Wednesday…with My St James’s ( Part 2 )

April 20, 2016

Filed Under : collaborations - colour - London - My St James - Spring - trips

Photo 19-04-2016, 15 26 02In this second part of the #mystjames project, I’ve been exploring more of the St James area more and visiting some of the bespoke shops. I’m particularly enjoying having a glimpse into a working history round every corner and seeing the traditional skills which are still thriving in the businesses there.

I love finding new, quiet and beautiful outdoor spaces in London, and over the past month St James’s Square has burst into Spring colour…Photo 16-04-2016, 13 11 21Last week when I was coming up from Brighton on the train, the weather was so amazing that I knew I had to pay a quick visit to St James’s Park before walking back up to Jermyn Street because the blossom was out…there’s something about the pretty impermanence of blossom; it’s short life, that when you manage to see it on a bright day it feels like a special occassion ( you can see a post purely about blossom here )…Photo 12-04-2016, 10 38 56Photo 12-04-2016, 10 45 57The walk I usually take from St James’s Park up to Jermyn Street is past St James’s Palace…Photo 12-04-2016, 10 13 23Photo 18-04-2016, 18 47 16across Pall Mall ( I always think of endless games of Monopoly with my brother at this point )…Photo 18-03-2016, 13 19 06Photo 12-04-2016, 10 32 24…and up into St James’s Street past Boulestin ( as well as the amazing Lock and Co Hatters and Berry Brothers and Rudd )Photo 12-04-2016, 10 08 46I was visiting Budd Shirt Makers in Piccadilly Arcade. It’s a small shop specialising in shirt making and they are a very traditional business having a small workshop in Andover, as well as a cutting room right above the shop and virtually everything you can buy at Budd has been made in this country; even the socks are made in Leicester…
Photo 12-04-2016, 15 23 04The Cutting Room is led by Head Cutter John Butcher who has worked at Budd for over 45 years, and there are also cutters Darren Tiernan and James Macauslan who are all on hand to fit bespoke customers and take them through their styling and cloth options…( have a look here at just the collar options!! )

Having a theatre background myself I have always loved theatre Wardrobe Departments; seeing costumes being designed and made is always a piece of magic I love; their workshops always look so creative and alive, and similarly to when I visited Lock and Co last month, I felt like I was taken ‘backstage’ at Budd’s when I was shown upstairs to their cutting room…
Photo 12-04-2016, 15 11 35Photo 12-04-2016, 14 34 42Photo 12-04-2016, 15 10 59Photo 12-04-2016, 14 32 29I had no idea that knives were used for some of the incredible precision needed to cut shirt fabric…Photo 12-04-2016, 14 17 57Photo 12-04-2016, 15 12 48Photo 12-04-2016, 14 33 56Photo 12-04-2016, 14 28 37and the shears they use are enormous…some of them are nearly 40cm long!Photo 12-04-2016, 14 30 19Photo 12-04-2016, 14 43 20Photo 12-04-2016, 14 55 13I loved it in the shop and although they don’t make women’s shirts I wanted the pyjamas, the linen night shirts, cashmere dressing gowns…and beautiful pocket squares all with hand rolled edges…Photo 12-04-2016, 14 53 00They also have a range of silk pocket squares and bow ties designed by Claire Gaudion who uses outdoor landscapes as inspiration which you can see herePhoto 12-04-2016, 15 04 46Photo 12-04-2016, 15 00 21Photo 12-04-2016, 19 50 00The silk woven ties are a 1960’s classic, made in Italy with colour combinations chosen at Budd, and as a lifelong fan of colour charts and pantone books, it was a joy to see one of their silk shade cards…Photo 12-04-2016, 14 49 37Photo 12-04-2016, 14 47 26Photo 12-04-2016, 14 36 32Budd’s manager Andrew Rowley has bee there for over 35 years and the whole team really couldn’t have made me feel more welcome…Photo 12-04-2016, 15 23 35A brilliant spot to sit and stop for a sandwich sort of lunch is St James’s Square which looks amazing at this time of year, even on rainy days . It’s beautifully cared for by The St James’ Square Trust and is open open weekdays 10am – 4:30pm and there are SO many tulips there at the moment it’s incredible!
Photo 19-04-2016, 15 35 13Photo 16-04-2016, 13 08 14 Photo 19-04-2016, 15 20 11Photo 19-04-2016, 15 21 43Photo 19-04-2016, 15 23 05Photo 19-04-2016, 15 23 30Photo 19-04-2016, 15 25 48Photo 19-04-2016, 15 28 11Photo 19-04-2016, 15 33 34Photo 19-04-2016, 15 36 10I also always love having a wander around London picking out colours and textures so it’s great for me to explore a new area for hidden details…Photo 16-04-2016, 12 45 09 Photo 16-04-2016, 12 49 17 above, by The Cavendish Hotel Car Park this amazing Bill Mitchell releif mural

