Sunday, 7 June 2009

Knowing Me, Knowing Old Town

I have to admit that when I think of Norfolk my mind is taken over by Alan Partridge quotes and the vague recollections of visiting Norwich whilst at Uni to meet up with a few friends studying at UEA. I think I enjoyed myself in this eastern corner of England but my only tangible, non alcohol fuelled memory is that it took ages to get there...we trundled along one long A road in a clapped out Golf Polo behind a caravan for eternity and I've not been back since. However, Quail By Mail put us on to Old Town after our post on Engineered Garments' AW09 line and gave us another reason to visit East Anglia. Old Town is a clothing manufacturer producing approximately fifty garments per week from their own workshop using British cottons, woollens and linens wherever possible. It was first recommended to us by Charlie Porter when we interviewed him back in January but it has somehow taken us this long to follow it up.

Quail By Mail suggested that followers of Daiki's work might like this Norfolk counterpart which not only offers but makes its own clothing which conveys an affection to the past whilst being more than reproductions. Garments are selected from an evolving range offered in various sizes, fabrics and colours. Items are individually cut, sewn and finished before dispatch by post. In this North Norfolk town of Holt, garments are made to order in four to six weeks from traditional, durable fabrics such as drill, serge and flannel. If you are looking for plain and simple garments which have just enough design detail whilst at the same time giving a friendly nod to the past then this is the place to visit. The website certainly whets the appetite and I plan to visit the store and here is a selection of garments which have caught my fancy...

The Overall jacket is my favourite piece. Available in heavy flannel with pockets and body lined with check woollen and there are cotten and linen versions which are unlined but I would go for the chocolate serge (shown bottom right).

The Fleet is a lined double breasted jacket which would certainly find a place on my coat hook, again I would go for the serge but this time in navy.

The Sleeved Waitcoat might not for the very tall or large but for those it suits it recalls a lost age when men trundled iron wheeled sack barrows over Yorkstone flags...and I like that image. It is available in all the Tin House cottons or in navy cotton drill with wool serge fronts.

The shop is well stocked in the trouser department but the above High Rise option is the pick of the bunch. Popular, loose cut trouser style worn mainly but not exclusively by men.

Inspired by what I've seen online I might just embark on a road trip to the physical shop in this Georgian market town in North Norfolk to inspect the garments and to obtain Miss Willey's advise on style, fit and to discuss the merits of the various fabrics. The website reads..."If you do fancy a jaunt to this neck of the woods, Miss Willey will be happy to recommend places to stay and where to find the finest jam tarts North Norfolk has to offer." I am partial to a jam tart, who else fancies exploring this neck of the woods with me?


John said...

So bizarre that you posted about this! I had the Old Town website open already in the adjacent tab....

My parents went there recently, as we have (had) family in Holt, and I forced them to have a look for me. They didn't get a chance to go in but it is a pretty small operation they are running, shop down stairs workshop upstairs. I have been following them for a few years and love what they do.

Also the overall jacket is my favorite too, it reminds me of the jacket I see Fergus Henderson wearing all the time. I think I would go for the medium weight navy drill, or some of their vintage denims.

A trip is definitely in order, maybe a weekend excursion? I know some good beaches in Norfolk, spent a fair few childhood holidays there. Couple of good restaurants too!

Just make sure we avoid Norwich. Unless it is some kind of ironic Partridge pilgrimage.

John said...

Also, I am having strong urges to go high-waisted. It might have to wait a while as I think my slightly rotund figure would make me look like I was in period costume, but I think with a flatter stomach, it is definitely a look to be explored?

Style Salvage Steve said...

I saw the Fergus link with the overall jacket as well, great minds John! Lets go to Holt then this Summer, it will certainly help that you know the area somewhat..although by the looks of the website Miss Willey will be more than happy to point us in the right direction. We could also make that ironic Partridge pilgrimage (a ha!)...I wonder how many people actually go to Norwich for this sole reason?

Rene Schaller said...

yesterday, at the helmut newton foundation book store in berlin, I was standing in front of the august sander book. everytime I'm there, I do the same... I love the pictures from the early 20.century.

and I really love the clothes here!!!


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