Jeffrey Bryant has been Duran Duran's Wardrobe Designer since late 2003. The nice guy over the years became part of the big Duran Duran tour-family. He's funny, artish and he has a unique vision of fashion! He's also a really down to earth guy who really loves his work. He really enjoy the hard work he does for the band staying always behind the scene. I decided that I wanted to know more about him and his role in the band during the Songobook performance back in january, when I saw him on stage helping out Simon with his jacket. Jeffrey has been kind enough to accept an interview with duranasty.com. When I initially got in touch with him he was working with the Pet Shop Boys, for their Brit Awards performance but he was kind enough to keep in touch and release this funny and informative interview, providing also pics from his personal archive. So if you ever wondered what's the job of a Wardrobe Designer or you simply want to know more about the man behind Simon Le Bon & Co. perfect trousers here you go! You will also discover what happens to the Duran Duran clothes on tour, so check it out!

Jeffrey Bryant, as well as working with Duran Duran, has also worked with or made clothes for, Tina Turner, George Micheal, Mick Jagger, Pet Shop Boys, Westlife and many more.

Biography: For the first four years of his career [in the banner above archive pics of Jeffrey taken from 1978 to 1984], Jeffrey Bryant worked in a steel works in his native South Wales. Any spare time was spent scrambling together outfits for himself and friends.After moving to London at the height of the Blitz scene he started making clothes for the nightclub elite. Dressing the gogo boys, drag queens, and club promoters, guaranteed him, free entry and invites to all the parties and clubs. Fast forward 25 years he has now dressed the icons of the entertainment business who include Tina Turner, Duran Duran, and Pet Shop Boys. He has created special pieces for George Michael and Mick Jagger. His clothes have been seen in videos for Steps, Basement Jax, Bananarama, Transvision Vamp, Atb, Duece, East 17 and Westlife. He dressed featured extras in the night club scenes in the films Judge Dredd and Hackers, Tv commercials include: Siemens phones, Ford, Citroen, Listerine, Mcdonalds, Walls, Cornetto, Boddingtons beer, Vodafone and Fedex. He has also appeared in 8 pop videos, 2 commercials and 3 films.

Jeffrey Bryant has also contributed clothing to the following tours :


Pet Shop Boys - Discovery Tour 1994
Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge Tour 1994
Rolling Stones - Bridges To Babylon 1997
George Michael - Net Aid Show 1999
Tina Turner - Millenium Tour 2000
Westlife - Dreams Come True 2000
Duran Duran - Astronaut Tour 2004/05
Duran Duran - Red Carpet Massacre Tour 2007/08

 

April 2009 | Hello Jeffrey, thanks for your time, I know you are so busy preparing clothes for your next work so let's start with the first question. duranasty.com: When did you start working with Duran Duran?

Jeffrey: The first time i worked with Duran was for the Fashion Rocks show in october 2003 It was at the Albert Hall in London. They just did one song Girls On Film, and they wore a mix of Donna Karan clothing with their own things.

duranasty.com: How it all happened, were you introduced to the band by common friends or it was just one of these business phone calls?

Jeffrey: James Monkman, the tour manager, recommended me.You need to be strong, because of all the clothing you have to carry. And lots of energy because of the long hours...

below pictures of the band with Prince Charles and Donna Karan at the Fashion Rocks in 2003

 

 

duranasty.com: Did you know the guys already from the early 80s London clubs and parties scene? If so, can you tell us what comes to mind about your first Duran Duran encounter?

Jeffrey: I actually first saw them play live in about 1981, at the Astoria, the same day they did the first Top of the Pops show. Even though we have a few mutual friends, I never had met any of them before working with them.

 

 

duranasty.com: Do you also draw or contribute with your sense of fashion and style to develop the visual image of the recent Duran Duran [Astronaut and RCM] tours?

Jeffrey: Each tour is different. For the Astronaut tour, they were given a lot of clothing from different companies.These outfits are then edited down into looks that work onstage. Its my job is to fill in the blanks.

Each band member has a slightly different look.You could call the Astronaut tour *The Black Suits with Sequin Detail Tour*.

With Red Carpet, How it started... Nick had A fantastic JuicyCouture jacket, in a black shiny fabric with military pockets. It was decided that the whole band would get these jackets, and have them printed, each band member would have a slightly different design. All incorporating the Red Carpet Massacre graphics, with splashes of blood.

Jeffrey with John Taylor in Milan at the Idroscalo backstage in july 2008. John proudly shows to some fans the screen printed shirts used during the Red Carpet Massacre Tour. pics by Christian.

They were screen printed in L.A. then the blood splatters and additional graphics added by Patty Palazzo, who also helps John with the design on some of the Juicy t-shirs. Underneath they had a choice of 2 shirts, either black or white, again each band member with a different design, using blood splatters and slogans from the album. Accesorized with a tie, splooged with blood splatters and graffiti.

The whole look is an homage to the punk era. References to the Clash and original Sex and Seditionaries clothing.

Then for the electro set, they changed into black satin suits with narrow leather or pvc ties, again all from Juicy Couture. Then John got the silver sneakers from Onitsuka/Tiger.

This look influenced by the Anthony Price suits they wore during the early eighties fits the mood for the Electro Set.

 

 

duranasty.com: At the Songbook show the guys didn't wear the usual RCM jackets [with RCM logos, paint splatters and graffiti] but they opted for a dark grey three piece suit. Can you please tell us if they were taylor made or they just picked up a stylist line? if so, can you name the Fashion Stylist?

