The story begins on a regular day back in January 2019. An order came in for three black and gold bow ties which were for sale on my website. There was certainly nothing unusual about that, but when I looked closely all was not as it seemed. I noticed that the bow ties were being sent to the BBC costume department for Doctor Who. Immediately I started wondering what was going on and I emailed the customer to see if they were willing to share any details with me. I quickly got a polite response saying that they weren’t able to tell me anything at that time and that I must keep it a secret!
You can find more details and purchase the bow tie HERE
As the months passed by, I pretty much forgot about the order, assuming that nothing had come of it. I guessed that costumes and props were frequently bought for shows and never used.
Then, completely out of the blue, on the 23rd November 2019, I received a short email from the customer who had purchased the bow ties back in January saying that the bow tie was “in the trailer” and “thank you for keeping the secret”. That was it! I was left standing in the chiller aisle of the supermarket in complete shock!
I raced home and started looking online; on Twitter, the BBC and Facebook. And there she was, Jodie Whittaker wearing the bow tie I had made! Shortly after the initial photos were released the trailer dropped. I kept trying to pause on all the shots where I could see the bow tie! I just couldn’t believe that the thirteenth Doctor Who was actually wearing one of my handmade creations.
Pretty much from that moment on I started getting interest in the bow tie from Whovians around the world. People were contacting me from far and wide to ask about the bow tie, many of whom wanted one to use as part of their cosplay attire. If you’re interested in seeing some of the amazing efforts they’ve gone to in order to recreate Jodie’s version of the Doctor’s costume, have a look on my Instagram and Twitter profiles where you’ll see some incredible outfits!
I appeared as a guest on BBC radio Nottingham as well as featuring with the bow tie in local newspapers and on an Australian Doctor Who podcast, D4WH. I also recorded an interview with BBC Radio Wiltshire which went out on News Year’s Day in preparation for the launch of the twelfth series of Doctor Who that night.
I can’t claim to have been an avid Doctor Who fan but I’ve enjoyed the show over the years and I particularly remember loving the episodes of the late 80’s with Sylvester McCoy. I also enjoyed the Matt Smith episodes. Matt was wearing a bow tie in his incarnation as Doctor Who a good few years before I started Blue Eyes Bow Ties but his quote, “bow ties are cool”, is something that I’ve referred to many times.
During interviews that I’ve done, everyone’s asked me what I think about women wearing bow ties which, if I’m honest, I think is a bit of a non-sensical question! I mean, why wouldn’t women be able to wear bow ties? But I do understand that they are traditionally seen as male accessories. In recent years this view has definitely been changing and more and more women are buying bow ties to wear themselves, and I think it looks great. Jodie Whittaker, in her role as Doctor Who, is really championing this shift in fashion and I think it’s brilliant.
I chose the fabric for the Doctor Who bow tie initially because I liked it, that’s how I tend to manage buying fabrics for my business. But I also chose it because black and gold is an extremely popular combination for bow ties and I have many customers who pick designs based around these colours. Anything with a metallic element is also popular as it adds a different dimension (if you’ll pardon the pun!) to the bow tie, particularly under sparkling lights.
I make the bow tie using a template that I cut around, before sewing the bow tie inside out. I trim all the seams and corners then turn it through the right way. After ironing it carefully to create the perfect shape, I add the hardware which allows the bow tie to fasten and be adjusted to your individual size. It might not sound too complicated, but each bow tie can take up to an hour to make and there are many critical moments where things can go wrong!
The bow tie was worn by Jodie Whittaker in season 12 episodes 1 and 2: Spyfall, which gave a nod to the James Bond theme. The episodes aired on BBC One in the UK at 6:55pm on New Years Day and 7pm on 5th January. It also aired on BBC America in the US and can be viewed on demand with BBC iPlayer.
Enjoy watching the series and look out for Jodie Whittaker, AKA Doctor Who, wearing my bow tie!
PLEASE NOTE: any replica Thirteenth Doctor Who bow ties that may be available elsewhere are made from a different fabric to the one I used for the original. The difference is subtle but they are different none the less. Please contact me if you require more information.