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Charles Jeffrey designs uniforms for Theatre Royal Drury Lane

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

2 Aug 2021

Fashion |In Pictures

Image: courtesy of Theatre Royal Drury Lane by Oli Kearon

British fashion designer Charles Jeffrey has unveiled new uniforms for Theatre Royal Drury Lane in partnership with Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd Webber to be worn by the theatre’s hospitality team.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane, affectionately known as The Lane, has teamed up with Jeffrey to reimagine the theatre’s iconic Red Coats with a cutting-edge, gender-neutral design. First launched in 1989, Red Coats are worn by LW Theatres’ luxury hospitality team and are based on the traditional Toastmasters who would oversee hosting and entertaining for British society.

For Jeffrey, creative director of Loverboy, the catalyst for his design started in an exploration of colour, explained the designer in a press release, as well as taking inspiration from creative elements internally and externally of the theatre building.

Image: courtesy of Theatre Royal Drury Lane by Oli Kearon

Infused with Jeffery’s punk spirit, the new uniform consists of a peak-lapel frock coat in red tartan, finished with either matching red trousers with button detailing down the side or a matching tartan kilt worn with a white dress shirt.

The lining of the coat is inspired by the Greek Revival architecture seen throughout the regal theatre, which is mimicked in symbols from Spacer’s Runic, the fictional international code of signals for space, that represents friendship and communication. Symbols and signs are an inherent part of Loverboy’s work.

Jeffrey, explained in the statement: “I see the Red Coats as arbiters of information, they have such rich distinction that when I started thinking about how to reinterpret their classic uniforms, I felt compelled to explore ‘Red in Art’ (i.e. Rothko) and ‘Red in Semiotics’ as key vehicles to drive the manifestation of these designs.

“Theatre Royal Drury Lane also has its own extensive art collection, including illustrations by costume designer Cecil Beaton himself, which allowed me to peer into the stories and experiences the Red Coats might have had at the theatre. Working with Andrew, Madeleine and the whole LW Theatres team to find the Red Coats place in today’s interpretation of the theatre has been incredibly inspiring.”

Image: courtesy of Theatre Royal Drury Lane by Oli Kearon

On working with Jeffrey, Madeleine Lloyd Webber, added: “Charles Jeffrey is changing the face of fashion with his avant-garde designs. As we undertook the enormous project of reimagining Theatre Royal Drury Lane, we knew we wanted to redesign our iconic Red Coats.

“Charles’ singular perspective, inspired creativity and incredible ethos made this an easy choice. I was particularly inspired by how Charles’ designs seemed to reflect and pay tribute to the magnificent architecture of Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which we have painstakingly restored to its former glory. We are absolutely thrilled with the result and can’t wait to see The Lane’s new Red Coats welcoming guests for months and years to come.”

Image: courtesy of Theatre Royal Drury Lane by Oli Kearon
Image: courtesy of Theatre Royal Drury Lane by Oli Kearon
Charles Jeffrey
Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
Loverboy
Theatre Royal Drury Lane