Michael Barrymore From Riches to Rags and Back Again
When it comes to launching a new clothing label, one of the most important things is the launch party. Something that can easily go amazingly well, or horribly wrong, despite months of planning. Walking along Regent Street in London at 6pm on a cold, wet, dark September evening, it suddenly hit me how important this day was for not only me, but the fashion industry as a whole. A remarkable individual was about to launch a fantastic clothing brand in a stunning location. Approaching the prestigious Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, I was expecting a media frenzy, paparazzi across the street and important fashion icons buzzing around before making their way to the venue. Instead, I was met by a doorman and a receptionist, who quietly informed me of the directions to the downstairs, low key gallery area where the event was to take place. I made my way down, admiring the carpet, perfectly on time to be met by catering staff still setting up for the night and a few friends of Michael Barrymore’s – the man behind the ‘Made by Dave’ brand. Slowly and carefully, guests started to appear, all of whom I soon came to realise were friends or direct connections to Mr. Barrymore, setting the scene for a perfectly personal and intimate evening with the man and his friends.
The room itself was grand, with a beautiful curving staircase to one end, and the new Made by Dave collection on display at the other, connected by old 19th century portraits. I took my time to browse through the collection of inoffensive menswear before meeting the designers, the manufacturers and finally, Michael Barrymore himself.
Making a quiet entrance, wearing shoes from his own label, there in front of me was a man of mystery. A life history of fame to what he calls “a gap decade” following numerous scandals involving drugs, alcohol and even a fatality, the incredibly private man informally welcomed his guests with the history of ‘Made by Dave’.
Mady By Dave – The Origins
‘Made by Dave’ is an incredibly small, personal label that takes Men’s fashion to the days of the Haberdasheries. Delicately put together, the collection revealed at its launch gave an insight into not only the upcoming trends in Men’s style and fashion, but into the mind of Michael Barrymore.The brand is a 100% British label, and taking the very tongue-in-cheek approach needed to truly capture its intimacy, it represents an upcoming era in the world of Men’s Fashion.
Openly put, he explained the story: “My dog, Dave, had the habit of chewing the bottoms of my trousers and when one of my friends came to ask me where I got them, I told him in a glib statement, “oh they were made by Dave”. The same thing happened with my shirt a little while later, “made by Dave”, and it stuck.” This gave him the inspiration to find a new start for himself through the world of fashion, and led him on a journey like no other. The label was three years in the making, and as one close friend of his told me, “I had no idea how much goes in to it – from the materials to the intricate details of the buttonholes, Michael really put his attention and care in to it.” And it shows.
Made by Dave – The Collection
The collection itself offers a wide range of both formal and casual clothing. From canvas shoes to shirts and a velvet jacket. Made by Dave is a high end, quality-focused, British name that can be worn on any occasion. Made by Dave is a truly unique brand for fashion-conscious Men who want to both look and feel good, without having to deal with the Gucci-level price tags. Every stage is kept close to the man behind it all, and its intimacy will always reflect in its quality of garments. And as for Michael, he’s doing well.
Passion, Intimacy and Individuality
Michael explained, “you’ve got to put the passion in to it” – and that is where Made by Dave comes from. Unlike many make it out to seem, this is not his try at regaining his reputation as a clean, healthy celebrity; nor is it a way of making money. His true intention of letting out his creativity is reflected in the quality of material and care put in to the garments. Currently offering only a limited number of each item based on less than minimum stock orders, the label presents a unique insight into the mind of an individual slaughtered by the media. Whose life went from fame and riches to nothing and who spent three years building it back up to where he is now. His first appearance since his downfall, showing himself to be a strong, determined person inspired by the words of a rehab worker he spoke to on his ninth visit: “this won’t work unless you put your mind to it and really WANT to make something out of it”, which Michael now applies to everything in life.