Ian Russell is the 13th duke of Bedford and is easily known as the wittiest noble and a rich-poor gentleman. Why do you ask? Well, this is because his father, the 12th duke of Bedford, disinherited him. After all, Ian married someone 13 years older than him and a divorcee. Not only he was a rebel back then when the world of elegance and nobility was way too stringent on its rules and regulations. But Ian Russell has also deemed someone with spectacular style and fashion sense. Here is a little throwback to his life and why he is called to be a fashion icon.
Ian was born in 1917 in England to 12th Duke Hastings Russell and Louisa. From the beginning, he had not-so-great relationships with his father and grandfather. It caused a lack of allowance that a future duke would need. His father tied up most of the allowance and family fortune in a trust so that Ian could not borrow any money for himself. During his early years, his courtesy name was Lord Howland, and after that, he was called Marquess Of Tavistock.
He started his career as a rent collector in 1938, and later he joined the army to serve in the Second World War. After leaving the army in 1940, he became a daily express reporter. After his stint as a reporter, he moved to South Africa, where he started farming. In 1953 he moved back to England after the death of the 12th duke. He also kept the family fortune and Woburn abbey instead of handing it over to the trust. He opened the Woburn abbey as an attraction for the public and added a safari park. It made him alienated from the other nobles and houses, but he did not care for the consequences. He has also written various books like “The Dukes Of Bedford: Book Of Snobs, A Silver-Plated Spoon, The Flying Duchess” etc.
One thing for which Ian Russell stood out was his style. In his book, The Dukes Of Bedford: Book Of Snobs, he wrote a lot about how the dukes and aristocrats tend to dress up. Ian has taken jibes and also has written about his own style. Ian was mostly seen in suits. When it comes to suits, he said that he preferred wearing black, blue, and gray the most. Anything other than that would have made him an exception in the mobility circle.
In his book, Ian Russell also mentioned that a person’s style should be elegant and confident and should not be too overwhelming. The personality of the person should make one stand out among the crowd and not ones over exaggerate clothing. Even though there were moments when Ian deviated from his usual style and pick something that is attention-seeking like a ruffle shirt by Turnbull And Asser’s Carney. Not only that, but he also had strict ideas about accessories like handkerchiefs and kept himself away from any type of gaudy and colored accessory. He also emphasized that a man should have a good haircut that accentuates the style.
Ian is known to have quite a wit as one can understand if they plan to read his books. Throughout his life, he had talked about himself and the people around him with a pinch of salt, which makes him stand out among the dukes.