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“The dinner ends at midnight, and the jackhammers start work at 12:15,” Calvin Klein chief executive officer Tom Murry declared during a bash the American brand hosted at London’s former Commonwealth Institute, which will soon be transformed into the city’s new Design Museum.
Calvin Klein spent upwards of $100,000 spiffing up the modernist building in Holland Park in West London — which had been empty for a decade — in anticipation of the dinner on Thursday night. The company has also kicked in funds for the full-scale renovation of the building.
Guests included Freida Pinto, Elle Macpherson, Ron Arad, Erin O’Connor, David Linley, Daisy de Villeneuve, Tallulah Harlech, Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst and John Pawson, the architect who is refurbishing the cavernous space that will open to the public in 2014.
“The idea is transparency,” said Pawson, pointing to the solid walls. “Those will be windows on the park. And you’ll still be able to see the ceiling from the basement,” he added, pointing to the grand, snail-like curves of the vast interior.
Pinto had her mind on other things — namely food. Her film “Trishna,” a modern-day take on “Tess of the d’Urbervilles,” set in India, will make its debut at the London Film Festival on Oct. 22. In between work, she’s been spending time in London doing some of her favorite things.
“Eating! I love E&O — it’s my all-time favorite,” she said, referring to the pan-Asian Notting Hill restaurant. “And then cupcakes at Hummingbird Bakery. My favorite are the red velvet ones. I know that sounds boring, doesn’t it?”
Arad, meanwhile, let slip that he’s at work on a new project, Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch, East London. He’s also recently unveiled his first eyewear line. “There’s so much to be done with glasses. There is so much more to eyewear than all the retro, retro, retro designs you see out there,” he said.