A pseudo-obituary of Savile Row appeared in a recent Sunday Business Section of the New York Times penned by David Segal suggesting COVID has turned the most famous men’s clothing street in the world “into a brush with the abyss.”
Pandemic depression, oppressive rents, and cancellation of overseas trunk shows accounting for 70% of its revenue stream lurks above and beyond “decades long drift from formal wear.”
The sacrosanct bespoke shops have attempted to cash in on their reputation by rebranding their product in ready-to-wear. No.1 Savile Row occupant Gieves & Hawkes currently markets a full range of “off the peg” formal wear, suits, sport coats and casual wear. Huntsman, one of the street’s most venerable tailors launched its Archive Collection in 2013, featuring a capsule collection of ready-to-wear. Kilgour, renowned tailor of Fred Astaire’s tailcoat in Top Hat (1936), transferred their signature style with a ready-to-wear line retaining its neat shoulder shaping the torso for extension. Prince Charles’ tailor, Anderson & Sheppard, expanded the brand via a haberdashery shop on Clifford Street addressing the challenge.
Irving Press, CEO of J. Press before my assumption to the throne, travelled regularly to the British Isles beginning in the 1930s, making sure to get a bespoke suit from the top tier at Savile Row. Together with his father Jacobi, brother Paul and their cohorts of York Street cutters and fitters, they “borrowed” significant details from Irving’s purloined wardrobe initiating them in J.Press custom paper patterns.
Savile Row may indeed be fading, but the J. Press MADE TO MEASURE program comes to the fore, fulfilling the Irving Press tradition in full canvas individual clothing orders from a wide selection of fabric resources tailored in our Classic Sack model or our trimmer fitting front-darted model, both expertly tailored in the United States.
An island of tailoring tradition utilizing 118 years of experience.
Clothing like space travel has been effected by the silicon chip. Blame Robert Noyce who was funded by my friend John Carter One thing that has not changed in some of London and Ny is ‘courtly manners”. J press is always a beacon as well as parts of London. My press presstige blue blazer shows wear but it is still healthy like me.
Old Yale friends like tom Wolfe and gene Scott provide good memories as well as mr haber and press family. Let me say that my Wildsmith custom shoes after 50 years are my best. One must read tom Wolfe short story on noyce etc. gene Scott was such a fine person. I raised money for a small Long Island school and gene took the time to take train and speak for 0. Years later I was sponsor of prelim to us open MENNENCUP for him to say thank you. He sat me next to a very young man with flowing Long hair. I must say I was delighted in his courtly manners. And told gene. He said. Oh that’s Andre Agassi. You will be hearing about him! One has only to walk ny with Tom Wolfe in his white suit (hat of course). To appreciate public attention to fine clothing. Tom was Yale ,some new and lingwood, and filled with the milk of human kindness. Courtly manners. J press, on to 2021.
My father was an impeccably well-dressed German truck-gardener by trade and long time financial secretary to the Indianapolis Gardeners Benefit Society for over 30 years. I remember well those tailored suits of his from Harry Oliver, and visiting the tailor as a boy and being dazzled by the bolts of cloth in the storefront window.
Thank you J. Press and Jay Walter for a superb made-to-order overcoat.
Mr. Denson’s observation is well taken. Henry Poole was the tailor to both
Churchill and De Gaulle. The outfit also produced a four pairs of buttons double breasted blazer for the current Prince of Wales.
Yours in sartorial obscurities,
You didn’t mention Henry Poole, oldest of the Saville Row tailors.