“Be drawn into the Burlington Arcade and be mesmerised by the magical paper art installation, celebrating 200 years of Burlington Arcade moments! Witness a beautifully hand-crafted winter sky above the canopy and journey beneath the cascading snow, entwined with gold ribbon and trickling lights “
The story behind the L’Atelier Five design for Burlington Arcade was to create a beautiful snowy blizzard beneath the arches and skylights of the iconic Arcade. Creating a soft and moving Art Installation that captures the spirit of the festive season and the wonderful celebration of Burlington Arcades 200th Anniversary. To ensure celebration is in the air we designed a hand-crafted gold ribbon which runs the entire length of the Burlington Arcade to commemorate 200 years of Burlington Moments. It was very important to us to ensure the design elevated the buildings beautiful architecture, creating an immersive art installation cascading from the high ceilings encasing visitors into a winter wonderland.
L’Atelier five have partnered with a specialist paper artist based in Wakefield, Andy Singleton. Andy’s work is an exploration of the natural and manmade world through intricate paper cuttings, paper sculpture and large-scale installations. To create the Burlington Arcade installation, we have hand-crafted over 14,000 abstract paper snowflakes and hand formed 350 metres of gold paper to replicate a celebration ribbon, all will be hung inside the 179 metres of iconic architecture within Burlington Arcade. The snowflakes are entwined with 240 trickling fairy lights to create that extra bit of Christmas Magic. The Art installation has been collectively worked on by over 80 dedicated team members over 3 months and will be installed over 3 nights.
Burlington Arcade welcomed guests into a beautifully, handcrafted, snowy blizzard on Tuesday 12th Nov 2019.
Celebrities including David Gandy, James Middleton, boutique owners and VIP guests gathered inside the emporium to watch Dame Judi Dench countdown, before lighting up Burlington Arcade for its 200th Burlington Christmas.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane has created the first limited-edition Burlington Afternoon Tea, in partnership with Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, to celebrate the 200th anniversary.
Following a year of exclusive collections, installations, events and special-edition product launches commemorating this very special year, a quintessentially British dining experience has been created by Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, which resides just a short walk away.
Walking the historic halls of the world-famous arcade with Head Burlington Beadle Mark Lord, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane Head Pastry Chef, David Oliver has created five bespoke cakes inspired by its luxury heritage, architecture, British charm, and uniqueness. The afternoon tea takes you on a sensorial taste journey, which mirrors the visual journey one would take through the jewellery, watch, fragrance, fashion, beauty and home-wear boutiques. The innovative Burlington Afternoon Tea pastries include:
The Burlington Beadle:
Representing the world’s smallest police force, this stand-out pastry is modelled on Head Beadle Mark Lord. This light blueberry cheesecake is made with vanilla, sable Breton and blueberry compote.
The Velvet Hat:
Inspired by Victorian fashion, and shopping traditions at The Arcade including top hat shopping. White chocolate covered Joconde sponge, raspberry jam and rich vanilla mascarpone cream, create a modern take on the traditional Victoria sponge.
The Joss Flower:
Inspired by the limited-edition fragrance created to celebrate Burlington Arcade’s 200th Anniversary by Atkinson 1799. Layered peach and jasmine jelly, pink pepper cream, soft almond sponge, vanilla and gardenia mousse, make up this aromatic cake. All infused with notes from the bespoke fragrance, and topped with a delicate sugar Joss Flower.
The Burlington Battenberg:
Reflecting the iconic marble floor of Burlington Arcade, this Victorian classic sliced chocolate and bergamot cake is wrapped with this statement geometric pattern.
The Gold Nugget:
Ending the sensory journey at the intricate gold windows of the Arcade’s Piccadilly entrance, this 24ct gold covered nugget features a passion fruit and angostura bitter caramel, praline crostillant, with 70% Trinidadian chocolate and rum whipped ganache.
Working with some of the finest home-grown producers and suppliers, the Burlington Afternoon Tea includes classic British sandwiches in 5 varieties; Cucumber with mint and cream cheese on white bread, Lambton and Jackson Smoked Salmon with lemon cream cheese and radish on brown bread, Coronation Chicken on granary bread, Curried Egg with Montgomery Cheddar, truffle on brioche bread, and Portland Crab Salad with preserved lemon butter on white toast.
