Dandy & Rose

Bespoke Western Shirts, Handmade in England


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Dandy with Roses

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.

 


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Bonjour Monsieur Grenouille, or Hello Froggy

 

Front landscape peach pincher

Bill DeMain is a very talented man. He is a journalist who has interviewed all your musical heroes; an accomplished musician and songwriter based in Nashville; the entertaining and astoundingly knowledgeable tour leader of Walkin’ Nashville; and a recently converted Francophile.

Bill visited Paris last year and fell in love with the city. During March, he returned for one of those total immersion language courses and kept his instagram followers entranced with photographs of the things he saw (and ate) while in The City of Light.

When Bill asked me for suggestions for his third Dandy & Rose shirt, this wonderful Arts and Crafts style print by Liberty leapt right into my mind. It seemed like such a fun way to acknowledge Bill’s love of France. And just look at that frog, with his little toes!

close up with label peach pincher

It can get hot out there, walkin’ Nashville, so Bill likes short sleeves. I like short sleeves too, and leap at the opportunity to make them.

short sleeve detail peach pincher

I have been waiting for an opportunity to use this print ever since it came out last year. I’m so glad that one has has hopped along.

OK. That’s enough corny frog jokes. Unless you know any.

 

 


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A Little Bit Floral, A Little Bit Paisley

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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.

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Catching up

This year has been such a busy one for research, writing and shirtmaking that I have got rather behind with this blog.

So here are all the shirts I have made so far and not blogged about:

First up a marvel of symmetry in Liberty’s William Morris-designed print ‘Lodden’. It belongs to Thor Platter, a singer songwriter who tracked me down at last year’s Americana Music Association Festival in Nashville. I’m very glad he did!

Then in February, I came across some of one of my favourite out-of-print Liberty designs, a psychedelic paisley called ‘Forty’. So I snapped some up and made two shirts: a black one with red piping for redoubtable Americana tour manager, Andy Washington; and an all-over print for Jim Lauderdale.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Sixties men’s fashion recently and just for fun I made this ruffled shirt in another psychedelic Liberty print that has been a favourite:

amelia star ruffle side front

Find this one for sale in my online shop

A few months later, I was commissioned to make another shirt in the same fabric, this time in a western style:

As summer arrived, I made a couple of short sleeved shirts. The first was for a young man looking for something special for his birthday party. He chose the classic Liberty peacock feather design, ‘Hera’ and went for a non-western style.

The second was made from vintage fabric that I bought from a lady who inherited it from her mum. There was quite a collection and it was hard to choose, but this was one of my favourites:

Finally, this shirt in a sweet, fresh Liberty floral was commissioned as a gift from a husband to a wife. I love being part of that!


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Is it Gin o’Clock yet?

junier-yoke-and-labels

This Liberty print is called ‘Juniper’. I have to admit that I had to google to find out what the flowers of the juniper tree looked like, only to discover that they are ‘inconspicuous’, so I am guessing the fabric designer took some artistic liberties here.

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On the other hand, I am very familiar with the taste of the juniper berry. Is the sun over the yardarm yet?

 

 

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Sunshine in December

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David’s shirt in Liberty’s paisley ‘Lagos Laurel’

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…

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!

lagos-yellow-back


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Dandy & Rose On Display

I am so honoured that The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum have put this paisley shirt that I made for Jim Lauderdale on display. It’s in one of their ‘Featured Western Wear Designer’ cases just off their foyer.

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While I have been researching my PhD, I have spent a lot of time in the Hall’s archives, looking at garments by the great western wear designers, like Nathan Turk, Manuel and Nudie Cohn. So it’s a wonderful thrill now to be in an exhibit alongside them.

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Photograph by Scott Simontacchi

The shirt will be on display for a year. After that, you can expect to see Jim wearing it onstage again!

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Photograph by Julianne Rouquette


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I’m a Shirt

I’ve been home from Nashville for just over a week now. It was my longest visit yet – almost a month, ending with the week of the Americana Music Association Festival and Conference  – and I have so many memories. I’ll be writing about the music I heard in the November issue of Country Music People, but I have also been reflecting on some Dandy & Rose highlights.

