Christopher Haggarty’s reign over the Sydney social scene has resulted in him being not only a regular in the social pages, but a celebrity in his own right.
As Sydney’s most well known socialite he has a front row seat at the most illustrious launches and events.
We were honoured to have an audience with Mr Haggarty to review his wonderful year and gain insight on how he slays Sydney’s social scene.
Thanks for joining us Christopher, the team at The Next Rush have seen you everywhere this year at all the most high profile events. We can only imagine what your calendar is like, so how many events have you done this year and how far in advance are you usually booked out? You must be super organised?
Last year was ridiculously busy, I attended over a hundred events… …a personal record.
I usually get a ‘save the date’ a few weeks before the event which is great.
However I’m not organised at all. I often forget and rely heavily on the reminder email the day before.
You always seem to be the life of the party, flawlessly working the room, from your appearances in the metro society pages to the posts of celebrities and media moguls, for you – what events have you enjoyed most this year?
The launch of T Galleria, which was a two day event, the first was a customised Boyarde charm that I got to wear on my Vuitton to the second night cocktail party. The launch of Caroma’s new luxury interiors showroom was grand, complete with an orchestra. Crintis had a party at Woolloomoollo with fireworks on the media wall so that was cool. The Mumm cocktail party at QT Sydney was epic – not just because it got me from my normal all black, into a red bow tie. Merchant 1948 had a lunch at my favourite restaurant; The Botanica Vaucluse. The launch of Jurassic World consisted of a fashion show followed by drinks – two of my favourite things. Another good one was Whirlybird‘s Birthday. They had burlesque dancers. And my final fave was the opening of Bopp & Tone – the night I lost my glasses to Mike Goldman.
You must have to turn down alot of invitations and it must be hard to decide. What are the do’s and dont’s that make for a good event in your opinion?
By now I’ve become a bit of a pro at examining an invite before I RSVP yes. If it’s from a PR I know, I trust that they wouldn’t waste time asking me to anything less than amazing. And obviously I want to go and support them.
I however often decline invited from in-house PR’s especially if I’ve never dealt with them. Often their events aren’t as professional and it’s usually impossible to get the photos post event.
As far as what makes a good event; I think the guest list for sure, it should always be quality over quantity. There’s nothing worse then being packed into a room full of people. It’s my pet hate when I can get my media wall photo because a wannabe event blogger is taking selfies on the media wall or I can’t get a drink because someone’s plus one is asking stupid questions at the bar.
With so many launches of new products what have been some of the standouts for you this year?
My friends at Fairfax & Roberts who were one of the original supporters for marriage equality released an equality line of engagement and wedding bands. Like everything they do it was a truely beautiful collection.
Then I was one of the first to try the new Ray Ban lenses thanks to OPSM; it’s basically where you can have the Ray Ban logo on your prescription lenses. So that was very cool for me as my wayfarers are the crown of my casual look.
Launched with an event of astronomical proportions, Ultimate Ears launched Mega Boom. Hands down the best speaker ever.
And most importantly Gotcha 4 Life made a bodyspray with Lynx. Boasting a great scent it was sold at Chemist Warehouses and raised money for the important men’s mental health organisation.
We’re priviliged to work with alot of creative production teams and publicists on the scene, there have been so many elaborate ‘out of the box’ activations and launches this year. What are some of the best experiences you have come across this year?
At the launch of Aura by Mugler they had interpretive dancers in nude leotards dancing on the island at The Calyx. More recently we watched “influences” [rolls eyes] mount a bucking bull style surfboard at the A Brand party at Max Watts.
For those who are new to the scene, and with your appearances more than likely to appear in the press, how do you even decide what to wear? You must have a formula of failsafe key pieces as photographers always notice when you walk the red carpet or glide passed a media wall?
Me, personally my formula; I literally have two “uniforms”. One; casual. Two; Formal. Both looks have set seperate pieces and accessories that don’t integrate. And 99% of the items are black.
My casual look consists of;
Wayfarers, giant buckle belts, chelsea boots, totes, bandanas, caps, tees, denim shirts, jeans and denim jackets. In winter I add scarfs, beanies, sweaters and flannel shirts.
While my formal look is
Thick framed glasses, an initialed dress belt, tasseled loafers, clutches, pocket squares, neck ties, shirts, waistcoats, pants and blazers. Adding polos and cardigans accessorised with lapel flowers and bow ties for the Winter months.
So it’s safe to say that you have a bit of a signature look these days that’s evolved quite a lot from the ultra preppy wildly colourful look you use to be known for?
Most definitely. Coming from a fashion background it was expected to dress over the top. As I started to get better known and was going to more events it became impractical to dress like that for every event. It just wasn’t realistic. And it was no longer fun.
You’ve had an extremely successful career in fashion styling, designing and editing. All that glamour, would you ever return to fashion? There’s so much that’s come out of the runways from Fashion Week recently that will shape Australia’s fashion next summer, do you ever feel the call or still get that inspiration to design?
I don’t think so. It just doesn’t interest me anymore. I didn’t even go to fashion week, and I didn’t miss it at all. It actually bores me.
Have you met anyone particularly interesting on your nights out at events? Who are some of your favourites?
All my nights are interesting [laughs] I’ve been doing this so long that all my friends are in “this world” so we always have fun.
This world of glamorous events and party’s which you clearly dominate with style, is so unreachable for most. What’s your advice for someone not in your upper echelon position but looking for a taste of the social scene?
Two of the nicest evenings I’ve had this year were at The Star Ball and The Avantgarde Ball. Both of these events the public can purchase tickets to and rub shoulders with Australia’s biggest names. Not to mention both had amazing dinners and astonishing entertainment. The Star Ball raises money for the Starlight Foundation, at the last one which opened with fire dancers we had the best time ever dancing to Timomatic late into the night. While at The Avantgarde Ball most recent night which raises money for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, we got to witness an epic couture show which followed the music stylings of Johnny Ruffo.
Many of our editorial team have seen you out at various events the last few months and they’ve all seen something’s different. Those trademark glasses of yours seem to be missing from many recent shots of you we’ve seen in the social pages. Is there a story there? Do you even need glasses?
Ha ha yes! As I mentioned before Mike Goldman stole them! [Laughs] Nah I started wearing glasses a few years back. I always wore sunglasses to events, then after media wall I’d always take them when I got in and was in the company of friends. They were a bit like armour. Eventually I and had transitions but in my sunglasses. Then before I knew it I was locked into a look. As I’ve gotten busier it’s just became easier to revert to sunglasses for arrival, I just happened to have some candid shots taken without them inside. It’s no major political statement.