The Burlington Afternoon Tea is perfectly finished off with freshly baked warm fruit and plain scones, served with clotted cream, strawberry and vanilla jam, and mandarin and cedar pine nut marmalade. Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane guests can toast the 200th anniversary of Burlington Arcade with a glass of chilled champagne before a selection of teas from around the world. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free alternatives are available on request.
The Burlington Afternoon Tea is available at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane until the 31st December 2019 price from £46 per person. To book, please contactFour Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane on: 020 7319 5206.
Royal Ascot is fast approaching, and with it comes a formal dress code that presents an opportunity to impress for both men and women alike. While the guidelines can be strict, there’s also plenty of potential for self-expression, from footwear and frocks to those all-important hats. Read on for our essential guide to navigating Royal Ascot dressing in 2019.
Royal Ascot presents a rare opportunity to wear a hat, particularly on Ladies’ Day. Head to Maison Michel, where the Chanel-owned house offers a number of classic silhouettes with a tongue-in-cheek twist. We especially love the new summer capsule collection, which is exclusive to the Burlington Arcade boutique.
Stow your cards, cash and betting slips in a classic bifold wallet from Church’s. We love the emerald green colourway. Over at the Gentleman’s Journal pop-up is a selection of wallets and card holders from Ettinger – we love two-tone bridle hide flat credit card case in black and tan.
A favourite with royals and A-listers alike, Strathberry is fast becoming a go-to for sleek, elegant leather goods. We love this feather-trimmed clutch bag, dramatic enough for a special occasion, yet surprisingly roomy inside – it’ll hold your makeup, phone, keys and more. Kwanpen’s 1819 Pochette Clutch is another sound choice – the miniature version of the house’s signature bag will go with almost anything.
The British weather is notoriously unpredictable, so bring a pashmina stole in case the temperature plummets. N.Peal’sultrafine version folds so small, it could fit in a clutch bag, while House of Cashmere offers a curated array of cover-ups from the world’s top cashmere brands.
A heel is de rigueur for women at Royal Ascot, but when you’re likely to be on your feet all day, it’s wise to keep it low. Look no further than Manolo Blahnik for designs that are as much works of art as they are footwear. We love this season’s Josima pumps which offer a play on the pleated ribbon detail of a rosette.
Lend drama to a classic dress with statement jewellery. Azza Fahmy’s designs are inspired by global travel and ancient cultures and we love its pearl and diamond collar. Head to Susannah Lovis for vintage finds such as Art Deco diamond drop earrings, and Carat* London for more contemporary ear jackets and cuffs.
Statement shades are an essential part of the summer season kit. Lean towards classic shapes for an occasion such as Royal Ascot – Chanel’s black frame Shield sunglasses echo the look of Jackie O.
Don’t let a lack of timepiece be the reason you miss any of the day’s most important races. Official Omega vintage store Somlo is remembering the 50th anniversary of the first moon landings with vintage editions of the Omega Speedmaster, the watch chosen by NASA for the astronauts to wear during the mission.
London has no shortage of historic buildings, but anyone who has walked through the legendary Burlington Arcade will agree that it is special. When the Samuel Ware-designed promenade running between Piccadilly and Burlington Gardens opened in 1819 “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand”, it heralded the birth of a new kind of retail experience and would go on to serve as inspiration for the modern shopping mall.
Two hundred years on, the Burlington Arcade retains an unmatched reputation for luxury, and to mark the landmark anniversary it was transformed by candlelight and flowers into a grand celebration for 120 guests.
Some of London’s most familiar names and faces gathered to celebrate the historic property, including Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York, Sir Michael Caine, Bill Wyman, Jo Malone CBE, Marissa Montgomery, Kate Rothschild, Lady Alice Manners and Deborah Lyons, as well as the Arcade’s boutique owners.
All guests were personally invited by Simon and Jamie Reuben who acquired the Burlington Arcade in May 2018. They were welcomed by a champagne reception and a performance by Stereo Twins, followed by a sumptuous three course dinner created by the Cellar Society.
