13 posts tagged "Savile Row"
Gieves & Hawkes—the centuries-old British tailor that holds three royal warrants and owns a prestigious “corner office” at No. 1 Savile Row—is getting a facelift. In January, the brand hired Boston-born Jason Basmajian to take the creative helm. Basmajian’s new role will require him to carry on the tradition of dressing Prince Charles and his kin (baby George can’t be too far away from his first suit, can he?), as well as military, political, and regal grandees, which, over the years, have included Winston Churchill, J.P. Morgan, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier. Basmajian’s mission? To dust off the formidable patina of the brand and turn it into gold dust—English-style. Here, Basmajian talks to Style.com about preserving Gieves & Hawkes’ storied past (so storied, in fact, that the brand employs a full-time archivist to this day), while pushing it into the twenty-first century.
You are American-born and developed your design chops in New York, Paris, and Milan with Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Brioni, and so on. What can you bring to such a traditional British brand?
Funnily enough, that is why I think I was chosen—because I brought an international style perspective to the table. Gieves & Hawkes comes out of a military/equestrian background, which is the anchor of Savile Row. But we also have a loyal clientele in Asia and America where that military and formal tradition isn’t as richly stepped. It weighs heavily on a brand, how to carry that tradition through, but I think my role is to celebrate the brand and move it forward to what today’s man wants, which is a lot of personality and not just body cover. Continue Reading “A New History: Jason Basmajian Talks Gieves & Hawkes” »
When it comes to swimwear for gents, there’s a new kid on the beach, repping a hip breed of shoreline swagger: New York City’s GLASS. “I kept thinking, What would both Gianni Agnelli and Jean-Michel Basquiat wear [to the pool]?” founder John Glass told Style.com. The designer, who grew up between New York, Martha’s Vineyard, and London whilst studying history and, as of late, working in branding at Tom Ford, is a man of varied interests. While in the U.K., he hung out with a Savile Row crew—even tagging along on trips to tweed mills in Scotland, obsessively educating himself on tailoring along the way. “I started the line because I felt that swimwear is like a blank canvas, allowing for creativity and originality across one product,” says Glass. His swimsuits are a departure from the formal three-piece looks of his past, but the designer’s wares boast a wide scope of studied, albeit quirky, prints, like a lo-fi Crayon Paisley and an Egyptian-funky Hieroglyphic Stripe. “Wear them anywhere you want to be happy,” suggests Glass. “From a sailboat in the Mediterranean to a hot day in NYC.” Glass debuted his line only last month, but he’s already planning for next season—keep your eyes peeled for potential pop-ups at Art Basel in Miami and Rio’s Carnival.
GLASS’s new trunks are available, starting today, on Moda Operandi.
“I wanted it to be about the clothes, not my name in lights,” explains designer Paula Gerbase of her young line, named, somewhat obscurely, 1205. “1205 is just the day I was born, but more importantly, it’s four numbers that you can read in any language—you’re not wearing a person’s name on your back.”
Gerbase spent five years as head designer at Savile Row tailor Kilgour before launching her own line, an experience that put her in the thick of the real production of clothes. “I was always drawn to structure in terms of how I look at things,” she says. “I found my home when I arrived on Savile Row.” Her razor-sharp men’s and womenswear betrays her Savile Row leanings, as well as her obsession for keeping close to the hands making her clothes. “I wanted to know the guy who’s putting the buttons on and the one that does the sleeves, and the quality control girls always bantering,” she laughs. “I come in, they make me some terrible tea and we just have a chat.”
For her fourth collection, for Spring 2013, the London-based Central Saint Martins grad looked at Brazilian architecture and Marcel Gautherot’s collection of photographs documenting the construction of the Brazilian capital, Building Brasilia. Her favored contrast of sharpness and softness is exemplified in a photo of a uniformed construction worker leaning up against a building—and just as much in the 1205 clothes, which mix classic materials and newer ones, like a gray wool skirt given a slight crunch thanks to nylon yarn mixed in. A suede-looking jacket is not actually suede, but Alcantara, an interiors fabric—”You can drop coffee on it and then just wipe it clean!” Gerbase crows. That’s about as modern as traditional-seeming garments get. And if the clothes are upending tradition, the clients are following suit. “I’ve had men buying skirts to wear as kilts,” the designer says, “and I’ve had women wearing full-on men’s suits.”
1205 is available at LN-CC in London, ln-cc.com, as well as Beams, Isetan, Land of Tomorrow, and United Arrows in Japan. For more information, visit 1205.eu.
Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane’s new jobs sparked a flurry of conjecture about the impact on women’s fashion of designers who’d made their rep in menswear. And it’s not likely to die down any time soon because there are plenty more men’s designers waiting to cross over. Like Alexander Lewis, who trained as a pattern cutter on Savile Row (he worked at E. Tautz before going solo) but has chosen to launch his own business with a Resort collection for women. His name scarcely broadcasts Brazil, but that is, in fact, his family background, and his first collection is inspired by his girlfriends who may live in London or New York but who maintain a Brazilian nonchalance about the way they dress. “They mix the city, the beach and something from their boyfriends,” Lewis explains. That might mean a skirt with shirt-tails, or a swingy little crochet top that could go with shorts or a bikini, or an item Lewis calls a beach coat (though it’s a little luxe to expose to sand and salt water). Brazil makes its presence felt in some of the designer’s techniques, particularly that crochet, and a silk woven inspired by the way that straw is woven in Brazilian furniture. But there’s nothing geographical about Lewis’s pragmatism. “I know exactly what I wanted to do,” he says. “I decided to focus on pre-collections for the first few seasons, because they’re a little more commercial, and I don’t have to do a show. And also, I see what I do as situational, rather than seasonal.” The situation being, in his case, both his family’s beach house in Bahia, and his own stomping ground in London. Bold to try and bring the two together.