Sunday, 24 November 2013

Press Junket

We've had something of a flurry of press by our standards -  firstly Nile Rodgers, this weekend honoured at French GQ magazine's "Men of the Year" award in Paris -
heaped props upon us when he was interviewed regarding his personal style:

The section relevant to us, for those of you too busy to click, runs a little sumting like this:

"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 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..."

This was followed by the  British edition of GQ deeming our cape "Winter's Must Have" in their October edition:

Then came a feature in Women's Wear Daily, the pre-eminent trade paper for the rag trade You need a subscription to access it online but we shall circumvent that protocol for you:

LONDON — The meeting of Earl of Bedlam’s cofounders Caroline Butler and Mark Wesley, as Butler tells it, was almost inevitable. When she was working in media in the U.S..., she met John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s former live-in psychic. “It was about a year before I met Mark that ...she told me that I would meet a man in France; he’d have a son and gray hair. Then, 2009, I met a single dad [living in the South of France] whose hair, when he took off his hat, was gray.”

She set up Earl of Bedlam with Goldsmith College-trained Wesley in 2010, naming the label after the infamous Bethlehem asylum that once stood nearby as a tribute to the local landmark that was also known as “Bedlam.”

Initially, they specialized in purely bespoke men’s wear, providing “classics that have stood the test of time but giving them a modern, relevant, contemporary and witty twist,” said Butler. “All our clothes have stories, there are eccentric touches but we never impose anything alien on a client; it’s about waking up the most fashionable person you can be. At 20 paces, one of our suits might look like classic killer boardroom attire but, up close, you can see bias-cut panels and quirky details.”

At the end of 2012, and wanting to expand from bespoke into ready-to-wear, Butler was telling Baron Sweerts de Landas Wyborg of their search for investors to grow the business. The Baron, or Dolph, offered his financial support. They pulled the rtw collection together in just a few weeks, earning it the title "Hell for Leather" for the rapid pace in which it was created, and for the leather and equestrian details it featured.

The collection, which riffs heavily on traditional English men’s classics, is made entirely from British fabrics and manufactured in the U.K. It is stocked at Any Old Iron in New York’s Lower East Side, and at the Buccleuch & Queensberry Arms Hotel, which is owned by the Baron’s family, on the Scottish Borders. Their London shop is visited by appointment: “Buying a piece of bespoke clothing is not like popping out to buy a pint of milk,” said Butler. “It’s a significant commitment... When people reach the top of the [studio] stairs, we know they’re serious.”

The brand is soon to launch a collection of silk scarves with “hand-rolled hems by a lady in Hull,” featuring the likenesses of Zelda Fitzgerald, Errol Flynn and Clara Bow, among others. The scarves, said Butler, are proof that “out of any crappy situation, one can find something good.” In September last year, Butler helped to save the life of a stabbing victim who, she said, “collapsed almost on our doorstep.” Months later, when she was called as witness on the trial, she was bemoaning the fact that the brand had been denied the rights to use artwork created by one of Bedlam’s inmates on the scarves to a fellow witness, Scottish-born artist Anna McNeil, who offered to provide the artwork instead. 


As regular readers well know, the "others" referred to above are Keith Richards and Syd Barrett and so delighted are they / their representatives with the scarves that they are now approved, endorsed and official, bearing their respective marks to prove it:

So it took a while, but anything worth having is worth waiting for eh?

And a different sort of press appearance is our first ever print ad in "The House" magazine. It occurred to us a while ago that we had a captive audience of suit wearers a stone's throw across The Thames in the Palace of Westminster, and most of them could do with a hand when it comes to getting dressed. 

The smell of roast chicken is wafting across the Kennington Road to entice me back home on this chilly Sunday evening, so I shall wrap this edition and hit the printing press presently. But we'll conclude with another media darling, Mr Clifford Price, aka Goldie, who invited us to the opening of his art exhibition at the Mead Carney gallery on Dover Street, Mayfair. Had we a stash of cash for acquiring art, Mr Wesley was adamant that we would have bought one, which he didn't say to G, he said it to me. So it was not idle sycophancy.

Mr Wesley, Mr Whitmore (his old pal at whose club Goldie will be playing on Jan 2nd), his daughter Daysie and H

Me and Goldie and Mr Whitmore. I'm wearing our handcuff motif silk scarf around my neck.
Right, the chef's getting grumpy that dinner will spoil, so I must hasten home. Good night.