Recently I hosted an event with Page and Cooper at the Timothy Everest atelier on Elder Street. A Stitch In Time celebrated the worlds very best watchmakers and the finest tailoring. In this video Jonathan Bordell and I talk about tailoring, watches and the reason behind our collaborative event.
Thank you to Page and Cooper for this video.
History is littered with genius things invented by the military and later co-opted into civilian life, from duct tape (developed in 1942 to keep water out of ammunition cases) to microwaves (stumbled upon in 1945, when it was noticed that the US army’s radar transmitters were releasing enough heat to nicely warm up a chicken tikka masala ready-meal). The pre-eminent style item in the military-civilian crossover is undoubtedly the bomber jacket, designed in the mid-50s as a sleek, practical, lightweight item to complement the new generation of streamlined fighter jets and their slick cockpits. It soon made its way out of the hangar and onto hangers, but it retained a dash of derring-do chic, from the red-for-danger model sported by James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause, to the off-white number immortalised by Ryan Gosling in Drive.
The Timothy Everest take on this wardrobe staple doesn’t boast a giant yellow embroidered scorpion on the back, a la Gosling, but the bespoke detailing means it still has a sting in its tail. It comes in a distinctive plaid of black & blue (as a tribute to my seventh favourite Rolling Stones album – Hey Negrita!), with knitted contrast cuffs and collar, and angled jetted pockets. A full length zip allows you to flash a little of the iridsecent purple-blue lining in our signature Spitalfields flower weave. Dress it up with some creatively-clashing check trousers, or dress it down with selvedge jeans for a bit of mood indigo bebop. Either way, you’ll have a blast. Chocks away!
The Shoe Snob, recently moved in to Elder Street, tells us how to polish our shoes properly. Thanks Justin!
No, not Shoreditch’s premier hipster hangout, but The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson’s latest confection – a fitting description, given that not only is this his most effervescent offering to date, but also that a crucial plot point concerns a tiny hacksaw concealed in a sachertorte from a venerable patisserie that helps effect a prison escape for our hero, the baroque and somewhat lubricious concierge Monsieur Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes).
Have you seen it yet? If so, you’ll have marvelled at how Wes has out-Wessed himself on the fantastically elaborate inter-war mittel-European sets, the whimsical charm of the plot (involving dotty dowagers, stolen paintings, and sled chases), and the wealth of cameos (Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel). And then, for me, watching it felt like a family affair – we recently hosted Wes at Elder Street during our evening to showcase the paintings of Sandro Kopp, Tilda Swinton’s partner (she plays an aforementioned dotty dowager in the film), and I was particularly taken with the cerulean blue corduroy suit he was sporting on that occasion. And of course we’ve been dressing Ralph Fiennes for some time now (though I’m sorry I can’t take the credit for the bold horizontal-stripe prison suit he sports here).
One more thing; this must be, hands,down, the most moustache-rich film since Seven Samurai. Ralph’s rakish WW2 pilot-style number just loses out to Adrien Brody’s perkily-waxed bad-guy Dali model and Bill Murray’s full-on Jimmy Edwards handlebar extravaganza. As the Village People so nearly sang: Go, Wes!
Well, being a proud Haverfordwestian, I couldn’t let Wales’ patron saint’s day go unacknowledged, could I? I’ll raise a glass to him, despite his legendary asceticism – he instructed his monks to drink only water, and eat only bread with salt and herbs – while intoning his famous entreaty: “Gwnewch y pathau bychain mewn bywyd.” (“Do ye the little things in life, like perfect saddle stitches and turn-back cuffs” – actually, he didn’t say that last bit, but I’m sure those would have been his sentiments had he ever dropped into the Elder St cutting room).
To wear: I’ll probably forego the national costume of tall “chimney” hat and open-fronted bedgown in favour of one of our white twill shirts and green pocket squares, to match the shades of the national flag, topped off with our wine red cashmere tie in hommage to our national emblem – the red dragon. Grrr!
On Tuesday 25th February Page & Cooper took over the Timothy Everest flagship store for an evening of modern watchmaking and contemporary tailoring. Click Here for more photo’s from the evening.
I’m excited to introduce our brand new collaborative collection entitled ‘Hemisphere’ produced for and in conjunction with The Woolmark Company… I’ll be heading out to the US men’s contemporary trade show, Liberty Fair Las Vegas, next week to unveil it in person.
I’ve always liked working with wool, it’s an integral part of tailoring. You can manipulate it to get shape and form. It’s also incredibly timeless and yet a very modern fabric to work with. When I heard about The Woolmark Company‘s aim of introducing designers to Merino Wool I started thinking about creating a collection that would surprise people and show them what you can really do with wool. We wanted to create an internationally casual collection for people who are living an urban life; they might be jumping on a bike, on the train or could be on a plane.
One of my initial steps in creating this collection was to visit the source of the wool in Australia. Here I worked with a technologist who bought out six boxes of ‘mistakes’, which was quite funny because a lot of them were really interesting. One of the fabrics was woven and it had properties of being impervious to water because it had actually shrunk in the weaving process.
