redmayne be in the same place at the same time – and more importantly on my stand.”
That says it all.
Last word on Masterpiece. It was a very nice and generous touch when in the final hour of the fair founder-director Thomas Woodham-Smith invited all visitors and exhibitors to have a glass or two of (very good) champagne as his guest. It was noted and appreciated by all.
Paul Smith - This is GREAT Britain —YouTube video
Terence Conran Retrospective, Design Museum —YouTube video
In Conversation with Jeffrey Archer—YouTube video