Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Inside the Duke of Windsor's wardrobe

”I was in fact produced as a leader of fashion, with the clothiers as my showmen and the world as my audience.” The Duke of Windsor.

Following on quite nicely from my earlier post on Prince Charles are these wonderful images which offer a sneak peek inside the wardrobe of the most obvious regal style icon, the Duke of Windsor. Regular readers will know that I am somewhat obsessed with wardrobes ever since I undertook the mammoth task or organsing my sorry excuse for that particular piece of furniture. I recently stumbled across a great piece on the Duke Of Windsor written by JP over on Black Watch which uses images and quotes from a number of sources covering the Sotheby's auction of his wardrobe in 1998.

”Not since his forebear King George IV in the 1820’s had a monarch lavished so much care and expense on his own personal appearance,” Ms. Taylor, the Sotheby’s specialist who spent seven years preparing for this sale. ” He bought clothes of the finest quality and expected them to last a lifetime, which in fairness, many of them did.” The Duke used the same tailor, Scholte of Savile Row in London, to make his jackets from 1919 to 1959.

The Duke’s wardrobe spans 60 years, because he never lost his trim figure (his waist went from 29 inches to 31 inches over a half century) and he certainly championed the art of wardrobe building. A 1960 inventory of the Duke of Windsor’s closet recorded fifteen evening suits, fifty five lounge suits and three formal suits (with two pairs of trousers for each), along with more than one hundred pairs of shoes including a superb collection of velvet slippers by Peal & Co.

Diana Vreeland, the former editor of Vogue, had strong views about the Duke. ''Did he have style?'' Vreeland once asked rhetorically. ''The Duke of Windsor had style in every buckle on his kilt, every check of his country suits.''

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