Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Summer of Colour; Trends the Capital Has Gone Wild for the Indian Holi Festival, and It's Not Your Only Chance to Paint the Town -- and Yourself -- Red, Says Phoebe Luckhurst

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Summer of Colour; Trends the Capital Has Gone Wild for the Indian Holi Festival, and It's Not Your Only Chance to Paint the Town -- and Yourself -- Red, Says Phoebe Luckhurst

Article excerpt

Byline: Phoebe Luckhurst

BORED with Gatsby? Totally over The Beautiful and Damned? Good news: Fitzgerald no longer has the monopoly on party themes. This summer, hedonism has taken a technicolour turn -- and there's not a flapper dress in sight. In fact, you'd be unwise to wear anything more flamboyant than a white T-shirt and old jeans -- because paint parties can get messy.

The highlight of the paint party season takes place this weekend when the Holi Festival of Colours takes over Battersea Power Station: the London leg of a movement masterminded by dapper trio Jasper Hellman, Max Riedel and Maxim Derenko.

On a visit to Delhi in 2011, Jasper witnessed the Holi festival celebrations, where colourful dyes are thrown to symbolise the beginning of spring. He decided Europe needed something similar and launched the first Holi Festival of Colours in Berlin in July 2012 -- followed by festivals in Munich, Dresden and Hanover. Now it's coming to London.

Admittedly, the fun is tightly controlled: the event is ticketed and only special coloured powder provided at the venue will be permitted, so you can't go rogue and dump a vat of Farrow & Ball on your mate's head. Colour is blasted into the air hourly; the occasion is marked by a 10-second countdown each time. You have to be 18 to attend.

However, despite the rigorous organisation, the founders are positive the event is a chance to let loose -- it's hard to take anything too seriously when you're blinking neon pink out of your eyelashes.

Fun was also the order of the day at the Color Run in London last month, a 5km run where participants were drenched in coloured powder at every kilometre, and the "infamous" paint fight is now an established slot on the whimsical Secret Garden Party line-up -- revellers banish all thought of the real world and go wonderfully, colourfully mad.

Of course, the coolest kids are old hands when it comes to paint parties. Danish model Chloe Norgaard is famous for using her hair as an experimental canvas -- the Benetton model's locks are a mash-up of rainbow bleach -- but she also enjoys spraying her body in emulsion. …

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