The instinct to disassemble is strong in suiting. Even the Fayed brothers, heirs to the temple of starched shirtery that is Turnbull & Asser, were talking about pulling suits apart, boiling them down to separates. In a world where jeans and a blazer constitutes business casual, that impulse is understandable. For Spring, they continued their sportification of Bespoken
, the label they launched with all the factories and fabrics of T&A at their disposal. It's possible that they went a little far this time. Sam Fayed was name-dropping Ray Petri, of Buffalo fame—even going so far as to include one of Jamie Morgan's famous shots of 12-year-old Felix on their presentation invite—and the comparison didn't favor them. Raglan-sleeve oxford shirts, sateen baseball jackets, and cutoff sweatshorts don't begin to approximate the Buffalo genius, sporty and streetwise as they may be. But Bespoken's approachable shirting and affordable tailoring, here in a largely neutral palette of chambray blues and khaki greens, still stands them in good stead. The market, certainly, is responding. The Spring collection—already sold to stores by the time of this presentation—is headed for that redoubtable temple of tailoring Mario's, in Seattle, and, on the big-fish scale, to Nordstrom as well. Bloomingdale's just commissioned a capsule private label. The wise move would be to let Ray be Ray. Bespoken is appealing on merits all its own.