You Don’t Have to Dress Up for the Goodwood Revival: But it Helps!
For those of you that have never attended the Goodwood Revival, let me give you a word or two of advice; dress up!
You see, the The Revival is the celebration of the re-opening of the Goodwood race circuit following it’s closure in the wake of the near fatal motor racing crash involving Stirling Moss at the circuit in 1962. And what better way to celebrate it’s resurrection, and, moreover, it’s heyday, than to dress the circuit like a film set during Hollywood’s golden age and have us, the attendees, the visitors, the guests and the motor racing fanatics alike dress in a style that was befitting of attendees before it’s closure, marvellous!
This nostalgic stroll down memory lane takes in each and every style and period you can imagine; Mods, Rockers, Teddy Boys, Land Girls, Flapper Dresses, Oxford Bags, Gulf pit overalls (made famous by Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans) and, of course, tweeds abound, in every colour, cut and incarnation. Most will enjoy dusting off their vintage garments to wear with pride, and why not as they have almost certainly been tailor made and, ergo, will have stood the test of time – and if you cannot put your hand to an inherited or salvaged number, Goodwood even offer Revival Workshops to assist you in making your own vintage ensemble.
But there are a few who have come to my attention over the years at the Revival, who are not dressed in vintage, but who wear their clothes with as much pride, and panache as the legends of the silver screen, and who look so elegant and so effortlessly stylish, as if to have never been affected by the vagaries of fashion over the years; it’s as if tailor made clothing, and sartorial etiquette, were never consigned to the back of their wardrobes. These immaculate creatures travel from afar, although most I have met have travelled from the Netherlands and Germany, and can be found perusing the prized motor cars at the Bonhams tent ahead of the renowned auction on the Sunday.
Blighty may have been enjoying a sartorial renaissance of late, not that you’d know it, given the reservations of some of my patrons. For it would seem that are still dogged by our fear of our sartorial past (the 1980’s specifically) which prevents us from creating a look all our own, or from being experimental, or indeed from wearing clothes which actually look good on us. What is particularly ironic is that those styles which are cited by the fearful as being outmoded, are those which are actually back with a vengeance; double breasted suits and blazer and three piece suits, albeit closer cut, in an array of wonderful British and Italian cloths, and worn with the latest incarnations from British shoemakers also enjoying a renaissance; Cheaney, Grenson and Barker to name a few, and adorned with the best in handmade ties and pocket squares. But it comes as little surprise to me that the most creative of Brown in Town commissions are oft of a vintage appeal. Not that I don’t appreciate vintage clothing, as I most certainly do – I was raised on rock n roll and dressed the part for a large part of my teenage years, quiff included. There is, of course, the skintight-look as favoured by the American version of James Bond in the shape of Tom Ford’s spray-on suits for Daniel Craig; but the less said about them the better.
So, whether vintage is your thing or not, do not be fooled into thinking that this will be like the last fancy dress party that you attended, the one where you were the only person to have made an effort. On the contrary, not dressing will leave you feeling much the same as that fancy dress party did; sticking out like a slick tyre in wet weather!