Monday, 29 April 2013

First shoots of Spring

Following on from Style Mummy's recent endorsement of Bedlam we have now acquired a thumbs up from Well Dressed Dad, whose tweedy font we are diggin' Daddio:

Spring is, if not quite sprung, then crouching, so let's clear the back log to make room for fresh shoots. Here's the last of the backstage shots from St. Patrick's Day, a mixture of mine and Ben's assistant, Deborah Adelabu's. It was always going to be a great day with this Bedlam-perfect wine on hand. The hat at the top of the label could be my own cranberry felt number and on the next hook down is our New York newsboy cap (visible behind the bottle). Funnily enough we attended the Battersea Park Spring Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair today and it was good to renew acquaintance with one of the dealer's there who was kind enough to say he reads the blog. He had the perfect match hat stand on sale but we'll have to sell a few more hats to afford it.

Jakub plants his feet

Ben Amure training his focus on Casper

Mr Wesley averts his eyes from the chemistry cooking on set

We were honoured, you may recall, to have guest appearances by Soweto Kinch and Andy Davies, pictured below. It is the least we can do, therefore, to broadcast the bad news posted by Soweto  a few days ago and hope that he is reunited with his horn very soon:
" Saxophone was stolen from my car in Islington yesterday 24/04/13. If anyone hears or sees something please msg me. The first 4 digits of the serial number are m1047XX."

Andy Davies in the Ventile mac

Gratuitous shot of Jakub's lovely bottom in Bedlam's cosy rosy Union suit with pearl buttons

Ben with Casper in the Evelina jacket and showing the detachable fan pleat fish tail of the Lady C skirt

Here's a selection of Ben's assistant Deborah's reportage reel of the day. There is something about her eye that is sympathetically astute. The results appealed to both Mr Wesley and me:

Ben Amure by his assistant Deborah

Ben choreographs Jakub
Catwalking up the corridor at the Brixton studio

Andy Davies takes 5 in the Jay B overcoat and Mr Harrop waistcoat


An endearing look from cadet Casper in Royal Marine's band jacket and Welsh Guards dress pants

Jakub in the Clancey overcoat of Harris tweed

Jakub in the brown corduroy suit with jacket cut short like a jeans jacket

Me 'n'Mr Kinch in a clinch

The Megan jacket lined in red silk providing a peek of the detachable fan pleat fish tail of the Lady C skirt that  is 100% water proofed cotton in case you fancy puddle jumping

Your homework for the night is to write the script to go with this picture. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Behind the scenes of "Hell for Leather"

Since my beloved Canon powershot bit the dust at the Lovebox festival when it got flung to the stage during the excitement of the Chic set, I have struggled to love the iphone6 and its in-built camera. Having been forcibly upgraded by the modern mindset that constantly has to fix stuff that ain't even broke I was assured I would come to love it, especially the camera. This has not come to pass. So luckily my "Behind the Scenes" portfolio has been artfully augmented by Deborah, assistant to Ben Amure, but at the first shoot, when our Countess of Bedlam was actress Rose Keegan, I was left to fend alone with the Fisher Price i-phone.

Rose at her dressing table

Mr Wesley assuring that the hem of the King of Threads corduroys whisper to the co-respondent shoe

Theo Jackson in the "Mr Harrop" waistcoat, "Jay B" overcoat and Bedlam bibfront shirt with Mr Wesley in his 

Rose in riding boots with gaucho nickel spurs (my own, not for sale), the waterproofed cotton jodhpurs and "Helen" coat of Harris Tweed

I love my spurs, found them in the tiny town of Turkey, Texas
It was our first round in Ben's Brixton studio, which he shares with a couple of other photographers. A stone's throw across the road is one of my favourite places I ever lived, St. Matthew's Road, where Eddie our landlord had thrown himself out of the kitchen window one day in a fit about people leaving washing up in the sink (this was before my tenure, I need hardly add). He landed on his head in the flower bed below. He got up and walked away but this caused a blot clot that effectively turned Eddie into a time bomb. One dawn I returned home from the Ministry of Sound to be informed that he had dropped down dead in our bathroom (he didn't live with us but preferred our flat to his own and we gave up dropping hints that he might respect tenant / landlord space). Shortly after that my cat Kitten gave birth and I christened her only issue Edward in his honour. Edward went on to become something of a celebrity:
But I digress. Back to my shots of the first photo shoot:

Ruby assisted Ben on the first shoot

Ruby's beau Theo Jackson in the "Tectonic" suit

The "Mr Harrop" waistcoat awaits its turn in the spotlight. Made of Harris Tweed it is lined in silk printed with our signature handcuff motif and has real leather buttons

Rose in the cosy rosy Bedlam Union Suit and high top hat by Bedlam's own Milliner Maria PK. She is buttoning the wrap over "Lady C" skirt made of the same waterproofed cotton as the jodhpurs. It has a detachable fan pleat tail

Back view of the "Lady C" skirt. Rose wears the "Evelina" jacket on top

Sophie, the jolly Orange Baron's daughter, popped in with her business partner Henry to see how we were getting along. They will be turning their attention to our website, rebuilding it entirely, just as soon as we get them the content. Next week I promise. In the meantime you can have a look at their other clients!
(We particularly commend to you the Langtons Gin, so supremely tasty that you can drink it neat, as shots! And we have! And it's delicious. Beware though, it is stronger than your arravige infusion). *hic*

Henry was taken off guard and bundled into the double breasted "Clancey" coat and suddenly James Dean was on set.

