Some people are wading through the next few days, awaiting with nervous anticipation the next wave of weather. Months ago, the hot summer delivered unto us quite respectably sized olives on the little trees of Bedlam and they have clung on in defiance of this week's storms that shook them roughly. We hope the year was kind to you and yours, that you weathered all inc. inclement squalls, and that this finds you replete from the fruits (and nuts) of your table.
One of the best gifts we could have wished for came wrapped in newspaper on December 9th, when the righteous Daily Mail chose six companies to represent the "Best of British" - the criteria being that you have to be making in Britain using British suppliers. We found ourselves proudly filling a sandwich between John Smedley
and John Lobb
two long revered institutions of distinguished dressing.
Makers of fine, in all senses, knitwear, John Smedley was established in 1784 in Derbyshire where they still produce today. They are a Royal Warrant holder, as is John Lobb, the company that bears the name of the lame Cornish farm boy who walked to London to learn the trade of bootmaking. He cashed in during the Australian gold rush by making boots with hollow heels for stashing nuggets and returned to London to open his shop in 1866 from whence the company has shod assorted Kings and maestros ever since.
The Daily Mail, meanwhile, has the second highest readership in the UK and the most online IN THE WORLD, thanks to the siren lure of the "sidebar of shame" - made up disgustingly largely, or shockingly skinnily, of celebs in bikinis - that scrolls down and yet downer to Hell. Here's the link:
And for those who still prefer inky fingers, here's the paper:
My brain is getting fatigued, the body having to work so hard to get through surfeit calories that the mind is sluggish. I had wanted to write a well considered round up of the year as digestif but perhaps these recent pictures will do it better. While we still hope in time to make a widely accessible branch of Bedlam, the joy of creating clothes for wildly diverse, fabulously interesting, individual characters that we have the privilege of getting to know, is so hugely rewarding that we only hope some of the satisfaction transmits.
|Simon's purple velvet party jacket with silk lining custom printed by Dan & Louise Hatley with Bedlam's signature handcuffs|
|A cape for the castle ramparts in John G. Hardy "Alsport" tweed with scarlet silk crepe lining and secret zippy pocket just visible|
|Jamie Poulton in the "Dolf" jacket from the Hell for Leather Autumn / Winter 2013 collection|
|Moritz at the first fitting for his wool / mohair suit|
|We really do love our clients|
|Cool Cat Jake in his "Joat", made from John G. Hardy "Alsport" tweed|
|Steve's three-piece suit in Holland & Sherry "Peacock" tweed with mussel shell buttons|
|Steve, monumentally magnificent in his suit.|
We were proud to make Robert Peel's winter wedding suit (below). He has become a dear friend, a client who came with us from the old shop. No greater compliment can a man pay his tailor. His great great (great?) grandpappy, whose name he bears, introduced, amongst other things while holding office as one of our better Home Secretaries and Prime Ministers, the modern police force - put the raggle taggle key stone vigilantes in a smart uniform and gave them an identity: "The Peelers" or "Bobbies"!
|Robert was an early adopter of Bedlam, from the old shop. He paid us the highest compliment by asking us to make his winter wedding suit. CONGRATULATIONS!!|
|On one cuff the mussel shell buttons are rough side out, the other smooth, for such is married life!|
And the last bit of sewing we shall share for now, the party hats we made for our Shareholders' Agreements, a document prepared for our Founding Fathers and Mothers. As the year closed we added one more to their number, my friend the legend, Nile Rodgers, and we are honoured by his faith, as we are by the continuing support of our other scaffolders, and everyone that entrusts us with getting them best dressed and, not least, anyone who gives this chattering blog their attention in times of myriad options and calls on such.
Thank you all.
Our very best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014,
Caroline & Mark