Savile Row: Bentley Bespoke

Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott and Lady Westmacott welcomed me and a few selected journalists to the British Embassy for Savile Row and America: A Sartorial Special Relationship, an exhibition celebrating the art and heritage of British bespoke tailoring. For many who do not know, Savile Row is the motherland of sartorial innovation, like James Bond’s tuxedo that in my opinion have transformed the landscape of fashion.

Fast forward to today, a new generation of tailors are invigorating the industry, revering the heritage, applying technology to the finest fabrics and styles. Thanks to the Kingsman: The Secret Service, “a whole new group of men are paying closer attention to fit and how they look”, says Craig Featherstone, director at Henry Poole.

Savile Row has evolved to meet an ever-changing society while refusing to comprise its rare personality and attitude. What is remarkable about Savile Row according to Nick Foulkes, “is that, even in to the present century, it retains its character and its traditions. It is a cliche to talk of London as a series of villages, but cliches tend to have some truth in them, and Savile Row really is a village, a community, an extended family of craftsmen who often spend the entire span of their working lives within a tiny pocket of real estate in the center of London.”

The Houses and The Savile Row Bespoke Association

1. Alexander McQueen
2. Davies & Son
3. Dege & Skinner
4. Gieves & Hawkes
5. Henry Poole
6. Huntsman & Sons
7. Kent Haste & Lachter
8. Kilgour
9. Meyer & Mortimer
10. Welsh & Jefferies
11. Dormeuil
12. Harrisons
13. Edward Sexton
14. Lutwyche
15. Chester Barrie
16. Kathryn Sargent
17. Maurice Sedwell

What strikes me when I review today’s Savile Row is how current it is. It is an art, from the creation of the tuxedo, sequin bespoke jackets, riding coats, shooting garments, custom tweeds and exquisite suits. Curator Nick Foulkes ends by saying, “Savile Row tailoring is about more than just Savile Row, for it embraces several nearby streets. More importantly, it embodies certain values and standards that are universal. It is impeccable male style, meticulous hard work, unique personal style, centuries of tradition, and time-honored skills … all in just nine letters.”

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Thank you
Photos/Video: Courtesy of Savile Row Bespoke
Special Thanks: Bentley, Graff, The Macallan and The British Embassy

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