O how I love floral prints!
So I’m chuffed that I got to use this Liberty classic, Willow Rose, in two completely different ways recently.
At the beginning of the summer, the singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale asked me to keep my eyes peeled for suitable prints in blue, his favourite colour for the festival season. I came up with a few ideas, but a week or so later I was shopping in Shaukat, a Liberty print specialist in West London, and spotted this beauty. I knew it was the one! It’s a giant version of the classic ‘Willow Rose’.
I love that greeny-yellow flower in amongst the dark blues and bought some pearl snaps to match it. But as the shirt came together, it took on an altogether more subtle identity. I followed Jim’s usual ‘no piping’ instruction, but I sneaked in a little decorative stitch in a dusty aqua thread that perfectly matched one of the greens in the print. I think I got away with it, because he’s been wearing it!
Photograph by Anthony Scarlati
And so then the snaps too chose to be green. I love the shirt and think he looks the cat’s pyjamas in it.
Here’s Jim wearing his ‘Willow Rose’ and doing an acoustic version of Let’s Have A Good Thing Together, from his new album I’m a Song.
I think the couplet in that song, ‘The magistrate of fate has spoken/ Laws of attraction can’t be broken’ are some of my favourite ever Lauderdale lines.
While I was making Jim’s shirt I received an email from Jane De Vekey, who, along with her partner Darren Smith, is in the Bournemouth based band Thin Wire Fence. She knew that Darren loved Dandy & Rose shirts and wanted to surprise him by ordering one for him. It’s always so nice to be a part of these special gifts. Jane had been taking secret notes on which shirts Darren admired the most. She had trawled the Liberty website and, by coincidence, picked out a blue and red colourway of Willow Rose, this time in the more usual smaller scale. We put together a blue shirt with contrast yokes. I was lucky enough to find fabric the exact shade of lilac-y blue in my stash, and used it to make piping. Then I put a red jewel snap right where it could be seen from the stage.
Darren looks great in the shirt, as you can see from the photos of him performing with Thin Wire Fence at The Smokin’ Aces in Bournemouth.