A Cut Above The Rest

  • By Stewart Christie
  • 20 Apr, 2017

We spent the day with Dominic Le Moignan, a London based Actor and Creative Director up Arthur's Seat to test out the performance of his bespoke three-piece in a rifle green barathea.


Name: Dominic Le Moignan

Official Job title: Director of Government Projects at GovRisk and Creative Director at Queen Mab Productions


What has been the most challenging project you've undertaken in recent years?

It is difficult to pick one thing as the “most challenging” because of the different challenges presented by my different roles – at GovRisk, my role is one of intermediary and facilitator for foreign government projects relating to financial crime prevention and anti-corruption. One of our major projects is with the Brazilian Judiciary, where we provide advice on how to reform the justice system, with some fantastic UK and international experts involved. The challenge there is knowing that the advice will have to apply across a country the size of a continent and will have a tremendous social impact, so working with experts and stakeholders to get things right is absolutely paramount. 

By contrast, at Queen Mab, my input is more concerned with how a client can use an interactive experience to help their audience explore an idea. In December, we produced “The Pleasure Portal” for a charity called Love Matters, which provide platforms and content around the world to engage young people to discuss their sexual health and rights. The brief was to create an immersive theatre experience, followed by an expert discussion which would allow journalists, activists and the public to engage with the charity’s work and platforms. 

Unfortunately, the challenge here was rather more earthly than cerebral – our Shoreditch venue, around which we had created a piece of site-specific theatre and to which the press and guests had confirmed their attendance, decided at 4 days’ notice that they would not let us run the show! Cue a frantic scouring of every Central London performance space, until we found a wonderful venue at 4 Princelet Street – but we still had to completely re-work the show in time for the opening. Somehow it was alright on the night and we ended up getting some wonderful reviews, but it goes to show that nothing is certain and sometimes you have to adapt to survive!


Those seem like two very different jobs, which would you say is your main focus?

Can I be greedy and say that they are both my focus? I hope that I won’t ever have to choose between the two. I manage to balance my different responsibilities, some people pursue projects outside their main job, some have three or four separate jobs - I think it is becoming more acceptable nowadays to have a varied work life. And I work with some fantastically talented people in both companies – it’s certainly not all just me!

I think people who work with me would attest that each side allows me to bring something new and interesting to the other – one is more rational, the other more emotional. And both can be demanding and rewarding in their own ways.


How did you end up working in both of those areas?

I think growing up, I was something of an all-rounder – I pursued acting parts from a young age, but threw myself into school. I studied law and politics at university but I still wanted to act professionally. I was lucky enough to balance the occasional acting role with a job which eventually presented me with an opening to start up GovRisk with my two fellow directors. And as I built up my experience in immersive and interactive theatre, I found people were asking me to produce shows and events, so I set up Queen Mab to do just that. I think it is an incredibly interesting time for immersive theatre – audiences have now come to expect a visceral experience, while producers and brands recognise that there is enough demand to be able to put on big, bold, confident stuff. It can be very creative work, which blurs the boundaries between reality, theatre and the surreal.


You've been an actor since you were young, and we heard you played a rather demanding role in a Chinese film based in France. It sounds like you have quite a good range in your acting ability!

A few years ago, my agent asked if I could record a couple of scenes in a French accent for a film producer in China. I sent off the recording but, as with any audition, you have to forget it the minute it’s over. Two weeks later, I was in snow-covered Exmoor, trudging up a hill, and right at the top my phone went mad – I had 9 increasingly fraught messages, telling me to get on a plane to China.

So after some frantic French accent cramming, I arrived in Beijing and eventually at the studios for a two-hour costume fitting and generally getting myself organised. It was only then, at midnight, that they slipped into the conversation that the filming schedule had changed. Rather than doing a scene from the first third of the film, which I had learnt, we would apparently be doing three scenes from the end, including my final breakup scene - with an actress I had not yet met. So, what else to do? A sleepless night learning lines before embarking on an intense, 14-hour filming day. Luckily the actress who I was working with was Jane March and she was delightful. We supported each other through the shoot and became firm friends. 




