Monday, 15 October 2007

Jimmy Fix it For Me

Apologies if I got you excited with the post name, this isn't a post about Jimmy Saville's style but I want to talk about the other Savile. From an early age (far too young to be even thinking of suits) I've wanted to be have a Bespoke Suit from Savile Row (yes I accept I was a strange child). For me and many others Savile Row is a symbol of the very best in men's dress. Bespoke tailoring can be seen as the Haute Couture of men's style and Savile Row has dressed every icon of male elegance from Nelson, Valentino and Astaire to Sinatra and Jagger. I will focus this post on one tailor in particular but I am sure to return to some others during my future posts. It is fitting to begin my exploration of Savile Row at Number 1 and at this address I find Gieves & Hawkes.

I won't bore you (too much) with the details although I find it interesting (I'm such a geek) but they do help illustrate the great history and almost institution like status of the tailors found along this street. The company formed from two businesses who were already famous in their own right, Gieves (which was founded in 1785) and Hawkes (which is even older, founded in 1771). Gieves & Hawkes has received Three Royal Warrants which has seen over 200 years unbroken service to successive monarchs. For any historians out there King George III was in power during the first warrant. Famous customers include Lord Nelson and The Duke of Wellington.

Tailoring has always been an intensely personal business. Today one of the challenges for Gieves & Hawkes is to provide the same personal touch to a fast-growing number of customers (the lucky ones who can afford it as prices for the full tailoring service begin at £2,250), adapting to their current lifestyles, to modern fabrics and to society's ever-changing ideas on how to look one's best. Helping them adapt and evolve is Joe Casely-Hayford, who helped define The Clash's military look and has dressed U2 and Lou Reed. As creative director Joe Casely-Hayford has now finished his third collection and is taking traditional English Tailoring and giving it a new twist and in the process is decking out new dandies in timeless elegance. Caseley-Hayford was also the first in what has become a long list of designers to collaborate on a diffusion line with TopShop, it is no longer only for monarchs or diplomats, the image and creative vision of the house is of beautifully made, bespoke clothing, one that would suit any gentleman (who save up for it!).

1 comment:

Priyanka said...

Interesting! Am so glad I stumbled upon your made for some interesting and fun reading!


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