Suit Up!: Made to Measure and à la Marlene
As a freelance consultant, I have a lot of irons in the fire. The biggest hunk of metal I’ve got buried in the coals right now belongs to Billy Reid, the Alabama-based fashion designer whose team I joined part-time last spring. I do a variety of things for the company, though my main job is creating content for the Billy Reid blog, the Journal.
One of the reasons I was originally excited about the Billy gig was that it allows me to hire photographers that I love (we use only original photography on the Journal) and tap my old New York fashion-world contacts to help me with the storytelling—which has so far translated as convincing my fanciest friends to wear, and then carry on about, great clothes. Not bad work if you can get it.
Yesterday, my dear pal Laura Brown (of Harper’s Bazaar) made her third appearance on the Journal. Last year, I drafted her to be a couture guinea pig and sent her through the process of having a suit made through Billy’s custom clothing division, called Made to Measure.
Four months, three boozy fittings, and a few scant yards of eleven-ounce navy cashmere-blended wool from Holland & Sherry later, LB is ready to head into fashion week wearing a double-breasted, wide-legged, Dietrich-inspired suit made to her exact specifications.
Last Saturday, Laura and I, as well as a team from Billy Reid (including Brandon Capps, the company’s Made to Measure specialist, who shepherded her through the process and co-starred in the Journal posts that described it), met up in Carroll Gardens to do a small suit shoot. Our chosen location: Seersucker, one of three Smith Street restaurants belonging to our mutual friends Kerry Diamond, editor of Cherry Bombe, and her longtime beau, chef Rob Newton. The photographer was Chad Davis, a friend of mine from Nashville, where we overlapped during stints working for Imogene + Willie.
Some outtakes from the shoot are here; enjoy an edited set of shots, and a Q&A with Laura about her first experience ordering custom clothing, on the Journal, where we post new features twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Photos: Chad Davis for Billy Reid