Why I Go To Mr Tim: Justin FitzPatrick

I have always had a bit of a colorful personality when it came to clothing. It was always about coordination/matching and doing things just a tad bit different, for example the blending of cultural dress styles, like English elegance with a relaxed Italian look. Trying to harmonise those things is what I have fun attempting. For me the idea of just sticking to one style, day in and day out, is just plain boring. Of course it will define your look as a man, but I rather dress to my moods (and the weather) as opposed to my signature look. Therefore, feeling and being different each day makes me throw on something completely alternative to the day before not only in color but also in style. And that is how I dress….

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Being like this has made my transition into Timothy Everest clothing quite exciting because he makes it easy as he has already done just that! Tim puts soft Italian shoulders on traditional British cloths/looks and creates a best of both worlds look. And not only that but he also puts his own personal twist on them. And that is what I love about Tim’s clothing. It has character: a touch of this, a dabble of that. These little details matter and for me, stand out in a subtle yet elegant way. And that is how I like to look at my own personality and style. So it’s as if Tim’s clothing was simply made for me, which makes it very easy to be attracted to nearly everything in his collections.

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And we can’t forget the fact that his style of design in clothing (classic base with modern twist) matches that of the way in which I design my own shoes. Therefore, when wearing my shoes and Tim’s clothing, everything seems to complement each other so effortlessly. So how can I not love that?!

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EASY RYDER

Want to get behind Our Boys for the forthcoming Ryder Cup? We’ve made it simple for you this year by designing the official European Fan Range of clothing, so you can cheer on Paul McGinley, Rory McIlroy & co. in various configurations of eye-catching, Birdie-or-even-Albatross-inspiring shades of blue and gold. There’s the polo shirt (contrast upper & cuffs, yellow collar trim & stripe detail), or the zippered shirt (contrast arms, yellow zipper & collar lining) and jacket (contrast upper, yellow zipper, stripes & collar lining). The official Ryder Cup shop has them, so this is your chance to turn Gleneagles a stylish and vivid shade of blue, firing up the players and setting off the greens to, well, a tee.

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Jeremy Franks; Lest We Forget

I am sad to report the recent death of my old boss and friend Jeremy Franks who I knew fondly as the “Colonel” whilst working with him at Daks as Group Creative Director in the early noughties.

A true Gentleman loved by all that new him with a tremendous sense of humour and respected within the clothing industry. He was of a stylish generation who new how to conduct business affairs politely and with good manners whilst making life fun.

Obituary from Drapers Online:

Jeremy Franks, former chief executive, Daks Simpson Group

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One of the finest ambassadors for classic British menswear, Jeremy Franks, who headed Daks Simpson for almost 20 years until 2004, died on August 14 after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 77.

 

Among the tributes for this very popular figure, Philip Mountford, chief executive of the Hunkemoller group in Holland and former chief executive of Moss Bros, recalled: “Jeremy was special to me as he gave me my first chance in business life (at Simpson Piccadilly) and nurtured and developed me through my early career.

 

“Jeremy was an incredible visionary who had the ability to spot talent and nurture it. He was a great marketer and brand builder who help bring Daks out of the Stone Age into being a global brand, and selling it for a great deal of money.

 

“More importantly, Jeremy was a people person, who would know and retain all the information about you and your family, and talk to everyone at all levels. He was the most stylish, sophisticated, intelligent, and worldly man I have ever met, who could converse at all levels, from stockroom boys to the Queen. He had an incredible presence. When he walked into a room, you would instantly know he had arrived.

 

“Jeremy Franks is an industry legend who will be remembered by everyone who met him.”

 

Educated at Wellington House and Lancing College, Franks was commissioned into the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards in 1955-57 and, throughout his career, carried an impressive military bearing that complemented his always-immaculate appearance.

 

Franks spent four decades working with classic British brands. After a short stint in his family’s building firm, he joined a West End woollen merchant, then a tie manufacturer in the exports sales department (he spoke French and German). In 1967 he was appointed European export marketing manager of Aquascutum. The following year he was transferred to north America, where he stayed for 14 years, first as managing director of Aquascutum Canada and then as senior executive vice president of Aquascutum, North America, based in Montreal.

 

After a three-year spell as managing director of Irving Samuel Clothing in north America, he returned to London in 1985 as managing director of Simpson (Piccadilly), the retail arm of the Daks Simpson group. By 1991 Franks was appointed managing director of the group, which incorporated the retail division, a manufacturing division based at its factory in Larkhall, Scotland, a global licensing network (especially in Asia), and wholesaling of UK-manufactured products in the UK, Europe and America.

