Hamish Bowles Won’t Let His Mustache Get in the Way of Singing Noel Coward

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

Like most Vogue editors would, we assume, Hamish Bowles is taking the “Anna made me do it” defense for his looming performance of Noel Coward songs at Juicy Couture tonight. “Anna said she wanted her editors to be extremely proactive, so I really took her at face value,” he told us at the Couture Council of the Museum at F.I.T.’s luncheon honoring Dries van Noten yesterday. Only now, Hamish says, he’s discovered, “I am perhaps the most proactive editor!”

But truthfully, Bowles has only himself to blame. The idea to sing cabaret at the Juicy store came about after Vogue shot Juicy designer Gela Nash-Taylor’s country house outside Bath in England. Taylor had been planning a surfer theme for the ground floor, and Bowles said, “’Why don’t we do a totally English, Gosford Park country house sort of thing upstairs?’ It was one of those ideas that’s was sort of thrown out: ‘Let’s do cream cheese and cocktails and maybe I could sing a Noel Coward song or something,’ and the next thing I know, I’ve had two weeks of rehearsals! It’s the anti–Susan Boyle moment.”

Bowles has two sets, at 7:45 and 9:30 (La Wintour is expected at the latter). To prep, he says, “I’m planning to take a great deal of sedatives and I’m hoping I can slur the words out.” He also tried to rally a group of supportive friends who have turned out not to be so supportive. “They now tell me they’ve been letting eggs fester for a week,” he says, “so I’m not sure if that was a great idea.”

But if Bowles’s singing fails, he can rest easy knowing that at least his new mustache is a big hit. Said dapper ‘stache was acquired on a boat in Greece. “I was in a situation where I didn’t have access to a razor or a shaving mirror,” Bowles says, “so I sort of developed facial hair for the first time ever in my life.” During the shaving process, he trimmed and shaped, and is quite pleased with the results; he even hopes to grow some handlebars someday. We love the look, and so does Bowles’s No. 1 fan. “I sort of start whenever I see myself in the mirror,” he says. “I think, ‘My God, who is that gorgeous creature?’”