SAVILE ROW HOUSE STYLE
The English Gentleman at Spencer House
The inaugural LC:M Presentation in January 2012 showcased the talents of Savile Row’s most esteemed tailors at London’s historic Spencer House.
The inspiration for this event was the country house weekend, with its focus on entertaining and sporting pursuits. The textures and patterns of country cloths – houndstooth, tattersall, birdseye and, of course, tweed – were combined with the more formal attire appropriate for social gatherings.
Imagining how guests might arrive from the city in their clothes from town – city tailoring comprising double-breasted grey flannel, pinstripe and chalk stripe suits in greys and navys, teamed with crisp white shirts – the sartorial journey of the weekend then required a number of outfit variations, mirroring those you might be expected to adopt while visiting.
For breakfast, tweeds, checks and sporting textured jackets are the order of the day, anticipating a country walk or shooting party. In the entrance hall, hunting and riding attire is displayed, while in the upper hallway is a group of men sporting beautifully cut coats, designed to protect the wearer from the bracing English weather.
Morning suits are on hand for a formal country occasion such as a wedding or visit to Ascot, while for dinner and cocktails there is black tie, tails and dinner jackets. Retiring to the library, we find more relaxed velvet smoking jackets to round off a busy day.
Finally, as an aside, in The Palm Room, a group of men wearing military uniforms reminds us that Savile Row still fulfils its original function – that of being home to uniform making.
THE EVENTS OF THE DAY
‘I know not a more beautiful piece of architecture… All in richness, elegance, and taste, superior to any house I have seen.’
These are the words of celebrated British writer Arthur Young on his experience of Spencer House in 1772. As one of London’s finest surviving private palaces, Spencer House made a fitting venue for the debut English Gentleman presentation, a collaborative effort that showcased bespoke outfits from the eminent tailors, shoemakers and hat-makers of Savile Row, St James’s and Mayfair.
Bringing together so many different brands and specialists all under one roof resulted in a unique presentation unlike anything else seen before in the capital. The theme was one of celebrating these time-honoured, independent businesses – their history and unique skillset – while serving as a reminder that London is the world capital of masculine style, and has been for over two centuries.
A mix of models and guests showcased 60 different outfits in seven of the glorious rooms at Spencer House. Renowned tailoring houses including Henry Poole & Co, Ede & Ravenscroft and Maurice Sedwell, among many others, paired bespoke outfits with classic tailored shirts by Emma Willis and Budd, with leather accessories supplied by hat-makers Lock & Co and shoe specialists John Lobb, G.J. Cleverley and Edward Green. Styles ranged from shooting and fishing ensembles to formal black and white tie, winter overcoats and smoking jackets. Two velvet jackets by Anderson & Sheppard, one double and one single-breasted, featured exquisite detail on the pocket jetting by historic embroiders Hand & Lock.
Overall, the tailoring represented a powerful combination of beautiful materials – principally fine woollens – and first-class craftsmanship.