The beautiful people party on to give their 'Face' a future

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The Independent Online
FOR THE beautiful people, it was a night to remember. The Face magazine was raising funds to pay off pounds 120,000 worth of costs and damages from a libel action by Jason Donovan. The magazine did so in the way it knew best: by holding a party.

They took over the inner atrium of a former Crown Agents' building in Westminster, central London, and decorated the walls with hundreds of plaster casts of noses and ears. They filled it with 700 people paying pounds 45 a head, including the aristocracy of the fashion, rock and club worlds.

The venue, Four Millbank, is a favourite rendezvous for MPs, who visit its restaurant and health club. Here, in the heart of establishment London, the generation that preferred having a good time to getting involved in politics came to frolic through the night.

The event brought to life the pages of a title once dubbed the world's best- dressed magazine. This was the twilight fashion of London clubland rather than the mainstream world of couture. There were men in fake snakeskin suits and feather boas, and women in rubber dresses and corsets.

On the dance floor, they abandoned themselves to the music with Bacchanalian glee. Iona Kenrick, 29, said: 'My dad's a vicar. He'd die if he saw me.'

Everyone knew everyone else, or at least pretended to. There was much kiss-kissing on the stairs, and a giant video screen projected images of guests arriving on to the wall of the atrium.

The Face is bought by only 73,000 people, but they are people at the sharp end of taste. It was a bible of style for a generation in the Eighties, and wants to be the same in the Nineties.

It has spawned a host of imitators. Newspapers write regularly about the strange ways of the young. Television bosses assign big budgets to programmes for the 'yoof' market.

In this brave new world of style, the young grow old quickly. Those who bought, or wrote for, the launch issue in 1980 are now in their thirties. Outsiders, they lined the walls at the party.

Every rock musician and fashion designer likes to be featured in The Face. Dave Stewart, musician, said: 'My wife's on the cover of the new issue. Or at least I think she is.'

John Richmond, the designer, turned up in a green suit, accompanied by Angie Hill, his model wife, who was wearing a see-through mesh top.

She was pregnant again, she announced. No one was surprised. Having babies is very fashionable in 1992.

Nick Logan, founder and publisher, said the event had raised pounds 20,000 for the Save Face campaign. To date, the appeal has raised more than pounds 60,000.

This week, he is raising more with National Liggers Week. Clubs are charging 'liggers' (anyone who gets in for free on a guest list) a token 'club tax', which will be passed on to The Face.

(Photographs omitted)