There are days in one’s life that reaffirm why it is jolly to be alive. Such was today with my BBC fashion at Royal Ascot compadre Suzi Perry doing dress and millinery fittings. No darling, not me, her. We laugh from the first kiss hello to the cab home and then make a mental note that if we don’t dine together and tear apart the day’s experience then we haven’t ended on a fun note. The day began at Amanda Wakeley with the lovely Bridget who is the directrice of Amanda’s VIP client service. She’d put aside some knockers-up frocks that fitted Suzi like an anaconda around the neck of its victim.
We plumped for a cobalt blue day dress that hugged Suzi’s curves like Valentino Rossi schmoozing the circuit. We followed it up with a genius LBD with a superb plunge square neckline and pleats that emphasised Suzi’s svelte shape. I swear to God Rowley, if I ever went on the turn my heart would belong not to Daddy but to Suzi P. It did occur to me that 90% of the male population would donate a kidney to be in a changing room zipping Miss P up and stepping her in and out of skintight dresses. It actually wasn’t wasted on me because I always appreciate the form divine.
We then zipped a cab to Philip Treacy’s atelier in Battersea where we were led to the local on the corner to join Philip and his right hand man Stefan at the local pub for lunch. We were joined by the Thane of Cawdor who had much to say about caber tossing even though one has to concede defeat because he has multiple heirs in the cradle. Still, it is nice to window shop isn’t it Rowley?
Philip has had a rather rotten time post Royal Wedding despite making dozens of miraculous hats for the congregation a the Abby. It was the Princess Beatrice hat that has caused the slings and arrows to rain down. Most unfair! Philip has had naughty emails from the great unwashed about the whole brou-ha-ha but with signature style has risen above it knowing he is a maestro milliner. The bidding on Ebay for Princess Bea’s titfer has gone way beyond £10,000 and I bet it will top £100,000 before the auctioneer bangs his gavel. Another friend of mine reported that Princess B had emailed Philip after the wedding with the fabulous line ‘Isabella would have been proud of us’ in reference to Philip’s late muse and uber-stylist Isabella Blow. Classy dame, Princess Bea.
Philip is quite simply one of the most amusing, gentle and smart men in London. The fact that he is a master craftsmen of millinery is almost beside the point compared to his lovely self. We smoked copious cigarettes in his atelier and set the world to rights about how ghastly it is to be judged by mediocre or mentally ill people who simply can’t resist tearing down beauty and stamping it into the ground. Whenever someone takes a pop at me on telly, I always say I would be thrilled to see them having a red hot steaming go in front of millions of people and then get back to me. End of.
At last year’s Ascot Philip crafted the most audacious pagoda hat in lace to accompany a va-va-voom dress made from the same lace underlined by champagne silk designed and made by Anthony Price. Suzi rocked it and it wasn’t without pride that I saw the hat modelled in Pop magazine this year by a supermodel in a fashion shoot. Suzi is truly a maximum model and a leading lady at Royal Ascot. Who’d have thought it from a girl who made her fame in the pits at the motorcycle race worldwide where she was made a goddess by petrol heads who were equally impressed by her knowledge of the sport as they were that leather designers could cut silhouettes so figure-hugging. That’s the ticket: sex and knowledge.
I wish I could say the same about myself but I don’t think I could rock leather pants as recklessly as Miss P. Actually, we have a dinner date at Nobu Berkeley at 9pm tonight with my darling Scott ‘Bespoke Banter’ Wimsett who I sincerely hope will join us for a BBC Royal Ascot menage-a-trois this season. Scott is the perfect counterbalance to me and he looks divine when on either side of Suzi P on telly. We should really make a show together…and we do whenever we hit town in London after a hard day’s work.
My pictures today are of Suzi in Philip’s atelier talking to the marvellous craftsmen and women who work in the Treacy atelier and a model shot from a super new talent called Jane Taylor who we interviewed at Ascot last year and has now gone on to make titfers for the Countess of Wessex. In fact, she crafted the nude champagne hat for Sophie Wessex to wear in the Abbey for the Royal Wedding. Amanda also had a good show at the wedding of the decade but scored more points at the party at the Palace in the evening to which no snappers were admitted. What a pity. We would have loved to have seen the wedding guests in their glam evening get-ups.
My last photo deserves special mention. A couple of years ago I met a terribly talented fashion undergraduate called Yaelle Caplan who was frustrated by the low quality of tuition at her college. She was as sweet as a nut and had super ideas. Long story short, Yaelle graduated and produced a scarf collection that is now stocked at Liberty that is audacious in its creativity. Each scarf is embellished by a lucky charm. I suggested she design a jewel themed scarf so the Bond Street Massive could send it to a VIP client with a diamond charm. She did it and it is a triumph.