As you may know, we have both a fuzzy emotional and a crisp, corporate connection with #NileRodgers #musician #producer #writer but first and foremost, friend and all-round-good-guy. His his consort and shining light, Nancy Hunt, visiting London, came to hang with us at the studio. It occurred to her that we might be the right people to help out their friend John Hunt (no relation) who was producing a movie about the Palio. During the global financial crash, Monte die Paschi, the Sienese bank that had historically sponsored the race was tottering. This is a readable piece from the pink paper on how integral MdP, the oldest surviving bank in the world, was to the life of the city: https://www.ft.com/content/f44080ec-57c8-11e6-8d05-4eaa66292c32
This rumbling in the boardroom meant that just as John was ready to set up tripods, the event was in peril. Now people have made films about the Palio before but here John had an opportunity to be not the nuisance who had to be accommodated but the Deus ex Machina who was pulling the strings. John got together the hay to feed the horses, so to speak, and whereas before directors had to make do with shots from balconies around the Piazza del Campo, obscured by heads and hysterical hands, his cameras were positioned at the starting rope with a clear shot up the flaring nostril of the pawing beast. The lens almost mists with the warmth of their breath.
Not only did John have that unprecedented access but he and director Cosima Spender got to tell a story of particular competitors that could compete with any classical myth - a battle between the old warrior clinging to his laurel wreath by any means necessary and the young pretender, his protege, fresh out of ethics school, all shiny with principles. To describe it as Ben Hur meets the Godfather doesn't do justice to the thrilling result. We have seen it multiple times now, yet every time is like the first - I leap out of my seat with excitement as if the outcome is unknown. In other circumstances I would ascribe that to early onset dementia, but it really is so gripping and beautifully made that you discover fresh delights with each viewing.
So why were we required? John wanted to present "Palio" at film festivals and thought some bits and pieces tied into the film would help curry favour with those whose favour helps projects fly. We were invited to a screening in Soho, London and at the end I was mightily surprised and delighted to be presented with one of the #Pucci silk scarves from their Palio collection of 1957 that won them an international fashion award. http://pro.europeana.eu/blogpost/emilio-pucci-palio-collectio
The bareback jockeys wear loose pyjama-style suits, that draw on the colours of each competing "contrada" - neighbourhood's - fabulous flag, the obvious first stop for inspiration.
|On stage with Duran Duran at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles on October 1st 2015|
|In the studio with London|
If proof were need of their approving endorsement, when it came to the highly special business of picking an 18th birthday present for their adored godson Jasper - scion of the film's producer - Nile 'n' Nancy asked us to make him a pair, too. We hope Jasper is enjoying adding this own rips and patina, the scars of honour on his jeans. Here they are being made and here's young handsome chops in our studio at a fitting for his coming-of-age celebration denims (we might add his Mom & Pop deserve a present for bringing up such a splendid fella):
Another young gun and Bedlam's joint fave guitarist with Mr Rodgers is Noah, rocking the print on a t-shirt:
Meanwhile, fashionisto about town, Donny Slack went for it on the INSIDE of his Bedlam bespoke jeans - or "The Donny Slacks" as we like to call them:
|Nasturtiums and geraniums outside our studio|
|Simon in his suit with his daughter Amber at the Frieze Art fair in London, 2016|