Makeup artist Celia Burton and stylist Chloe Grace Press co-founded bespoke event consultancy Burton & Grace. Their company brings together niche networks from different walks of life, within an informal supper club setting.
Where do you live and work?
Celia: I live in Shepherd’s Bush in west London, not far from where I was born and raised. I’m a freelance makeup artist so I work all over the place, but predominantly in London and Europe.
How did you first meet Chloe?
Celia: We bonded instantly in a long queue for a nightclub in London Bridge. We were about 16, it was the height of the ‘New Rave’ scene in London, so all we wanted to do on the weekends was don neon glow paint and dance to the Klaxons. We had a few friends in common, and when we were both turned away for being underage (our fake ID was completely useless) Chloe invited me to join her at another party and that was that. Joined at the hip since 2006.
Describe your light bulb moment when creating the company.
Celia: Chloe is a stylist and we work together a lot. We’d always gone to Paris for fashion week, sharing the cost of an Airbnb and accompanying each other to the various awkward industry events. In March we had been to one too many cocktail parties in Paris, and couldn’t ignore the fact that we were always faced with the same people. Whilst the thought was fresh in my mind, I was invited to curate a table for The Stack World’s International Women’s Day event and enjoyed it so much. I considered women I knew had never met before, but thought they would get along: women with brilliant minds from different industries that could complement and collaborate with each other, all sitting around the same dinner table.
Chloe and I discussed it afterwards and the idea was born. We would curate parties for brands as a sort of sexy networking opportunity, to open up their audience and generate genuine engagement rather than paid influence on socials.
How do you balance your work as a make-up artist with Burton & Grace?
Celia: Within a month of launching our company, we were inundated with requests. We arranged five dinners in five months, which proved a bit of a juggling act! We’re both freelance so thankfully aren’t on set every day, and quickly learnt to ask each other for help when needed (this was hard at first). Now we are really good at stepping up when the other is working their day job.
Biggest challenge to date?
Celia: The original idea behind Burton & Grace was to curate small dinner parties, which sounded super simple and easy to handle. But once we started we realised that each event needed to be epic to be worthy of the budget and commission. It had to be an exciting venue, a hot chef, really good martinis, a photogenic table design, fabulous entertainment etc. It required much more work than we’d anticipated.
Celia: Chloe and I love to look back at the images from our events. It’s easy to forget what we’ve done as we move on to the next project. I love that we had an idea and followed it through.
Dream dinner party guest list?
Celia: André Leon Talley, Phoebe Philo, Cher, Miuccia Prada, Solange Knowles, Gwendoline Christie and Peter Kay. Imagine!
What are the top three signs of a successful event?
Celia: Guests asking to take leftovers home. And when no one wants to leave and you have to really force the issue. When everyone asks for the link to the photos the next day.
Who is your style icon?
Celia: Nell Kalonji, Molly Goddard and my aunt Anna Curtis.
One thing you couldn't live without?
Celia: My dog, Roo. He’s a Bedlington Whippet.
Beauty staple you rely on?
Celia: Lip balm. I have a few favourites: Lukas Papaw, Glossier Balm Dotcom, Dr Barbara Sturm.
Who are your wellbeing and health gurus?
Celia: My mum, Nicola Easton. She has an answer for everything and an amazing knowledge of holistic beauty and wellness.
Favourite event makeup look?
Celia: I love working with my friend and long-standing client Adwoa Aboah, we create the best looks together and have had so many epic red-carpet moments!
What was your first styling job?
Chloe: After interning at every magazine you could think of, I was offered my first fashion assistant role at Tank magazine with Pandora Lennard. She paved the way for me and was very kind and patient.
How does your skill set as a stylist complement your work with Burton & Grace?
Chloe: I'm often putting together creative concepts for brands and magazines, and this has helped when we are planning an event. We often spend a huge chunk of time researching how we visualise the evening.
Describe your dynamic with Celia in three words.
Chloe: We have different strengths that really complement one another. I think the fact that we have known each other for so many years allows us to be honest, loving and disciplined.
Best gift you’ve been given recently?
Chloe: My grandmother's necklace, she wore it every day, so it feels very lucky to have something of hers with me at all times.
The last item of clothing you added to your wardrobe?
Chloe: I have an eBay obsession and recently found an amazing vintage Comme des Garçons blazer and coat.
Most memorable outfit growing up?
Chloe: I was obsessed with dressing up for the supermarket when I was little and would raid my mother's wardrobe. My usual look was a hat with a veil and bow and large diamante earrings. In fact, I still have the hat.
What are your personal style signifiers?
Chloe: Shoes and coats, I can't get enough of both. I love my issue twelve Grandpa Coat which gets me through the cold weather currently. My shoe staples are old Celine and Prada.
What attracts you to issue twelve’s clothing?
Chloe: The tailoring - Leah knows how to design a uniform that you want to wear every day.
Favourite piece from the new collection?
Chloe: The Anna Coat. It's the perfect balance of a classic coat, with a modern edge.
Best party you’ve ever attended?
Chloe: Any AnOther Magazine or Dazed party, they are truly legendary. There's always a sense of community and extravagance, you never want to leave.
What is your favourite app?
Three key ingredients for a brilliant party?
Chloe: Martinis, music and good company.
What would you like your legacy to be?
Chloe: Kindness in an industry that is historically quite cut-throat.