This week saw the launch party for the new Sloane Ranger’s Handbook (see review page 112). Held in the New Sloane’s hangout, Kitts nightclub in (where else?) Sloane Square, it was jammed with all the right sorts. The club was doling out plenty of Champagne, naturally, but also Cosmopolitan cocktails, which weren’t about at the time of the first Handbook in 1982. There were no velvet hairbands or even frizz: the invention of hair-smoothing serum to eliminate wispy curls has done as much to reinvent the Sloane as any social and economic upheaval. The girls looked tall, groomed and thin several pounds lighter than their 1980s incarnations.

The men, however, were resolutely unchanged. Dark suits, paunches, unruly curls over the tips of their ears (why no John Frieda Frizz Ease for Men?) and appreciative glances at cleavages. In fact, most of the men there were probably at the original launch, too. Some were even in full hunting regalia. Peter York, the author, and I snuck outside for a cigarette, and he introduced me to a man in jodphurs, who asked me to the Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt ball. The times they are not a-changing after all.

read Sandy Mitchell’s review of Older, faster, more expensive