It’s the 2009 51st Annual Grammy Awards, it’s in LA, and it’s all singing, all fashion, all fabulous systems – go!
From Hammersmith to Hollywood.
It’s been a long time coming for Miss. Estelle Swaray. 10 years of hard grafting within the toughest of music circles wasn’t always much fun. Nevertheless, struggle was never an issue for the former Hammersmith college student, who from ‘1999, started to write rhymes’ and the rest, as they say, is history. Nominated for 2 gongs (‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Rap Collaboration’), Estelle is now in LA with a group of her closest friends to perform at the Grammy Awards, host with Kanye West, and possibly receive an award or two of her own. Applause. Please.
Such welcoming weather.
So, after a fantastic performance at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, we make our way to the city of angels. It looks as though the weather’s been preparing for our British invasion by so kindly providing an environment almost too bloody suitable: dull, miserable, and well, just wet and disgusting.
Umbrellas (sadly) in tow, the girls immediately hit the Beverly Center. I on the other hand, immediately hit the spa.
24 hours to go.
The day begins with (more) beauty treatments at the Sunset Marquee Spa (love it). Massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, accompanied by cucumber water, club sandwiches and lots of lemongrass tea act as the perfect antidote for a back-to-back schedule of pre-Grammy activity.
Time to hit the Grammy style studio, a fashion trade exhibition where all nominees are invited to exclusively view the latest collections of both new and established couture brands. Designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Grai and Nicolas Jebran were quick to fuss around Estelle as she enters the showroom, keen on showering the ‘American Boy’ star with all they have to offer. Already a huge fan of NY based Halston, she quickly grabs a pair of his gorgeous silver strapped heels, later seen on the Grammy red carpet.
Dress My Grammy Nest.
We return to the villa and find what could possibly be every fashionista’s definition of heaven. Estelle's living room overflows with shoes and gowns, accessories and jewelry as her stylist prepares for the all important fitting. Vivienne Westwood, Versace, Guiseppe, Givenchy and Fendi are just some of the brands up for consideration. Suddenly, we spot two mind-blowing creations by Bernard Chandran and all minds are officially made up.
The Big Day.
Let’s be honest - the Grammy telecast always amounts to about 30 minutes of winners’ acceptance speeches, three hours of performances and hundreds of hours on what everybody wore. Estelle’s choices for red carpet glamour, performance and after-party attire are quite simply, out of this world. ‘Audrey Hepburn meets the Jetsons’ would best describe the silver doused Bernard Chandran numbers worn for the show, while Tory Burch took a more nostalgic route with dark greens and large shoulder cuts for the after-party affairs.
After winning the Grammy (yay!) for Best Rap collaboration with Kanye West, Estelle performs ‘American Boy’ in fabulous retro form. Other memorable moments include Jennifer Hudson actually topping her Super Bowl appearance, while very sincerely crying her eyes out, JT very ably filling in for an absent (and arrested) Chris Brown and Adele picking up her first Grammy – while chewing gum. A worryingly pregnant M.I.A. and her hip hop rat pack of swag, Katy Perry’s unfortunate lack of charm with her fruit cocktail chaos of a performance and finally, Miley Cyrus & Taylor Swift - bland, bleating and insanely boring.
After the Show, it's the After-party.
We do the rounds: official bashes are thrown by Warner Records and L.A. Reid, while Akon showcases an entire roster of artists signed to his Konvict label at the infamous Area nightclub. Jay Z’s little soiree at Hollywood’s favorite sushi bar, Katsoya (this place, I am a little obsessed with), Russell Simmonds’ party at his mouth-wateringly opulent Beverly Hills home, and finally, Estelle’s very own celebration at her stunning Sunset Marquee villa.
‘Next year, it’s 4 awards!’, exclaims the Grammy award winner, before we all simultaneously collapse on the couch.