Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Tailoring on the TV


Afer working late at the office I decided to treat myself and go out for dinner because I just couldn't face cooking. This meant that I missed the latest episode of British Style Genius which was all about tailoring. Did anyone catch it? The series which explores what makes British fashion and style distinctive continued with the tailored look - from Savile Row to Paul Smith, Fred Astaire to James Bond. The British tailoring story is one of elegant craftsmanship, where a bespoke suit takes 40 measurements and weeks of cutting and stitching by hand to complete. It pains me that British tailoring has often been better appreciated abroad than at home - hopefully the series can make one and all appreciate this somewhat unappreciated art form. The cameras travel to Japan with designer Paul Smith, whose colourful, 'classic-with-a-twist' formula has created a global style brand and more traditional Savile Row designers are following suit.

Here is a clip of Michael Caine rambling featuring Roger Moore

What excites me most about this episode is how it portrays the industry. The heart of this very British success story is shown to be an ability to combine centuries of heritage and tradition with creativity, imagination and a defiant sense of individuality as seen in the 60s psychedelic tailored designs of 'Granny Takes a Trip', the flamboyance of Tommy Nutter's suits for women and the modern cuts of today's mavericks like Ozwald Boeteng and Timothy Everest.

Thank goodness for technology, BBC iplayer means I can soon catch up on the action but whilst I wait for BBC to upload the episode I thought I would share it with you. After I've seen the show I will write a full review and hopefully share some clips with you. In the meantime, if you saw it, let us know what you thought.

9 comments:

Jason said...

I thought it was great. While not as detailed as the BBC4 series on Saville Row, it was still informative and interesting, offering a good overview of British tailoring.

It's rare to see a show talking about fashion (men's fashion in particular) without pandering to the lowest common denominator.

xS said...

It was brilliant! I knew you'd post somethign on it Steve, given your love of suiting...Gave a good overview, and like Jason says, without being oversimplified. I got very excited and jealous about the whole bespoke tailoring thing, and it's actually made we want to smarten up a bit - interesting that it was noted by one of the tailors (Boateng?) that the trend in Menswear is to smartening up;
I read something over the weekend about how in good economic times, the trend is to dressing down, and this reverses in the credit crunch. Was probably old Charlie Porter in GQ Style.
Anyway, it was beautifully shot and very informative with a lot of focus on the history of Savile Row (and no mention of 007's recent suits coming from Brioni or Tom Ford, notably) but without being sentimental. Can't wait to see more and get my own bespoke suit - I think mine would be Kilgour or richard James - though the programme's spotlight on Paul Smith did make me want his tailoring more...xS

Tailoring for Women said...

Actually, I preferred this programme to the series. Much tighter presentation and not quite so self-serving. It still surprises me though that this is still considered something of a male bastion with only people like Edward and myself filling the territory for women.

Carol

Stylesalvage Steve said...

I knew it was going to be interesting viewing. I only caught a couple of episodes of the BBC4 doc and found it a little long. I suffer from a short attention span. I plan on spurning the England match (have it on the background) and instead will concentrate on last nights show.

Ca said...

Oh, I wish I had that show here in Norway, sounds very interesting!

Mat Ahoy - Buckets and Spades said...

i was totally captivated by this episode, it made me very excited about the whole tailoring process and the many lengths it takes to get the perfect suit. iv actually been thinking about buying a suit of later, i obviously can't afford a bespoke one so il have to make to with a topman one( but then i will still have to take it to the tailors to get the trousers altered as i want them as mod a possible).

i loved every bit of what paul smith had to say and the reaction from the Japanese fashion students when he did a talk at the uni! if only he turned up at my uni. it has also got my thinking how i can customize my blazers ect, by changing a button to i different colour or sewing a new coloured button hole.

Stylesalvage Steve said...

Roll on this evening so I can watch it! I started a bespoke suit fund a while back but I have to admit I've not added to it in recent months. my advice it to buy the best one you can afford and then take it to a tailor who can alter it to your desired specification.
I love the idea of customising the blazer. TheSundayBest posted a number of inpsiration button changing posts. Good luck!

Mat Ahoy - Buckets and Spades said...

theres nothing worse than an ill fitting suit, thats what my girlfriend says!

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