The silk carnation buttonhole
We are incredibly proud to call Alex Mendham one of our boutonnière ambassadors. The British singer, saxophonist and frontman of Alex Mendham & His Orchestra dedicates his work to dance band music from the 1920s to 1940s. They perform regularly f.e. at London’s Savoy Hotel, the Burgh Island Hotel, on BBC Radio and aboard the luxurious ocean liner Queen Mary 2.
When Alex recently shared a short vintage style video with us, we were delighted to see him wear one of our silk boutonnières. It goes to show how much of an impact a tiny silk flower can have on the entire appearance of a man. Hence, we are excited to pass on the opportunity and provide you with an intimate glimpse at Alex preparing for an imaginary show at the London Palladium. Remember, you can't perform without a Herr von Welt boutonnière!
Alex Mendham answers Proust’s Questionnaire
In order for you to learn a bit more about his persona, we asked Alex Mendham to answer a questionnaire popularised – but not invented – by the French essayist and novelist Marcel Proust. Based on a parlour game, the intention is for the respondents to reveal their true nature by answering some rather personal questions. Since the game was very popular during the 19th and early 20th century, Alex is in great company – Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and even Karl Marx have participated in it. Let’s raise the curtain:
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Enjoying fine food and wine, overlooking the sea without a care in the world.
Which living person do you most admire?
Who are your favorite musicians?
Bix Beiderbecke, Erik Satie, Bing Crosby
What is your greatest extravagance?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
They all have their place but I believe temperance can occasionally be abandoned.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I was once told I had a Roman nose, and that it roamed all over my face. When I was a teenager I really cared a lot about how I look but now I've come to terms it.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Perfect. Really in life nothing is ever perfect, which itself is perfect.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Which talent would you most like to have?
I'd love to be able to play the piano better.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making people happy through the power of music.
What is your most treasured possession?
An original band stand from 1930s bandleader Lew Stone.
What is your favorite occupation?
Either bandleader or international man of mystery.
Who are your heroes in real life and fiction?
Lew Stone, Hercule Poirot, Dennis Potter
What is your greatest regret?
Not taking time to live in the moment and enjoying what I have.
What is your motto?
Carpe Diem. Think big, be big.
The Alex Mendham Boutonnière
Now that we have gotten a glimpse of Alex’s innermost feelings, let’s move on to outer appearances. Along with his signature hair style, dinner jacket or tailcoat, silk buttonholes – especially carnations – are an integral part of Alex’s look. In addition to our classic, medium-sized white and red carnation silk boutonnières, we have developed an exclusive rendition in collaboration with Alex. The Alex Mendham Carnation fulfils his personal wishes and shines bright whenever he steps in front of the audience. Brightly coloured by hand along the patels’ rims is what makes this carnation so formidable. It contrasts wonderfully with Alex’s black dinner jackets and even serves as a finishing touch to a white mess jacket. Be warned, it might even distract you from the sheer beauty of his music. Hence, do yourself a favour and enjoy his music on vinyl or CD if you have missed the opportunity to visit his live performances. While indulging in the music, you might want to check out our silk boutonnière. Herr von Welt is not only the official purveyor of silk buttonholes to Alex Mendham & His Orchestra, we also provide Alex with our handmade braces.
Author: Andreas Thenhaus
Translation: Yves Stork
Photos: Alex Mendham, Roger Robles