Thursday, 3 December 2009

Catering for the Modern Gentry

What started out as started as a conversation between Patrick Grant and Hannah Martin about bringing together different facets of handmade British gentleman’s kit has resulted in a fabulous pop up store. Whilst waving the flag for Great British luxury, jewellery designer Hannah Martin, ready to wear tailor E. Tautz and shoe maker Lodger have come together for a one-off collaboration called The Modern Gentry. The idea is to gather, exclusively under one roof, three brands which encapsulate the true definition of luxury. The result is my idea of retail heaven. This pop up store offers a Christmas shopping experience far removed from the manic scenes on nearby Oxford Street.

Inside the Modern Gentry Lodger shoes sit under E. Tautz tailoring with Hannah Martin's jewellery complimented by a beautiful light sculpture courtesy of Yorgo Lykouria.

The London based trio have set up camp at the Alma Showroom (just a cufflink's throw away from Savile Row) for talks and appointments until the 5th December. Representatives from each brand will be on hand to explain the detailed processes involved in creating each of these unique products. Under the cloak of Dazed Digital I caught up with Hannah Martin, Patrick Grant of E. Tautz and Lodger's very own Nathan Brown to find out more about the project. The Modern Gentry explores the definition of the modern luxury and I asked each of them what British Luxury meant to them. For Patrick, luxury is about 'scarcity... the things that many men want but very few can have." For Nathan Brown it means "beautiful design, thoughtful craftsmanship, impeccable service." Similarly for Hannah Martin it is "about integrity, timelessness and craftsmanship." The interesting thing here is that in all of the responses not one of these ideas touch on the concept of 'modern' because the values of true luxury are timeless. It should be about creating something that will last, both in terms of quality and style. When we discussed the perceived decline of luxury back in March it was clear that many luxury brands had lost sight of these virtues. It should provide pieces which can be handed down to the next generation. We are surrounded by fast fashion and impossibly cheap products. For these three brands, British luxury is the antithesis of this. In short, the Modern Gentry is a wonderful one-off project borne from a shared commitment to the creation of gentleman's requisites... I just wish that it was around for longer.

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