Reel Inspiration – The Shining

Stymied scribbler and boozer in abeyance Jack Torrance (Jack Nichoslon), wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and all-seeing 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 (see the clip, bottom right), 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

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

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

Meet Dandy Kim

Our new SS17 Dandy Kim collection is at the Savile Row store and Richard James Online now.

Fresh, new-season suits, jackets, shirts… And more coming soon.

Our Spring/Summer ‘17 collection snaps the brim of its toquilla straw hat down sharply and speeds across the shimmering, sun-slapped cyan sweep of the Straits of Florida to hedonistic ‘50s Havana in the company of the enchanting, exquisitely attired British gentleman adventurer and contrebandier Michael Dandy Kim Caborn-Waterfield

Richard James SS17 Dandy Kim collection

Going Against The Grain

Shown here is a marked out pattern for a sleeve, which our Head Cutter Ben Clarke is working on.

The challenge is to accommodate the client’s difficulty with shoulder movement which, he says, makes putting on a jacket quite awkward.

Rising to the occasion, Ben made a pattern to enable him to cut the sleeve ‘on the bias’ – going slightly against the grain of the cloth – as opposed to the standard way (the straighter markings for which can be faintly seen). The ‘bias cut’ sleeve will allow the fabric to stretch more, making it easier for the client to slip on the jacket.

It’s all about accommodating the individual at Richard James Bespoke.

Our 2017 Bespoke special offers are now available until the 4th of March.

Richard James Bespoke Savile Row tailor

You And Your Richard James

Three natty men, each wearing Richard James in their own inimitable way.

Firstly (top), we have @d_dinggg‘s husband-to-be looking good in a classic black shawl collar evening suit, which she captioned on Instagram “perfect” for their wedding.

Then (middle), we’ve got the accurately monikered @tajhayer of The Rakish Gent ready to take on London Fashion Week Men’s in our SS17 emerald green linen bomber jacket.

And finally (bottom), another fine photo from Twitter of our friend @UncleMitchNYC feeling (and looking) “amazing” in his Prince of Wales check Richard James suit.

Do send us photos of you wearing your Richard James or, even better, put them on Instagram!

Richard James suit

Richard James jacket

Richard James suit


Three looks from our AW17 Camofleur collection, which we are revealing today.

See more of the collection and read about the buoyantly befuddling inspiration behind it here…

AW17 Camofleur will be in-store on Savile Row, at stockists and at Richard James Online in August .

Richard James AW17 Camofleur

Richard James AW17 Camofleur

Richard James AW17 Camofleur

Free Shipping!

Beat the rush this festive season with our free shipping offer from Richard James Online.

Free express courier delivery on all UK orders of £100 and more and all Rest of the World orders of £200 and more. Offer valid until midnight UK time on Sunday 4th December.

Shipping will be automatically deducted when you check out.

It’s the perfect opportunity to shop this season’s six fast sellers, above, which are a wonderful-to-wear blue and grey herringbone boucle coat, a neat blue Super 130s subtle check suit, a timeless rust Harris tweed jacket, a very easy-wearing vintage white heavy jersey sweat, perfectly understated chestnut sneakers and a winter-weight khaki heritage Melton bomber.

All online orders addressed to London postcodes – E, SE, SW, W, NW, N – made by 12 noon UK time from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) can be delivered on the same day.

Richard James suits

Reel Inspiration – Argo

Resourceful CIA ‘exfiltrator’ (of agents from hot water) Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a cock and bull, only-in-the-movies scheme to secretly spirit six of his fellow countrymen away from their refuge in the Canadian Embassy during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.

As well as compellingly telling the true story of possibly the most amazing (and appropriate) acts of CIA subterfuge of all time, Argo (2012, also directed by Ben Affleck) acts as a fine showcase for the Harris tweed jacket, which is worn by Affleck throughout the film. As Mendez himself explained when the film was released: “That was our uniform. The jackets were representative of our group. Those of us in the CIA who did overseas work, work in the field. If you were tracking Ivan (the Soviet Union), you had Harris tweed.”

Mendez also revealed at the same time that the CIA commemorated the operation by hanging in their headquarters at Langley, Virginia a portrait of himself and a Tehran-based CIA agent called Julio, with both of them wearing Harris tweed jackets.

AW16 Richard James Harris tweed jackets (right, bottom) available at the Savile Row store and Richard James Online now.

Harris tweed jacket

argo Harris tweed jacket

Richard James Harris tweed jackets

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