We sold a lot of Jean Muir in Beverly Hills. Her things looked prim on the hanger but the way the bias cut matte jersey fit, clinging ... it was anything but demure.
The sedate beautiful white building at 22 Bruton Street had wide wooden stairs that we climbed to Jean's second floor studio and cheerfully knocked on her white door. A muffled voice on the other side hushed us with a crisp "so sorry, there's a Royal in here and we can't let you in." We waited not even wondering who the Royal was, just cross at something that couldn't happen in America. There's a lot of waiting in fashion for things: taxis, fashion shows, dinner in Milan at Bice or Rigolo and now Royals.
Harry Leuckert, Jean's husband, swept us in with a laugh and a cough that all British men seem to acquire although his was not as masterful as the doorman at the Connaught who could cough the rowdiest American into a quivering neurotic mess.
We met Harry and Jean at Mr. Chow's that night. Charles ordered a lobster and his waiter whipped out a bib for him, even tying it for him. Jean gasped as she ripped it off without a word while Harry kept talking. Something about their farm in Scotland, completely glossing over a ripped bib that had disappeared as Jean tossed it toward a passing waiter.
I wondered if Mr. Chow reserved bibs for jovial Americans.