The Daily Telegraph
A LL EYES ON OUR NEW TAI L ORING TALENTS
Savile Row is as strong as ever, but a raft of new brands are worth investigating, says Stephen Doig
In a historical pocket of the City of London this week, an event loaded with tradition and ceremony got underway. The Golden Shears Awards, established in the Seventies, is a competition among emerging tailoring talents to showcase their designs and anoint a winner – in this case an apprentice at Gieves & Hawkes, Riki Brockman, who recast workwear in tailored silhouettes.
The event – this year adjudicated by David Gandy, Jodie Kidd, film director Joe Wright and
Telegraph Luxury’s men’s style authority Bill Prince – has been termed the Oscars of the tailoring industry, and is a refreshing reminder that despite obituaries to the contrary, reports of Savile Row’s death are greatly exaggerated. Previous winners have gone on to become established suiting institutions – Thom Sweeney toast 10 years in business this year.
A bespoke Savile Row suit, with all the skill, expertise and experiential savoir-faire that that entails, should be something that every man gets to enjoy once in his life. But if ceremonies like the Golden Shears achieve one thing, it’s to remind one that there’s a young generation who are harnessing the tailoring craft for a new generation, training under masters of trade and learning techniques passed on through generations. Which is heartening in the age of Snapchat.
While Savile Row is indeed the best place to buy a suit (with the prices to match) it’s worth test-driving new or off-the-beaten-track tailoring brands – these will be the ones to take up the mantle, after all. Away from the Row, a gander north to Chiltern Street reveals a new area of menswear evolving, thanks in part to Trunk Clothiers and its founder Mats Klingberg’s careful curation of clothing. The brand launched suits recently, with made-to-measure versions offering a range of fabric options, from flannel to Loro Piana cashmere (the best in the business), with a soft fit silhouette in keeping with the brand’s Scandi aesthetic. A brogue’s stroll away, a gentlemanly new emporium, Labassa Woolfe, has recently opened, combining men’s tailoring with beautiful antiques. Founded by Johan Labassa and Joe Woolfe, the latter had worked on Savile Row for years and acted as a stylist for Benedict Cumberbatch; this treasure trove of a store showcases his own suiting for the first time. London has always been a hub of talented menswear, so it stands to reason that London Fashion Week Men’s showcases the finest new names. Gandhum is a young label founded by Jas Gandhum and features sleek, refined men’s suits and tuxedos created using sustainable fabrics. Similarly, former Hardy Amies creative director Mehmet Ali has launched MEHM+, which stands for Modern Essentials Honestly Made and focuses on soft-fit, elegant blazers and trousers where the provenance can be traced back to each individual maker. Casualwear might dominate many a wardrobe today, but the suit is set to innovate in pioneering new ways.