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Illustrations by Mr Angelo Trofa

"Party at my place?" is an offer that is all too easy to make, but one that can lead to disappointment, embarrassment and, if it is not followed through properly, social suicide. Luckily this need not be the case, because with a little thought and forward planning your parties can take off seamlessly, leaving you with the enviable reputation as the host with the most. We believe Mr Robin Scott-Lawson is the perfect man to offer a tip or two on holding great social gatherings, since his creative agency masterminds parties, fashion shows and film premieres for a long list of prestigious clients including Claridge's hotel and Ralph Lauren.

Run out of alcohol, and the fun will go with it. Sad but true. Therefore, you should ensure your bar (including non-alcoholic options for designated drivers) won't dry up by not being miserly with your purchasing beforehand, and also asking people to bring a bottle of something if necessary.

Is that the sound of tumbleweed rolling in? Unless you're explicitly planning a small, intimate get together, inviting too few people can lead to some pretty awkward situations. Don't just assume that people will turn up... it's worth taking the time to check with them personally if they haven't RSVP'd.

Conversely, cramming people into your space like tinned sardines is never a good idea. Know the limits of your residence and consider hiring a venue if you are planning a mega bash. On a similar note, if your party will be very busy, keep an eye out for uninvited guests who heard the music from the street and let themselves in.

Although a sea of candles at floor level might seem like a good idea, an emergency visit from the fire department tends to kill the vibe. When the alcohol is flowing, naked flames are best avoided.

Whether your party is large or small, drawing up the guest list always requires a degree of diplomacy. You don't want to end up with the wrong sort of fireworks going off.

To get involved in all our first birthday celebrations and enter our "Win a Wardrobe" competition, click here

And what to wear while doing it...