below, outside Dover Street Market on the HaymarketPhoto 16-04-2016, 13 31 02 Photo 16-04-2016, 13 15 34 Photo 16-04-2016, 13 30 36On St James’s Street there is a beautiful traditional chemist’s which was established in 1790 called D. R Harris . I love a browse around a chemists but this takes soap, lotions and personal grooming to a whole different level which reminds me of the smells and pleasant places my grandparents used to frequent before the onslaught of Superdrug! They have fantastic collections of all sorts of traditional bits and pieces; shoe horns, beard combs, hairbrushes, razors, shaving brushes…
IMG_3432…they can even make a soap on a rope look and smell good!  Their Windsor range was my favourite; it smells so clean and fresh, and basically how I’d like to smell every day after a shower…and their packaging is to die for!Photo 18-03-2016, 12 32 47

Photo 18-03-2016, 12 56 45 Photo 18-03-2016, 12 55 39 Photo 01-03-2016, 12 27 23Photo 18-03-2016, 12 02 21Photo 18-03-2016, 12 48 51I also visited New and Lingwood in Jermyn Street and when I arrived I was still enthusing about the blossom in the St James’s park…the men in the shop hadn’t seen it, and I suspect wouldn’t have been quite as obsessed with it as I was, but with the blossom in my mind and the most extraordinary array of colours and textures to play with, I decided to focus an arrangement on outdoor blossomy shapes and colours…
Photo 12-04-2016, 11 40 18 (1)New and Lingwood were established in 1865 to serve the scholars of Eton College by Elizabeth New and Samuel Lingwood and in 1922 they bought the shop in Jermyn Street, and although that premises was destroyed during the Blitz, their shop now is just a few doors down from their original one on the entrance to Piccadilly Arcade ( they have 2 shops either side ). I was particularly drawn to their amazingly colourful accessories which have, as they say, an ‘occasional eccentric wink’…Photo 12-04-2016, 11 23 34Photo 12-04-2016, 11 23 14Photo 12-04-2016, 11 33 12Photo 12-04-2016, 12 30 48Photo 12-04-2016, 12 38 44Photo 12-04-2016, 11 20 13Photo 12-04-2016, 13 10 27Photo 12-04-2016, 12 24 12Photo 12-04-2016, 12 39 20Photo 12-04-2016, 12 52 41Photo 12-04-2016, 13 04 45Their fabrics are so beautiful and they specialise in silk dressing gowns, ( their Peacock gown was recently worn by Hugh Laurie in ’The Night Manager’… )Photo 12-04-2016, 13 09 57Photo 12-04-2016, 13 10 05Mark Rylance gave me my first opportunity to exhibit my voice paintings at Shakespeare’s Globe, so I loved spotting this gorgeous picture of him and his daughter Juliet amongst the polka dots )Photo 12-04-2016, 12 32 34There’s also a shoe servicing area and a selection of Poulsen Skone shoes…Photo 18-04-2016, 06 01 18as well as incredible shoe polishing box…Photo 12-04-2016, 12 36 33Photo 12-04-2016, 12 35 15but it was the bright colours and the silks which really appealed to me; they were so vibrant and fresh…Photo 12-04-2016, 18 31 42…and I also loved their pet dog guarding the door! Photo 12-04-2016, 13 09 16Just behind Jermyn Street is Duke St where there are a lot of art dealers…

( this one was closed when I walked past but liked how the Elizabethan young man had a jacket which matched mine! )Photo 16-04-2016, 12 51 36I walked down Duke Street and suddenly came across a new exhibition of Emily Young sculpture at Bowman Sculpture, which is absolutely incredible and which I highly recommend…

I studied Classical Civilisation at A-Level and became obsessed for a while with Greek architecture, particularly the caryatids on the Acropolis, and these modern stone carvings have a real sense of those ancient pieces. A sense of being worn down and damaged over time, revealing that the texture of the stone is just as beautiful as the original carving itself…Photo 16-04-2016, 13 01 44Photo 16-04-2016, 13 00 21A few weeks ago I had been walking around St Pauls and was really taken with her enormous stone carved Angel heads outside the cathedral, so it was a joy to see some of her powerful work so close up…Photo 17-04-2016, 09 37 06Photo 17-04-2016, 09 37 44…and we all need a little cup of tea at the end of the day and I discovered that Osprey have a really sweet hide away place hidden at the bottom of their shop!
Photo 01-03-2016, 11 10 18IMG_3389There is so much more I’m excited to see in St James’s, particularly the ICA and White Cube, the London Library, Paxtons, Berry Brothers and Trickers and which I’ll write about next month, and tomorrow I’ll be putting up a post about my new favourite sensory place; the perfumer’s Floris in Jermyn Street which has suddenly inspired me!Photo 19-04-2016, 14 03 23

You can see the Steller Story Version here