The sadly departed Lee McQueen is best known for his architectural reinvention of womenswear. But before launching his eponymous label, McQueen trained as a tailor on Savile Row, at institution Anderson & Sheppard, where he learned the cutting skills he’d later deploy to such acclaim. It’s also where his anarchic side first emerged, although rumours that he chalked expletives into the inner linings of suits destined for Prince Charles were quashed when the tailor recently recalled a few to take a look at.
McQueen’s relationship with Savile Row endured long after he left; in 2002, he collaborated on a menswear collection with A&S’s neighbour, Huntsman, which the tailor marked by crafting him a bespoke suit. That piece of fashion history is now returning home, after the brand forked out almost £4,000 at auction to reclaim it.
Of the display, Pierre Lagrange, co-owner of Huntsman, says, “In celebration of a magnificent individual and a true craftsman, we are honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to purchase Lee Alexander McQueen’s personal Huntsman suit. It will feature prominently in the Huntsman archives, in remembrance of the unique relationship Huntsman and McQueen held. We welcome admirers of the brand to visit and remember his many years of brilliance.”
McQueen’s suit will become the centerpiece of what is already one of the most impressive collections on Savile Row. Huntsman is known worldwide for its lush tailoring and luxury accessories such as ties, leather goods and cufflinks. The current range includes high-quality knitwear, cashmere scarves and deerskin wallets, along with the bespoke suits the brand first made its mark with.
Alexander McQueen’s suit will return to its original home 11 Savile Row and be open to the viewing public at the beginning of August 2016. The display will also include McQueen’s own jumper from his line, as well as an authentic reproduction of an invitation to his memorial service.