So just out of curiosity - what do you all think his wardrobe of suits alone costs him??? Â And i thought I owned too many suits....... bachelor number one and for those of you who do not want to sign up: Meet Bachelor No. 1 By PHOEBE EATON Published: October 24, 2004 Tim Jefferies was examining the work of Thomas Ruff, a Dusseldorf photographer of some renown, whose digitally tweaked photographs of hard-core porn Jefferies has sold at his London gallery, Hamiltons. Here was a woman with purple garters hitched to her torpedo thighs. But what was that -- that there -- lurking behind her miniskirted rump? Jefferies squinted at the image. ''I tried to warn you,'' he joked. Jefferies has been trafficking in art for almost 20 years. But the facts of his day job are usually neglected in favor of salacious details from his love life, his seraglio of models and celebrities that has included Elle MacPherson, Claudia Schiffer, Kylie Minogue, Sophie Dahl and Ingrid Seynhaeve, among others. Jefferies deeply resents this. Advertisement He is among Britain's most gossiped-about nonroyals. And if one is going to be gossiped about, one might as well dress for one's public. With his tennis-pro good looks and souped-up suits seemingly welded to his 6-foot-2-inch frame, Jefferies is the anti-Beckham of British men's wear. Even when he slums in tweed and denim, his jeans show symptoms of a deliberate fray-job, a self-conscious effort, perhaps, to relieve the monotonous perfection of just about everything he puts on. The local press keeps tabs on the man's presumptive narcissism. While it is not true that he wears blue contact lenses, Jefferies does admit that business has been keeping him from his $6,800-a-year gym. ''Best money I ever spent,'' said Jefferies, who runs marathons for charity. Today, a tartan square was nosing out of the pocket of one of his 120 or so bespoke suits made by the Savile Row grad David Chambers. ''If you're a gentleman of a certain age and you've been having your suits made for so many years, of course you're going to have a number of them, aren't you?'' he explained, defensively. A gentleman of a certain age? Jefferies had on a jacket, with turned-back cuffs in the Edwardian manner, that exactly matched the color of his eyes. Not that he, at 42, is a fogy: under that starchy Thomas Pink shirt clanged a pair of flashy Charlemagne crosses. There was elaborate machinery for keeping time on his arm and a slap of Guerlain's Habit Rouge about the face (though not so much that it assaulted his companion's senses). His back office looked like nothing less than a swanky-panky bachelor pad, with its scarlet Barcelona chairs and ficus tree requiring the attentions of a special sun lamp. Hamiltons is so drenched in the bona fides of groovy, selling the likes of Helmut Newton and Norman Parkinson, that the gallery is on London's grueling cabby exam. Lately, Jefferies has been selling Warhol and Basquiat and newish talent, like Huger Foote, the son of the Civil War historian Shelby. Elton John, Stella McCartney and Matthew Mellon are just some of the gallery's satisfied customers. Jefferies grabbed an Egon Schiele catalog and lingered on a recumbent female wearing nothing but an artfully draped yellow scarf. He sighed deeply. The British tabloids liked to sketch Jefferies in far more scandalous detail. To them, he is a type: the young buck without the means to marry the girl . . . or a former stock boy at a hi-fi shop in West Sussex. ''It was a high-school job,'' he explained patiently. At 18, Jefferies and his mum had a row, and he drove off in his Mini Cooper. There was a brief flirtation with manual labor -- he took a job heaving 40-pound boxes off trucks at a banana warehouse -- then the money showed up. As the grandson of the Green Shield stamps emperor Richard Tompkins, he inherited something like $825,000. Tim's father, a car salesman turned artist, split with his mother when Jefferies was 5 and only came back into his life 13 years later. Jefferies ultimately severed all contact with his dad, who then threatened to write a book about his son's inamorati. In his early 20's, Jefferies binged on three red Ferraris and a wife: Prince Andrew's ex-girlfriend Koo Stark. Jefferies also bought a stake in Hamiltons. ''It was one of those things: 'Hey, I've got a piece of an art gallery. Aren't I clever?''' He'd met the owner at a party. ''After my marriage went pear-shaped, I moved back to London and started spending some time at the gallery.'' Now, in a crowd of men who went to posh universities and call each other darling, Jefferies more than holds his own, belying the unfortunate nickname Nice but Dim (after a character on an old BBC show). ''I think there's a fair amount of envy,'' said one fellow in this ambit. Another said: ''I promise, at some point, you're going to want to kiss Tim. He's very tactile.'' With the inheritance still inflating his wallet, Jefferies bought himself a ticket to Marbella. ''I met some very friendly people there,'' he said, chuckling. Jefferies, whose conversation steams effortlessly to such ports of call as Phuket, Monte Carlo and Majorca, is an expert on the folkways of a certain caste, and his knowledge knows no borders. ''In Thailand,'' he offered, ''nobody can ever hold their head higher than a royal's.'' He is as fascinated by other people's love lives as they are by his. ''Do you have a boyfriend?'' he asked me over lunch at the Ivy. And then, ''You should never get back together with an ex.'' Words not necessarily to live by, as all London was vibrating that week with the news that Jefferies had broken up and then gotten back together with Alexandra Von Furstenburg, one of America's fabulously rich Miller sisters and newly divorced from Diane Von Furstenburg's son. Friends call them Ken and Barbie. Jefferies denied the relationship was wearing a Band-Aid. He stared very hard at the napkin in his lap. ''Sometimes people project what they want to happen on others around them,'' he said. Then, brightening: ''I'm very happy at the moment.'' His shoulder tattoo of a salamander -- ''in Berber culture, salamanders signify dreaming'' -- has a certain poignancy. ''We're all dreaming of a better place,'' he said. ''Marriage. Children.'' Just up the road from where Jefferies lives in Notting Hill is a tragic little storefront he called the Lonely Grocer. Only single people shop there, he observed. It is a habit he means to break. ''This couple here, this couple behind my menu,'' Jefferies suddenly whispered. ''I think he's just dumped her.'' Sure enough, the girl in the Diva. T-shirt was quietly sobbing. It's the curse of being an art dealer, he said: ''You notice things very quickly, and in minute detail.''
post #1 of 5
10/25/04 at 11:59am