Tuesday, November 2, 2010

James Sherwood's Bespoke: The Men's Style of Savile Row

I’m too lazy to finish what I think would be an intriguing story and selfishly, a fun project involving the perusal of all my tomes sartorial. For I have, what I think, is a fairly comprehensive repository of books and articles on the subject.
And because I have so many volumes already. And because Google images and a few other resources provide with a mouse-click, a robust and historical visual treat, I’m not real impressed with new books that don’t add to the already well done job of documenting trad sartorial history. I don’t need another coffee table book that simply captures an aggregate of Polo Ralph Lauren prints ads from the last thirty years. No offense to Jeremy Hackett and to Ralph’s last coffee table sized survey of his journey, but I sold both those books on eBay.
But I’d say that the forty or so bucks you’ll have to pop for James Sherwood's Bespoke: The Men's Style of Savile Row is worth the dough. I’ll not offer a text rich revue of the book. It gets back to that lazy thang I mentioned. Besides, Will over at A Suitable Wardrobe has done that for us. What I will do is offer a visual treat of what I immediately liked about this very well researched and well assembled book. And if one pinned me down to a few statements regarding what is “different” about this book I’d offer this. It reoriented my appreciation for the military and pageant uniform legacy of Savile Row and it trips my trigger regarding history. I love lore and history and there’s enough here to be noticeable.
I remember walking into Poole one day and seeing ledger books from the late 1800’s open on a table. Not as a display prop … Poole back then, and probably now, was too British to show their customer ledgers in a display window. I’m thinking that a researcher or someone had been in there reviewing them. But they were kind enough to allow me to take a look. You’ll get a nice dose of that here. You’ll also get a comprehensive survey that includes all of the history and lineage in concert with the jaunty cul-de-sac (s) that British fashion pulled into over the years…the Nutter, Rock Star/Carnaby Street avenues as well as Savile Row today and hopefully, the future.
So sit back, put on your smoking hat and in typical ADG form, enjoy some blurry pictures.
I'm enjoying not only learning more about the military legacy of Savile Row but also the sprinkling of Vanity Fair prints in the book.
And of course, he's represented in the book.
The lineage.
I know he's leaning over a woman but for a frightening moment, I channeled Ned Beatty in Deliverance.
Picolo swathings like daddy's.
The one-button Masters.
More from Vanity Fair.
Savile Row and the Future? I just want the "Row" as a unique entity to survive.
The Duke and his Hawkes ledger sheet.
And that testy-ass cousin of Edward VII
The Gieves and Hawkes Archive Room at Number One Savile Row.
The Prussian customers including the Red Baron as well as Tony Biddle.
I'm still gonna do a story on Campaign-Knock Down Furniture. Someday.
Celebrities and the Row.
Andre Leon Talley...a Richard Anderson customer and native North Carolinian.
Anderson's Savile Row tome is well worth the read.
Hugh Grant, along with Stroller, was a fool.
The Nutter.
"ADG....ADG....it's Savile Row calling. We've made a corduroy coat just for you. Fuzzy out the a_s with all kinds of pockets and straps and buckles...it's YOU baby...it's you."
And there's a segment of the book focused on collateral providers of kit.
Sign me and Aunt Tootie up for this rig. Hold me.
Onward, in an eBay cashmere Ralph cable knit sweater and 501s...day old beard and a gnarly baseball cap...turned forward. But guaranteed to be better swathed for the balance of the week.



Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Thanks. This was recommended to me a couple of weeks ago. Did you order the British version, or the American edition? If it's as good as my chums say it is, it just might inspire a trip back to the Old Country. Damn.

ADG said...

TradMon...this is the American edition. Superficial I know, but the British version has a cover that's less visually interesting and the total cost of getting it here to the States is over sixty bucks.

Turling said...

Damn, see, now I'm not going to be able to get "squeel like a pig" out of my head.

ADG said...

Turling....sorry. At least I didn't link a YouTube clip of the pig-stickin' from Deliverance.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Hurley is too high-maintenance for a grounded chap like you. Serendipity has put the delightfully low-maintenance object of your affection in the Cambridge/Boston area today, likely tomorrow. Oh that's right, you'll be there too.

The Preppy Princess said...

The horror of the pockets on the '...audacious tweed hunting suit" almost wiped out my fondness for the post, it *is* a stellar peek into a world we haven't visited in quite some time.

I don't know if we share the same regret about the practice of disposing some volumes because the ease of Google Images negates their usefulness. It makes me sad, despite my engaging in the practice with more frequency than I want to admit.

Grins & Giggles,

LPC said...

In sum, I don't like double-breasted suits of any sort, I adore paper ephemera, and I want to see you in a top hat.

Main Line Sportsman said...

I could only focus on the cleavage of Ms. Paltrow and the thigh of Ms. Hurley....the rest is but a blur....

Patsy said...

I was unaware that they made velvet peep toe slingback shoes for men. Or do they?

