Saturday, 31 October 2009

A Modern Dandy

Being a dandy isn't all that it is cracked up to be, as Beau Brummel certainly knew. All that rushing around looking for women who could give his linen 'good country washing', not to mention searching for champagne with which to have his boots polished. I thought this yesterday morning in my local laundry, where I met Esguire's editor in chief, Jeremy Langmead (the closest London has to a modern dandy) delivering his shirts to the Estonian laundress who remained admirably impassive as he explained in the best Beau manner how six shirts were to be washed and four to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaned? Shirts? 'Oh,' he explained, 'They have a silk lining on the inside front, so can't be washed.' Well done, Lanvin, for making life easier for a working boy.

Jeremy looked tired. 'I had dinner last night with Mary Portus,' he explained. 'She's very energetic.' I know it. Mary was one of London's most dynamic PRs before she became Mary Queen of Shops, TV star extraordinaire, and started ruthlessly working her brisk retail magic, smiling encouragingly at the cameras as lifetimes of retail belief are swept away and the Mary Magic put in their place. No wonder Jeremy seemed a touch fragile at 9.30 in the morning.

Meetings, lunch and then the perfect way to end the week, in Claridges, having tea and champagne with Dolly Jones, editor of, meant that I was too tired to go to the sea last night so I am off this morning.

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