A Tribute to the English Gentleman

Tradition takes a modern spin

Man Style

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Stepping inside the historic Spencer House in London’s St James is to be immediately reminded of England’s grand aristocratic heritage. And on this particular day, during London Collections: Men’s 2013, it is also a reminder of a proud menswear legacy that puts the ‘great’ in Great Britain.


Spencer House

Spencer House is certainly in the right neighbourhood to offer a glimpse into a rarefied world—Buckingham Palace is just down the road, after all. And for the bespoke tailors of Savile Row, that is precisely the kind of world they inhabit; one of unrivalled luxury, quality and craftsmanship.

With their wares showcased in a live presentation, appropriately titled “The English Gentleman”, Savile Row’s finest reminded the fashion establishment just why London has been the epicentre of masculine style for over two centuries. Guests including Vogue Japan editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo, designer Richard Nicoll, Condé Nast president Nicholas Coleridge, British GQ editor Dylan Jones, style.com’s Tim Blanks, fashion commentator Colin McDowell and net-a-porter founder Natalie Massenet, witnessed the fabric workmanship of British weavers at its finest.

Collaborating with The Woolmark Company, Savile Row Bespoke put a modern spin on classic tailoring, calling on the city’s finest shirt makers and milliners to join them. As with any quality tailoring, worsted and woollen textiles and first class craftsmanship were the focus on the looks seen on a mix of more than 50 models and stylish Londoners throughout seven rooms of the historic house.

“The idea to create ‘The English Gentleman’ at Spencer House was to walk through the lifestyle of a traditional English gentleman, from military through to shooting and fishing, to black and white tie, taking in business suits, winter overcoats and smoking jackets along the way, providing a collective presentation from the masters and craftsmen of Savile Row and St James’s,” says British GQ creative fashion director and stylist of the presentation, Jo Levin. “British fashion has always, and continues to be a source of inspiration for the world of fashion, inspiration that also transpires through to womenswear.”

Levin adds that the heritage of Savile Row is inextricably linked with wool season after season, from historic times and into the future. 

“We have created a celebration of the English gentleman, using wool liberally, as it has always been used over time, it allowed us to encompass the versatility of wool in rustic tweeds and superfine suitings, all styled and accessorised with traditional attire from St James’s,” she says. “Menswear fashion is renowned for using wool as the hero fibre due to its flexibility, richness of colour and quality aspects, and is a dream fibre for designers who use it to create the finest lightweight suits to thick and heavy military coats, and supersoft knitwear.”


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