Thursday, December 24, 2015

Carnaby Street comes to Chicago - The Kinks' Dave Davies at Blank Label - 2013

This is a post that originally appeared on another site in November 2013
Mikhema, Dave Davies and Paul Arnow

Mikhema, Dave Davies and Paul Arnow look at shirt fabric swatches
Kinks members Pete Quaife and Dave Davies
 November 2013

Dave Davies stopped by the Blank Label showroom in Chicago for some custom shirts for his current USA tour.  Dapper and fresh faced Paul Arnow and his charming assistant Mikhema assisted as Dave was fitted for some nehru collared shirts and a sharp suit. Dave's son filmmaker Martin Davies filmed the fitting as well. Paul was efficient like a young Mad Men executive as he took Dave's measurements and explained the line's craftsmanship.  

Dave Davies performing at Bergen Pac 2013 in an embroidered Indian shirt - photo by Kathleen Treubig

Paul Arnow and Dave Davies being filmed by Martin Davies photo by Rebecca Wilson
During the Kinks' early days in the swinging sixties, Dave had many custom suit jackets and boots made that influenced mod fashion and menswear. He enjoyed talking about his favorite shops of yesteryear from Carnaby Street in London such as Lord John, John Stephen, Biba where a girlfriend Kim had worked, and Granny Takes a Trip. He reminisced about checking out fashions with Kinks bass player Pete Quaife back then and meeting folks like DJ Mike Quinn. 

Dave Davies in his Charles II style coat custom made at Bermans theatrical ware of London

The Blank Label staff enjoyed checking out Dave's custom tailored navy blue silk stage shirt which had been hand embroidered in India. He explained to Paul how he had always had his stagewear altered.  Back in the sixties Dave had tailors make the bottom part of his jackets hemmed to part like an upside down V to give them a different look.  Paul noted that a detail like that would be more comfortable for sitting down and movement in general. Dave talked about his famous Charles II look in a jacket he had custom made at Bermans of London. He had it altered with lowered pockets that had buttons added and tightened sleeves and shoulders. He kept all the gold braid embroidery!
Shirt designed by Dave Davies

The fabric swatch selection was exquisite. Dave chose a dark slate blue for a suit and purple lining. For a shirt he chose a dark navy/black and soft indigo.

Shirt designed by Dave Davies
He also explained how he liked 3/4 length sleeves that could be moved up and down while playing guitar.  Paul thoughtfully adjusted Dave's tailoring on his left arm fitting to accomodate for this.  Little details like this make menswear a bit like couture!  Can't wait to see Dave's new Blank Label wardrobe when it arrives!

Dave in the center in all of his Carnaby Street glory

1 comment:

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