Guests were served a starter of whipped goat’s curd, followed by fillet of Beef Wellington and fresh Kentish strawberries with cheesecake cream for dessert. The dinner was concluded by macarons from Ladurée and accompanied by a selection of fine wines from around the world.
The building of the Burlington Arcade was commissioned by Lord George Cavendish, Earl of Burlington and owner of the adjacent Burlington House, as a safe place for his wife and other genteel people to shop, though he was allegedly also fed up with neighbours throwing discarded oyster shells (the era’s most popular ‘fast food’) into his gardens. It opened in 1819 with 51 independent boutiques across 72 units, selling luxuries like hats, gloves and jewellery, with shopkeeper dwellings on the upper level, and had the first public electric lamps in Britain.
The Arcade’s storied history includes a number of catastrophic fires, prostitution and a poltergeist. It survived a Blitz bombing and a 1960s robbery in which six masked men drove through the Arcade in a Jaguar Mark X, making off with £35,000 worth of goods from the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Association.
From its perspective on fashion to fast cars and bars, the Gentleman’s Journal has become an authority on luxury living for high-net-worth individuals.
Now, the quarterly title and online platform has been brought to life in the form of a pop-up store at the Burlington Arcade.
Set across multiple floors, the boutique is home to an edit of must-haves curated by the magazine’s team of editors. Personal stylists are on hand to guide visitors around the offering which includes leather goods by Ettinger, shirts from Emma Willis, Sunspel tees, and tailor-made suits from Clements and Church.
Limited-edition prints from Unseen Art are also available to buy, in addition to grooming essentials by Czech & Speake and Bolin Webb.
A collection of Vertex watches can be found upstairs, while the lower level is occupied by a wine cellar curated by The Magnum Company, specialists in selling everything from gin to olive oil by the magnum.
“We want to build a real, valuable two-way connection between Gentleman’s Journal and our customers, with retail being the final pillar to the ever-growing brand,” says Editor-in-Chief Harry Jarman, who founded Gentleman’s Journal in 2012. “The team is looking to leverage our online learnings and deliver a personal, intimate experience for those that value human connection.
“We have such a strong following and presence through online, print, social, podcast and via our production studio, it’s now time to bring that to life and even closer to the consumer. Through in-store superior service, events and experiences we want to create a place where gentlemen can drop by, whether that’s for a glass of wine or of course to shop.”
Gentleman’s Journal Clubhouse members are entitled to a complimentary coffee or glass of Champagne as they browse. Find out more here.
We spoke to David Duggan about the key things to know if you’re buying a vintage watch for the first time.
David Duggan has been a leading figure in the world of vintage watches for over 35 years, and based in the Burlington Arcade since 2002.
Duggan was one of the first dealers to spot the potential in vintage watches. He launched the business with his late partner in business and life, Denise, who had previously managed a jewellery shop. “She gave me a bit of polish when we came down to London,” he says.
Today, he is supported by a longstanding team that has made the David Duggan business one of London’s most prestigious dealers in second-hand watches. We spoke to Duggan about the key things you need to know if you’re considering purchasing a vintage watch for the first time.
Educate yourself about the market
“I would go to a reputable auction house, such as Sotheby’s, Bonham’s, Christie’s. Ask for when their next wristwatch auction is taking place. That is a goldmine of information to start with. Discreetly, you go to the auction. It’s free. You can view the day before. You can look at all the watches. They’ve all got the estimates and the prices. Immediately, you’re learning, ‘One of those is £1,000 to £1,500.’ That’s a lovely way to learn.
“Then discreetly say, ‘If I were buying a second-hand Rolex or Patek Philippe, could you give me two or three names that you recommend?’ Auctioneers do know these people and hopefully they might go, ‘Well, there’s David Duggan. There’s so-and-so over there.’ Hopefully, there will be one of the three that you like. Then you start building up a relationship. You compare their prices.
“If you feel they’re being fair, ask them, ‘What sort of guarantee do you give?’ How did they receive the watch? Whenever we sell a watch, we put the movement number on the receipt, so it’s totally referable to us.”
