With its delicate old fashioned blooms, this shirt lives up to the Dandy & Rose name.
This is a deceptively simple print – there are several shades of orange and peach blending in those roses and the stems and leaves are a gentle olive green. I have loved working with it and giving it those orange accents.
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.
I have placed one of my signature contrast pearl snaps in line with the yoke….
… and added an extra yellow snap to each sleeve placket. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
I was born and brought up in the county of Shakespeare and have loved his work since I was old enough to know who he was. So when Lorna Simes chose this print for her fourth Dandy & Rose shirt, I was delighted. A Shakespearean western shirt? Why not?
The first Shakespeare play I ever saw was Romeo and Juliet. I think I was about twelve or thirteen and the production starred John Hurt and Lisa Harrow. I asked my Dad to take me to see it at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. He worked at the Massey Ferguson tractor factory in Coventry, but at the end of a long week, he put on his suit and headed back into the city, because I had asked him to, and he wanted me to have the education he hadn’t been offered. The play made a deep impression on me – as it would on anyone who saw John Hurt play Romeo, I imagine – and decades later I mentioned to my Dad how wonderful it had been. He told me he had had no idea what was going on onstage, because he didn’t understand Shakespeare, however much he wished he could. He just wanted me to have that experience. Thank you, Dad.
I don’t mind, then, that Liberty, having created a print showing stormy seas, starry constellations and fleets of ships, and called it ‘Tempest’ to boot, have covered it with bits of text from Romeo and Juliet. Apparently, the designer’s concept was to depict someone stranded on an island, who records their observations on the weather and movements of the Heavens on the only paper to hand – a copy of Shakespeare’s Works. I think I would have torn out the pages of a lesser play, myself.
Lorna’s shirt will be joining her when she sails on the Cayamo cruise in a couple of weeks’ time. If any of her fellow cruisers are alarmed by the stormy seas on her shirt, she can perhaps soothe them with the beautiful verse also printed on there. And reflect that she has taken the advice of Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet:
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
I can’t think of anything Shakespeare can have meant more by ‘rich’ than a cowgirl shirt with his own words printed on it!
This is the third shirt this customer has ordered. He found me through my online shop about a year and a half ago and by the time he got in touch, he had already chosen the print he wanted from Liberty‘s online offering. He likes to keep his prints simple, so he chooses the quiet designs. I love that, because I would otherwise overlook them, and they turn out to be brilliant. His first choice was this Jackson Pollock style spatter print:
On the day he received this shirt, he ordered the next. Now that’s what I call customer satisfaction! Although it was a bold and sunny yellow, it had fewer colours than most of the prints I work with.
This new one is intriguing. It’s called ‘Mantaray’ – you will see that the design takes the graceful shape of the fish of the same name.
I have been dying to post photos of this shirt! But I’ve been waiting for the all clear, as it was a Christmas gift from a brother to his sister – so I am not sure whether his choice of a fabric called ‘Queen Bee’ was a comment on their respective roles in the family! 🙂
At any rate, she was reportedly very pleased to receive it – and it is a very special Liberty print, one of those where you spot more and more detail as you look. I love the crown that the bee seems to be placing on her own head!
Woman’s shirt in Liberty’s ‘Queen Bee’ print
Woman’s Dandy & Rose shirt in Liberty’s ‘Queen Bee’ print
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!
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
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.
How 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 Lauderdale’s shirt in floral Liberty print
Jim Lauderdale’s shirt in Liberty’s ‘Wild Flower’ print
Jim teamed his new shirt with a pair of sparkly, embroidered trousers by Manuel. The combination was marvellous!
Jim Lauderdale in his Dandy & Rose shirt in Liberty’s ‘Wild Flowers’ print, onstage at King’s Place, London, July 27th 2017