Jeffrey: The grey suits the band wore for the SkyArts Songbook show were from Juicy Couture designed by Laura Anthony. They were actually made for the Mark Ronson show, in Paris, last agoust, but the club we played at was so hot, they had to wear something lightweight.

They are made of a stretch wool flannel, very comfortable to perform in, ,just slightly hot. We added shoulder pads in some jackets.Then took them in as tight as I could, also shaving the sleeves as narrow as possible. With Simons Ii changed the sleeve lining to a stretch fabric so that he could really move around with the minimum restriction. Again, Nick, John and Dom had really narrow pants, Simons and Rogers left wider. Johns and Doms trousers were then steamed scrunched to give a Japanese look. All had different shirts underneath, Nicks silk Vin-Tage HardyAmies silk tie i found in an Oxfam store, his pocket square was a corner cut from a serviette. This whole look, was a calculated move away from the skinny ties and single breasted tailoring.

 

 

 

duranasty.com: Do you adjust/fix personally all the Duran Duran's suits?

Jeffrey: Most suits we buy, I alter in some way. With the satin suits for the electro set, they were square cut boxy suits, with no pads. I put big pads in all the jackets, then slimmed the sleeves in as narrow as i could, they have to be able to move and perform in them. That's a priority.

With the trousers, each pair were cut down, an equal amount taken from each of the four panels. I was stuck in a hotel room, unpicking everything, stitch by stitch. I have pictures of the trousers in pieces [see pics below]. I had to do 4 suits before the opening on Broadway, using an 89 dollar sewing machine from Kmart...To date they must have now worn them more than 50 times.

 

Pictures above | Jeffrey says: "This is a view from behind the camera, during the Rolling Stone magazine photo shoot, during the Astronaut tour about march 2005 also, one pair of satin trousers from the Electro Set showing them in pieces after I have taken them apart, december 2007".

duranasty.com: What's Jeffrey Bryant typical day when he's on tour with Duran Duran? Any memories you'd like to share about the most recent and successfull Duran tour?

Jeffrey: I need to start at about 8-8.30. I sit down for breakfast, but never have the time to sit for lunch. for the Lidi di Jesolo show, I started at 8 clock, hand washed 18 shirts, unload all the clothes, records, make up etc. Then had thunderstorms, so had to move all the washing inside for an hour. That day I got into bed at 2.30. Than back out of bed at 8 the next day, that run of italian shows was very hard work. For the Rome show everything had to be carried up 4 flight of stairs.

Because the red carpet massacre shirts are hand painted, they have to hand washed, the dry-cleaners won't touch them. My ironing record is 22 shirts in one day, if we couldn't wash things on some days it means I have more the next day, on festival sites in the middle of fields, there is often no running water. And the nearest dry cleaners can be 20 miles away. But its 90 degrees, I am working outdoors. I laugh out loud and shake with excitement, I just LOVE MY JOB SO MUCH! A minimum ironing day, for Red Carpet tour was 6 pairs of jeans, 11 shirts, 3 t shirts, 5 military jackets, 4 satin jackets.

 

duranasty.com: What's the craziest thing you had to do in your Duran-job? Any funny memory to share?

Jeffrey: For Red Carpet tour, that was the first tour where they all had the same clothes, all the clothing has names inside and they are put on rails with name cards, but everybody still puts on other people clothes by mistake. They all get so excited before the show, and are joking around, so they don't really check. So i have to keep an eye on them.

there are many funny moments, but they would take so long to explain, and you have to be about 40 to understand the humour.

 

duranasty.com: Can you describe the 4 band members using 3 adjectives?

Jeffrey: Its impossible to describe the boys, and keep the statements equal, so I won't answer that one ;)

duranasty.com: Are you currently working on any project [besides Duran Duran]?

Jeffrey: From june I will be on tour with Pet Shop Boys, so I won't be with Duran Duran for any of the summer shows.

 

 

duranasty.com: Last but not least, what's your favourite Duran Duran song and your favourite Duran Duran video of all time?

Jeffrey: I can't pick just one! I would have to say A View To A kill, I have heard 1000 times but I'm never tired of hearing it. Love Planet Earth. Love Wild Boys. Love Come Undone, Love Ordinary World. Love The Valley, Love Tempted.

About videos. Love Wild Boys, an epic movie. Love A View to a Kill, Grace Jones, Big Coats, Severe fringes [Gail Elliot]. Love Electric Barbarella [Neon Colour]. Love Ordinary World [blurred Tokyo garden]. What Happens tomorrow, simple but really effective, stars silhouettes. Falling Down, humorous and stylish satire on Hollywood rehab...

And so many fantastic bits from live shows... I am so lucky to witness so many outstanding performances. The vocals in Come Undone and Ordinary World: its simply AUDIO ART. The encore for the Christmas shows in London 2005, where it starts with Fatal Kiss then moves into A View to a kill, just superb entertainment. From the same show fantastic Wild Boys with the audience singing along, with fire explosions...

During the Paris shows with Mark Ronson, the Bond Medley, leading into View To A Kill, words fail me, It was MUSIC HAUTE COUTURE.

Always behind the scene: Below the Duran boys in the spot light with the bank of cameras and flashes at the Costa Rica press conference. Live shots from the Uk tour 2004, and Brazil 2008 [all exclusive photos taken by Jeffrey Briant]. Special thanks to Jeffrey for taking the time to do this and to Danilo at the Blitz Kids for the biography help.

 

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