If you could watch any performance acted by any actor at any venue, what, who and where would your dream performance be?

It would have to be something with Ralph Fiennes. I saw him in Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman” at the National a few years ago. That version of the play had an often-omitted third act, and Shaw’s plays are sometimes criticised for having “too many words”, but he held a packed house in a three-hour, delighted trance. All that being said, it would be Ralph at the Roundhouse with Helena Bonham Carter, Lawrence Olivier and Alan Rickman.


You have moved around London during your life; if you had a weekend to spend in London, what would be your top places to check out, and where do you go to enjoy a fabulous G&T?

I live in Hoxton and love a walk along Regent’s canal up to Broadway Market at the weekend and you can’t beat Columbia Road flower market on a Sunday. 

For bars, my two favourite spots at the moment are The Experimental Cocktail Club for a St Germain Des Pres, which was invented there, and Oriole Bar underneath Smithfield market. 


Hendricks have such a fantastic brand with endless quirky ideas and promotions. what has been your favourite experience working with them?

I have been collaborating on creative projects with Hendrick’s Gin for about 5 years now. We work on experiential projects in the UK and other European markets and I perform, speak or add creative input, depending on what’s needed. It’s enormous fun.

On the first event, I taught people the intricacies of Lion taming, which then led to us producing “The Ladies’ School of Nuptial Conquest” across the UK, reviving the tradition of ladies proposing to gentlemen on the leap year day. My favourite however, was collaborating on producing the “Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion” at the Edinburgh fringe in 2015. It was the most ambitious Hendrick’s project we had done at that stage at the fringe – a two-hour experience exploring perception and the senses, run by experiential agency Steely Fox. The reviews were great and the event was a huge success, but my personal satisfaction came from working with the performing team to evolve the experience, which was only possible because the production team and the brand gave us their vital support. The work certainly had its challenges, but when a team clicks like that, it’s magic.


Who or what defines the quintessential British gentleman?

A twinkle in the eye that says something interesting, exciting or exhilarating is about to happen. A sense of the ridiculous, joie de vivre, an ability to keep a sense of humour in the most challenging of times. It’s the reason Brits are so often cast as the bad guy - elegance with a sense of mischief.


After tailoring a rather splendid dark rifle green barathea evening suit for you, what is your next suit going to look like?

The rifle green one turned out beautifully. It will be perfect for when I give Gin in Literature talks for Hendrick’s. I am already in preliminary discussions with Dan about a lovely blue three-piece day suit for the summer. I have shortlisted a few fabrics and just need to make the all-important call. But these decisions need to be taken after a good night’s sleep and on a full stomach.

      

What is your favourite Scottish word?

I love the Burns, "Address to the Haggis" and there are some wonderful treasures in there. If you will permit a whole phrase, mine is “weel-swall'd kytes”  - ( well swollen bellies ).

  

What was your experience at Stewart Christie like?

My experience at Stewart Christie was charming. From the feel of the shop, the tactile selection of the fabrics, the heritage of the company, to the expert guidance and precision on the style and cut from Dan, it felt like a timeless experience that is far too rare these days. I am delighted with how the suit came out and I will have a great deal of enjoyment wearing it and performing in it.

Stewart Christie are a bastion of elegance and sophistication in a cruel and unkempt world.


Queen Mab –www. queen-mab.com

GovRisk - www.govrisk.org



Stewart Christie & Co. Tales of Tailoring

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All garments and tailoring by Stewart Christie & Co in collaboration with Edinburgh based bridal designer, Rowanjoy.

For any special events, weddings, or the need for specialised tailoring, head to Stewart Christie for the best traditional service and expert consultation email info@stewartchristie.com

Photography: Laura Meek, http://laurameek.tumblr.com  
Models: Abigail Gliksten and Tabitha Stevens
Gowns: Rowanjoy, http://rowanjoy.co.uk  
MUAH: Mairi Gordon, http://mairigordon
Millinery: http://www.sallyannprovan.co.uk
Styling: Vixy Rae
Flowers: Kirsty Downie


By Stewart Christie 07 Jun, 2017
Francois and Nella, artists from France, friends of Stewart Christie and lovers of all things Scottish, had the dream to venture over to Skye for a timeless wedding at Dunvegan Castle. Dressed in fine tweed and tartan, of course.

