Reel Inspiration – The Shining

Stymied scribbler and boozer in abeyance Jack Torrance (Jack Nichoslon), wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and young son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, turns caretaker at the out-of-season, echoingly empty Overlook Hotel in deepest snow-swept Colorado in an adventurous attempt to stay off the sauce and rediscover his powers of prose.

Alas, a quiet, gainful time is not had by all as Danny’s newly discovered psychic powers bring some bad and rather bloody doings past at the Overlook to light and Jack discovers the delights of the hotel bar, where all of his frustrations come to the fore…

The stand-out wardrobe piece in Stanley Kubrick’s genuinely scary The Shining (1980) is Jack’s very easy-wearing and perfect-for-every-eventuality corduroy blouson, which was actually a replica (or one of the eleven replicas that Kubrick had made for the film) of one of Nicholson’s own jackets.

The Shining on Richard James blog

The Shining on Richard James blog

Meanwhile, In Mayfair…

British summer time has officially started and sun and flowers are all around.

From top to bottom: daffodil in Berkeley Square, detail of Heaven Athens by David Mach at Dadiani on Cork Street, and a gently blooming Richard James tie at the Savile Row store.

Richard James blog Mayfair

Richard James blog Dadiani

Richard James tie

Ernest Endeavour

It’s difficult not to notice Ernest Hemingway and his winning wardrobe when looking into what folk were wearing in ’50s Cuba, which is what we naturally did when putting together our SS17 Dandy Kim collection.

Hemingway lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1960 and became something of a man of the people by embracing the revolution and the local look, spending most of his time in a simple, very easy wearing and very cool-to-wear camp collar shirt (pictured) or a slightly more intricate guayabera. Now officially Cuba’s official formal dress garment, the guayabera rather disappeared from site for a while after Castro finally triumphed in 1960 as it was considered conspicuous and representative of the deposed fancy-Dan ruling classes.

New arrivals at the Savile Row store and Richard James Online, our own Cuban shirts (in sky & navy embroidered stripes, bottom, and lime and blue flower crosses) retain the camp collar, top button tab and cool, ever-so-easy-wearability of those favoured by Hemingway, but are perfectly pared back and cut semi-slim with just the one breast pocket to ensure clean lines and an absence of any embellishment that could be considered unrevolutionary.

Ernest Hemingway Richard James shirt blog

Ernest Hemingway Richard James shirt blog

Ernest Hemingway Richard James shirt blog

Richard James Cuban shirt

Richard James Cuban shirt

The Sound Of Richard James – 22nd March 2017

Take Me By The Hand by Hush Moss.

Crystal Tips

Here’s the glittering, unashamedly outré gold jacket that Swarovski commissioned us to make using their celebrated crystals in 2007.

It’s another special piece from our archive, which we are currently having a good rummage through with our 25th anniversary in mind. Search #RichardJames25 on Instagram and Twitter to see some more special moments from our first quarter of a century on Savile Row.

Some 28,000 crystals went into the making of this jacket and it took two of our steady-handed, eagle-eyed finest eight days to apply them, exactingly, individually, one by one, with tweezers…

The job proved to be something of a dress rehearsal as in 2011 we worked with Swarovski to create the wardrobe for Sir Elton John’s The Million Dollar Piano shows at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

An incredible 1,700,000 Swarovski crystals went into that gear and, again, they were all applied by hand… We made fifteen suits, a number of shirts, some stand-out socks and a cape fit for the most courageous of crusaders. The cape alone weighed 22 kilos…

Another shining example of our work at Richard James Bespoke.

Richard James Savile Row Tailor

Richard James Savile Row Tailor

Silk Route

A quick, hands-on visit to one of the fantastic silk mills we use in Como, Italy.

From top to bottom: Italian national flags, a little something for the Vatican and slub silk for our very own evening wear.

Italian Silk Flag

Richard Jame silk mill

Richard James silk mill

Suitably Warm

Mr Neil Clifford, looking spruce in another, distinct Richard James Bespoke jacket.

This example is a little different in that it is cut from a wool overcoating cloth that weighs a hefty 28 ounces and is most certainly keeping Mr Clifford a lot warmer than the average jacket. It also features a button ‘under the turn’ (of the lapel) making it particularly snug in cold weather (see the picture, top right).

