Toilet Paper is All the Rage at London Collector Parties

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The hostess, Valeria Napoleone
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Valeria Napoleone and Julie Verhoeven Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Valeria Napoleone and Julie Verhoeven
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Valeria Napoleone behind the stove
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Julie Verhoeven and artist George Henry Longly
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Julie Verhoeven-designed Christmas Tree
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Artist Anthea Hamilton and curator Michelle Cotton Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Artist Anthea Hamilton and curator Michelle Cotton
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Susanne Tide Frater; Fashion Director farfetch.com, and Valeria Napoleone
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
Eoin McLaughlin, Valeria Simone Rocha, and Roksanda Ilincic
Eoin McLaughlin, Valeria Simone Rocha, and Roksanda Ilincic
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone
The buffet
Courtesy the artist and Valeria Napoleone

To celebrate the opening of her solo show at London’s ICA, fashion illustrator-cum-artist Julie Verhoeven transformed Valeria Napoleone’s elegant Kensington residence into a punk Christmas grotto, complete with mammoth tree, lace stockings, and rolls upon rolls of toilet paper.

It was a sight to behold, but even the craziest decoration paled when compared to the hostess, who welcomed her guests in full Verhoeven regalia: with oversized breasts sewn onto her dress (one dramatically longer than the other) and a toilet roll and marigold kitchen glove in lieu of a crown.

The “Soiree of Festive Fancies,” which bridged the art and the fashion worlds, was animated by mischievous pixies and a milk maid, who spent most of the evening with her feet stuck in milk buckets.

Napoleone has long been a prominent London collector, best-known for her staunch support of women artists. She is also an active patron, most notably for the cutting-edge non-profit South London space Studio Voltaire–and one who never hesitates to roll up her sleeves.

When Studio Voltaire launched its annual pop up show, House of Voltaire, she took up a shift behind the counter (see “Need Holiday Gifts for Your Art World Friends? Look No Further.“). Napoleone is also an accomplished chef, with a published cook book, the Catalogue of Exquisite Recipes, under her belt. For Verhoeven, she went back to the kitchen, cooking up a feast of chicken, pasta, cheesecake, and tiramisu.


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