Savile Row Days March 2011

Dear Rowley,

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times as Dickens has it…frequently. Wednesday began at Geo F. Trumper with Liz and Sidik on fine form as my locks were trimmed and nails buffed. It appears that they may not close for the Royal Wedding day in April. I think this is rather unpatriotic. We should all be free on the day to wave a flag, have a sausage roll and do the Lambeth Walk.

Speaking of the wedding coverage, Savile Row is en fete with TV companies (largely from the US but also from France and Germany) who want to shoot footage on the Row for the wedding. I’ve done CNN and there are a couple more to do for next week. Mrs T and I have been at the Savoy all week working on the Savoy Museum and Noel Coward signature suite in anticipation of a Noel Coward Society party on the 10th March. Stephen Fry, Penelope Keith, Simon Callow and Sian Phillips are on the guest list.

After the Savoy, we popped into Anderson & Sheppard and Mr Hitchcock had my first fitting ready for the dinner suit I am wearing on the evening of the Royal Wedding. The midnight blue dinner jacket is a miracle and the furl on the lapel is poetry in motion. As for the trousers, I am in raptures. The drape is exquisite and the line simply divine. There is much gossip on the Row about Gieves & Hawkes’s attire for Prince William on the day of the wedding. One hears all is  not going swingingly. So maybe Gypsy Sherwood is going to be proven right again.

I also popped in to see Mark Powell for a fitting for a red cashmere corduroy one-button DJ and slim black trousers that was originally made for The London Cut exhibition in Florence. Mark ha style and he’s a very charming character. While there, one of Soho’s young property tycoons came in for a fitting. I asked about this new club called The Box where Raymond’s Revue Bar used to be where Prince Harry was photographed falling out of a couple of weeks ago. it is apparently an erotic cabaret and sounds too salty for my tastes. Recession brings decadence, no?

A lovely interlude with Amanda Wakeley in George on Mount Street to show her the layouts for Fashion at Royal Ascot: Three Centuries of Thoroughbred Style. I think Amanda would have made a rather fabulous royal bride herself. We had a conversation about John Galliano but there’s not much joy in that, is there? I won’t bang on any more about that unfortunate incident but it appears Mr Galliano is now in rehab in the US. My friend Judy went to a similar facility as did Elizabeth Taylor, Liza and a host of others. It makes you feel for the millions who have equal problems but not sufficient funds to see them safe from the dark side.

Now for the ‘worst of times’ bit. I did go to the Third Space to see a nutritionist about my sinus troubles. Well, let’s discuss the Third Space first. It is a swish, polished interior filled with muscle boys being stretched on long rubber straps suspended from the ceiling: not something you see every day.

What can I tell you about the nutritionist? I was led a less than merry dance through three generations of Sherwood family physical and mental health, went back to my childhood, listed my various ailments and basically touched on subjects it would take a psychiatrist years to unravel. The consultation cost hundreds, the blood tests and various would cost £400 and I was asked for medical tests that made your hair curl.

So I went to see Gail in Capri – the dry cleaner on Southampton Row not the island – and she told me about an hotel spa called the Holborn Health & Fitness Club on the corner of Southampton Row. Well, I stoated down there and joined up toot sweet. The pool is vast and themed in a Romanesque fashion. There is a sauna, a steam room, a juice bar and a poolside caff. I took my book, put on my Aussie Bum swimming trunks and had a fabulous morning.

You remember in the 80s when Elizabeth Taylor finally emerged from ‘the blowsy years’? She appeared on the arm of George Hamilton at the Cannes Film Festival wearing a red cocktail frock with a neckline that plunged like a bungee jump then promptly wrote a book called Liz Takes Off. Well, perhaps this is the moment when Mr Sherwood takes off and finally kicks the cigs and ceased to swing a butt up and down Savile Row.

What did I miss out of the latter part of this week? Oh, yes, Mrs T and I had a fab Row day visiting Turnbull & Asser who are loaning us a soignee silk brocade dressing gown for the Coward Signature Suite at the Savoy for the Coward Society party next week. What else? A lunch at Wilton’s with Mrs T and the gang from Henry Poole to discuss the ledger archiving project, news from Thames & Hudson that the Savile Row book will be reprinted in French and English and even better news that Hardy Amies and Heywood Hill – the bookshop associated with the Dukes of Devonshire and the Hon Nancy Mitford – would like to launch Fashion at Royal Ascot. Happy days may be here again…