A bespoke suit from Gieves & Hawkes at No. 1 Savile Row in London is way out of range for most men, myself included. But Gieves & Hawkes is a great example of a master upholding the tradition of fine British tailoring. These days, the menswear market is flooded with derivatives and knock-offs of companies like this, but it’s helpful for me to keep an eye on the masters so that I won’t lose sight of what it’s all about and where it all came from. If tailored menswear were a university, brands like this would be the Ph.D.s at the head of each department.
Times have changed since tailors on Savile Row could survive and thrive by just catering to their bespoke commissions. Nowadays, brands like Gieves & Hawkes have expanded their offerings with less costly made-to-measure services and ready-to-wear lines that are more accessible to a broader market that appreciates the quality and heritage but cannot necessarily afford a bespoke suit that takes several weeks, several fittings and several thousands of dollars. There is no denying, however, that the cornerstone of those brands’ discerning aesthetics and their commitment to superlative craftsmanship remain firmly planted in the old school tradition of hand-tailored clothing.
These masters know what works, they understand the constraints and rules, and they understand the male shape. It never looks less than amazing.
The obsessive on-trend menswear “brohemians” of today ostensibly live to push the envelope. But in order to effectively push the envelope, one must understand what the envelope is in the first place. Brands like Gieves & Hawkes are the torch-bearers who mastered the envelope. Respect.
A video of Gieves & Hawkes’ FW 2014 collection:
Images and video Copyright © Gieves & Hawkes