Luke Blackall: From the Royal Academy to Glamour, it's party jam time

Man About Town

It's the season of the party jam, when every brand, shop and venue decides to throw their event while the weather is warm, but before everyone disappears on holiday. Diaries become saturated, forcing you to choose between events, all the while worrying that you'll offend someone.

The preview party for the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, however, stands out from the crowd, and it is a highlight in my personal calendar. Those who are not celebrities or press have to buy tickets that are more expensive than a number of the works on show.

For those not familiar, this is the 244th time this grand art institution has invited submissions from artists for a summer show. Household names and amateurs all get a chance to enter, and the best 1,200 or so pieces are exhibited.

To accommodate all these works, the gallery crams each wall with dozens of works, jostling together as though they were part of a jigsaw. The effect is dramatic and means you each time you return to a room you see something completely different.

It also means that "big name" artists such as Tracey Emin or Grayson Perry sometimes find themselves hanging next to weekend daubers. Each work is merely numbered, so you can only tell who it is by if you look at the catalogue. While it is a brave move for the famous, it is a boon for the lesser-known, although it can simply end up demonstrating exactly why the very expensive are just that.

For artists without high profiles, the exhibition can propel them to the attention of those who matter – art world grandees and well-heeled Mayfair types, who have a hunger for art and a surfeit of cash.

The other great leveller this week was the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year awards. This has only been going nine years, but already it appears to have become quite a draw for actresses, pop stars and film stars from across the globe.

Each year the famous men in the room, a number of them film stars and musicians, are relegated to roles as either hosts or presenters. And however big a name they are, they all seem delighted by it, often keen to get their photo taken with the female winners.

While the spectre of inequality still hangs over many areas of society, in the world of London parties, women have long reigned over us chaps.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific