Saturday, March 03, 2012

You know you are in London when...

...you see men wearing covert coats. I was in London recently and saw half a dozen covert coats in traditional fawn with velvet collar in the span of an hour around Mayfair and Piccadilly. It's a reassuring sight if you still believe in the importance of geographical distinctions in an age of globalized fashion.

New & Lingwood
New & Lingwood window display
Below are a few observations from my recent London visit. I will follow-up separately on Savile Row tailor Welsh & Jefferies, Benson & Clegg MTM/semi-bespoke shirts and John Rushton's shoe refurbishing.

Richard James Weldon. One of my goals was to visit the English trimmings merchant RJW but I was surprised to hear their London office has been closed since August 2011.  I was interested in visiting specifically to see their velvet selection for a smoking jacket. Their old book contained some wonderful silk velveteens (81% cotton and 19% silk) in ruby, wine and blue. These were the best velvets I had come across thus far. Alas, I also learned that RJW no longer stocks silk velveteens. Now they offer just cotton velvet in black and navy. As I wrote in my recent "state of textiles" entry, it's worth considering purchasing a great cloth sooner rather than later as the certainty of its production is simply not guaranteed these days.

Davies & Son. I stepped into this Savile Row tailor and chatted with Graham who handles the front of the house. Alan Bennett is the head cutter and a few years ago they incorporated Peter Harvey who is still active. Speaking of smoking jackets above, Graham showed a lovely bottle green smoking jacket complete with simple frogging and braiding. With Richard James Weldon no longer offering their old silk velveteen, it looks like Holland & Sherry might be the next best bet in velvet. Interestingly, Davies also sells fabrics by the yard to consumers.

W. Bill. I also stopped by woolen merchant W. Bill in their new location. I chatted with Robert who showed me a few Shetlands and Irish linens and I left with a nice set of swatches to consider for upcoming jackets. One could easily wile away an afternoon perusing their wonderful Saxonies and cheviots, Superfleece, Lamlana and overcoatings.

Hackett bespoke tie service. While on Jermyn Street, I visited the Hackett store, and picked up a spring/summer silk and flax tie (one of the few Italian made products they sell). I also went to the back of the store to their MTM area and saw their swatch book for bespoke ties. The fabric selection is somewhat limited, with mostly solids and conservative patterns (fine pin dots), but suitable for the weddings that their bespoke tie service is geared toward. The customer can specify tie and width length and the tie is then made in Italy. Price is 90 GBP and will take about 4 weeks.

Kent Haste & Lachter
Kent Haste & Lachter
Hardy Amies
Hardy Amies
George Cleverley
George Cleverley
George Cleverley
George Cleverley
Crockett & Jones Burlington Arcade
Crockett & Jones Burlington Arcade

2 comments:

Gentleman's Gazette said...

Fantastic post, thanks for sharing! Did you end up with a silk velveteen or did they just have the swatch books left, not the cloth?

sleevehead said...

Unfortunately, Weldon is completely out of stock and no longer makes silk velveteen. I first saw the Weldon velvet at Los Angeles tailor Enzo Caruso who has the old swatch books.