The ASW Relaunch Weekend in Marrakech
Photos taken by Billy Farrell Agency
There’s only one answer when someone asks if you want to get on a camel, so despite wearing only bikinis, guests at our ASW weekend in Marrakech hopped out of the pool and onto the roaming dromedary in a flash. They’d convened in Morocco to celebrate our relaunch this week – and what better way to kick it off than with three days at the incredible Taj Palace?
Things started early with a pre-party aboard one group’s private jet, with designer Waris Ahluwalia pouring shots and ASW Chairman Patrick Liotard-Vogt playing ipod DJ. “Backstreet Boys?! Olivia thought it was my playlist, man did I correct her quickly!” said rapper Theophilus London of actress Olivia Wilde when they arrived at the Palace.
Friday’s dinner was altogether more exotic, with snake charmers and belly dancers joining the group at dinner just off the main square. “Something tells me this isn’t going to work” said Glee star Dianna Agron as she tried to balance a tray of candles on her head, while Kick Kennedy was faced with equally limited success. But designer Henry Holland, ASW CEO Sabine Heller and Olivia Wilde took things a step further, posing for photos with snakes wrapped around their necks.
“I’ll take the best ones, then you can have what’s left” said actress Natasha Lyonne to Derek Blasberg at brunch the next morning, as she headed to the DVF stand to choose a pair of sunglasses with DJs Harley Viera Newton and Chelsea Leyland. They hadn’t made it up in time for the private shopping tour of the Medina (hosted by L-atitude), so had to make do with stories of monkeys and carpet weavers from Dianna and Theophilus.
Poolside convo vered from the relaunch – “Hang on, so every member gets a free week at Kittitian Hill when they join?” asked hotel entrepreneur Ben Pundole – to guest and icon Marianne Faithfull’s amazing life, which musicians Alison Mosshart from The Kills and Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter were particularly interested in.
Then came the main event, as guests decamped to the nearby Beldi Country Club for an open-air candlelit dinner in the rose garden. Models Poppy Delevingne and Josephine de la Baume weren’t shy about getting down with the local musical group greeting them at the gate, as ASW Events Director Serena Merriman Alvarado and actresses Mamie Gummer and Zoe Kazan floated in wearing crisp silk outfits from DVF.
Over dinner Sabine Heller introduced the new ASW – the privileges program giving all members upgrades, access and discounts was a particular point of interest – before Olivia Wilde said a few words about the women’s charity New Light India, one of the first beneficiaries of the new ASMALLWOLD Foundation. “This is such an exciting time for ASW, I can’t wait to see the changes” said model and longtime ASW member Lily Kwong afterwards.
But as all good things must come to an end, so did the evening, though not without a bang, as guests danced beneath the stars at the Beldi, before taking the party back to Chairman Patrick Liotard-Vogt’s suite, and ending the night with a group swim in the pool.
All photos taken by Billy Farrell from BFA.