Diaries and pens at the ready ladies (or should we say smartphones and tablets) because the cultural extravaganza that is The Century is about to hit London. The Century is a glittering and exhilarating, intelligent and fascinating opportunity to immerse yourself into and explore any decade from 1900 to the year 2000. Pick a decade (or a few) and prepare to be transported back in time with music, talks, fashion, drama, literature and even the very smells that defined each era. No dull history lesson, The Century is a unique opportunity to understand the past better, and in doing so the present, with a smashing assault on the senses.
The briefest selection of highlights include taking an imaginative journey through the 1930s aboard a luxury ocean liner with Tony Cooke, author of Art Deco goes to Sea, quaffing cocktails that tell the story of LA noir in the 1940s with Times drinks columnist Alice Lascelles, listening to Kerry Daynes expertly decoding the body language of the 1980s TV divas from Dynasty and Dallas, or revisiting the 1990s with digital humanist and technological expert, Dr Tom Chatfield, the writer behind How to Survive in a Digital Age.
In each era guests will be further immersed into the past by their sense of smell thanks to Lizzie Ostrom, a.k.a Odette Toilette, the author of Perfume: A Century of Scents. Expose your olfactory system to the infamous tang of the 1960s ‘Hippie Stink’ (marijuana), get all nostalgic with the Top 10 Saturday Night Scents we spritzed on through the 1990s and reminisce over the aroma of obsolete technology whether that’s typewriter ink or photographic chemicals of the dark room. As Lizzie says, ‘Scent offers an enticing lens through which to imagine [a] world, as if by smelling the same perfume we might also breathe the same oxygen’.
The Century is the brainchild of event producer Helen Bagnall of Salon London and scent expert, the aforementioned, Lizzie Ostrom. Salon London is known for curating cultural content for Latitude, Wilderness, Soho House and Tate Britain – you’re in safe hands – and there’ll be a whole host of speakers, authors and experts bringing each decade to life.
The events take place at the beautiful mid-century styled setting of The Apartment at The Hoxton, Shoreditch and tickets start at just £18, including a cocktail. Pick and mix which decades you want to attend or book for the whole day. The decades 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 run between 10:30am and 5pm on Saturday 7 November. Otherwise you can enjoy 1950, 60, 70, 80 and 90 from 10:30am to 5pm on Saturday 14 November. Each session covers a decade and lasts one hour. For more information and tickets, see Salon’s website.