House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

William Yeoward

From Sussex photo-shoot to London party: the designer’s busy day

William Yeoward

September 23 2011
William Yeoward

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

It’s always a joy when there’s a birthday to celebrate in the company, and today is special as it’s my very long-suffering MD, Sam Kingcome’s, big day. Given my enthusiasm for parties, I decide that a breakfast is in order, so 10 of us gather for a feast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs. I think life can go by very fast, and one means to celebrate things and often forgets.

This is all out of the way in time for me to put together the shoot for my January fabric launch. Rather like birthdays, seasons come upon one so quickly and it seems that I’ve just folded up my Patmos linens to find that I’m thinking of spring. I work with my friend, Tricia Guild, who distributes my fabric line through her company, Designers Guild. It’s been a long and happy association, as I worked for Tricia some 25 years ago. She, together with her brother Simon, has encouraged me greatly in working in the textile field and they ensure that the collections are cohesive and commercial. Without their talents I would find this work much more complicated! I value their trust.

This all being completed, we’re off to Sussex to shoot the collection in a great old farmhouse. We carefully put together each of the looks and colour blocks, and then my friend Toby Lorford of Lorfords Antiques in Tetbury sweetly turns up with images of his latest antique stock. We pore over the ravishing pieces and select things with which to accessorise the rooms we will photograph. Toby has been helping me for some time now and is a most reliable and kindly soul.

I break for a quick telephone call to my American furniture licensee, with whom I’m working on selling William Yeoward Furniture in the US. So far we are represented in New York, Washington DC, Dallas (where I love to line dance!) and Atlanta, with, we hope, more to come. I enjoy working with Jobi Blachy as he’s energetic and feisty and that’s good. It keeps me focused.

Now it’s time to visit my tailor, as I grandly call him! A favourite new find is Trunk Clothiers in Chiltern Street, London W1, owned and run by Mats Klingberg who has a great talent for spotting the smaller Italian brands that I particularly like. When I go shopping I like to buy a few pieces for the season together, so I have begun to rely on Hugo at Trunk to stop me making myself look as if I’m off to the pantomime. It’s hard to find stores like Trunk and in a few weeks they will be one year old. Happy birthday, Trunk! You’re doing a great job.

As usual I want to take everything away and wear it all at once, but jackets and trousers need a nip and tuck, so I’ll have to be patient.

In the evening I’m off to Hyde Park to the World of Interiors party, another industry event that happens in September every year. Rupert Thomas, the hugely talented and razor-sharp editor of the magazine, always throws a good mix together so I usually find myself enjoying it very much. I gather up a couple of friends and we have a quiet bite at The Bangkok, a Thai eatery in Bute Street that’s been there for as long as I can remember.

My mind wanders on the way home; I ponder how ripe my quinces should be before I make them into jelly. I’m also working on a fund-raiser for Kids Company, a charity that I’ve been introduced to by my good friend Nina Campbell. I’ve always lots of projects apart from my work.

But for now, it’s getting ready for a very busy Friday and then quickly to sleep.

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