Gail, in northern California said...

Thinking out loud....wonder why the Beckhams always look so angry and pouty.

ADG said...

Gail...I think it's "the thing" these days to look surly and edgy. Not me though.

Patsy...When you are A.L. Talley and have the $$$$ they'll make you anything.

MainLiner...It's Ms. Hurley that weakens me.

LPC...and to you, in sum Prunella, I'll say that I only have one double breasted suit and one double breasted blazer. I too love paper ephemera and have a cool little cache of such things. And never do I think, will you see me in a top hat.

PrincessofPreppy...I dispose of very few, as evidenced by the ever narrowing path of living space in my little patch here.

Flo...oh to be burdened, transiently/temporally/briefly by the high maintenance needs of Ms. Hurley.

ilovelimegreen said...

I am too pre-occupied with Hugh Grant to comment on that silly 3-piece purple patterned suit. Maybe tomorrow.

In The Littoral said...

I couldn't agree more, what were Hugh and Stroller thinking? Ms. Hurley is stunning! DW

Anonymous said...

As you seem to like these kind of books, when in NYC you really need to check out the Rizzoli bookstore on, I believe, 57th Street. Three floors of this stuff!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Haven't cracked the plastic wrap off mine yet, but looking forward to it.

Speaking of Huntsman -- was in Paul Stuart furtively trying on a Phineas Cole number when the sales guy piped up with: "The one button, peak lapel has become sort of our signature."

"Ah," I replied. "Straight out of Huntsman..."

Blink, blink.

"It's a very clean look..."

Oh well.

NCJack (patooo! good RRMills) said...

Aunt Tootie wouldn't wear that thang to a goat hangin', boy, you KNOW she ain't gonna have nobody thinkin' she was a Klempsun fan!

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - As a shoe-fancier with more trotter cladding than most women, what do you think of ALT's sling-back's?

yoga teacher said...

If Aunt Tootie doesn't want the audacious tweed shooting suit, I'll take it. Maybe not with the britches, but I'd certainly wear the jacket. And I could probably fit a block and a strap in that pocket, too.

Hilton said...

Ah, such a straight leg. Indeed, Mr. Grant is the king of fools.

I like the corduroy coat, sir.

I have searched in vain for a tweed coat of distinction in the local area, and have had no such luck. Would you please consider writing an article on the fabric, ADG?

Thank you.

ADG said...

Hilton...unfortunately, a finding of your desire ain't gonna happen inside the beltway. Sad state of sartorial affairs therein. Take a drive out to English Country Classics in Middleburg. They'll have something nice for you out there. Too bad you weren't with me in Boston today. I knocked it out of the park at Bobby from Boston. Two cavalry twill hacking jackets and a double breasted navy serge blazer with open patch pockets. All three for 195 bucks. BAM!

YogaRinpoche...I'm all over those pockets too. And yes you could put a block in that pocket but for symmetry's sake, you'd need to put a block in the other pocket as well. You could then put the strap around your waist I suppose. Or we could just tie you up with it.

AnonEngFem...Trotter cladding...that's a keeper baby. ALT can wear the sling backs because he's ALT. And thank you for recommending his autobiography. The man rolls with unimpeachable integrity.

NCJack...Aunt Tootie can't spell klimpson any better than you, much less understand what higher education is.

Eleganto...you shoulda been here for Bobby today. And I LIKE the Phinneas Cole stuff. Made by Samuelsohn in Canada. I wear a 40reg in that slim fitting stuff.

AnnonRizzoli...Thanks. I'll be up there in a week or so.

Littoral...indeed. The onliest explanation I can come up with is the proverbial "quest for strange"

LimeGreener....there's NOTHING silly about my posts. Ever.

ilovelimegreen said...

Now ADG, why would I EVER say that one of your posts is silly???? Re-read my comment and you'll see that I called the purple three-piece suit silly, not your post, not you.

Hilton said...

I stopped to glance into their front windows last night after chatting with a pissed Englishman at Hunter's Head Tavern in Uppityville. They are a bit pricey and I need to conserve my capital due to an uninsured scumbag complicating my life (just a bit: below the knee amputation). The Englishman told me that they hold the occasional sale. I may just have to pull the trigger on this one. (Not the scumbag, mind you.)

Toad said...

I'd buy the book for the photo of the orange tweed jacket's patch pocket

CeceliaMc said...

Rousing red plaid on gray flannel and gray plaid on red worsted: Black Fleecers take note on how it should be done.

ADG said...

Cecelia....spot on!

Toad...It's worthy of the forty-five ish bucks that it'll require to have it land at Casa Toadie.

Hilton...man, I'm sorry that you've had to endure this. Their sales are scant and infrequent. I'm gonna pray strength for you tonight...on the leg thing.

ADG said...

Oh and ps...LimeGreenie..it's ok that you call me silly.

Henry said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this book. Awesome images. Thanks for sharing them.