Bruce Oldfield in his Studio.
Meet a pillar of British fashion, make that international fashion, who dresses royalty of Hollywood as well as the monarchy of the British Empire and he goes by the name of Bruce Oldfield. For the more uninformed amongst us, here is a very brief history:
He was a graduate of St. Martins and he opened the door for so many designers who came after him. He was a prodigy discovered by Jean Rosenberg or Gerry Stutz (my guess) of Henri Bendel by age 25 and soon he was an internationally recognized designer with retail outlets all over the world. At 28 he was designing and offering haute couture and by 34 he opened his eponymous shop on Beauchamp Place in London. By 40 he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his contribution to fashion. Not bad for any designer??
Unquestionably he is a pillar of fashion and a survivor of the fashion media machine who remains healthfully in business for those women of discerning taste who truly want to be able to wear exquisitely made and designed clothes of timeless style. His bridal gowns are those of fantasy and chic and again, only for those savvy enough to seek out apparel that is steeped in the traditions and fine craftsmanship of high fashion. Yet he is one of the British school who remain coveted by those collecting vintage fashion.
Today we are blessed and fortunate enough to have convinced Mr. Oldfield to share some of his thoughts, opinions and his personal world with us…. so please welcome him to the fold!
Jeffrey Felner: What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
Bruce Oldfield: A very old and distressed Issey Miyake navy linen shirt.
What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships?
A good grip on reality
What is your bliss?
Playing the piano, my dogs sleeping by my feet
What is your guilty secret?
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?
Owning a business for forty years
What is on your bedside table right now?
My iPad, my kindle and a pile of half-read books
What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
Learn your craft or find a very rich sugar daddy
What is the best advice you ever received?
Don’t let the bastards get you down
In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
If you could select a dream project, what would it be?
Be financed to produce a top end ready-to wear collection to sell internationally, that didn’t require my presence to facilitate sales.
If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
I know you would prefer me to choose ghastly show-offs like Dorothy Parker and Oscar Wilde, but I think I’d prefer HM the Queen, Marilyn Monroe, president Obama and Fred Astaire
What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
I should be more sociable. Less reclusive
What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
I don’t buy fashion magazines. I do have a kindle which is brilliant but I still prefer a hardback book
Do you have a dream collaborator?
No…..part of me wants to say Pierre Berge ….
Have you ever wanted to just throw in the towel and why?
No, there’s still plenty to do...
(L) Princess Diana (wearing Bruce Oldfield), Bruce Oldfield, and Joan Collins, 1985. (R) Diana in Bruce Oldfield.
(L) Alva Chinn for Bruce Oldfield, 1976. (R) Billie Blair for Bruce Oldfield, Spring 1974, Photo by Pierre Schermann.
Bruce Oldfield, 1995.
Jerry Hall and Marie Helvin for Bruce Oldfield.
Diana in Bruce Oldfield.
Bridal Gowns by Bruce Oldfield.
(L) Kim Kardashian & (R) Helen Mirren in Bruce Oldfield.