Why Mr Dinkel your star's a-twinkle

Ben coaches novice pin up Henry Dinkel

Henry in the "Mr Willis" suit and Bedlam's button tab Manchester made bib front shirt in Bengal Wine. 

Henry in the "Mr Wesley" impermeable made of wonder fabric Ventile

Ok, that's enough from me for tonight, I've been ordered upstairs to my room by some man in a Newsboy cap and a round neck waistcoat. And he's not telling me twice. But for a bed time story I leave you with this post from yesterday's Style Mummy blog, with which we were most delighted:

Monday, 1 April 2013

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Thanks to Theo Jackson, our bad ass musical ambassador, we have lately got to know Ben Amure, a photographer making a name for himself with portraits of London's rising jazz stars. For our cause, he kindly volunteered his time and talent to take shots of the clothes au studio before we went to New York. Since we've been back he has organised - and I mean organised - two shoots of the collection at his studio in Brixton.

We needed bodies. I thought I might see if Goldie was around but the flash gnasher was off to Miami
I asked my old RADA buddie David Harewood, but he was still in LA.
(We did take a raincheck for showery April though!)
"Don't worry," said Ben, "I've got a model, great physique, tall, Jakub. I met him on a train."

Moving on to casting our girl, I remembered meeting Georgia Brontë at a Kenzo party in the early days of this blog. She is now a sort after model, signed to Select, and we had a little Twitter exchange that established she had college study calls on her time the weekend of the shoot (yes, it has occurred to me that might be a polite brush off). Then Sophie, daughter of the jolly orange Baron, came to see us at the studio. She searched her phone for a photo of her boyfriend's step sister.
We peered.
"Crikey! Call her!"
I then had a brief conversation with Casper, for it was she, and she announced she was game. Minutes after we talked, she drove through this little village in Yorkshire:

It's a sign!!

Casper, it was immediately apparent, tell everybody, was born to be the salty pirate Queen of Bedlam.

Casper in the "Evelina" jacket in a John G. Hardy Alsport tweed; scarf by Age of Reason

Casper's daddy was a sailor. Here she rocks the Tectonic suit in a J. & J. Minnis flannel chalk stripe

Casper in the "Helen" coat made of Harris Tweed with leather hot cross bun buttons and the Bedlam bib front shirt in Bengal Wine

The Evelina jacket as above

Casper in the Megan jacket in John G. Hardy tweed with silk velvet highway lady cuffs and pocket flaps; the Lady C split skirt in waterproofed cotton; "Orgy" silk scarf by Age of Reason

Casper in the cozy rosy Bedlam all-in -one with pearl buttons

Then Jakub strolled in and flash, bang, wallop, the clothes fitted him perfectly; the right attitude and look was instantly there; it was natural, effortless, a delight to behold; and, kinda crucial in the circumstances, it transmitted to print.

Jakob in the Taffy jacket and Arthur  trousers, both in John G. Hardy Alsport tweed. Bedlam grandad shirt with soft leather collar in Tattersall check.

Oh yes. Jakob tipping his hat in the Tectonic suit and Bedlam bib front shirt

Jakob looking stingin' in the Bumble Bee jacket - pure wool cloth from A.W. Hainsworth, trimmed in Toscana lamb fleece from Walter Reginald and lined in pure honey gold silk from Pongees

The Tectonic suit jacket from the back

Jakob in the Clancey jacket in Harris Tweed with real horn buttons; and the Arthur trousers

Ben's assistant Deborah Adelabu  took a series of "behind the scenes" shots

So then we threw them together. To coin a phrase, it was smokin'!

Fresh off the boat, landed on Ellis Island, are they brother and sister, Bonnie & Clyde, or double trouble empire builders?

Betty Blue-Clara Bow-Demi Moore all and more is Casper, Bedlam's Pirate Queen soaking up the scrutiny from Jakob, Bedlam's Gypsy King (another of Deborah's shots)

Casper and Jakob in his'n'hers cosy rosey Bedlam Wild West all-in-ones. It's cold out there, cuddle til cookin'

Next up rocked two stars of the UK jazz scene, Soweto Kinch, multiple MOBO winner and Mercury Music Prize nominee (and who was actually Goldie's partner in the TV show "The Band") and Welsh trumpet player, Andy Davies, just a little smug from the previous day's rugby victory. He hosts the jam upstairs at Ronnie Scotts on Wednesday nights.

Rain's not on the list, it's not getting in. Andy and Soweto in the Ventile mac with rubber sealed seams we call the Mr Wesley; and the King of Threads cords. Andy holds the Stick of Bedlam, branded ivy by artist David Taborn
Soweto Kinch in the Mr Willis suit in a John G. Hardy Alsport tweed; Bedlam bib front shirt and New York Newsboy cap. 

Andy, the good ship Bedlam's own Horn Blower

Andy in the Jay B single breasted overcoat of Harris Tweed with velvet collar and red piping, lined in silk printed with Bedlam's signature handcuff motif

The St. Patrick's Day Massacre rat-ta-tat-tat.
Andy Davies in the Mr Harrop waistcoat in Harris Tweed and Bedlam bib front shirt
There are more to show you and some of my own "behind-the-scenes" slightly out of focus efforts. So if the wind is in the right direction that ship should sail along shortly.