Dandy & Rose

Bespoke Western Shirts, Handmade in England


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A Little Bit Floral, A Little Bit Paisley

packing

What a great fabric choice my new Californian customer, Joe, has made! This print is from the current Liberty of London range. It completely removes the need to make a decision that many of my customers struggle with: floral or paisley? It has them both!

Joe opted for lots of piping and ‘smile’ pockets.

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I have placed one of my signature contrast pearl snaps in line with the yoke….

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… and added an extra yellow snap to each sleeve placket. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

cuff


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D & R at home (and in London)

Dandy & Rose’s biggest champion, the Grammy-winning singer songwriter Jim Lauderdale, toured the UK during July and excitingly, he played in Lewes, the hometown of Dandy & Rose!

Jamie Freeman of Union Music Store, who is also a singer songwriter, suggested that after the show, we might be able to set a world record for the most Dandy & Rose shirts worn in the same place at the same time. And we did!

group

Left – right (back row) Jamie Freeman, Stevie Freeman, Alasdair Mackay, Andy Washington, Michael Hingston  (front row) Jeff Tickle, Jim Lauderdale, me (Janet Aspley), David whose second name I don’t know!

It seemed wrong that Jim didn’t have a new shirt for his tour, so the following week we picked out a print from Liberty’s current range called ‘Wild Flowers’. It was designed by the paper cutting artist Su Blackwell, who says it reflects her childhood experience of wandering the countryside, discovering native flora. Su’s work is stunning and you can see more of it here:  sublackwell.co.uk

wild flowers folded

Just as I was giving the shirt a final press before dashing up to London to deliver it to Jim before his London show (which was great!), I noticed the word ‘Strawberry’ hidden amongst the stalks and leaves in the design.

IMG_3208.JPGHow wonderful to work with designs that are so detailed and exquisite that there is still something to discover in them when you have been looking at and handling them for many hours!

 

 

Jim teamed his new shirt with a pair of sparkly, embroidered trousers by Manuel. The combination was marvellous!

wild flowers with trousers

Jim Lauderdale in his Dandy & Rose shirt in Liberty’s ‘Wild Flowers’ print, onstage at King’s Place, London, July 27th 2017

 

 


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Meandering Me

me chrys right front with sleeve

standing around

 

I’m beyond excited to be going to Nashville next month. I can’t wait to see friends, hear music and get stuck into some PhD research.

For my trip, I have made myself a new Dandy & Rose shirt! Here I am, nonchalantly standing around in my own living room wearing it this afternoon.

I have used a favourite floral print of mine. It’s called Meandering Chrysanthemum – a seasonal Liberty print from a few seasons ago.

 

 

me chrys back yoke


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Grrrrreat shirt!

Scotty's Tiger Back Yoke

With its small, colourful floral design, this might very well be what most of us think of as a typical Liberty print, if it weren’t for that – thankfully friendly looking – tiger bursting through a clump of greenery as if to shout ‘Surprise!’

James, whose fifth Dandy & Rose shirt this is (yes James, I’m counting), picked the fabric out from Liberty’s website after being given a D & R gift token for his birthday. It’s so summery that I am glad he chose to have a short-sleeved style, giving me a chance to add a piped cuff.

Scotty's Tiger square on front

To find out how to order a bespoke shirt of your own, or to buy a gift token for a loved one, click on the SHOP tab at the top of this page.


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Tulip Mania

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London's art nouveau Tulip print 'Ten Six' 7

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London’s art nouveau Tulip print ‘Ten Six’ back yoke

I was a little sad to see the tulips pass from my garden a couple of weeks ago. They are so exotic, with their  vibrant, polished petals and encompassing shape. No wonder that, when they were first introduced to Europe from the Islamic world in the sixteenth century, they were considered  precious objects of status. In the 1630s their value boomed so high that a phenomenon known as ‘tulipmania’ happened, with frenzied trading making many Dutch merchants enormously rich; when the ‘Tulip Bubble’ burst, they lost everything.

But anyway, never mind the history lesson. Here’s a shirt. It is made from an art nouveau style Liberty print representing tulips. It comes from last year’s Spring/Summer range, but it’s based on a furnishing design from the 1890s. So elegant.

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London's art nouveau Tulip print 'Ten Six' 6

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London’s art nouveau Tulip print ‘Ten Six’

It’s always difficult to decide what to do with a favourite print in a favourite colourway. Some red piping might have been nice, but I really wanted to see those tulips bending in the breeze, so I have gone with my first instinct – to cut the yokes on the bias.

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London's art nouveau Tulip print 'Ten Six' (2)

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London’s art nouveau Tulip print ‘Ten Six’

The shirt has short sleeves, which I have faced with plain pale blue fabric to match the leaves in the print. The pocket flaps are faced in the same fabric, but that will be the wearer’s secret till he lifts them to put something in his pocket. The topstitching is in the same pale blue colour. The pearl snaps are grey.

