Fashion

Davies and Son

Last modified on 2010-03-02 18:15:19 GMT. 0 comments. Top.


Davies and Son is an independent tailor at № 38 Savile Row. The firm was established by George Davies in 1803 on Hanover Street, moving onto Savile Row in 1986.


Davies and Sons made the original uniforms for Sir Robert Peel’s police force. Other customers include: Calvin Klein, Michael Jackson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Clark Gable, and U.S. President Harry S. Truman.

SUITS
DAVIES & SON


For a bespoke suit, you will find no better place on earth than Savile Row. But there are, sadly, busy folk who think that they do not have the time to have such a suit made. Will it not mean many visits and numerous fittings? Well, not necessarily. I am happy to report that I now have a most wonderful suit, a fine example of the tailoring art, the kind of suit which has made the name of Savile Row famous throughout the world – and yet, apart from the initial measuring and the final try-on and collection, I made only one visit to the tailor. And which tailor has produced this splendid suit with only one fitting? The noble firm of Davies & Son.


Number 38 Savile Row is a shop of modern appearance and modest frontage. But therein I found a bastion of tradition and a treasure chest of expertise. Established in 1803 by George Davies, the firm was for many years in Hanover Street. Only in 1986 did it arrive in Savile Row itself. But over the two hundred years of its proud history, it has welcomed European royalty, stars of stage and screen, heads of corporations and leaders of governments. What such customers always have in common is a determination to wear garments of the finest quality, made to their exact measurements. Among them have been Clark Gable, Benny Goodman and President Harry Truman. And, more surprisingly, the members of London’s first police force – for Sir Robert Peel’s ‘bobbies’ came to the firm for their uniforms. I suspect that never since have the sartorial standards of our constabulary been so high.


Davies & Son is now owned by Mr Alan Bennett (pictured). As I talked to him, it was reassuring to sense that the great tailoring traditions here are in safe hands. Savile Row means the best, and Mr Bennett is clearly determined that at Davies & Son today – as throughout its long history – only the best will do.

This filled me with confidence about my planned suit. I had in mind something dark, with a prominent stripe. The jacket would be single-breasted, with peaked lapels (of the type usually found on double-breasted suits), a single rear vent, four working buttons to each cuff and a lining of red. The stripes, if possible, would meet at the joins on the shoulders and on the lapels. The trousers would have turn-ups, straight side pockets, no back pocket, a button fly and two front pleats to each side in the English manner (that is, facing inwards – our American cousins like them facing outwards). The back would be made for braces, and the buttons for the braces would be outside at the front and inside at the back. (The last part of this arrangement would be to avoid any impression of the buttons in the leather of the Royce.)

Enter the excellent Mr Andrew Musson (pictured). Mr Musson was to be my cutter. And the cutter is the linchpin of bespoke tailoring. He does the measuring and he does the cutting. Upon him all depends. A wrong measurement or a wrong cut and disaster beckons. Mr Musson hails from Lincoln and is the son a tailor who still works in that great city. Immediately upon our meeting, I felt that I was in safe hands.

From his thousands of samples, Mr Musson soon found what I wanted: a navy blue material of 12/13 ounces with a ¾ inch bold chalk stripe – from the Huddersfield firm of Dugdale. And what of all my other requirements? An eyelid was not batted. I was anxious about the meeting of the stripes on the shoulders and lapels, for I knew this would not be an easy matter, particularly with such a wide stripe. Would this be possible? There would be no problem. It was a warm day, but the air conditioning in the small fitting room was doing its job. My ageing frame was measured and described in coolness and calm. I was soon on my way to lunch. It had been a most agreeable visit.Answering the call to the first fitting a few weeks later, I was surprised to find that the unfinished suit already fitted very well indeed. The trousers were hanging well, the jacket length was spot-on and the sleeve lengths were exactly right. Impressive. We decided on only three alterations: an extra inch in the trouser waist, half an inch extra to the height of the trouser waist and some adjustment to the hang of the back of the jacket.

At my next visit, everything was exactly right. Remarkably, there was not the slightest further modification to be made. Quietly and efficiently, Mr Musson had produced precisely the suit I wanted. Those who have yet to have a bespoke suit made in Savile Row, for fear of multiple fittings, please take note.

My suit is a delight to wear. I particularly like the waisted jacket – so different from the formless cut of the ‘designer’ jackets I see on too many of my friends – which manages to convince me that my body still has a healthy shape. Needless to say – for we are talking of Savile Row – the buttons are of real horn, the trousers are half-lined and my left button-hole has a loop on the underside of the lapel to hold a flower stem in place. There is also a feature new to me: a fob pocket in the front right-hand waist of the trousers.