From the finely crafted wedding ensembles, including a Victorian inspired bespoke gown to the immaculate and well preserved interior of the castle, the day easily alluded to what could have been experienced a few hundred years back for guests at a Lord and Lady's special day. Not to mention, the weather was particularly mild, unexpected, but happily welcomed by all, which led to a most exquisite sunset to polish off such a classic affair.

Nella wore a hand made Stewart Christie 'Inverleith' Cape, made from a beautiful soft lovat green herringbone tweed from the Scottish Borders. The Kilt Jacket and Waistcoat were tailored for Francois in a matching tweed to compliment his beautiful bride. He was proudly adorned in his Ancient Clan Farquharson Kilt and sash. The outfit was completed with a hand crafted sporan by McRostie in a chestnut bridal leather. We were proud there were a number of other guests dressed head to toe in our finely tailored tweed and tartan garments.

Following the wedding day, Francois and Nella strapped on their hiking boots along with their wedding outfits for a walk through the wooded Fairy Glen, just around the corner from Uig, for a romantic and equally magical morning, surrounded by inspiring nature to further embrace the beauty of Skye over their fairy tale wedding weekend.


By Stewart Christie 16 May, 2017

Ian was brought up in Fife, but finally settled in Edinburgh, with his wife and two sons. Before becoming a full-time novelist, he had a rather wide variety of character building jobs, such as a grape picker, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist, college secretary and punk musician-to name but a few. Now his immense passion and knowledge for music and writing go hand in hand. We had the great pleasure of Ian's company in the Oxford Bar for a quick pint and a catch up, after measuring him up in the store for his first Stewart Christie bespoke three-piece, in a soft grey lambswool tweed to be completed for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where he will present various events in true Scottish style.


Name? Ian Rankin

Profession? Novelist

Do you usually complete your work and then get it published or have you got some novels that you’ve secretly shelved that you may finally release at a later date?

I've only got one unpublished novel - my very first. Unlikely ever to see the light of day. It was a not very funny comedy set in a Highland hotel. There is one novel, Westwind, which was published, but I was unhappy with. I've never allowed it to be reissued. 

Very interested to know what you are currently working on that we may look forward to?
This is a sabbatical year. I am tinkering and pottering, but not doing a novel. A few short stories, meetings about film and TV. Travelling to festivals far and wide to promote Inspector Rebus' 30th anniversary.

It’s incredible that Rebus has been translated into 22 different languages, have you ever read them in other languages? We understand you resided in France for a while. It must be quite a strange feeling to see them in French, not that you would read it, but is there anything that would make you read any of your novels again once you've written them?

Translated into 35 languages - I need to update the information available online! I lived in France for six years but it wasn't translated into French until after I'd moved back to the UK, which was a bit annoying. I only ever reread my novels when asked by my publisher to provide the introduction to some new edition. 

Where do you find your inspiration in Edinburgh for such crime stories? Do you have a few "favourite haunts" you like to go to and write, or are you one of those writers who is constantly inspired throughout the day, like Alexander McCall Smith, who is forever writing?

I write seldom. I'm certainly no McCall Smith. The man is a machine. I hang out in pubs, especially the Oxford Bar. I eavesdrop on conversations. I go for drinks with retired cops. I am also a news junkie, and often get ideas from newspaper reports and such like.

We know you have a great passion for music. In a recent interview with Tim Burgess at the book festival, we experienced your immense knowledge of artists and albums, it was an interesting talk. Would you host or partake in more of them this year?

Like most crime writers, I am a frustrated rock star. Putting so much music in my books has led me to form friendships with a host of musicians, which is a lovely bonus. I will be interviewing at least one musician at this year's festival - but it's under wraps at the moment.



By Stewart Christie 20 Apr, 2017

We spent the day with Dominic Le Moignan, a London based Actor and Creative Director up Arthur's Seat to test out the performance of his bespoke three-piece in a rifle green barathea.


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