 

In 1992 Franks was made chief executive and managing director of Daks Simpson Group and a director of Sankyo Seiko after the Japanese conglomerate acquired the share capital of the UK listed company. The charismatic Franks remained in charge until his retirement in April 2004.

 

For many years, Franks was active in promoting British brands through the British Menswear Guild and he was among the founders of the Walpole Committee, which promotes British luxury goods.

 

“Jeremy was a wonderful spokesman for British menswear and earned the respect and admiration of all during his years at Daks Simpson, The Walpole Committee and the BMG,” said David Challinor, former secretary of the BMG .

 

Rugby, cricket, antiques, fine wines, theatre and, in retirement, The Pony Club, were among his diverse interests. He leaves his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth, daughter Amanda and granddaughter Amber. The funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.

 

Jeremy Christopher Reynell Franks: Born April 26, 1937; died August 14, 2014.

SOFT POWER

“Cashasilk.” A clunky hybrid in grammatical terms, but when cashmere and silk come together in a weave, it can create a beautifully soft, light and lustrous texture, as seen in these two bespoke jackets, made for a long-standing and audacious New York client who’s never afraid to mix it up. The first is a three-button single-breasted bold-check affair, with patch pockets, pad stitching under the lapels for additional firmness (and curvature maintenance), and internal saddle stitching. He’ll team this one with his electric blue gabardine trousers for a more formal look, or his white selvedge jeans for those late summer cocktail soirees in The Hamptons. The second is a gorgeous blue triple check DB with black over-check, with Nutter-referencing lapels, straight pockets, and beautiful blue mother-of-pearl buttons. He’ll team this one with his chocolate gabardine trousers or his white jeans. And yes, he’s a very busy man, but while he may be time-poor, we can now safely say he’s cashasilk-rich.

 

Single-breasted, Lightweight, Cashasilk Jacket.

Single-breasted, Lightweight, Cashasilk Jacket.

 

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CashaSilk double-breasted  blazer with blue mother-of-pearl buttons

CashaSilk double-breasted blazer with blue mother-of-pearl buttons

Jacket lining.

Jacket lining.

Chocolate brown under collar.

Chocolate brown under collar.

CashaSilk; Blue triple check with black window pain over check.

CashaSilk; Blue triple check with black window pain over check.

 

 

GO-FASTER PINSTRIPES

Do you feel the need – the need for speed-tweed? For a while now I’ve been pondering the possibilities of injecting a bit of sports technology into tailoring, to create pieces that stand up to outdoor rigours yet still retain that air of indoor elan. We’ve already tested the water, so to speak, with our cycling jackets for Rapha and Brooks, and now we’re developing a shooting range for a lady who happens to be the European game champion. The problem they wanted to address – and it’s an age-old one – is that anything that’s ergonomic is not very elegant, and vice versa. We’ve been using tweed with nano-technology to make it showerproof; we’re also using Ventile, a densely woven, wind- and waterproof and breathable cotton fabric that was developed for military outerwear in World War 2, and GoreTex membranes for further protection from the elements. We’re also doing a field coat for the writer Nick Foulkes in a US military-grade ripstop, which is a cotton/polyester mix woven in such a way that makes it extremely resistant to tearing, just as the troops use in action. It’s something a tailor wouldn’t ordinarily touch, but I think it’s fun to mix these things up.

Ladies Shooting, Traditional Tweed with a Bright Green Twist

Ladies Shooting, Traditional Tweed with a Bright Green Twist

What we’re aiming at eventually is producing a ready-to-wear version of these hybrids, particularly for cycling and shooting. Bespoke can’t compete with the sports-tech giants like Nike, obviously – I don’t think you’ll be seeing Usain Bolt in a bespoke 100 metres outfit any time soon -   but we can work with the more elegant pursuits to produce garments that people could realistically wear. Getting involved with Woolmark was a real eye-opener in this regard, because we started working with things like tailored jersey and tailored sweatwear. We’ve got a lot of younger customers who’ve come through the whole heritage thing and now want clean, modern design, so I think sportswear’s becoming very relevant, but with a kind of luxe twist – a sweat shirt with a bit of alpaca in it, for instance, or Storm System from Loro Piana, which pretty much gives you waterproof cashmere. So bespoke can come in both from the top down, tech-ing up a trad look, or from the bottom up, tweaking the workaday or performance look into something much more individual. I suppose the ultimate expression of this direction would be the perfect tracksuit, cut as stringently as any bespoke suit in, say, a navy tailored jersey herringbone, modelled by some classic business type. I can’t see Sir Alan Sugar going for it, but Rupert Murdoch might well give it a go.