One of the highlight fabrics for me within this new collaborative collection, is the wool denim that we’ve used in the one-piece suit. When I was up at the sheep station in Ferndale it was really interesting because that was what the sheep shearers were actually wearing. It was stretch denim in a very, very cool cut, so we took that as inspiration. It’s very practical. As the shearers pointed out, in cotton you would have damp trousers all day long if you were handling the sheep when it was raining, whereas wool wicks away the water.
The aim of the collection was to demystify the preconceptions of wool and take it to a younger, more contemporary audience. Working with some innovative wool designs and weaves, we wanted an urban consumer and a tailored, internationally casual look. It’s that juxtaposition between tradition and contemporary, getting people to be a little bit surprised about what you do with wool and how you can actually wear it.
Inspired by the energy of life in Spitalfields, this collections takes wool away from it’s traditional values. It allowed me to view in an urban light and to find new ways of working with this timeless yet modern fibre.
Everything in this collection is wool-based, even the shirts. The clothes seem very simple at a glance but there’s a lot of detail in the cut and fit. We’ve used tailoring details in some of the finishing, they are cut ergonomically for performance and also have little details, you know, if you’ve got your mp3 player there are iPod loops. The fibre even ages advantageously.
Two key looks, shown above, include the men’s one-piece suit uses an indigo blue wool denim fabric. For this I have drawn inspiration from the boiler suits worn by the Bauhaus movement. The second is a key women’s look from wool denim; this ¾ length culotte is teamed with a bright sulphur yellow cowl-back neck top hand-knitted from Merino wool.
Hemisphere will be on show for the first time at US men’s contemporary trade show, Liberty Fair Las Vegas, February 17-19.
I’ve been thinking recently about the connections between fine timepieces and bespoke tailoring. It’s not-entirely-uncoincidentally because we’ve got an event coming up at Elder Street with Page & Cooper, purveyors of niche watches from independent, limited-edition makers who emphasize creativity and heritage over fashion and frippery (sound familiar?) whose MD, Jonathan Bordell, is a client and friend; his grandfather was a watchmaker just a stone’s throw from Spitalfields, and his interest in collectible cars and the jamborees that showcase them (the Goodwood Festival of Speed, etc) has led him to gravitate toward those styles of watches that would nicely set off, say, a Morgan 3-wheeler and Timothy Everest/Morgan driving jacket (for the record, I’ve got my eye on the speedo-like Autodromo Veloce, and the sleek Muhle Glashutte Terrasport II, from the P&C catalogue).
Of course, the Morgan jacket has an extra-large working cuff button to accommodate the chunkiest chronometer, and there are other bespoke solutions to the resplendent watch/tight cuff conundrum, such as having your shirt cuff cut so tightly that you simply wear your watch over it, a solution favoured by the legendary style godfather and Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli (he said he was simply too busy being one of the world’s most dashing industrialists to peel back his cuff when he wanted to know the time), and taken up since by the likes of Fred Hughes (Andy Warhol’s business manager) and Mickey Drexler (the CEO of J Crew). All very sprezzatura, and it shows that your bespoke options, like your choice of wrist accessory, are all about what makes you tick, something we’ll doubtless discuss with Jonathan at the P&C event, of which more soon…
Tim and I had been talking for awhile now about the possibility of linking up in one form or another. Tim is a great admirer of shoes but has found it challenging finding a brand that shares the same ideas as his own brand does. This is where we felt that we could greatly complement each other as while classicism is our base foundation, the idea of fusing modern ideas into the details is what drives us. It was a natural harmony and therefore made sense for me to come into his wonderful house at 32 Elder St. and complement the bespoke services that he offers with the addition of a footwear line that could pair well with his suits! So naturally as my time came to an end at G&H, Timothy Everest and I made a plan to see my shoes in his shop and here I now am.
The great thing about my new home is that it is actually a home, Tim’s home to be exact. It is a beautiful Georgian residence that Tim purchased way back when to house his bespoke workshop. And the nice thing about it is that it feels like a home and not so much a shop environment. It’s relaxing. It’s peaceful and even more important it’s comforting. There is no pressure there and that is what I love about it. You can have a coffee, listen to some music and just hang out and chat should you like.
My new concession consists of the J.FitzPatrick shoe range (with pairs to try on and purchase) as well as the entirety of The Shoe Snob accessory range stocked at Timothy Everest, 32 Elder St., E1 London. I will personally be there on a full time basis as well, from Monday through Friday, 10am-530pm. Should you be coming to London and only have a weekend available you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment on a Saturday at Timothy’s Mayfair shop on Bruton Place. Now while I will be based at 32 Elder st. regularly, I will also be travelling a lot more for the business so if you happen to be coming to London for a short period and wish to come to the shop and meet me, please email me in advance to ensure my presence in London. But even if I am not around, there will always be someone there to assist.
In the beginning my shoe and accessory ranges will only be found at the shop on Elder st and within a few months will I also house the shoes in the Mayfair store. I hope to see as many of you as I can and please do stop by should you ever be in The City area of London! And remember that should you ever have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
Justin, “The Shoe Snob”