Style Itinerary: Frieze London
Each October, when Frieze and Frieze Masters take over Regent’s Park, the entire international art scene descends on London, making it an optimal time to head not only into the tents but to hit the city’s galleries, which showcase their heavyweights for the occasion. Give yourself a few days as there’s a lot to see from Regents Park, to Mayfair, to Clapham, to Peckham, and beyond. Our day-long itineraries are below, along with tips on what to wear: It’s a walking-heavy couple of days, requiring a uniform that’s on point on many levels: Comfy, layered for London’s unpredictable weather, and, well, stylish enough for the art crowd.
Tibi Quecha Felted
Cape Blazer Net-A-Porter, $650
Leopard-print Shoulder Bag Net-A-Porter, $880
Victoria Beckham Denim
Skinny Jeans Net-A-Porter, $270
Gold-tone Earrings Net-A-Porter, $425
Leather Ankle Boots Net-A-Porter, $1,255
Atlantique Ascoli Enfant
Ruffled Voile Top Net-A-Porter, $630
Balm Net-A-Porter, $27
Between Frieze, Frieze Masters, and the Sculpture Park, you’ll need a full day if not more. Begin at the north end of the park in Frieze Masters, where there’s everything from antiquities, to Classical works, to a few carefully selected contemporary masterpieces. The highlight this year will undoubtedly be the show’s new section, Collections, which will explore how eight dealers who are new to the fair build just that. After Masters, head south toward Frieze, taking a breather in the English Gardens to check out the Sculpture Park. Then, it’s back into the swirl inside the tent: Thankfully, Frieze takes food just as seriously as it does art, and curates pop-ups from some of the city’s best indie crowd pleasers.
Mayfair & Soho
While Frieze rages on in North London, in Mayfair the scene is decidedly more genteel, though no less compelling. The main draw here is right in Berkeley Square, where PAD London, the major design show for serious collectors, takes place over the same dates. Every year, Milan’s Nilufar, Stockholm’s Modernity, London’s Carpenters Workshop Gallery, and Paris’ Kreo are the most memorable stands. Outside the tent and just a few blocks away is David Zwirner, presenting a show of the 29 year-old Brazilian artist Oscar Murillo’s work. Meanwhile, nearby, Gagosian brings together a small suite of Cy Twombly works. And, if you have an ounce of energy left, head to nearby Soho to see a major exhibition of new works by South African artist William Kentridge at Marian Goodman’s David Adjaye-designed space—the gallery is fairly new, having opened in time for Frieze last year. Finish the day at the Royal Academy, where you can see a survey of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s highly political works from 1993 to the present. Gymkhana and Café Murano are both conveniently close, and both foodie havens.
The contemporary art scene in South London is pretty spread out. Begin at the Moyra Davey show at Greengrassi, which is hidden away in Kennington and known for discovering and supporting fairly unknown artists—at least when they start out: Lisa Yuskavage, Roe Etheridge and Tomma Abts are a few of the artists owner Cornelia Grassi has backed for years. Next, hop in a cab and head to Studio Voltaire in Clapham, which, aside from being a gallery, is also a studio space for over 45 artists. The fact that the young new Frieze director Victoria Siddall is co-chair only underlines its 20-year reign over the London art scene. The last stop on the tour is Peckham, where galleries like Hannah Barry and The Sunday Painter are continually introducing up-and-comers to the international art world. And, because you’ve made it down to Peckham, a major hub for hipsters, it’s only right that you end the day with cocktails at Frank’s rooftop cafe, on top of a massive parking lot.