SAVILE ROW SCORES
The English Gentleman at Lord's Ground
The June 2013 presentation was a celebration of great British style and sportsmanship. English sporting pursuits have always created specialist attire, either to facilitate the playing of a game, or to denote membership of a particular sporting club. Preeminent among the traditional sporting wardrobe are the blazer, the sports jumper and the striped club tie, and it was these items that underpinned the outfits assembled for The English Gentleman project at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Using archival imagery for reference, creative director Jo Hambro uncovered many instances where British men had combined pieces from the sporting wardrobe with elements of more conventional summer daywear. This habit has been taken up and popularised by the Americans whose preppy style – made famous by the likes of Tommy Hilfiger (who, incidentally, attended this presentation) and Ralph Lauren – is essentially based on the habit of US college students adopting elements of the uniforms of British sporting activities. Based on the Ivy League style of dress from the first half of the century, preppy style is now considered the preserve of the Americans. It has its origins, however, closer to home.
To reclaim the look, at Lord’s we see not only a host of English cricket sweaters on the steps of the pavilion, but also a whole variety of blazers, from classic blue to summer pastels. The blazer today is, of course, a ubiquitous staple and is as at-home with jeans as it is with flannel trousers.
But summer dressing – from business in the City to garden parties and attendance at fabled English summer ‘season’ events – is not confined to the lexicon of sportswear. In Lord’s Long Room, certainly the most famous room in cricket, and possibly in sport in general, we find versatile light-coloured summer wool suits. Wool is a particularly appropriate material here, as years ago sheep were used to graze the grass out on the pitch to keep it short. The models perch on the distinctive high stools that are used by members to watch matches. The shades of cream and biscuit in the suiting, combined with pastel shirts and two-tone correspondent shoes show that smart does not have to mean dull.
However, for those who need to wear more sober warm-weather outfits, in The Committee Room we show a plethora of elegant pale grey suits that will work in any metropolitan backdrop.
You don’t get to enter these special spaces unless you are a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord’s and is the guardian of the laws of the game. The MCC dress code is ‘smart casual’ but gentlemen must wear collared shirts at all times, even though they can ditch the jacket and tie. It was therefore only polite to respect this on the afternoon of our event.
THE EVENTS OF THE DAY
There are few pursuits more quintessentially British than cricket. Equally, there are few sporting venues as charming and historically significant as Lord’s, the undisputed home of cricket.
The eminent sporting club made a natural choice for the mid-2013 edition of The English Gentleman, and featured 100 outfits displayed on both live models and mannequins across Lord’s most iconic spaces including the Long Room, the Committee Room and Pavilion Roof Terrace.
The presentation – the first of its kind ever hosted at Lord’s – acted as a journey through different facets of cricket and British men’s style, encompassing wool whites, formal dressing and iconic sportswear. Once again overseen by GQ fashion director Jo Hambro, the Spring/Summer 2014 collections focused predominantly on The Wool Company’s ‘Cool Wool’ concept, a lightweight material with superior breathability and temperature control. Summer suits and preppy blue blazers were seen alongside pastel-coloured suits and mint green coats by Anderson & Sheppard and Richard James, while Johnstons of Elgin showcased stylish cashmere interpretations of the classic cricketing sweater.
Sport-chic accessories also took centre stage, with sunglasses by Cutler & Gross and beautifully crafted shoes from John Lobb and George Cleverley.
The Road to Lord’s
The English Gentleman at Lord’s