Including Value Added Tax, the suit cost £2,338.25. This I judge to be excellent value. For it will last many years. Every time I take it from the wardrobe, I will admire its quality and its elegance. And I will remember, too, the astonishing fact that it was made with only one fitting. For this little miracle on Savile Row, I salute the ancient firm of Davies & Son.

Berluti shoes – a follow up

Last modified on 2010-03-02 18:23:06 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The Indio ankle boot
The Indio was the design that captivated me when I was first introduce to Berluti.

While I did try other models, I felt most at ease with the Indio design, firstly for its casualness. I already had several pairs of “busyness” shoes and I wanted something a little more flambouyant.

Secondly, I found the hand sewn stitch work to be particularly attractive and yet unique.  Having researched other shoemakers, none had taken such an approach to shoemaking.The thickness of the leather stitching not only give its a feel of “solid” construction but I think it adds great character.

It runs the length of the sole…

And the attention to detail is just superb.

… right round the back.

Thirdly, the patina and colour of the leather was just amazing with three distinct shades including a tinge of

green.  I had contemplated a darker colour (which was really a dark purple) but under the advice of Bill and another shoe connoisseur, who both said that Berluti were best known for their wonderful lighter colours, I decided to go with the tan.  Great advice Bill!

Finally, the intricate design of the sole was just magnificent!  I just don’t want to walk on this beautiful work! LOL!!

According to Berluti, the Indio is their only pair of “trainers” with its design aimed at combining the comfort of sneakers with bootmaking finishes and durability.  Based on a study of Indian shoes, the sole is entirely resoleable.  Having just purchased this, it is very comfortable with excellent arch support.  However, I’ve been told that as the leather softens, the comfort will increase.

Berluti Shoes

Last modified on 2010-03-02 18:27:42 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Berluti was founded in 1895 by Alessandro Berluti, who had come to France to establish himself as a craftsman shoemaker. Berluti’s ambition is to become the international benchmark for truly elegant footwear for men.  Since 1895, the Italian-based family-owned male shoemaker has produced unparalleled comfort, elegance, and depth of color in his shoes.

John Lobb Monk Strap Shoes Review

Last modified on 2010-03-02 18:29:19 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

The quality of their footwear is second to none. The drawback is that this kind of quality and exclusivity comes at a price.

Even though your host is happy to throw real money at shoes, the prices were such as to make Goldeneye gulp !

That said, the cost starts to represent value when you learn that John Lobb shoes are actually handed down through generations and often refurbished in their workshops.

If you are in a position to play this game then nothing comes more highly recommended for the English Gentleman. Handmade, stitched and lasted from the finest leather by an in house team of craftsmen – there is simply nothing to compare !

The only question that remains is – will I dig deep enough into the Goldeneye coffers – I suspect I’ll fail at the last minute and go Crockett and Jones.

Benefits of John Lobb Shoes

Last modified on 2010-03-02 18:30:46 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

  • Quality - the best quality leathers are used carefully chosen from tanneries that use the finest, time-honoured methods of tanning. A number of craftsmen work on your shoes, each craftsman having spent many years perfecting his particular part of the shoe making process.
  • Strength and Durability – shoes are made to last as long as possible in both the construction and the leather used.
  • Tradition - you can be assured your shoes have been made to exacting standards passed down through the generations without taking short cuts on any part of the process. You have a truly handmade product.
  • Made to measure – each customer has their individual lasts made specifically to the shape of their feet so your shoes will be unique to you.
  • Service - we pride ourselves on giving our customers top quality service throughout.
  • Comfort and looks – they will become even more comfortable and handsome with age.
  • Lineage - you will be following in the footsteps of many rich and famous and discerning customers.

Berlutti & John Lobb shoes

Last modified on 2010-03-02 18:31:27 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Founded in 1849, Lobb is one of England’s oldest makers of bench-made shoes, worn by clients such as King Edward VII (1901-1911, who was Edward, Prince of Wales from 1863-1901), famous 20th century opera tenor Enrico Caruso or actor Daniel Day Lewis.

John Lobb Bootmaker is a company that manufactures and retails a very exclusive luxury brand of shoes and boots mainly for men, but also for women. It is based near St James’s Palace, at 9 St James’s Street London. Founded in 1849, Lobb is one of England’s oldest makers of bench-made shoes, worn by clients such as King Edward VII, famous 20th century opera tenor Enrico Caruso, and actor Daniel Day Lewis. John Lobb shoes are also worn by Ian Fleming’s fictional character James Bond. At Lobb, special care is taken to select the fine leather skins – with crocodile skin shoes for about USD 8000 at the top of the range.

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