Celebrating not only style but the path taken : A journey in photography

Jun 12, 2014

In celebrating the opening of our boutique in the Royal Opera Arcade we  wanted to highlight individuals who inspired us, not only through their unique look but just as notably, the path they took to become a style individual. The essence of our approach was to give life to the ‘made in’ tag.  Too often we fail to look at what it means to be ‘made in somewhere’.

We wanted to unveil the story behind the concept; the artisans whose skill crafted the material and whose history informed the style.The pictures were taken by celebrated photographer Reme Campos, whose photography has featured in the National Portrait Gallery amongst other major commissions.The temp exhibition is still to be seen at Monsieur London store, 17 Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, SW1Y 4AE.

 Here are their stories ……

Ray Frensham: Professional Dandy

Ray is a born rule-breaker from his first days wearing suits and sporting a bow tie on campus (who denounced him as "an anarchist"). He carries his leather diary from Sweden, a 1935 Bakelite fountain pen he found in Berlin on he Weinachtsmarkt and the keys to his condo in Saint Augustine, Florida. Collectively, they describe the international journey of his life in music, television, screenwriting and designing menswear -  the anchor that secures him. Yes, London is his base amongst the street life of this vibrant capital and its European neighbours, but the keys to his condo open the alternative world of the oldest continuously established European settlement in the USA where he sits at a coffee shop or outside his favourite spot (Hippo Lollies Café), watching the passers-by and residents dressed as conquistadors or colonials, Victorians or pirates - a Living History tableau. 

It gives him sunny inspiration, humour and the joy of contemplation. His current ambition in life? To do absolutely nothing.

Jonathan Daniel Pryce: Street Photographer- Founder of GarconJon

Jonathan's beautiful Kodak Coloursnap 35, a gift from his grandfather, enshrines his life journey. With this first camera came the tentative steps that led to a passion – searching out interesting people in order to celebrate their essence in a captured moment. Inspired by the constant support of Martin Belk, (author of New York memoir Pretty Broken Punks), a constant striving to improve from those first days led to the vital moment when an interest became a career, a profession and, ultimately and beautifully, a life.

Shaun Gordon: Tie Maker

The products of an artisan have their own journey, Shaun presents on a plate the tie that he deconstructed as the first step to understand its path to beauty.  By reading its story he learned to create his own ties that would add timbre to an outfit and express the individuality of its wearer.  With Shaun’s sartorial style and razor sharp dress sense it is hardly surprising that his journey has led him proudly to the description: “not your average tie maker”.

Ray Kolodny and Andre Schapps: Musicians.

In a journey that has taken twists and turns, Ray and Andre carry the buttons that they should have dropped behind them to mark the path that has brought them to Notting Hill, our own village within a City.  Here they celebrate in their music and in their wonderful personal style old London blended with new London: a little bit of chaos, a whole lot of elegance, all carried with an unmistakeable attitude.  In fact, even with no buttons dropped, their journey is marked by the wonderful bond that has grown along the way and that so visibly unites them in their beautiful individuality

David Evans – Blogger: Grey Fox

“We all appreciate the power of good dressing but the details can often elude us”.  David's words are illustrated by his beautiful fox-engraved golden buttons from Benson and Clegg that were newly placed on his classic double breasted navy blazer and that represent his journey from a successful career as a lawyer to becoming in 2011 the Grey Fox, the source of style wisdom for the under-served over-40's.  By encouraging the expression of individuality and personality, David reminds us that life's journey is continuing and that elegance is not the preserve of any single group.

Francis Taloen – Owner Graffik Gallery- We Love Neon

Over the past five years Graffik Gallery has built a reputation for launching new artists to breathtaking new heights and as such have exclusivity for commission work and large-scale projects. Art is what they do. As the founder Francis not only exhibits urban and street art but also unearths people’s creative ability by running graffiti group master classes every Saturday. And because one passion only is never enough, he has recently started a neon design venture with his partner Vestalia.

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