Monday, 28 November 2011

Tweed Runnings

This weekend I joined an army of tweed clad enthusiasts for a cycle through London for the latest instalment of the Tweed Run. For those of you unfamiliar with this undeniably British celebration, the Tweed Run is a metropolitan cycle with more than a dash of style, fun and dress up. Each year, it serves up a leisurely jaunt that explores the capital all in the name of promoting cycling, gentility and the love of all things tweed. This third instalment was a special edition that celebrated the opening of the first Rugby Ralph Lauren store in Europe and took place on Saturday. The extravaganza kicked off from the new Covent Garden store before hundreds of tweed cloaked cyclists embarked on a twelve mile spin through London's streets. The route saw us explore some of the city's finest landmarks, and included a short stop off for that quintessentially British treat, a tea stop. Throughout our route, traffic and passers by alike grounded to a halt to wave us on and were greeted with a chorus of Tally ho, good morning, thankyou's and much cap doffing. It was a surreal experience all round but bloody good fun. My body might still be aching, moaning and groaning but it was well worth it.

For such a burly and utilitarian fabric, tweed is all of its glorious forms often evokes a great deal of romantically nostalgic feelings. So, it should come as little surprise that some of the outfits on show had a dash of retro about them. However, that was not the whole story as so many put their own spin on tweed. What truly excites me about this cloth is how its hues are redolent of the landscape of these Isles. Each wonderfully individual piece echoes the sea, the grass and the rugged life of where it was spun. From Berwick to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland to Ireland and beyond, this special cloth is woven throughout the British Isles. Thankfully, the outfits on show were a true celebration of this truly special, yet sadly all to often neglected cloth. I'm tempted to describe the Tweed Run as Pitti Uomo on two wheels because there is undoubtedly a peacock element to proceedings as people preen and strut in Prince of Wales check, herringbone and houndstooth with consummate ease and grace.

When I was not navigating the streets of London on my borrowed Pashley, I was taking photos of the sartorial spread on offer. Before we set off on the bum numbing journey, I took a number of portrait shots that will shortly appear on Rugby's blog but as I was captivated by the sights on show, I ended up shooting an SD card full of shots for my own personal use. Below is just a small selection of the details that caught my eye...a festival of tweed.

Had to end this roundup with a close up of the Mallory jacket from Nigel Cabourn.

Ultimately, the Tweed Run is a bit of fun. It reminds us to that dressing each morning should not be a chore or a bore. We might not take it to this extreme everyday but we should all have a little fun each morning while putting in a little extra thought in to each outfit. It’s surprisingly fun to spend a little bit of time in the morning putting your clothes on.


Matthew Spade said...

how good is this! i would love to get involved with this at some point. tweed, check, bike, check...i'm ready. i've been wearing my harris tweed jacket a lot of late, off the back of your factory post

j said...

Pretty cool Steve. I read about this on Bubbles site as well. I think here in Cleveland a leather ride would be more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Great shots Steve!

Mr. Raghab said...

Fashion design is an art, as well as a good profession.The trends of today's fashion is upgrading day by day......Also career growth is incredible....

I happened to work with Kishore Mamillapalli in Delhi. Currently based in New Delhi, he actually belongs from Indore. I worked with him in the domain of fashion designing. Kishore had a great eye for details, and his combination of western and Indian styles and his way of blending them was pretty unique. The 3 years that I worked with him were the most valuable lessons that I learnt. Today though I am a renowned fashion designer I still remember my days of working with Kishore Mamillapalli.

sarah said...

Great photos and isn't it nice to see a sharp dressed man, seems men are all too often scared to break out of the jeans and t shirt mold these days...bravo these fellas very dapper!

Anonymous said...

Love this event. I think that Style Bubble was there once. This environment is so refreshing sometimes....

Alistair Cope said...

It was a truly splendid day and attracted so much attention. Traditional attire is in general, so practical and so very uplifting.

I'm the fellow in the top photo with the curved stem on my pipe.

An excellent article - thanks.

Milan Boya said...

WOW! Great!


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