In a quiet nonchalant side street of the St James estate in London stands Spencer House, an 18th century private palace and the chosen destination to showcase Savile Row’s modern face of British elegance.
Unlike all the other events for London Collection: MEN, this offered a different approach in showcasing the garms of Savile Row. This was a glorification of all things tailored and British, and an event that allowed you to get up close and personal with the clothes. In short, the bespoke tailors of Savile Row, along with the best shirt makers and hatters London has to offer, put on a powerful and masculine array of sixty exquisitely crafted outfits that well and truly cemented London’s position as the world’s capital for tailoring.
The journey commenced in the Georgian Entrance Hall of the neo-classical palace; greeted by a variety of wool tweed shooting jackets, brushed cotton Tattersall or Hunt shirts (from Holland & Holland and Bernard Weatherill, respectively) it was an entrance that made a statement. Accessorised with leather cartridge bags, a brown gun sleeve, ear defenders and a leather dog lead, the journey had begun.
Moving though into the Ante Room, a quaint private dining room, a multitude of Savile Row stalwarts were congregated. Ede & Ravenscroft with a single breasted two button grey stripe pure wool suit; Meyer & Mortimer with a bespoke double-breasted brown cable stripe two-piece, accompanied with black leather shoes by G.J. Cleverley; and H. Huntsman & Sons showing off a bespoke single-breasted, navy flannel, chalk stripe three-piece suit with shirt and madder silk accessories by Budd.
However, THE stand out outfit was Maurice Sedwell’s 24ct gold pinstripe bespoke double-breasted three piece. With a shawl collar waistcoat and slim leg trousers accompanied with a pair of Crockett & Jones double buckle monkstraps, the outfit managed to steal the limelight from the rest of the Savile Row elite.
As with any 18th century palace, one of the staterooms takes the responsibility of being the library. As well as being home to a magnificent collection of books, on this occasion it also housed a magnificent variety of coloured fabrics and velvets. Gieves And Hawkes’ bespoke burgundy velvet smoking jacket with antique gold Russian braiding was a particular highlight. As was Henry Poole & Co’s forest green velvet double-breasted smoking jacket with frogging and olivettes.
With an increased murmuring in the background you could have been fooled into thinking this tailored classical journey was coming to a conclusion, albeit for one last room. The Dining Room, adorned with the finest cutlery and accoutrements befitting of such a grand palace, did not disappoint.
Around the table was to be found a Hardy Amies bespoke single-breasted midnight blue silk grosgrain shawl lapel three piece wool dinner suit. A Kilgour bespoke evening tail wool suit with evening dress cape. A Richard James Zephir fly-front evening shirt encased in a black watch tartan shawl lapel dinner suit. A Chester Barrie single-breasted two-piece wool dinner suit and signature “CB” silk handkerchief. A bespoke midnight blue dinner jacket courtesy of Welsh & Jefferies and a Maurice Sedwell black watch wool tuxedo with blue Ottoman silk lapels.
Quite frankly, if you were to ever host a more fashionably stimulating supper than this, one would indeed be obliged to doff their Lock & Co hat – as it would be no mean feat.
In essence, the English Gentleman event had it all – quality, character, heritage, class and even a touch of British humour. Savile Row took over Spencer House, and did so with impeccable style.