Ladies Shooting Waist Coat in Purple with Deep Cartridge Pockets

Ladies Shooting Waist Coat in Purple with Deep Cartridge Pockets

Ladies Shooting Jacket

Ladies Shooting Jacket

 

RIP ROBIN WILLIAMS

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Still trying to digest the awful news about Robin Williams, a true comedic one-off. I met him several times – including, on one memorable occasion, styling him for the Oscars, when he formed the centrepiece of a lady Mountie chorus line in a number riffing on Blame Canada, from the South Park movie – although each encounter was an unforgettable one. How could it not be, with that mind that seemed tuned to a different frequency to anyone else’s, where voices from all epochs, classes and denominations seemed to co-exist in a giddy comic ferment? But being of A Certain Age, I’ll always remember him best and fondest as a certain alien refugee from Planet Ork, burning up the teatime TV screen in a scarlet jumpsuit and silver boots and gloves – a look I strove in vain to emulate at the time with mother’s Marigolds – in Mork & Mindy. So I think it behoves us all to say a final “Nanu Nanu” (while twiddling both ears, of course) to Robin Williams. There will truly never be another like him.

BRIT SHOP

“Buy British.” A perky little phrase, isn’t it? But in recent years it’s been a lot easier to trip it off the tongue than put it into practice, for all sorts of reasons – cheap imports, the decline of manufacturing in the UK, etc. I’m glad to announce that the counter-attack is now well and truly under way. I recently dropped in at the House of Commons (nice buttresses – and the architecture wasn’t bad either, ooh Matron), for the launch event of the inaugural Buy British Day, which will take place on October 3rd. It’s part of the Best of Britannia event showcasing British brands, which we’ll again be participating in this year, and it’s a chance to acknowledge the enormous talents, sterling traditions, and continuing innovations of our native industries and craftsmen – something I’m naturally very passionate about, from my Welsh socks to my Spitalfields cuffs to my Scottish gloves. So many people are looking to Britain at the moment in the wake of events like the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, so we shouldn’t hide our various lights under any more bushels. Buy British Day will be a chance to help educate people about the sheer range and quality of goods that we produce, and I’ll be doing my rah-rah bit in the run-up to the event by featuring some of my fellow Brit-players-and-manufacturers on the blog. Together – and I think we need a rousing bit of Elgar on the soundtrack here, thank you – we can have these Isles ruling the aisles once again!

The panel included Timothy Everest (left) and William Church of Cheaney Shoes (2nd from right). Images thanks to Grey Fox Blog.

The panel included Timothy Everest (left) and William Church of Cheaney Shoes (2nd from right). Images thanks to Grey Fox Blog.

MR TIM’S TALES: 1

One of the best things about working for Tommy Nutter in the early 80s – aside from plentiful opportunities to down a Judy Garland, Tommy’s favourite tipple of cold lager, so-called because he’d read it was what Judy used to drink before going on stage, to calm her nerves – was the sheer range of his clientele; we had Lords, Ladies, pop stars, legends of light entertainment, and East End gangsters. It might possibly have been one of the latter who once came in on a bespoke appointment. After taking him though the whole process – cloth, style, measurements – we shook hands at the door and I was about to ask him when he’d be free for a fitting, when he said “OK, great, I’ll come back and see you when I get out of prison.” I think his details are still on file somewhere, so, if he’s reading this, and he’s not still in the Scrubs, he knows where to find me…

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Judy Garland

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The List… August

To Eat | Blackfoot, 46 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE

Blackfoot Restaurant. It’s new, it’s East and it only serves pork. How delicious!

 

To Drink | La Chapelle, 35 Spitalfields Square, London E1 6DY

I went to an amazing party here a couple of weeks ago. Upon walking in I thought how real the music sounded, of course when I looked up there was an entire orchestra playing the Meet Joe Black theme tune.. what a moment!

 

To Visit | Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival is here again and with this glorious weather we know it’ll be at it’s best. Get ready, it’s time to take those giant head dresses out for a walk around town.

 

To Ride | RideLondon

Image courtesy of www.compton-hospice.org.uk

Named by Boris to be one of the greatest cycling festivals in the world, and we all love a bit of biking. RideLondon consists of cycling events dotted around London. From family cycling tours to keen amateur challenges London will be laced in lycra.

 

To Win | Glorious Goodwood

The starter pistol fired it’s first shot on Tuesday at the Glorious Goodwood and it looks to be quite the glorious few days at the worlds most beautiful racecourse. Pour some Pimms and place your bets, your in for a treat.

 

To Listen | Kate Bush, The Apollo Hammersmith, 45 Queen Caroline St, London W6 9DZ

She’s back with a vengeance for her second ever tour in the carrier of this eclectic english singer. No wonder it’s a sell out, I shall find a way!