This year’s AMA week was extra-special for my best customer, the singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale. As usual he was everywhere – sharing wisdom on conference panels, performing his songs solo and with a fabulous band, and playing the genial host at the Honors and Award Show at the Ryman Auditorium; he was also presented with the Wagonmaster Award for Lifetime Achievement by the country star George Strait, who has recorded 14 of Jim’s songs. It was quite a moment and I was thrilled to be able to witness it.

One of my own favourite moments of the week came the next day, when I attended a conference panel on songwriting given by Jim, Lori McKenna and Radney Foster.

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I was surprised, when Jim took his seat, to see that he was wearing one of the first Dandy & Rose shirts he ever bought, back at the end of 2012.

It’s made from a Liberty print called ‘Dragonista’, a kind of psychedelic oriental vision, with men in traditional Chinese dress riding dragons, interspersed with random antique pots. I am specially fond of it; I feel it was the shirt that kicked Dandy & Rose into life, starting when Paste Magazine tweeted that Jim and Buddy Miller were “the two best-dressed men in Austin” during SXSW 2013. Jim told me that he got a big reaction to the shirt whenever he wore it. Later in the year, he wore it for his appearance on ABC’s ‘Nashville’. You can see that appearance here

YouTube – Nashville: Scarlett’s Opry debut

If I made the shirt today, it would probably look a little different, but I love it and am proud of it just the same.

But my favourite thing about this shirt is that it was the subject of my only ever press review. Well, to be fair, it was Jim’s review. My work was only reviewed by association. But it still counts!

In 2014, Ann Powers opened her review of Jim’s ‘I’m A Song’ like this:

“I recently ran into Jim Lauderdale at a party in Nashville, and I couldn’t tell if his shirt was made of silk or cotton. Covered in fiery little dragons that seemed to flit around inside its piped seams, it was a beauty. Lauderdale told me it was made of breathable material and that it came from London. Its cheerfully theatrical boldness exemplified the style of the Grand Ole Opry, too, with a cosmopolitan and slightly ironic twist.

Lauderdale’s music is like that shirt: immediately charming, with flashy touches that complement smoothly executed subtleties.”

For a start, it was a brilliant piece of journalism and I wished I had written it. And then, I loved that Ann had compared my work with Jim’s music, which I have loved for so long, and even more what she had said about it. I have always admired his ability to take his vocal, musical and imaginative gifts, polish them, add a lot of technical skill, then do something wacky with them. I once heard him described as a ‘creative technician’ and the phrase immediately chimed. That’s what I, in my much less impressive way, would like to be, too. I loved Ann’s idea of flashy subtlety, as well: my shirts may be brightly coloured and boldly patterned but I aim for a refinement of taste and skill, enough to complement the detailed work of the brilliant textile designers whose work I rely on. I was so touched and amazed to read that she had seen that in the shirt I had made, that she had ‘got’ what it was about, and articulated it better than I could have myself.

So on that day in Nashville a few weeks ago, when I realised that the reason for the ‘Dragonista’ shirt’s reappearance was that the panel was to be chaired by Ann Powers, I was delighted. I made sure to go and speak with her afterwards and thank her for her words. I told her that because they meant so much to me, I had made them into a poster that I keep on the wall in the Dandy & Rose workroom.

PowerPoint Presentation

There  were three new additions to Jim’s Dandy & Rose wardrobe this year.

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He was out and about in these, and in some other favourites during the week. I specially loved seeing him wear his new passion flower shirt for his 125th appearance on The Grand Ole Opry.

And of course, I took the opportunity to pose alongside him whenever I could!

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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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I Got Stripes

Working with Liberty prints means that I get to make shirts in all kinds of different prints or patterns, but rarely do I get chance to use stripes, which are such a mainstay of western shirt design. So when Liberty added this design, ‘The Braided Brocade’, to their range last year, I was dying to use it.

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It’s based on military braids, and I love the trompe l’oeil textured effect.

close up sleeve placket

 

When a regular customer in Los Angeles contacted me and asked if I would consider making him a blue striped shirt, I jumped at the chance, and we picked out this fresh colourway from the four available.

I’ve really enjoyed the crisp precision of working with stripes. And I love those sawtooth pockets!

backsquare front the braided brocade

To find out how to get a Dandy & Rose shirt custom made for you, click on the SHOP tab at the top of this page.