Ultimate Cars, Watches & Hi Fi S02 ep8 : Rowland lowe-McKenzie, Turnbull & Asser Fashion, [?]

Interview with Rowland Lowe-McKenzie

Shirtmakers to James Bond, [& Prince Charles, Wlliam & Harry]. Ever since opening their doors in 1885 It has been our privilege to dress royalty, world leaders, stars of the entertainment world, captains of industry and particularly any customer who appreciates a unique product made to the highest standards of quality.


RL: With Casino Royale we’d been approached to do the costumes, particularly the shirts and the
bow ties for the movie. We had an idea of who was going to play the role, because obviously we’d
seen the six actors who were potentially going to be, they’d been chasing for the part.

??: Were they brought in here to suit up?

RL: Each actor was brought in individually. We measured them up and then we made the sample
shirt obviously for the tests. Obviously when we found out that Daniel had won we were very
pleased as a well known actor, but in between starting the movie he’d obviously pumped up in the
gym quite substantially I mean to the point where his neck size went up about an inch and a half.

??: You're joking, that much!

RL: It was phenomenal. So all the shirts we sent out to the Bahamas, thinking everything was okay
and suddenly we got this mad phone call from the costume director, Lindy Hemmings, saying the
shirts don’t fit you know, it’s just, so we had to literally fly over to the Bahamas, get one of the
guys to remeasure him, get all the information back to London and took the shirt back to him,
literally within a matter of days, turn the shirts around for filming so this is part and parcel of the
job. Also, whilst he was doing his TV junkets, I mean there were literally, his design associate or
his stylist phoned me up in a mad panic and said look, we cannot wash his shirts quickly enough,
all the TV junkets for, so literally we produced three bespoked shirts in 24 hours, I mean the poor
ladies at the shirt factory were literally burning the midnight sewing machine oil, just for him and I
think it was so wonderful because we received, or I received a personal Christmas card thanking us
and thanking the whole company really for all the hard work.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

RL: The shot in the shower where he is with Vespa so the blood splattered, we are desperate, we’d
love to get a hold of that shirt, but obviously because of the fire at Pinewood, the whole studio
burnt down so all of that was lost, we were hoping to get that one particularly for the archive
because it’s such a cool kind of viniette shot.

RL: Oh, Pearce, very, very charming, very I mean I’m a huge Pearce fan. I sort of grew up
watching him as Bond, so for me he’s, he was the quintessential Bond of my era, particularly in the
sort of like sort of 80’s, 90’s. Daniel is just incredible.

??: They’re so different.

RL: They are. I mean their personalities are very different. I think it was with Pearce he’s very
suave, debonair, with Daniel they chose an actor I think who was it was like taking a rough
diamond and just honing off the edges, so that you get that perfect gem underneath. The emphasis
was on returning back to the books, looking at James Bond as the original character and that’s why
they actually went out of their way to source so many of the original companies who, who had an
association or were actually in the books themselves.

RL: The association really started with Dr No. Both ___ Brockley and the then director, Terence
Young, both shopped at Turnbull & Asser, and it was really Terence Young who bought Sean
Connery in to German Street and to Saville Row to show him the kind of style that Bond would
have had. It was very much that suave debonair very English dapper look, that that I think he
associated with, or associated that Bond should look like and hence the association, I mean we’ve
done, we’ve dressed every single James Bond. Of the movies we know that we’ve done at least 19
of them, or had some sort of association with 19 of them.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

Grant was a regular customer of ours, we’ve actually got a very rare autograph, signature by him
which he never ever, ever autographed anything.

RL: In New York particularly, we have a huge sort of rap fan club. Farrel Williams has shopped
here, recently which was immensely kind and it’s so across the board we have wonderful people
like Ian Bostrich the tenor, to the other extreme of JC and Farrel Williams, so it’s an absolutely
really across the board.

RL: We’ve been here for well over 100 years it is just a nation store. Absolutely I mean we moved
into this spot in 1903.

??: Stephen still dresses Prince Charles?

Jewellery Theatre Elements

RL: Very much so, we still obviously he holds the Royal Warrant for his Royal Highness the
Prince of Wales and both Harry and William do you know buy products or have products from us.

??: Who looks after Harry and William?

RL: The same, absolutely.

RL: I’ve been asked to assist in some of the weirdest, weirdest, weirdest things in the world. Some
fabric for a well known celebrity for their funeral, for the coffin. Gentleman who had a slight
problem with regard to buying boxer shorts. He let it be known by actually showing the staff the
problem, which was quite extraordinary so we had to make very, very extra long boxer shorts for

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

RL: One of my favourites was the story about Sammy Davis Junior and Frank Sinatra coming into
the shop with guns.

??: Seriously!

RL: They came in and they were literally, they walked in and said you know, where the hell are
my shirts! And the shop staff all actually thought they were real guns and he literally fell to the
floor. We have on record that they definitely came in with the guns and threatened to shoot the
staff because the shirts weren’t ready.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Rowland Low- McKenzie, Turnbull & Asser Fashion, ????