The party for the launch of Alex Thomson's new Hugo Boss is a wonderful fashion mix
To the christening of Hugo Boss, which was every bit as much fun as I thought it would be. It was wonderfully, lavishly over the top.
The party was held in the East Wintergardens at Canary Wharf, an 27m high arch-shaped glass structure backing on to West India docks. The several hundred guests were, I presume, mainly from the fashion business.
It was full of glamorous cocktail dresses and sharp suits, a million miles away from the sailing receptions that were the norm not so long ago (and still hang on stubbornly). You know them: the blue reefer jackets with breadcrumb collars, the glass of warm wine, the long speeches, the jowly red faces.
Last night the theme was the sea and sailors, of course, but it was a funny fashion-take of matt black and macho mixed up with camp ‘Hello sailor!’ matelot.
Alex Thomson and Hugo Boss’s other square-jawed sports ambassador, racing driver David Coulthard, circulated looking dashing and manly in their crisp Hugo Boss suits. Meanwhile trays of mojitos and decorative fishy canapes were handed out waiters in little sailor suits.
Were they channelling Village People? I kept expecting them to break out into a rendition of of ‘Y.M.C.A’.
After dark, everyone was shepherded outside and the new-look boat was motored up to a mooring the middle of the dock. Under spotlights and with music pumping at volume, Alex and the top bods from Hugo Boss appeared on deck in their suits, like Bond film extras.
It was fab. You could completely get what Hugo Boss sees in Alex’s solo sailing lark – and appreciate why his actual racing results might not be the most important thing. For all I know, it may not even be that relevant.
As a theme and as a style, though, the hero seafarer is a wonderful canvas for corporate hospitality, and it’s here that Alex and his team really have their work cut out. Today, the boat is off to the Med for a season of this, and it won’t be back to the UK until October – if at all. The racing won’t begin until the end of the year, but the important jobs start now.