Saturday, 2 January 2016

Tailored. A Very British Fashion.

I love visiting Leeds City Museum and managed to visit the 'Tailored, A Very British Fashion' exhibition on the very last day. Celebrating the heritage of Leeds based tailoring to the developments of expertise on Saville Row, London. Exhibits dating right back to the eighteenth century to todays talented tailors including Kathyrn Sargent and Vivienne Westwood. The exhibition showcases some women's pieces too but I though it was time to focus on the men for a change!
Hardy Amies wrote a style column for the highly popular Esquire magazine in the 60's leading to his the witty style guide 'The ABC of Mens Fashion' being published in 1964. If you haven't read it then I would recommend it. His wit and eye for detail is still relevant to all those stylish men today.
"A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them".

Hardy Amies joined forces with Hepwoths in 1960. The collaboration was a great success and launched ready to wear Mens fashion into Europe. The suit above was worn on the front cover of  The ABC of Mens Fashion book, modelled by Tony Armstrong Barnes, 1964 (shown above). Amies took Mens ready to wear to another level for British fashion, becoming the first designer to stage a catwalk show for his Mens collection at the Savoy Hotel, London,1961.
Hardy Amies tailoring and style continues to inspire, 60's inspired Autumn 2013 collection.
Colourful stripes have continued to play a part in Mens fashion through the decades. This striped Barfoot, blazer dates from 1890 -1905 and wouldn't look out of place at the local Cricket club today. Stripes and Blazers were also adopted as wardrobe staple of the mod style in the 60's and onwards.
Quadrophenia, 1979.
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One of my favourite exhibits was a jacket made for Ringo Starr by Leeds trained tailor Dougie Millings in the 60's. What struck me was how small the jacket was, but beautifully cut. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to photograph certain exhibits.
Another example of Hardy Amies tailoring for Leeds based Hepworths, in this 1970's teddy boy jacket. (1970-73).
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1950's teddy boys created a unique look, three piece suits, waistcoats, slicked back hair and a love of rock and roll. But they also had an edge to them, forming groups and gangs, often fighting and causing mayhem, not dissimilar to the late 70's punk era. But they looked so cool! 
This cosy looking 1979 cotton outfit by Roger Saul, for Mulberry, really shows the change in the 70's to a more relaxed, unstructured look. All you need is a pipe and slippers!
Grey wool checked suit made by Leeds born Kathryn Sargent (2015) shows the attention to detail, made to measure to the finest detail, hand sewn finishes that you would expect from a top Saville Row tailor. Kathryn Sargent became the first female head cutter on Saville Row and continued her success by becoming the first female tailor to have her own bespoke boutique in Mayfair.
 I am a huge fan of tartan and love this bold Wool tartan suit. The Morning Glory suit made by Vivienne Westwood.(2014/15). I want a Women's suit like this please?
I think it's fair to say that not all Tartan suits were a hit! Mens fashion in the 1970's often had a lot to answer for!
This exhibition has given me the inspiration I needed to give my Men's vintage stock some tlc and get them ready to go in to the shop. Look out

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Thanks for dropping by!

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