Friday, 8 January 2010

The London Cut

An informative look at Savile Row Bespoke Tailoring. James Sherwood's The London Cut.

From this blogs very inception I have professed my admiration for bespoke tailoring and my musings often lead me to one street, Savile Row. It is a unique street, located in the heart of Mayfair just yards from the luxury retail of Bond Street and hidden from the consuming madness of Oxford Street. I currently have a seemingly unquenchable thirst to add to my knowledge of the intriguing art of tailoring and thanks to one of my Christmas stocking fillers from Susie, I can become fully rehearsed in the happenings on Savile Row after reading The London Cut. Inside these two hundred and fifty pages James Sherwood reflects on the dissolute and distinguished customers who have walked through Savile Row bespoke tailors' doors over the past two centuries whilst considering the past, present and future for Savile Row.

Cary Grant wearing a Prince of Wales checked jacket - tailor Kilgour, French and Stansbury. Charles Dickens - tailor Henry Poole & Co.

Is there another street where the history and mystery of men's style meet as grand as London's Savile Row? James Sherwood who penned this fully illustrated book asks this very question and the answer is a resounding no. If any of you doubt this point I implore to read this book and allow the knowledgeable Sherwood guide you through this famous street, its skilled inhabitants and a look at its clientele. The book is the first portrait of modern Savile Row written in English and contains detailed information on London's premier tailors whilst including marvellous images of Savile Row past and present. The master tailors of Savile Row have dressed the famous and infamous from all over the world, quietly and assuredly satisfying demand for the Row's touch of elegance and English eccentricity.

Madonna wearing a tweed three piece - tailor Henry Rose. Winston Churchill in that iconographic propaganda pose - tailor Henry Poole & Co.

The street has been the spiritual home of bespoke tailoring for two centuries measuring up practically everyone who is anyone in world history, politicians, film stars, heads of state or fashion icons. One of my favourite facets of the book are its images which document the notorious and celebrated men who were regular customers of the Row. Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, Rudolf Valentino, Pablo Picasso, Marlene Dietrich, Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Sir Laurence Olivier, Alfred Hitchock, Cary Grant, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Jude Law and Daniel Craig to name just very few.

Gary Cooper - tailor Anderson & Sheppard. Fred Astaire in Top Hat - tailor Kilgour. Tom Ford - tailor Anderson & Sheppard.

As much as I enjoy looking back at these images, it has to be pointed out that Savile Row is certainly more than a piece of history, more than just a name. It is a community and a world respected standard, the gold standard of handcrafted tailoring. Long may it thrive and be celebrated.


Snappylifestyle said...

Yes, it is a nice one to have.

Ivan McK said...

I cannot wait to get to Savile Row...oh, I'm going! Hopefully this spring/summer during my study abroad in England :-). I really wanna see if I can apply for an apprenticeship there....hmmm.


Wallis said...


I am a blogger in HK and recently open a blog abt fashion and styling.
And i like your blog so much and have linked your blog in mine! :)

Pls feel free to visit sometime:


Style Salvage Steve said...

Snappy: It really is. It is one of those books that I will keep using for both reference and inspiration.
Ivan McK: That would be amazing. Let me know if you are interested in that and I could help you investigate.
Wallis: Thanks, will do.

thelondoncut said...

Thank you for such complimentary comments about The London Cut. I am in the last stages of signing-off the layouts for an A3-size hardback titled Savile Row for Thames & Hudson due for publication in Autumn 2010. It is basically 200 years of bespoke tailoring as worn by the icons of male elegance and will feature a high proportion of contemporary images to show that the Row thrives and survives in the 21st century. I will post previews of it on my website

Compliments to Style Savage from James Sherwood.


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