Look at the dial
“Often the dials are messed about with. I love the original dial, even if it looks a bit dirty. It’s still very desirable with a wristwatch. If the watch is 50 years old and the dial is brand spanking new, it’s still saleable, but some people just want the original. The absolutely original colour. If a dial is a little bit dirty, don’t let it put you off.
“Make sure the movement is all original. How do you do that? Well, you’ve got to buy it off somebody who is reputable. You’ve got to have your receipts. You’ve got to have the numbers on there and you’ve got to have the one-year guarantee.”
Get to know your dealer
“You’ve got to buy off somebody reputable. If you think you’re getting a bargain off Joe Smith Corner Stand, you might be, but if you’re not, you could have all sorts of problems.
“We’re a member of the Horological Institute. This gives you confidence and people think well, ‘they’re members of this, they’re members of that. They’ve got a technician that worked at Patek Philippe for six years on Bond Street before he came here. I think I might buy a watch from them.’ These are things you want to know; the person’s reputation, the backup service they will give if the watch goes wrong, and the general feeling of integrity before you start making a commitment to purchase.”
Expect a good, authoritative repair guarantee
“If they give a one-year guarantee, that’s good. We give a one year guarantee. Upstairs, we have a great workshop. We are a Rolex-approved servicing centre. People say it’s one of the best workshops in London.”
Mistakes are expensive
“The only way I got my knowledge was by buying watches and learning. I made a lot of mistakes on the Portobello Road from 1985, on Saturday mornings I used to go down, and I was regarded as the mad northerner who liked to buy and I lost a lot of money. I remember at the end of 1986, Denise was pleading with me to come out of wristwatches. She said, ‘You’re losing too much money.’ I said, ‘But I’m learning. I’m learning.’ That’s how I learned quickly because it was expensive. You buy that watch and give £2,000 for it and sell it for £1,800 after a month, I won’t be buying another one of those for £2,000. The price is £1,800. You remembered. That’s how I learned.”
The right pieces will always appreciate in value
“The current craze – and I think it will carry on – is for steel Rolex sports watches and steel Patek Philippes. The Patek Philippe Nautilus is a watch that goes way above its retail value. The retail price is about £22,000, but if somebody brought [in a vintage one] today, we would pay a minimum of £30,000.
“The Rolex steel Daytona 1989, it retailed for about £1,250. Then I remember in 1990, the list [price] went to £2,700 and we used to pay £3,900. That premium has gone on since 1989. For 30 years. The latest one retails for £9,350 and today we would pay £16,000 for it. It’s a real phenomenon.”
Look at your dealer’s wrist
“This watch on my wrist, if you wanted this, I would offer it to you for sale. I wear a different watch probably every week. I like steel watches. I like leather strap watches. I love Rolex, Patek Philippe. I’m lucky in that what we sell, I really believe in. I don’t sell anything I don’t believe in. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise. That’s one of the joys of being independent. The stuff I sell is the stuff I like to wear.”
There’s something special about vintage
“There’s character, and with Rolex and Patek Philippe [watches], they are so well made, they will last. It’s like an old piece of furniture. Why do people want to sit in an old piece of furniture? Why do people like an old vintage car? It tells a story.”
Ultra-lightweight knits present a luxurious solution to the unpredictable British weather.
By Georgia Ridout
If there’s one fashion myth that should be debunked, it’s that cashmere only comes out in winter.
Despite extended daylight hours and the presence of Pimm’s in every pub, British weather is changeable to say the least, and on those chilly mornings before the sun has gained its strength or when the goosebumps come up as the sun goes down, linens and tees simply don’t cut it.
Enter summer cashmere, the ultra-lightweight counterpart to your winter knits. N.Peal’s versatile superfine pieces are made from the highest quality Mongolian cashmere and come in an array of colours to cover every summer occasion, be it a day out with the family or drinks party on the lawn.
A bright and boxy cashmere pocket tee with white linen and woven Manolo Blahnik flats would make for a chic but relaxed daytime outfit, while the printed floral silk back of a superfine V-neck jumper or tee is an elegant solution for the office.
Another benefit of summer cashmere is its texture. If you’ve caught a little too much sun, a soft cover-up could be just what you need to keep those rays away without irritating sensitive skin. Cashmere wraps are particularly useful when travelling through chilly airports and air-conditioned flights, yet they fold up small and can be stowed in a handbag when not in use.
