But inspiration was what was promised, and inspiration was what was delivered. You know things are looking up when youre drinking champagne on a terrace overlooking the Thames (at Penguins beautiful offices; forget fashion publishing is clearly where its at, glamour-wise); when the only men among the sea of stylish women are two handsome waiters and you can play a fun game of Spot the spring/summer print to pass the time.
The evenings concept was based on The Best Of Everything, Rona Jaffes 1950s novel about four career girls in New York City. And you thought was an original idea. The Fifties nostalgia was in full effect as a retro drinks trolley circulated, weaving its way between Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson, Erin OConnor, Lara Bohinc, artist Polly Morgan, illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve and Lulu Kennedy.
The night also kicked-off a new Whistles initiativea series of country-wide salon events to inspire women in different ways. We decided to fill the room with women we really admire, Shepherdson said once we were seated for dinner. Which made us feel quite pleased with ourselves, until we clocked the real stars of the evening: three speakers who each have forged amazing careers in male-dominated fields: Rosie Arnold, deputy executive creative director at advertising agency BBH; film director Beeban Kidron (who started her career assisting Eve Arnold) and Lynn Thomas, Surgeon Captain with the British Navy.
Each of them spoke with wit and wisdom about their career paths, sharing their thoughts on ambition, compromise and flirting your way up the ladder. (In a nutshell, dont: Darling, said R More