Parties: Conrans and canapés

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The minimalist white façade of London's Design Museum was bathed in shocking pink neon for the first Brit Insurance Design Awards last Tuesday week. Guests, including Channel 4 presenter Naomi Cleaver, the designer Ron Arad, Sir James Dyson and a host of Conrans (Sir Terence, Lady Vicki and son Sebastian) sipped champagne and nibbled on Kobe beef canapés as they browsed the covetable exhibits – Dior couture, Philippe Starck chairs, limited-edition Penguin classics and all manner of shiny gadgets.

Then it was downstairs for a dinner of pecorino, fennel and walnut salad, rack of lamb and an angular construction of chocolate mousse and jasmine granita (which Red or Dead co-founder Geraldine Hemingway declared to be "just ice").

The museum's director, Deyan Sudjic introduced a typically indigestible video message from the Prime Minister before Wayne Hemingway presented the prizes, but not before dragging on stage Sebastian Conran's partner, Gertrude – revealed as the German voice of a sat-nav system, no less – to say a few words.

Winners included architects Herzog & de Meuron for the Olympic stadium in Beijing and Hussein Chalayan for a dress encrusted in Swarovski crystals and lit from inside by 15,000 LEDs. Accepting his award, the designer blasted London for being a city "which breeds poor designers". Yves Behar, whose One Laptop Per Child project provides £60 computers for the world's poorest children, scooped the overall prize for "doing the impossible".

As the night drew to a close, there was just time for an impromptu award – nominated by Terence Conran – for the most uncomfortable chair ever designed. The assembled taste-makers, their rumps no doubt more used to Starck than the spindly hired catering specials on which they were seated, predictably fell off said chairs laughing.

Comments