N. Peal is not alone in creating cashmere for the warmer months. Barrie has used the fibre in its striped cashmere shorts, and blended with cotton in its on-trend bucket hat: the perfect beach day outfit when paired with a white linen tee and sandals. Head to House of Cashmere for stoles and shawls, and to Cashmirino for its gorgeous range of cashmere staples for children – we love its range of understated neutral hues.
Unpredictable temperatures? Cashmere has got you covered, literally.
‘Perfumes are a bit like people – when they are too perfect, you don’t want to have dinner with them’
By Tamara Abraham
When Frédéric Malle first launched his company in the late ‘90s, the fragrance world was in a rut. “The entire industry was trying to create fragrances that would be sort of one-size-fits-all,” he says. “They would please every kind of individual and were more driven by image than by smell. [Brands] created first of all an image, then the packaging, and then the perfume had to be as broad-reaching as possible. And so in that context, noses were really sort of left behind and taken for granted.”
Malle grew up around ‘noses’, the industry term for a perfumer. His grandfather, Serge Heftler-Louiche, founded Parfums Christian Dior, and was succeeded by Malle’s mother, Marie Christine, as art director, making Malle a third-generation perfumer. “My mother used to take me to the office when she didn’t know what to do with me, so I spent a few Thursdays drawing at Dior [at the time, children in France had Thursdays off school],” he says. “I was pointed towards beautiful things, and I was told people smell good, or a flower was smelling of something. So from a very, very early age, I was drawn towards the world of scent.”
It is this experience and heritage that allowed Malle to see an opportunity in an industry that was becoming increasingly commercialised. “My idea was to make perfumes for their smell and not for image,” he says. It’s a concept that sounds logical today, thanks in no small part to Malle’s influence, but at the time it was radical.
Malle put noses front and centre by founding a publishing house for perfumers: Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, leaning on relationships established during his time at prestigious perfume laboratory Roure Bertrand Dupont in Grasse. “The best perfumers in the industry were people I was close to because I’d been working with them for years,” he says. He gave them the means, guidance and freedom to develop original perfumes, then celebrated their talents by putting the creator’s name on the bottle. “[The idea was] to value them as artists, to show that they each have a different kind of writing, a different style.”
The process of developing a fragrance has remained much the same over the years, with Malle’s involvement being the only variable element. He admits it’s never particularly clear who has the initial idea for a new perfume, rather a constant conversation. “Either they come up with an idea, or I come up with an idea, but in fact they are so close that in all fairness, we never really know where the idea comes from,” he says.
The perfumer then creates a sort of ‘sketch’ of the scent, working with the raw materials “to see if we are talking the same language, and also to validate the idea to see if it’s worth suffering for or not.” From there, they begin to refine the concept, which can take up to a year.
It’s a delicate process, Malle says, as much about honing the formula as knowing when to stop. “The [goal] of those long months of fine-tuning is not to punish it too much, but to take the unwanted parts away,” he explains, adding that it’s about striking a balance between something “a bit sketchy” and absolute perfection. “Perfumes are a bit like people; when they are too perfect, you don’t want to have dinner with them.”
Malle does not believe in trends when it comes to perfume, more that there is a tendency for many in the industry to imitate the best sellers. He and his collaborators avoid this by sticking to three key rules: Following their instincts, staying timeless, and never following the prevailing trends. “Never use that background music that everybody uses because they are scared,” he says.
The result is a diverse offering of truly unique perfumes that, he believes, serves the consumer as an individual. “It gives our client the chance to choose a perfume that’s probably going to be very, very close to their personality instead of being like most brands the vision of one person, and it’s my way or the highway. It’s the opposite of that.”
There’s a saying in French that “shoemakers always wear the worst shoes,” but the analogy is not true of Malle, who has the pick of the Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle collection. “I think most of the men’s perfumes that we have are probably facets of my own style,” he says. He chooses perfumes according to the season or occasion, but his go-tos are Vetiver Extraordinaire and Geranium Pour Monsieur, both by Dominique Ropion, a celebrated perfumer with whom Malle has worked for over 25 years. His wife wears Ropion’s Portrait of a Lady.
