Monday, March 19, 2012

Music by Stevie Wonder and Robbie, bespoke partywear for Naomi, Gwyneth, Leo at al and £50 burgers. Welcome to Sir Philip Green's £6million beach ball

By Alison Boshoff And Sara Nathan

Ay caramba! Sir Philip Green’s 60th birthday party in Mexico over the weekend had promised to be an all-out fiesta of flamboyant excess, crowded with celebrities.

And in the end it was all that – and more.

With two fancy dress evenings, and party ‘hostesses’ dressed only in leopard body paint and thongs, it was an eye-boggling marathon of lavish celebrations – the Parties That Taste Forgot.

Fun in the sun: Some of Sir Philip Green¿s star guests are among those playing on the beach at the barbecue marking the last day of his birthday extravaganza

Every element was luxurious: Even the burgers served as a late night snack on Friday were made with imported Japanese Kobe beef at a cost of £50 each.

The beaches were patrolled by armed guards, some on jetskis, to keep out riff-raff.

And the four-day event, at an estimated cost of more than £6million, was all very much about the birthday boy. For who else but Sir Philip – whose retail empire includes Topshop and Dorothy Perkins – would have the guts to ask his celebrity guests to wear clothes bearing the branding PG60 (his initials and birthday) all weekend?

His ‘brand’ was everywhere – on beach towels, bathrobes, even the bespoke Hawaiian shirts to be worn to a beach barbecue.

Everyone had to wear the logo, including Simon Cowell, Ronnie Wood, Leonardo DiCaprio, actress Kate Hudson, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. Only the resort’s tame turtles seem to have escaped.

Sir Phil, assisted by his wife Tina, pushed the boat out to a recession-busting extent. Pictures of his smiling face were projected for hours upon end on to the rocks at the resort, 20ft high. Every now and again, guests got to look at pictures of his daughter Chloe instead.

Birthday boy: Green's lavish celebration saw him spend a reported £6m for the four-day bash

Having hired all of the Rosewood Mayakoba resort for four days, Sir Phil brought in 155 staff from London to make sure everything ran perfectly. He also had a nightclub specially erected in the honour of Chloe, who turned 21 this month.

Performers at the festivities included Robbie Williams and Stevie Wonder. On the last day there was a ‘simple beach barbecue’ – with music from The Beach Boys.

Entertainment alone will have cost well over £3million, presumably paid by Tina, who lives in the tax haven of Monaco. All her husband’s Arcadia group businesses are owned in her name and, as a Monaco resident, she can receive large dividends from them without paying a penny of tax.

Sir Phil’s friends indicate that the whole party was planned by Tina, and even he doesn’t really know what the final bill will be – perhaps just as well given that he recently said that hundreds of Arcadia employees can expect to lose their jobs.

Stars: A gaggle of celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Campbell and Kate Hudson enjoy a game of American Football on the beach as part of Sir Philip Green's 60th birthday celebrations

The resort was entirely given over to the festivities from Wednesday to Saturday.

The swankiest suite costs £7,000 a night, and it’s estimated the bill for accommodation alone will be more than £500,000.

On the first night, guests were invited to a warm-up party with guitarist Carlos Santana and cheesy Canadian crooner Michael Buble, who duetted with Chloe Green. There is no word as to whether Chloe can hold a tune.

The main event was the next night, Sir Phil’s birthday, when guests found Tina had opted to kit them all out as Spanish flamenco dancers, with frilly sleeves for the boys.

Hawaiian shirt: Ronnie Wood sporting a themed t-shirt whilst another reveller, right, in the ‘PG60’ branded birthday-wear

Flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes performed his Latin love god routine, which may have been a shade awkward for his ex-squeeze Naomi Campbell, who was there with her new boyfriend, Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin. After Cortes came Enrique

Iglesias, then soul legend Wonder, who was the honoured artist picked to sing Happy Birthday to Sir Phil. The party, fuelled by rivers of vintage Pol Roger, went on until the early hours.

On Friday there was yet another do, this time for Chloe, starting with a fireworks display reputed to have cost £150,000. Guests were taken to the specially built venue, the three-storey Chloe’s Club, where the mostly naked dancers provided further entertainment.

The meal included a starter of ‘caviar surprise’ and a main course of fish and chips or kobe burger. Dessert was knickerbocker glory, banana split or ice cream parfait.

Smoking break: Leonardo DiCaprio, with a cigarette in his mouth, takes time out from the star-studded beach game

After dinner, Robbie Williams performed an eight-song set, finishing with his hit Angels. Sir Philip then appeared on stage to hand over a giant four-tier cake, decorated with high-heeled shoes for his little girl.

Gwyneth Paltrow was the unlikely party animal of the event, dancing until 6am on Saturday. At one point she took to the stage to belt out a tune with U.S. singer Cee Lo Green. Her husband, Coldplay singer Chris Martin, looked on fondly.

On Saturday, there was a beach barbecue farewell lunch, and guests were provided with purple Hawaiian shirts. Some played ball games while being serenaded by the Beach Boys, as others ate meat and local fish from two 6ft barbecues.

So, was it bigger and better than the toga party for his 50th in Cyprus, where Rod Stewart played? Was it more lavish than his 55th in the Maldives, which featured George Michael? The verdict is that yes, this was the biggest of all. Tina had better start saving for his 65th now.



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