PARIS–English fashion still thrives on a history of fine bespoke tailoring originating from London’s Savile Row. Also known as The Row, off Regent Street in the center of town, the legendary street is known for its high concentration of old-school, blue-blooded suits.
Yet, despite the dozens of shows during London fashion week, many of The Row’s best are left behind–including key old-school masters.
To coincide with Paris Men’s fashion week, Esquire UK selected seven designers who don’t show. Ever. But who should–according to editor-in-chief Jeremy Langmead and co. The mag went on to organize a fashion show for each.
On Friday at Paris’s Bristol Hotel, Esquire threw its “7 Brilliant Brits” event. In every corner of the room, a screen showed a film of each designer’s catwalk, along with explanation booklets about each collection.
The selection included Richard James, who won Bespoke Tailor of the Year at the British Fashion Awards; Domingo Rodriguez, who has a penchant for white seamless cuts (think Kanye goes to Berlin); E Tautz, whose clothes evoke a garden party in the British country side; Oliver Spencer, the man with a definite cheeky Brit pop twist; Gieves and Hawkes, one of the oldest, located at number one Savile Row, with a look ready for hopping on a yacht; and last but not least, Baartmans and Siegel, who put forth a series of dark dandies.
It is not surprising for a magazine such as Esquire to favor classical tailoring. After all, Langmead has oft praised the values of Savile Row craftsmen. As he once wrote in British newspaper the Guardian, “What man doesn’t—whether he admits to it or not—appreciate a good photograph of himself looking hot in a smart suit? And Savile Row seemed the best place to turn to for help…because a bespoke tailor specializes in cutting a suit to fit the wearer’s body shape.”
The good news is, all these multiple expressions of British masculinity are no longer a secret to French men. And they have Esquire to thank.