Malle is also a keen supporter of young talent, creating Sale Gosse with Fanny Bal, Ropion’s apprentice, and Lipstick Rose with Ralf Schwieger, who he scouted at a competition for young perfumers.
It is Le Parfum de Thérèse, though, that is arguably the most famous perfume in the Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle canon, created by the legendary late perfumer Edmond Roudnitska, who worked with Malle’s grandfather at Dior in the 1950s. Roudnitska created the fragrance for his wife Thérèse, and only Thérèse, to wear. After Roudnitska’s death in 1996, Thérèse entrusted the formula to Malle.
It’s hard for Malle to pick favourites though. “In hindsight, I suppose that I’m more proud of the ones that have been celebrated by the industry, or because they redefined a type of perfume,” he reflects. “But I must say that each time I launch a perfume, although I’m just there to hold the perfumer’s hand, I’m wholeheartedly for it and completely immersed in it. Some are more successful than others, but when I launch, I’m always proud.”
Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle is located at 14 Burlington Arcade. Learn more about the boutique here.
Explore new products created in honour of the landmark occasion.
By Tamara Abraham
Two hundred years ago, the Burlington Arcade opened “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand, for the gratification of the public.” And gratify them it did. Over the past two centuries, it has endured fire, the Blitz and even a poltergeist, but its reputation as a destination for unique and covetable luxuries remains, today attracting over four million visitors per year.
In honour of the landmark anniversary, each of the Burlington Arcade’s retailers have created a limited-edition product. Here, we explore our favourites.
The Edinburgh-based luxury leather goods brand’s signature Midi Tote is a favourite with Lady Gaga and the Duchess of Sussex. Now it has been given a tri-colour makeover inspired by the Burlington Arcade Beadles’ uniforms in navy, ruby and vanilla. We love the bar-shaped closure which is inspired by the folios used by music students for sheet music. £475, available exclusively at Strathberry, 64-65 Burlington Arcade.
Hideaway Café – The Queen Cake
The recipe for Hideaway’s Queen Cake is almost 200 years old, adapted from an 1822 recipe book by Maria Eliza Rundell. Akin to a Victoria sponge, it has a raspberry and rosemary jam filling, as well as raisins soaked in jasmine tea. The pièce de résistance is its “ridiculously thick” buttercream topping, piped in the shape of a flower. Available until 31 March at Hideaway Café, 60-61 Burlington Arcade.
Perfumer Roja Dove has made his new Elixir fragrance available as a 100ml parfum strength Special Edition in honour of the Burlington Arcade’s anniversary. The unique marriage of florals (lily of the valley, geranium, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, heliotrope and violet) and fruit (raspberry and peach) is balanced by warm cedar, sandal and casmir woods, as well as cinnamon, vanilla, orris, orris sur cèdre, violet leaves and bergamot, plus notes of musk and ambrette in the base. £595, available exclusively at Roja Parfums, 51 Burlington Arcade.
Susannah Lovis – Garrard Art Deco platinum and diamond convertible tiara
Antique jeweller Susannah Lovis is celebrating the Burlington Arcade birthday with a rare Art Deco platinum and diamond convertible tiara by Garrard. This one-of-a-kind piece dates from 1925-1939 and transforms into a necklace, bracelet, pair of earrings and brooch. £79,000, available exclusively at Susannah Lovis, 50 Burlington Arcade.
Ladurée – personalised pistachio and vanilla macaron
The Parisian patisserie, which invented the macaron in the mid-19th century, combined two of its most enduringly popular flavours– pistachio and vanilla – for its Burlington Arcade 200th anniversary exclusive. The two-tone treat was then personalised with the Burlington Arcade logo. £2.95 each, available exclusively at Ladurée, 71-72 Burlington Arcade.
Atkinsons created a new eau de toilette in honour of the Burlington Arcade’s 200th anniversary – the Joss Flower. A beautifully balanced scent, it has top notes of incense and pink pepper, a rich heart of gardenia, ylang ylang and peach, and amber, sandalwood and patchouli in the dry down. Available exclusively at Atkinsons, 40-41 Burlington Arcade.
