Tuesday, 20 August 2013

"God Save the Queen!" - getting shirty about the Plight of the Bumblebee

Mr Wesley took a sojourn in the South of France to see l'il Ocean and his mum and dad, slap bang in a spate of searing temperatures. Unable to do much outside he was watching telly in the cool interior one morning and found himself progressively more and more in a funk as items about fracking, elephant poaching and the plight of the bumblebee followed one upon the other. And so he came up with a rather clever  idea for a "God Save the Queen" bee-shirt.

To get you in the mood, here's a musical interlude: a novel version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble-Bee", played on the accordion, which seems a propos as Mark had the idea in France:

Upon his return, we buzzed along to the end of our road to take advice from the good folk at Roots & Shoots there. They teach young people with learning difficulties how to nurture gardens and they also house the London Beekeepers' Association. http://www.rootsandshoots.org.uk/
We shyly sought out David Perkins who takes care of the wild garden to make sure we were on the right track. We found him occupied with a party of six year olds, schooling them in bee husbandry. He threw a couple of suits at us, told us to get Velcro-ed up and tag along. So there we were covered head to ankle, with gauntlets covering our hands, but not having anticipated this turn of events we were wearing flip flops. You will be relieved to hear our tootsies survived unstung.

Mr Wesley contemplates the weedy pond in the wild garden at Roots & Shoots

It gets warm in there

Mr Wesley entertaining the children whose tour we crashed

Then we headed out to the hives where David Perkins smoked the inhabitants into action.

Back in his office, while the children ate their packed lunches, David approved the graphic and gave us a poster and more information on what we can all do to help reverse the decline in the bee population. Buzzing with excitement we ran back to the yard and got printing:

Extract from the text on the back:

Bombus Bedlamus!  Create asylum for bees: plant more flowers!
“Bumblebees are key factors in our wildlife. If they disappear many of our plants will not bear fruit. I am proud to be associated with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust”. Sir David Attenborough


You can buy the shirt on our e-shop, and these two new styles also:
the Earl's crown (in white, navy or taupe) -

and the newly remixed for Kennington, reprinted classic Bedlam Motorcycle Club - http://earlofbedlam.bigcartel.com/product/bedlam-motorcycle-t-shirt:

And in the final burst of exciting shirt-related news, we are delighted to announce that we now offer a bespoke shirt service. Come in for a consultation, be measured up for a pattern and choose from the finest Lancashire cottons. Put your dream shirt together (lady's or gentleman's) with the details you desire - collar, cuff, monogram, all to play with. Reward your wardrobe with beautifully made, British clothes. Do not let another craftsman or bee become extinct in the UK!

For your beach reading, you still have a chance to pick up the August issue of "JazzWise" magazine, with the British jazz quartet Empirical on the cover, dressed by Bedlam.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Rebirth of the website

Here is a postcard from Kennington, where the heat wave has temporarily abated. This missive is dedicated to Lyn, one of our most loyal subscribers, who gave us a nudge the other day, saying it was July 17th since we last posted. How delighted we are that anyone should notice!

Someone who spreads sunshine wherever he goes is our friend Nile Rodgers, by popular consensus "Man of the Year", whose song for Daft Punk, "Get Lucky" has been the global soundtrack to the summer. It was #1 in scores of countries including the UK, US, France and Australia. For readers on Mars who may not have heard it, it goes a little something like this:

GQ magazine did a piece on Nile's personal style and what a thrill to find Bedlam given props by il Maestro! -
In it he made us glow with pride at these words:
"On some level, with certain tailors, I have a love affair with the bespoke process. There's this label Earl of Bedlam, a new line coming up here in London. Their rap is that they use nothing but the finest English [British] fabrics. I have some wonderful woollen suits. Even their T-shirts are extraordinary: there are a couple of shots of a three piece white suit [founder] Mark Wesley made for me in a magazine called Jocks & Nerds. He's making some stuff for me now - he's dying to make clothing for the girls but I don't want him to. We'll ruin them every show. We try and wear something different every performance and I hate to go through bespoke clothing - we sweat this stuff up and it's really not nice."

Generous as ever, he sorted us out for tickets to see him with his band Chic at the O2. We took along our friend and client, Mr Willis, who - factoring in the International Date Line, being born in Sidney, Australia - shares a birthday with Nile as well as a penchant for Bedlam, and also, it would appear, was surely the inspiration for Nile's song "The Greatest Dancer", at least on the evidence of that night:

Mr Willis bought a new shirt with a silver thread for the occasion of meeting Nile, with whom he shares a birthday and a crazy beat

Another of our celebrated musical clients is one's old mate Goldie, who funnily enough ALSO shares a birthday with Nile, so maybe to be born a Virgo is to be predisposed towards Bedlam?  G made it down to the studio a few weeks ago. I met him at Lambeth North tube station and we walked along Hercules Road toward our corner of the Lambeth Walk. I was conscious that a trio of inebriated locals were following so close on our heels that their breath was hot on our necks. So Goldie turned and flashed that famous smile at which point they came over all bashful to ask if he would pose for a picture with them. He complied with grace and I was reminded of how far the kid the Wolverhampton has come and how he possesses that rare common touch whereby my old mum and dad were quite as thrilled pink to see him again as were the tail-gating tinny drinkers.

Goldie in our "Harry" jacket, softest nubuck suede shooting jacket with biker zip sleeves

Happiness is seeing your old mates

Goldie in the "Tectonic" suit

"Don't wrap it, I'll wear it home" - G in the Ventile mac he chose, with Mr Wesley holding the new rolls of Ventile

Afterwards, G popped in to see Ma & Pa Butler , to their rosy delight
So clients celebrated and otherwise are now collated in galleries on our lovely new website, same address as it ever was, www.earlofbedlam.co.uk
We are so happy with how it looks and must give heaps and heaps of thanks to Henry Dinkel and Sophie Sweerts for making it happen http://www.dinkelandsweerts.com/portfolio/ and to our assorted photographers and models who donated time and talent in enormous measure. Ben Amure http://www.benjaminamure.com/ , Danny Lowe http://www.dannylowe.com/ and our New York star both sides of the lens, Jeffrey Mellor aka Redboy http://www.streetandstage.com/

It behoves us to give big retrospective props to friend since time began, Chrissey Sullivan, who so kindly made our first website / holding page that showed Hogarth's famous scene where the Rake has "Progressed" to Bedlam. It also bore one of my favourite quotes, from Nathaniel Lee, playwright and one time real life resident of Bedlam:
"They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me."
It served us well, and we shall always be grateful to Chrissey for constructing that for us.

I'm a little deconstructed, under the weather with some summer lurgy so am going to have an early dinner which Mr Wesley is about to serve (he is extremely handy with a stove) and get myself to bed, but the next post will be tomorrow - can Lyn keep up?! - to update you on our new shirts. Until then Bedlamites.