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London's art nouveau Tulip print 'Ten Six'

Short Sleeved shirt in Liberty London’s art nouveau Tulip print ‘Ten Six’

It has turned out so sharp and snappy, I just had to photograph it with that top pearl snap done up!


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A year at Dandy & Rose

Here’s a gallery of the shirts I made in 2015. What a lot of piping ruffling and stitching I have done! Thanks to everyone who placed an order, or enjoyed looking at the shirts online.

Happy New Year!  If you’d like to own your own Dandy & Rose, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. Prices and details are available in my online shop Dandy & Rose on etsy.com

I can’t wait to see what I get to make in 2016!


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Made to make your mouth water

This is the second shirt I’ve made to commission in ‘Poppyseed Dreams’, a print that Liberty say was inspired by Indian textile art and that hints at Sixties’ psychedelia.

Back in the Sixties, I wasn’t old enough to enjoy psychedelia; but one thing I did like was an Opal Fruit.

Yes, I know they have renamed and reflavoured the chewy cuboid sweets (Starburst! I ask you!) but to me they will always be Opal Fruits. And when I look at the zingy citrus colours in this shirt, I can almost feel the back of my palate shrinking away from the citrus pinch that oozed from the green ones as you bit into them. I always left the green ones till last. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them – I just needed to work up to them.

Maybe it was those green opal fruits that inspired the lime snaps on this shirt:

Incidentally, the Opal Fruits jingle must have been the most insidious ever. I remember it to this day; in fact I used to sing it to entertain my kids on long car journeys, simultaneously stuffing their faces with Starburst. It went like this:

“Opal fruits! Made to make your mouth water!

Fresh with the tang of citrus!

Four refreshing fruit flavours!

Orange! Stawberry! Lemon! Lime!

Opal fruits! Made to make your mouth water!”

I know I put a lot of exclamation marks in there, but that’s the way it was sung – with a chirpy sense of urgency.

The oldest version of the ad I can find online dates from the Seventies, by which time, sadly, only the first line of the song was in use. But I remember the whole lyric. Like I said: insidious.


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Iris

Brightley A. Andrew Bristow. Back. October 2014

As Autumn has arrived and the weather has turned wetter and greyer here in Sussex, I’ve been glad to work with this invigorating Spring-like print.

It’s called ‘Brightley’ and although it’s from the Liberty London Autumn/Winter range, its burgeoning, blooming irises and fuschias speak of a sunnier, more flourishing season.

So just as well it is off to Australia, where, I am led to believe, it really is Spring at the moment. It was commissioned by Andrew Bristow, who wants something colourful to wear when he plays bass in The Mighty Surftones.

Liberty say that the print was hand painted on a large scale to give a feeling of growth; they remind us that the Iris that is at the heart of the design is named after the mythical messenger of the Greek gods and that her symbol was the rainbow. I like to think that it also honours my Mum, Iris Aspley, who taught me to sew and will be 90 years old next March. A Spring baby, well named.


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How very Gram

It’s Americana Music Association week in Nashville, and although I haven’t made it over this year, I have sent a few shirts out there to represent Dandy & Rose. And I’ve just seen one of them make its debut live on Music City Roots’ livestream.

Music City Roots on Livestream

http://new.livestream.com/MusicCityRoots/live

Host Jim Lauderdale’s shirt is  in ‘Poppyseed Dreams’ from the Liberty Autumn/Winter 2014 fabric collection. It seemed to call his name – the poppies made me think of Jim’s musical hero Gram Parsons’ famous ‘Sin City’ Nudie suit

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I love that warm orange in the Liberty print,  mixed in with the vibrant purple. Liberty say that the design incorporates the Indian spices  ‘pepper, cardamom and vanilla’ along with the poppies and is inspired by Indian textiles and by The British Museum’s recent exhibition ‘The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur’.

 

Photograph by Anthony Scarlati

Photograph by Anthony Scarlati


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Hearts and Flowers

Danny George Wilson of the marvellous Danny and The Champions of the World asked me to come up with a shirt for the showcase he has at the Americana Music Association’s Festival in Nashville on 18 August at Third Man Records. Somewhat recklessly, he gave me a completely free rein about fabric choice and design.

I wanted to do something totally different from his previous Dandy & Rose shirts, which are black with contrast yoke and piping.

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The print that immediately came to mind was Liberty’s Kitty Grace. Danny can pull off a really decorative print so well, and this one had been in my sights for a while. With its hearts and flowers, it reminds me of the great western tailor Nathan Turk’s work for The Maddox Family, who were known as ‘the most colorful hillbilly band in America’ during the 1940s. He took the heart motif on these outfits

maddox

 

from this book by Lepage Medvey about  costumes from his native Poland. dsc_0941_1smlTurk’s own copy is in the Autry Center in Los Angeles and his note to remind himself to place hearts down the leg of the Maddox Brothers’ trousers survives.

 

Here’s Danny’s Kitty Grace shirt….

Good luck to Danny and the Champs for their Nashville excursion! May the spirit of Nathan Turk be with them!