Church’s – limited-edition Shannon shoe
The heritage footwear brand has created a special version of its Shannon men’s shoe, a polished, lace-up Derby blucher. The limited-edition version comes in black and light ebony, with a special tag detail on the heel. Church’s shoes have been made by hand in Northampton since 1873, and each pair takes eight-to-ten weeks to make. £590, available exclusively at Church’s, 58-59 Burlington Arcade.
Keith Levett, of Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co, talks us through his process.
By Tamara Abraham
When Keith Levett, director at Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co, was offered the opportunity to create a new livery for the Burlington Arcade’s Beadles, he jumped at the chance. “I’d worked around [the Arcade] for over 20 years at that point. It’s unique in London, there is nothing like it,” he remembers, as he stitches buttons onto one of the new navy capes. “I felt that it was one of the few environments in London, as unique as it was, that we could really put the Beadles into something which was formal, very traditional and it wouldn’t look stupid or out of place.”
The Beadles have guarded the Burlington Arcade since it first opened to the public in 1819. They were originally recruited from Lord Cavendish’s regiment, the 10th Royal Hussars, and are the oldest and smallest police force in the world. “I had initially intended to go for something Edwardian-looking. But the boys wanted something that was more Victorian,” Levett says of his early conversations with the current Beadles. “They wanted to go the whole nine yards and have what is really a Victorian take on a late 18th century servant’s livery.”
Henry Poole & Co, which made suits for Dickens, Churchill and Disraeli, has a rich history when it comes to livery. It was the first tailor on Savile Row, and fast became the outfitter not only to the British aristocracy, but to their households too. In the days before the motor car, one’s horse, carriage and equipment were a signifier of wealth and status, and lavishly-attired footmen formed part of that package. Often the servants’ ensembles were worth more than those of their masters.
As a result of this work, the house has an extensive archive, and Levett used it to examine livery styles, methodology, combinations and buttons. He chose navy blue as a base colour, with the 10th Royal Hussars’ traditional cherry red for the lining. “You couldn’t have a light coloured livery worn every day in central London, because it would look filthy in no time, and it would look frankly ridiculous,” he says. “We wanted to keep away from grey; black [would be] far too sombre – although the capes were initially black – and green is just too Christmassy with cherry red.”
The buttons are silver, 19th century in style, and bear the Burlington Arcade initials. The trim for the capes and hats, also silver, has an oak leaf trim. “Oak leaves appear a lot on military uniforms and the reason for that is that when King Charles I escaped the Roundheads after The Battle of Worcester in 1652, and hid in Penderel’s estate, [he] hid in an oak tree with one of his officers,” Levett explains. “The Roundheads galloped under the tree and had absolutely no idea that the King was just up in the branches – so it’s a signal of allegiance to the crown.”
Of course, the garments must be highly functional too, given that they are to be worn on a daily basis. Instead of starched collars and bow ties, the Beadles will wear more modern – and comfortable – soft collars and regular ties. “We have to be mindful of the fact that they are going to be out in fairly inclement weather a lot of the time, so the capes have to be both warm and serviceable,” says Levett. He gestures to the hem of the cape he’s working on: “This woven cloth [is] so tightly woven that it does not fray, [and] because you’ve got a raw edge, it hangs beautifully, it drapes and looks absolutely gorgeous. If we turned the hem under it would be very bulky, even if it’s pressed, and wouldn’t drop right.”
Every cape is made bespoke for each individual Beadle by Henry Poole & Co. “These are cut in a very 20th century way – the shoulder line is very 20th century, but the style of ornamentation sits sort of mid-19th century,” Levett says. “Those will be expected, even with very hard service wear and pollution, we’ll expect those to last 10 years.” The company makes the entire livery for the Senior Beadle, Mark Lord; the manufacture of rest of the team’s uniforms is executed by Samuel Brothers Ltd.
As the Burlington Arcade marks 200 years since it first opened to the public, it is fitting that the Beadles’ new liveries are reflective of the environment for which they were designed: Luxurious, steeped in heritage, yet relevant in 2019. They are, Levett says, anything but pastiche. “If you went back a hundred years, people would not look at them and think they were a shabby imitation.”