A fine and altogether suitable slate grey 16oz English-woven herringbone wool covers the walls of the first floor changing room in the new, soon-to-be-unveiled multi-storey Richard James Bespoke store on Clifford Street.
Fresh, new-season suits, jackets and shirts. And much more to come over the next few weeks!
“I would not have believed I could have been so deceived.”
King George V on visiting the Dazzle Section at The Royal Academy of Arts, 1917.
Our AW17 Camofleur collection starts its surreptitious journey just a short step from Savile Row in a covert corner of the neighbouring Royal Academy of Arts, where it squints, scratches its head and stands in awe before the astonishing, jarringly geometric work of camofleur Norman Wilkinson’s top-secret Dazzle Section.
Winning wonk Wilkinson worked as an unassuming seascape artist and illustrator before he was struck by razzle dazzle, his bold, acutely conspicuous form of anti-camouflage, the cunning if chancy concept of which was to confuse and confound more than conceal.
His radical ruse was used to protect Allied shipping and went on to influence a raft of artists, not least those of the intriguingly illusionary Op Art movement of the Sixties and early Seventies, who found a welcome home for their work hard by Wilkinson’s erstwhile workstation at the Royal Academy in the galleries of Cork Street.
This is a sharp, standout collection that celebrates an original, buoyantly befuddling British innovation and the extraordinary art it impacted on.
Base colours of soft grey, charcoal, taupe, caramel, chocolate and mushroom, pointedly punctured by accents of ochre, orange, burgundy and lucid blues, sweep through tailoring and knitwear like surely shrouded ships on a quiescent sea.
Graphic, zigzagging Op Art prints give a pressing presence to big ribbed and hand intarsia cashmere knits, silk and cashmere scarves and silk pocket squares.
Lightweight soft flannel lends warmth to relaxed, double-breasted tailoring and casualwear with velvet and corduroy adding depth and texture. Oversize herringbone overcoats clearly echo the strong lines of razzle dazzle design.
Come and join us on an eye-opening journey of optical obfuscation in the company of a noncomformist camofleur par excellence.
Here’s our untypically casually attired head cutter Ben buttoning (adding the buttons to…) the five identical-in-all-but-size bespoke wedding suits that he’s been making for the groom and his wife to be’s four children, who are aged from ten to seventeen.
Pictured are the groom’s and, at the top, the very much smaller youngest child’s suit.
The suits, which are being collected today, are cut from a lightweight English-milled wool fresco cloth and will be worn with the classic Italian-milled silk satin ties (we won’t disclose the colour) that are made for us at one of the Pope’s chosen mills in Como.
Our very best wishes for the big day go to all.
There is now 60% off ALL our SS17 Dandy Kim collection!
At the Savile Row store and Richard James Online.
Doomed by Moses Sumney.
Our customer Michael Bradford catches Richard in the Savile Row store and presents him with a teaser about trousers:
“I’m keen on having turn-ups on my trousers. I’ve seen a few different heights on them. Some look like they’re almost 2 inches. The trousers I want are quite narrow and tapered. What do you recommend?”
“Turn-ups, or cuffs as they are known in the United States, have seen a bit of a revival recently.
“Classically, the height of turn-ups is 1 1/2 inches, but people are now going up to 2 inches. Such a turn-up will work nicely on trousers like Oxford bags, for instance, with a high waist and a bigger, more balancing waistband. Generally speaking and for your purposes, however, I prefer a height of 1 3/4 inches, which is neither too big or too small.
“The other important thing to consider when you’re thinking about turn-ups is the length of your trousers. With a turn-up finish you can’t slant the hem of your trousers to make the back a little longer, so if you’re wearing narrower trousers with turn-ups, I suggest you wear them a touch shorter in length than you normally would. This will ensure that there is no heavy break to obscure and bunch your turn-ups.
“And do remember that one very good thing about turn-ups is that if you decide you don’t like them, you can very easily have them removed and a plain hem reinstated.
“So you’ve got nothing to lose by giving them a go, really.”
In a tizzy about your own trousers? Got a clobber query? Why not let Richard know about it and see if he can ride to your rescue?
It’s not really the weather to be thinking about shearling pea coats. Or cashmere intarsia knits for that matter. But our AW17 Camofleur collection is arriving in-store on Savile Row and at Richard James Online later this month.
Which means the Sale – where you will now find 60% off our summer ready, very cool-to-wear SS17 Dandy Kim collection – isn’t going to last forever…
The hot and happening new dance director of the Paris Opera Ballet hits the creative buffers, but gets himself back on track after he is paid a visit by his dearly departed dad.
Anissa Bonnefont‘s beautifully shot The Eyes Of My Father was commissioned by the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Arts Foundation to showcase, they say, the international language of British fashion.
Men’s wardrobe by Richard James.
The smallest things can present the biggest challenges.
Indeed, of the five identical bespoke wedding suits we were recently asked to make for a groom and his children, aged between ten and seventeen, it was the smallest child’s suit that proved by far to be the largest task.
Pictured here (right) are said suits, which were cut from the same lightweight grey wool ‘fresco’ cloth, which is spot on for a summer wedding.
Cutting a bespoke suit for a child has been a new experience for our Head Cutter, Ben Clarke. Using a smaller length of cloth makes it harder to cut the pattern, because everything from the size of the pockets to the armholes is smaller and the proportions of a suit change when it is scaled down.
Children’s shoulder blades also protrude a little more than adults’, which also makes creating an accurate pattern tricky. “All the rules go out of the window,” says Ben. “And you have to change your system”.
It’s that time of year again and the Seagull of Savile Row (or adjoining Clifford Street, to be exact but less alliterative) is back.
Visitors to our Bespoke store in the early summer months will quite possibly be familiar with this screeching and swooping presence. We certainly are.
To put your mind at rest if you were thinking of paying us a visit, the Seagull of Savile Row is merely keeping a protective eye out for its young, which hatch in early June and fledge in August. You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, but it is not out to pick a fight.
That said, it does pay to stay on your toes (or possibly knees) when there are dive-bombing seagulls around as they have also been known to help themselves to food, particularly, it seems, chips, sausage rolls, Gregg’s Chicken Bakes and anything from McDonald’s. Clean eaters will presumably be able to pass by without too many problems.