Tudor Rose Swim Shorts
Floral Emblems from Swim and Co.Silver and Gold, the Norman Hartnell autobiography, is a great read. Try and find the special edition that's bound in buckram and blocked in gold leaf.
If Norman was as charming in real life as his written voice, he must have been such delightful company. The book describes how, from humble beginnings, he set up his fashion house and became the Queen's dressmaker. It was clear that he adored the Queen (and country) and was very grateful for the opportunities afforded to him.
Black does not appear in the rainbow of hopeDeliberating on what to design for the Queen to visit bombed sites during the war, Norman dismissed the idea of funereal black: 'In black? Black does not appear in the rainbow of hope.'
The book is packed with illustrations of Norman's intricate designs. He viewed simplicity as 'the death of the soul'. He ends the book with the Queen's Coronation in 1953, where the coronation gown he designed takes centre stage. The gown incorporated the floral emblems of the home nations, including the English Tudor rose.
Under slightly less grandiose circumstances, I too sport an approximation of the Tudor rose on these swim shorts from our dear Spanish friends at Swim and Co. Remember them from those lovely green paisley shorts from last summer?
Francisco, our chum from Swim and Co. got in touch to let me know that they had some new designs in for the summer, including the Tudor Rose.
Well it had to be those.
Sported by the English rugby teamThe Tudor rose is the floral heraldic symbol of England — sported by the English rugby team, of course, and tattooed proudly on the forearms of many shaven-headed English lads. The symbol was adapted from a conjoining of the white rose of the House of York and the red rose of the the House of Lancaster.
The shorts are made in Madrid, and are light and comfortable. They perform well in and out of the water. You can get them online, but they are also stocked in some great shops in our two favourite Spanish cities. You will find Swim and Co. in Harcher of Oviedo, and in the equally appealing Sastrería Langa of Madrid. (Take a look at their inspiring galeria).
I'm itching to get back over to Madrid again. In terms of classic and conservative menswear, Madrid really is one of the best-dressed cities in Europe, which by extension means it is one of the most civilised. (Though you should to stick near to the Salamanca district). It's a simple corollary. That's all she wrote.