Yokes that turn into pocket flaps are an established element of western wear design. I’ve had it at the back of my mind to try some on a Dandy & Rose shirt, but the idea really took hold when I was doing some research for my PhD in the Nudie’s archive in The Autry Museum of The American West a few months ago. I kept seeing jackets in the style and was suddenly inspired to try the same thing, but with mixed prints.
My friend and customer Bill DeMain, who is a songwriter and journalist as well as running Walkin’ Nashville, a fun and informative walking tour of Nashville (where, in fact, he and I met), gave me the chance. He picked out a Dandy & Rose favourite, the Liberty paisley, Lagos Laurel. I suggested mixing two colours of the print, and Bill opted for blue and red. Although it’s now a Liberty classic, ‘Lagos Laurel’ was introduced in 2012 in celebration of the London Olympics, and features a laurel wreath in amongst the paisley motifs.
It’s been a grim, foggy weekend, full of undone Christmas preparations, so I have been glad to have this sunny yellow paisley shirt to focus on.
The fabric is Liberty’s paisley ‘Lagos Laurel’. I seem to recall that is a 1930s print from the Liberty archive. They reintroduced it to the range in 2012 in honour of the London Olympics – see the little laurel wreath tucked in amongst the paisley motifs?
I have made several shirts in Lagos Laurel previously…
Jim Lauderdale’s shirt in Liberty ‘Lagos Laurel’ with yokes in ‘Glenjade’
Michael’s shirt in Liberty’s paisley ‘Lagos Laurel’
Reed’s mixed print shirt in Liberty’s ‘Lagos Laurel’, ‘Mitsi’
but I haven’t used this lovely, rich, buttery yellow before. And I don’t think I have used yellow snaps before either. What a joy!
Here’s a shirt I made a few weeks ago for a customer in Chicago who wanted a casual, short sleeved, 50s style with this specific collar shape. He chose Liberty’s Olympic paisley ‘Lagos Laurel’ and wanted to mix the blue and red colourways, so I made the undercollar red for added interest and pulled it all together by adding blue cuffs.
I understand he is planning to debut the shirt at 4th July celebrations. I was half way through making it before I realised the red, white and blue significance… it pleases me to think of that paisley crossing cultures, from the thoroughly British celebrations of the 2012 Olympics (spot the laurel wreath worked into the design) to an Independance Day party in Chicago!