High summer in London teaches one so many lessons. There’s nothing pretty about a man’s foot in a Havaiana and white legs in shorts are about as appealing as a crematorium on a wet April afternoon in Stroud. The most shocking sight of the week was the Regent Street entrance to the new Hollister shop where – a la Abercrombie – topless boys in tiny red short preen like tarts in a Reeperbahn window. I ask you Rowley. If Hollister employed teenage girls with great big knockers to solicit at their door wearing little more than a bikini and a smile, Westminster Council would close them down. It’s not to be encouraged. As I said to Anda, what with Hollister, Abercrombie and all the burly builders knocking seven bells out of the Burberry flagship on Regent Street, it’s a miracle any of us gets to work on time.
The high summer sun has also escalated my campaign to stamp out inappropriate slogan T-shirts. Highlight of the week was a gormless teenage streak of piss standing with his mouth agape in a permanent ‘duh’ outside Runner’s Needs wearing a T-shirt bearing the legend ‘I AM the After Party’. Suffice to say, if he was the only extra curricular activity on offer I think we’d all vote for the jim-jams, bottle of Prosecco and t’Internet link to Dirty Tony option.
Now brace yourself Brenda for the all time worst slogan T-shirt in the history of civilisation. I was stoating back from the camp Greco-Roman pool and spa the other day and this loppy Emo walked past me with a T-shirt spelling out ‘I (heart sign) pissing in the open air’. Shocked? I had to stagger towards Gail at Capri (the dry cleaner not the island) for the sal volatile. What a low point on the evolutionary spiral. However, I did spot one winner as worn by a cute Aussie barrelling through Covent Garden. Using the same font as the Nokia logo, said T-shirt read ‘Vodka: Connecting People’.
Nice to see that London is spring cleaning for The Queen. This is a Daily Mail initiative that I wholeheartedly endorse. I am often to be found of a morning picking up litter in and around Bloomsbury Square. If we all did similar, London would be a prettier place. That said, what on earth is to be done about chewing gum. En route to Savile Row, I often walk through Piccadilly Circus. The pavements are positively pitted with an acne of chewing gum stains that are most unattractive. Do you know anybody who chews chewing gum? None of the Sherwood Massive do and that’s a pretty eclectic demographic. We have to love London more.
A very exciting not to say spoiling week. Thursday was an Anderson & Sheppard day; highlight being the A&S window at the bespoke shop bedecked in red, white and blue blooms for the Diamond Jubilee. Anda and I are going back into the party planning business. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were asked to step up to the plate and organise a Savile Row event for the forthcoming debut London Collections: Men event in June. Said event is the brainchild of GQ editor Dylan Jones and is being headlined by a cocktail reception at St. James’s Palace hosted by Prince Charles.
Anyway, back to our event. We weren’t given time to close Savile Row so instead decided to ask our friends at the Burlington Arcade if they’d like to host a Savile Row meets the Burlington Arcade cocktail reception. Simple idea and great fun for the international press, no? This we confirmed with a fabulous Arcade lady called Ellen Lewis. Step two was to invite all the legit bespoke houses on the Row to do an open house on the 15th of June to support the event. Step three was to line Savile Row with vintage Maserati sports cars and ask one of the local hostelries to serve champagne to our guests. Step four was to ask the London Evening Standard to co-host the event, hire a pianist to tickle the ivories with the Cole Porter songbook and invite the Savoy American Bar head Erik to mix the Savile Row Collins and a new cocktail called the Burlington Beadle.
Of course there has been much cut and thrust with the British Fashion Council, GQ, the Evening Standard and our premier sponsor Woolmark to make sure everybody is getting sufficient love and attention. As has been the case for the past five years, the donkey work is being done by Poppy ‘Huntsman’ Charles, Anda, Ellen and I. The way people talk to one is really quite extraordinary: as if the sponsorship money is FOR YOU. The sole motivation for the event is to showcase the Row and the Arcade, to contribute to the first British Fashion Week men’s season and to promote tailoring and gentlemen’s requisites made in Mayfair. Will anyone thank us? You’d be as likely to have angels flying out of your a*** to quote Titanic.
I must say London is looking glorious what with all of the Union Flags flying. I loved the decoration inside Covent Garden Market: so festive, no? I think we should leave the flags up for the rest of the year. Best Jubilee window on Savile Row so far is Dege & Skinner. There is nothing quite like the blaze of a scarlet and gold tunic to get you humming God Save The Queen is there? I’ve got my accreditation for the Diamond Jubilee to broadcast on ITV on the 5th of June. Philip Schofield is the anchor. I’m not sure whether I’ll get five minutes or five hours but am thrilled to be involved.
As a warm-up for the Jube, I’m doing a short piece for ITV This Morning on Wednesday about the V&As Ball Gowns exhibition. It is always fun being on the sofa with Holly and Philip. Until next time…