Over the years we’ve been fortunate to create a number of unique pieces for Mr Clifford and he recently approached us with a request for something to wear in place of an overcoat to this week’s Goodwood Members’ Meeting, which he says is “always freezing”. Our cutter Chris Foster-Hicklin was intrigued by the idea and set about making the jacket from said overcoating and a pair of matching moleskin trousers.

It is interesting to note the small arrow marks drawn onto the fabric (bottom picture) which indicate the direction that the cloth is to be cut and sewn. The marks serve as a guide for both the cutter and the tailor (who pieces the suit together), ensuring that the nap of the fabric is even throughout the garment.

A cloth of this weight holds its shape very well and ultimately provides a clean and flattering fit, but cutting it does present a bit of a challenge.

Richard James Savile Row Tailor

Richard James Bespoke Savile Row Tailor

Tails Of A Special Suit

It is often said that the mark of a perfectly tailored suit lies in the details that you cannot see.

In which case, Mr Alan Gilbert’s suits are a testament to the finest of Savile Row tailoring. The Mr Gilbert we refer to is none other than the Director of the New York Philharmonic (pictured, top right, conducting said orchestra in a Richard James Bespoke suit), whose evening dress coat or ‘body coat’ (as our Cutter, Chris Foster-Hicklin calls it) is a truly unique and challenging garment to make.

Truly unique and challenging because no one moves around when wearing one of our bespoke suits quite like Mr Gilbert… After all, conducting one of the greatest symphony orchestras in the world does involve rather a lot of arm waving and pointing and body movement in general.

Shown here, we have Chris in the process of marking out the pattern for Mr Gilbert’s second Richard James Bespoke concert suit. He uses a very thin and robust mohair cloth, one that allows the moisture to wick away from the skin and accommodate the inevitable perspiration during a performance.

The second image (right, second picture) shows Chris making adjustments to the pattern of the front torso section of the dress coat.  As he works, Chris explains that the most vital requirement for a conductor’s dress coat is that it maintains its shape; despite the upper body movement, there should be no more than a gentle swish of the coat tails while Mr Gilbert conducts the orchestra.

This style of jacket was adapted from 18th century riding coats, the strongest similarity being the armholes, which are cut slightly forward compared to a standard suit jacket. A conductor’s stance varies with their personal style, but the modified armhole allows easier arm movement and prevents the jacket from cutting into the chest.

The third image (right, third picture) shows the marked out pattern for the sleeves with a couple of lines marked in blue chalk which indicate the right hand side. These separate markings indicate Mr Gilbert’s stance and body structure, considering whether he leans slightly forward on one side or if the drop of his shoulders are uneven. The extra markings around the pattern show excess or seam allowance, which will allow alterations to be made during the fitting process.

Excess also comes into use while sewing the coat tails; instead of being cut away (as per the norm) the extra cloth is folded inward, which adds structure and weight to the tails. The fourth and final image (bottom right) has many markings on it, but it is easy to identify the lapel and the front torso section of the jacket.

We look forward to seeing the completed suit soon.

Picture of Alan Gilbert by Chris Lee, courtesy of the New York Philharmonic.

Alan Gilbert New York Philharmonic

Richard James Savile Row Tailor

Richard James Savile Row Tailor

Richard James Savile Row Tailor

The Sound Of Richard James – 8th March 2017

Supernova by s a r a s a r a.

Richard To The Rescue – Colours and Occasions

A question for a whiskery Richard from our soon-to-be client George Healing, who is in a muddle about made-to-measure:

Mr Healing: “I’m about to have my first made-to-measure suit done. I’m unsure about what cloth and what colour to choose. It’s not for work, just something to wear to weddings, functions, parties and dinners. Can you help? I just don’t want to look like a banker.”

Straight to Richard: “I believe that grey and blue suits are the most versatile. Blue has a zing to it, while grey is subtle and elegant. Of course, there are many shades of blue. I’m wearing a dark grey and blue blend today, a mixture of the two colours, which is also perfectly modest and adaptable.

“But, that said, I’ve always said that when you’re buying a suit, you should always ask yourself what you’re going to be wearing it for, exactly. There are suits and there are suits and what works for a wedding, which you mention, might not work for a party, which you also mention. And what works for a winter wedding, might not work for a summer wedding… So bear in mind the weight of the cloth and how the suit is cut as well as the cloth and colour.

“And don’t worry too much about looking like a banker, by the way. We know some that dress very well indeed…”

Why not send us your clothing conundrums and see if Richard can come to your rescue?

Richard James Savile Row tailor

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