From fashion to festivals, Life’s summer issue arrives with your Spectator this week. On our cover this time is the film star Diane Kruger — Helen in Troy, and a scene-stealer in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. A woman whose talent and sense of style I have long admired, when I met her in New York, she told me in no uncertain terms why Hollywood needs more parts for grown-up women. Kruger’s career started as a model in her teens. ‘If I thought about my daughter being 15 and saying, “Can I go away and live in Paris?” she reflected, ‘I’d be like, “Fucking get to your room and don’t leave your room for another year!”‘ Her feistiness turned me into even more of a fan.
Meanwhile, Alison Wolf, author of the brilliant The XX Factor, considers a less respectable branch of the film business, but one in which the women are often paid more than the men: porn. Are the industry’s transactions really any more empowering than the deal cut by an old-fashioned madam?
On the subject of which, the club 5 Hertford Street, in the former brothel territory of Shepherd Market, right now has a buzz akin to something like Studio 54. There’s a waiting list of thousands but, in the spirit of investigative journalism, Stephen Robinson propped up the bar both there and at Annabel’s, its rival and inspiration. The most memorable insights come from Taki who despairs of all members’ clubs, “The problem with any club is never the staff, who are fabulous, but the members, who are shit.” Let’s hope he doesn’t get black listed.
On a recent night at 5 Hertford Street, I collided with Toby Young, who introduces Spectator Life’s hot list of the most inspirational immigrants to London, a city which in the past 25 years has become truly globalised. Just after we went to press, two of our hot list were knighted – hats off the Australian born arts philanthropist Michael Hintze, and the sculptor Anish Kapoor.