Saturday, 5 September 2009

Jeffery~West Open Evening - Dandyism, Burlesque, Decadence & Rock 'n' Roll!

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of the new Jeffery~West Head Office in Northampton, and I am so glad I went along. All the very latest designs were on show, some yet to go on general sale - and for me it was like being a little boy in his favourite sweet shop. If any designer was in need of inspiration, then my advice would be to pop along to the new store and soak up the ambience. From the coolest shoes on the planet, through the most imaginative imagery and sculpture, to great music and great people the evening had it all.

As soon as I arrived I had a Cuba Libre stuffed into my hand by Guy (Guy West co founder and designer), my picture taken for a local magazine (which I won't reveal as it is important to keep my identity under wraps) followed by a conversation with a young wench adorned in a very tight red and black silk basque with the customary stocking and suspenders. I had to pinch myself to ensure I wasn't just going off on one of my many fantasy day dreams.

As well as plenty of flesh on show, which was nice, there were some of the very latest shoe designs. If you aren't familiar with Jeffery~West shoes then shame on you! However, they have a very strong British music and dandyism influence behind them with the shapes (or lasts) each having names including Marriott, Lemmy, Cocker and Moon. After a few more Cuba Libres, and feeling quite squiffy, I sneakily took a few shots (which are a little bit wobbly) of the latest designs and have posted them here...don't tell anyone!

In the middle of the new store and hanging from the ceiling was what can only be described as something akin to a Victorian space exploration device or maybe even something from a time machine. Like everything else in the new store it looked fantastic and even though no one (apart from the designer Mark Brazier-Jones) knew what it was, please notice the chap, bottom left, scratching his head, but it slotted in perfectly.

To round the evening off there was some live music from a local band called Danny Connors & The Ladders. They played an acoustic set which clearly had a Paul Weller influence...and rumour has it (that rumour coming from a Mr Dan Evans of Jeffery~West) the band does have some links to Mr Weller himself. That rumour seems to check out, via the band's and the band member's MySpace profiles...which is most impressive.

So all in all a really great evening and a very Dandy experience...especially the twirling of nipple tassles!!.