Monday, 10 August 2009

Almost Bespoken For

My desire to own bespoke clothing is well documented on the blog. In a previous post I shared my statement of intent of entering the bespoke world; "In two years or so I want to walk away from Savile Row after my final fitting knowing that my suit is almost ready for me..." I have dedicated various posts to this beautiful craft and my dedicated savings fund has been progressing (slowly but for the most part in the right direction) but despite my admiration towards the fine fellows of Savile Row I've felt I wasn't quite ready to enter their world. I am almost there and have spent the last few years excitedly waiting and reading up on the subject. What is obvious to me is that a lot of people use the terms "bespoke" and "made-to-measure" interchangeably. They are mistaken. In seventeenth century England, 'bespoke' was a term for tailored clothing made at a customer's behest, with the customer's surname written on the actual fabric, hence the fabric 'was spoken for'. Hence a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called 'bespoke'. For those of you who like me, aren't quite ready for bespoke, one new label might be of interest...step forward Bespoken...

Under the tutelage of Turnbull & Asser, Bespoken was born not to make made-to-measure clothes tailored to the individual but to honour the heritage of tailoring traditions, paying great attention to fabrics, details and applying those traditions to a modern fit and contemporary styling. Turnbell & Asser is old school and has maintained a loyal following and discrete growth. In fact, T&A have supplied the shirts to James Bond, to whoever might be playing our favourite womanising spy. Production has remained British. The bespoke shirts are still made in Jermyn Street and ready to wear is manufactured in Gloucester. T&A brothers, James, Sam and Liam Fayed partnered with family friends Paulo and Carlos Goncalves to create Bespoken, a line of blazers, shirts and knits which offer a fresh take on historic luxury. "A young, scruffy haired lad who may enjoy a whisky and believes in classics of quality and style" Sam fayed. "This is what the son of a Turnbull & Asser customer would wear." (Oh, If only I were the son of a T&A customer...just think of the shirts I could inherit!)

Bespoken's signature look consists of classic shirts and jackets with a twist. The blazers are shorter and more form fitting, with a subtle red detail on every collar and lapel. The shirts, too, are fitted and mod influenced, with wrap around collars. Everything is handmade and in a limited edition, embroidered with a number from 1 to 100. "The autumn/winter '09 collection draws inspiration from the post-war fashion movement in Britain that occurred after the '50s," explains Sammy, the collection's main designer. "The pieces are more functional and utilitarian and are made from more textured and raw fabrics. The likes of Ian Curtis, Factory Records and northern England are some of the influential images that inspired the story behind this collection."

The result is an increased relevance and a nod to the brand's adaptability. This new collection is markedly different from previous designs, but remains cohesive and continuous with Bespoken's sophisticated aesthetic. The offspring of Turnbull & Asser have carried the torch, and made classic English traditionalism into something interesting, fresh and new...all things I'm certainly ready for right now, whilst I'm waiting for the bespoke fund to reach the required level...

Bespoken white shirt worn with cardigan by Omar Kashoura, trousers by Ted Baker, socks from Uniqlo and black suede and leather lace ups by b store.


Matthew Spade said...

great read.

at the age of 23 i'm very interested in the concept of bespoke but alas my financial position stops me. but in the same spirit as when i was 17 and id buy old 2 piece suits from charity shops and alter them to fit me. i remember having a dark green and yellow tweed one, itchy as hell!

i have them socks! great outfit too, liking the wider trousers

Izzy said...

Well-written post, Steve!

It slightly peeves me how some people throw around the word bespoke without knowing what it means. That's why I use "tailor-made" to refer to things made by my tailor, they're miles away from being bespoke, that's for sure.

You said you didn't know how to pose, but "gripping the handrails" is a legitimate pose-and makes quite a nice photograph actually haha! Love the details on the cardigan, and the club collar. I'd love to see more outfit posts!

Daniel Alec {Fashion Lite} said...

I agree, more outfit's always interesting to see your take on your subject matter.

Ian said...

GODDAMN that blue Bespoken blaze is righteous!

Style Salvage Steve said...

Mat: Thanks! Good thinking, in fact I've been to explore the idea of 'respoke' and have planned a trip to Notting Hill to pick up a few old bespoke suits which I'll have tailored. I will let you know how I get on!
Izzy: Despite the differences being clear people still fail to grasp them, oh well! I still don;t know how to pose...the rail was gripped out of pure nervous energy, lol!
Daniel Alec: I agree, I will try and post more shots!
Ian: Ha, tis my favourite piece as well. I need to make another trip to Harrods to try it on!


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