champagne flutes illuminated by christmas lights

Occasionally I am minded to pick up my old dSLR camera, the lens on which I really love. It’s a 35mm f2 (which won’t mean much unless you have an understanding of photography). The dSLR itself is ‘ancient’ – a D50 dating from – wait for it – 2005. Only 6MP but still takes lovely pictures, and honestly, who really needs so much more resolution than that? I still love the camera and combination – though in truth it doesn’t get out much these days (as is always the way when one over-relies on mobile phone photography).

The pic is of the new champagne flutes I’ve bought for the upcoming party I am hosting later this week, illuminated by some cheap Christmas lights I have also bought. An American friend – whom I refer to as ‘the #AmericanHeiress’ – is insisting on bringing champagne (and she has expensive taste) – so I thought it was high time I finally bought some champagne flutes.

I love shooting wide-open at f2.

Soiree, circa 1925

john lagatta party soiree 1920s

Picture by John LaGatta.

 John LaGatta (1894 – 1977)

Born, Italy. Original style in US was a flat-color, fade-awayish aspect for Life magazine (though his later Life assignments would show his more free, lush brush work. Famous for his glamour girls from the 20s through the early 40s utilizing a multi-media palette of chalk and wash. Expert in making clothed women look like they were wearing virtually nothing, he was a hit with both fashion and women’s magazines (Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan), as well as advertisers. Source.

Ooohhhh sometimes

It’s that time of year again, the work Christmas party. Tomorrow in fact. The women take it very seriously. Lots have booked hair and make-up appointments for tomorrow, during the day. All bring dresses and heels in. It’s an evening do. Very smart West End private venue.

This Erasure video reminds me when Hen and I – (we’d worked together at one of the top global consultancies in our industry) – had the company Christmas party at The Landmark hotel in Central London, many years ago. I fell down the staircase at one point. Not my finest hour. We saw Andy Bell (the lead singer of Erasure) in the bar. The previous year we’d had the party at a private members club in Eaton Square, in Belgravia. It was that type of company. The PAs all wore pashminas and lived in South Kensington or Bayswater. I remember the men would typically ask people when they joined the firm: “and do you hunt?”

That old company of ours was memorable, looking back. The female consultants were like something out of Dynasty – glammed up, powerful, big shoulder pads, ‘ballsy’. The men, many of them very old school, also stick in your mind. I was bought a Hermes tie by one of the old grandees who I’d been temping for (yes, I fell into professional services by temping, all those years ago). There were former government ministers, City tycoons, etc. It reeked of old money. I’d worked for a national newspaper before that and the contrast was huge.

I still work in a consulting environment but a different type and the people are very different. Much artier and much brighter (almost everybody has graduate degrees). It’s also much less salesy and, unlike that company, these people weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They’re very bright people who have gone on to be successful, rather than an upper class clan that hires from the old boy network. That said, I perfectly enjoyed the company and also the place I moved to after that, which I stayed in for 5 1/2 years. In fact, the only place I have not enjoyed working at was my prior workplace which I stayed in for just under 4 months, prior to this job.