With her infectious laugh and last-on-the-dancefloor spirit, Jaime Winstone is pretty much the woman everyone wants at their party. So what was she going to do for her own big 3-0 bash? Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t a sedate sit down dinner for 12 at The Savoy, but instead, a festival-cum-rave dubbed ‘Winstock’ at her Essex home with 300 friends. In between party preparations (which involved inflating giant blow-up flamingos for the indoor pool), we asked Jaime for all the info on what she thinks makes a perfect party – and why you should never ever show up in your flip-flops.
1) Start off classic
‘Believe it or not, I like to put on classical music when I’m getting ready. Then I’ll pour myself a glass of champagne and take time doing my make-up. I hate being rushed. Keep it classy, or as my friends would say: “Keep it couture”!’
2) It’s not fashionable to be late...
‘I’m a Virgo, so I like people turning up on time. Obviously if you’re going to a club, you know to arrive three hours after it’s opened, but if it’s a friend’s birthday then I think you should get there when they’ve asked you to.’
Jaime on the swing ride at her 30th birthday, wearing the Wildfox Disco Star beach jumper (£100), exclusive to selfridges, and Wildfox Fontaine sunglasses (£159) available from WildfoxCouture.co.uk
3) Invent a signature party drink
‘We have a joke cocktail in our group of friends called a “Preside Yourself”. It’s a mixture of prosecco and cider. It’s weirdly nice – the prosecco keeps it from being too sweet. I’m pregnant right now, so I’m on the Shirley Temples [ginger ale and grenadine].’
4) Get creative with your theme
‘My 30th was basically a mini festival. We had a giant tent, a merry-go-round and the theme was psychedelic major rave. The dress code baffled some people, but I like it when a theme is open to interpretation. I had a few outfit changes, but I wore loads of Wildfox – they do brilliant slogan knitwear and everything’s really easy to dance in.’
5) Keep the food plentiful and simple
‘I’m not pretentious with party food. For me, it’s about people getting fed, so I’ll do loads of pizzas or a barbecue. I think my friends know by now that if they want something else, they’ll have to eat before they come!’
6) It all comes down to the squad
‘I’ve got a brilliant crew. Jewellery designer Hannah Warner is pure gold, musician Robbie Furze has excellent chat and Melanie Blatt is my dance-off partner.’
7) Keep the crowd together
‘At a lot of parties, I get wedged into a VIP area with a weird rope that separates me from other people. But the best parties are the ones where everyone mixes together.’
8) No silly footwear
‘I don’t get it when people wear flip-flops to a party. They look ridiculous. I’m not a big heels girl either – for me, it’s Dr Martens or serious kicks to get me through the dancing.’
9) Absolutely no DJ egos allowed
‘There’s nothing worse than a bad DJ who gets into their own zone. My perfect playlist would start with disco, follow up with some old school garage, then end on a bit of jungle.’
10) At the end of the night
'My boyfriend is excellent at mixing up those “anything goes” punches with whatever’s left to drink. He always knows what to put together – they’re pretty killer.'
Jaime hosted Winstock in partnership with Wildfox, available at Selfridges and wildfoxcouture.co.uk
How The A-List Party Now
What to wear
Then: Leather leggings and silk shirts
Now: Sheer dresses and Adidas Stan Smiths
Then: Group text
Then: Mini fast food - tiny pulled pork buns, little burgers, small fish and chips
Now: Mac and cheese, ceviche
Then: Pharell's 'Happy'
Now: Years and Years 'Shine'
Then: Espresso martinis
Now: White whisky cocktails
Then: Tagged Facebook selfies
Now: Instagram tag #AboutLastNight
Then: Paperless post
Now: Amusing email meme
Then: Taxi at 1am
Now: 3.30am Uber