You can't judge a book by its cover but I'm covering a book with judges' untenanted

The editors say they'd like a cover picture based on this sketch, but without the man from Ede & Ravenscroft. That's a pity but I take their point. In this drawing, Christopher Allan, the company's Court and Ceremonial Manager, is addressing an academic workshop organised by

I mull over a few other ideas, including this next one, but we stick with the robes.

I need to inspect ceremonial garb for the Court of Appeal, High Court and Circuit Bench, so I head for the Chancery Lane emporium. As I enter, a QC whose career is sprinkled with Supreme Court stardust is leaving; he beams into the sunshine, a happy man.

Chris kindly sets up the robes on dummies. They are in beautiful condition, just raring to go - unlike the peer's robe awaiting repair in the basement, with grubby ermine and ripped hem, which looks as if it saw action at the coronation of Queen Victoria.

Back home, I do a rough sketch the same size as the book in ink, felt tips and waterbrush.

Then, mainlining Radio 3, I do the larger unfinished-looking finished version in ink and watercolour.

As a sort of coda, because I would be happier if the robes were inhabited and moving around, I do a much faster but pointless degraded version in ink...

...followed by some ink splodges.

The title lettering will need a dark background so I do a rough drawing of figured damask, based on but not slavishly copied from the Court of Appeal robe.

And again, manipulated...

Debating Judicial Appointments in an Age of Diversity, edited by Professor Graham Gee and Professor Erika Rackley, is published by Routledge in 2017.  

And if you aren't qualified for an Ede & Ravenscroft uniform, don't despair. My party outfit here is assembled from H&M, a jumble sale, Portobello, Oxfam, Claire's, Rigby & Peller and a gift from Simmons & Simmons' Black Museum of Passing Off.
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