So - it turned out Imants Von Wenden of The Eccentric Club hadn’t been winding me up. I really had been cordially invited to attend an evening in the company of fellow Lords at The Arts Club in Mayfair.
With his confirmation finally assured, I wanted to begin planning the finer details of my trip straight away – where I would stay, who I planned to talk to, what my approach would be, what I would need to do to push for membership – it had been a few years since I had been to London, and as shameful as it sounds, the thought excited me in the way a holiday to France used to excite me as a small child. It was so horribly cliché; yet a trip to London actually felt like a big deal. Comparing the number of visits in recent years, it was probably more foreign to me than a trip to France, too.
The whole experience was likely to be quite different for me in any case, so I felt I could justify needing some time to prepare. Unfortunately, I didn’t get such a luxury, because in the email I had previously sent Imants requesting clarification of the invite, I had made the mistake of querying exactly what I should be expected to wear for the occasion (The Eccentric Club website pictures a man with a birdcage on his head; I didn’t want to turn up looking underdressed). Anyway, in a fashion I would soon become accustomed to when exchanging emails with the wonderfully enigmatic Eccentric Club secretary, I received the following, rather off-the-cuff response:
“ One of the organisers of this party wondered whether you would be prepared to come all dressed in green [suit, probably] or change at the club into green, perhaps? We’ll explain everything about that peculiar request when we meet. If you would rather be in a more traditional attire, we most certainly will understand.”
I was completely thrown off guard. I had no idea where to start with this request. A green suit. Who owns a green suit? I gave it some thought, but could only think of leprechauns as an obvious example; or Tiger Woods receiving his green jacket for winning The Masters golf championship at Augusta, for some reason. I was pretty sure that turning up as either a leprechaun or a golf champion wasn’t exactly what Imants was after, though. Plus it wasn’t a great time to be replicating Tiger Wood’s style, let’s face it. I decided to trawl through the internet for inspiration, instead. The first image I came across was this rather fetching example:
Feel free to photoshop my face onto this one if you like.
I felt it probably wasn’t wise to attend dressed as a 1970’s Harlem pimp either, though. Eccentricity or no eccentricity, going dressed like this was probably going to be a bit much for most people to stomach at 7.47pm - just after dinnertime. I decided to investigate the possibility of finding a normal suit that just happened to be green, instead. This would allow me to blend in subtly with those around me, whilst not failing in my attempts to achieve the goal I had been set.
It was depressingly slim pickings. There just aren’t many respectable green suits out there. Plus, when I did find decent suits that were definitely green, they were always unbearably expensive; it began to feel ridiculous. I thought about emailing Imants to tell him there was no chance of me adhering to his request, but then an idea suddenly popped into my head. A Luke Skywalker moment, if you like. Use the title, Chris. Use the title. I gathered together the email addresses of all the top tailors in and around Savile Row, and set about putting a few ‘feelers’ out, courtesy of Lord Christopher Ward...
- Lord Christopher Ward
- For those of you who are new to knowing me, I am Lord Christopher Ward. Second in line to the internet throne, third in line at the post office on a Wednesday morning. Currently a student studying Professional Writing in Falmouth, Cornwall, I envisage a world where I can surf, write, and use my title to get me free stuff. Just don't ask me how I got here; my memory is warped from time to time.