Saturday 31 July 2010

Return to the Proms

Today was a busy and exciting day. It was the latest Doctor Who Proms, plus I was unexpectedly working freelance, which meant everything was a bit more rushed than I’d like.

When I’m not tailoring, I do occasional days of freelance work doing partly what I did prior to being laid off work last year. For over 20 years I have worked in art studios of either design or advertising agencies, as well as pre-press houses, preparing artwork for print.
The past couple of days I have been at Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the most famous advertising agencies in London. In the 1970s and 1980s they did some iconic advertising work.

Two of their most famous was for the Conservative Party prior to them beating Labour in our 1979 election.

Their poster, “LABOUR ISN’T WORKING” (see above) has been aped many a time; and their poster for anti smoking poster for the Public Health Department, depicting a pregnant man (see right), has also gone down in advertising history - and it was a public information poster, not some high profile multiple-national company. In fact the in house bar/pub at Saatchi's is called The Pregnant Man.

Working at their office is quite inspirational. Across the threshold is carved the words NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE..... (see left)

Anyway, so after telling them I HAD to be out the door by 5pm, we headed down to Kensington and the Royal Albert Hall.

Monday 26 July 2010

eBay madness

Buses can be annoying – you wait for ages, then three come along at once!

Well the same can be said for Paul Smith PS shirts on eBay recently.
In July last year, when news broke that Matt Smith was wearing a Paul Smith shirt, everyone was frantically looking to find where to get hold of one. Supplies quickly ran out, and the old reliable fall-back of eBay came into its own when the occasional shirt did appear ever few weeks. Some went for reasonable prices, others a bit higher if two bidders went head-to-head.

But recently there have been fewer and fewer on offer, until a couple of weeks back.

The recent spate of shirts have all been of the blue flavour, and each has been interesting different from each other.
First to be listed, on 1st July, was a very unusual PS shirt (see below).

It was notable for having striped cuffs, but with a top-stitching unlike any I have seen to date; it also had a unconcealed button-stand; and a slightly fitted back.
It is the first shirt I have seen with a red buttonhole on the placket, which is visible on-screen, especially in The Eleven Hour. To date, this is the closest I have seen to the screen-worn shirts.

It had an amazing starting price of just £1, but sold after 28 bids for £250.

Then on 10th July another shirt appeared on eBay (see below).
This was a standard shirt, the same as the ones available from last year.
It had a concealed button stand; plain cuffs; and is likely to have had a heavily tailored back and a breast pocket as the John Anthony shirts did, but it was not possible to confirm this from the photos.

It had a starting price of £40, and sold after 15 bids for £105, which is in line with the price of some new Paul Smith shirts.

Finally worth mentioning, is another shirt that was listed on 13th July (see below).

This appears to be identical to a shirt I bought from

It has striped cuffs; an exposed button-stand; and looks to be the more generous fit.

This opened with a £10 staring price, but quickly spiraled out of control, and by the time it closed 10 days later, it had reached a staggering £650!!!!!

In September 2010 Ryan put his unusual burgundy PS shirt with French cuffs up for sale.

There were some nice detail pictures of the shirt, including those cuffs.
From a starting price of $99, the bidding soon was creeping up, and by the end of the auction it had reached $350 (£226 to keep it in context with the other shirts above).

A bit of a hint – I can’t wait to see those cuffs at first hand . . .

Finally, as a reminder, here is a list of the variations I have seen in the Paul Smith shirts using the distinctive squiggly design.
If you have another variation not listed here, do drop me a line.
1. John Anthony
These were available in both colours; no button-stand, concealed buttonholes; plain cuffs; sleeve straps; slim fit, heavily tailored back; breast pocket; embroidered PS on sleeve placket
Only available in blue; visible buttons, but no button-stand; striped starched cuffs; standard fitting, no back tailoring; embroidered PS on sleeve placket
3. Found by Ryan
Blue shirt; French double-cuffs
4. eBay - sold for £250
Very similar to (2) but top-stitching on cuff set much further in from edge; red placket buttonhole

Monday 19 July 2010

The Tour Of Doom

This is one of my delayed entires.

I should have posted this at least a week back, but due to my vertigo attack, I was unable to finish writing it. Here it is at last.
Here is the list of my week:
So, it was the 24th of June, and day two of my week of who events. this time taking me on a guided tour of the Cardiff locations used in the new series.



If you’ve noticed that the updates on my blogs have been a bit lacking the past couple of weeks – there is a reason.
I am just now getting back on my feet (literally) after having an acute attack of vertigo.

Now, this is not the cliched fear of high buildings a la James Stewart in Hitchcock’d classic 1958 film. What I had was an inner ear infection which brought on a strong giddiness one morning, and before long the room was spinning and I was throwing up.

I found I could not even keep my eyes open – so like Amy Pond in Flesh and Stone, I had to keep them tight shut for fear the sensation would return.

The best way I can describe the sensation, was to think back to when I was a kid at school and you do that mad spinning round on the spot until you can’t stand up. It was just like that – but without all the irritating need to do the spinning. Oh, and the effects were 24-7.

After the doctor was called out (not The Doctor, just A doctor) the following day, I was confined to bed for over a week, and was barely able to open my eyes the entire time.

Anyway, back on the mend now.
But if I am currently in the process of making you something, I’m afraid my schedule has been somewhat disrupted, and may remain so until I can get back on track. I also need to catch up on some exciting blog entires I had been writing before I was struck down, so look out for them soon.

Normal service will be resumed.