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
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.
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.
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
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?
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...
pictures of the band with Prince Charles and Donna Karan at the
Fashion Rocks in 2003
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
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.
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]
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.
band member has a slightly different look.You could call the Astronaut
tour *The Black Suits with Sequin Detail Tour*.
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.
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.
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.
whole look is an homage to the punk era. References to the Clash and original Sex and Seditionaries clothing.
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.
look influenced by the Anthony Price suits they wore
during the early eighties fits the mood for the Electro Set.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
What's the craziest thing you had to do in your Duran-job? Any funny memory
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.
are many funny moments, but they would take so long to explain, and you
have to be about 40 to understand the humour.
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.
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.
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
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...
the Paris shows with Mark Ronson, the Bond Medley, leading into View To
A Kill, words fail me, It was MUSIC HAUTE COUTURE.
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
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