Friday, 10 April 2009

Easter Bunny

Neil Monroe 'Bunny' Roger was one of the great dandies of the 20th Century, in the tradition of Beau Brummel and Oscar Wilde.

Clive Fisher in an article in The Independent 1997 describes him thus:

Erstwhile couturier, wit, dandy, landowner, and social ornament, Bunny Roger was what obituary in its obliquer days styled a lifelong bachelor and what gossip columnists knew as a flamboyant homosexual. Not that the phraseology of old Fleet Street would have distressed him: he was nothing if not implacably conservative and as the last of a kind he could scarcely expect new labels. Equally, the Queen’s English (like anything else remotely royal) deserved veneration and there was one term he always resisted: “You can’t call queer men ‘gay.’ Apart from anything else, they’re all so miserable. The Greeks were more accurate when they called the Furies the ‘Kindly Ones’.”

He was the second son of self-made Aberdonian magnate Sir Alexander Roger and Lady Roger, an extravagant beauty. Always with plenty of wealth at his disposal he entertained lavishly and dressed exquisitely to a code of his own invention. Broad shoulders, narrow waists, slim trousers, no turn-ups formed his signature silhouette. These were his measurements

Waist: 29"
Chest: 40"
Inseam: 32"
Shoe: 7 (English size)

Sotheby's Catalogue 1998 That evening suit looks like a dark green brocade, how lush.

The Sotheby's Catalogue, when his personal effects were put up for sale in 1998, noted that he would order up to 15 suits a year from Saville Row tailors Watson, Fargerstrom & Hughes , each costing up to £2,000 which was quite something in the 1960s. His high-crown bowlers were from Herbert Johnson.

Sotheby's Catalogue. The Closet

Possibly everyone's favourite anecdotes about Bunny Roger's are best put by Simon Wall in the Guardian:

Fighting for the British Rifle Brigade during the second world war, he went to battle wearing a chiffon scarf and brandishing a copy of Vogue. Once, when his sergeant asked him what should be done about the advancing enemy troops, Roger, who liked to wear rouge even with his khakis, replied, "When in doubt, powder heavily." When he ran into an old friend in the hellish, bombed-out monestary of Monte Cassino in Italy he responded to his pal's incredulous "What on earth are you doing here?" greeting with one word: "Shopping."

Roger, like all proper dandies, rivalled Wilde in the one-liner department. When a gobby cab driver yelled from his window, "Watch out, you've dropped your diamond necklace, love," Roger replied, in a flash, "Diamonds with tweed? Never!"

Bunny Roger 1911- 1997.

"Dandyism is the result of the spontaneous combustion of personality and attire. The desired effect is ignition, not detonation. You want to make an impression on others, not a spectacle of yourself." John Ian Robert Russell, 13th Duke of Bedford at


  1. I had never heard of him -how fascinating! Those suits are all amazing!

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  3. Marvelous.
    I expect that some of those suits will end up in the Fashion gallery
    at the V&A?
    Thanks for the introduction to this fascinating character.

  4. Thanks Toby. Bunny Roger was certainly a 'bespoke'
    character. He also dressed women in his couturier phase. it's not fair somebody can have fifteen suits a year is it.

  5. Bunny- Love. the Brits-civilized. the States-don't ask don't tell-the pruds.

  6. This really cheered me up. Needed images to send to my tailor and stumbled onto your wonderful post.

  7. Rose, how great that he appeared on the Nicky Haslam hit parade! thanks for bringing Bunny to me first! G.


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