In what has to be one of the most hotly anticipated collaborations for this season, we see Savile Row alnumi Gieves & Hawkes work with its Sackville Street neighbour Orlebar Brown. These two menswear colossi have drawn inspiration for their partnership from the pre-eminent Scottish explorer David Livingstone, yes, as in Dr Livingstone, I presume, Orlebar Brown has reimagined his meticulous hand-drawn maps onto a range of utilitarian clothing in an invigorating palette of navy, congo grey and limestone. Livingstone is one of the most popular national heroes of the late 19th century and owes his mythic status due to his pioneering expeditions and championing of multiple causes, from anti-slavery to social reform.
In fact a rather strange case of serendipity seems to entwine Dr Livingstone with the Savile Row Brand. When the public feared the worst for the explorer, Henry Morton Stanley was sent to find him by the New York Herald in 1871. Dressed in Hawkes & Co, Stanley found Livingstone alive and well, decked out in Gieves. Upon Livingstone’s death his body was returned to London to lay in repose at No.1 Savile Row – then the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society – and since 1912 the home of Gieves & Hawkes. OMG !
The full ready-to-wear range includes a safari jacket, multi-pocket utility vest, cargo trousers, desert boots, along with T-shirts, swim shorts and, of course, because what expedition, whether that be to the Amalfi Coast or the Kalihari desertpith helmet.