Richard James – All done, in the best possible taste – Textual Conversations

Richard James, celebrates 20 years, this year, as a resident of Savile Row. The ever sartorially Nick Sullivan, now of US Esquire, wrote in 1992 for it’s British counterpart, of James. “There’s a new boy in the Row and he’s causing quite a stir. What’s more, he’s not a tailor. Richard James is too busy to worry about his neighbours”.

Ever since then Richard James has been both too busy and causing quite a stir in equal measures on what has to be the most famous of streets on the face of the Earth, when it come to matters of the cloth, scissors and chalk. He first caused raised eyebrows for, bless yourself, introducing Saturday Opening on Savile Row !!! But maybe a few more browed were raised when his Ad campaign back in 1996 featuring a man dressed impeccably in one of his suits is seen throwing himself off a building, resulting in it being banned, OK moving on.

The philosophy of this man is to produce classic clothing of unsurpassable quality, but to push the boundaries through design, colour and cut, which has resulted in Richard winning many awards from the British Fashion Council’s Designer of the Year & GQ’s Man of the Year.

Over the years he’s dressed everyone from Tom Cruise, Mr James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, both Liam & Noel Gallagher for their wedding days, Robert De Niro, David Beckham and even SpongeBob Square Pants, kinda.

Even the old school of Savile Row have softened to the charms of Richard as he was made one of the founding members of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, which is formed by the Row’s tailors to promote and protect the traditions of bespoke tailoring on Savile Row.

Recently, as the more regular readers of Clothes-make-the-man.com will know, he has worked with that bastion of British retailing on an inspired by Savile Row suit range for Marks & Spencer. But amongst all of this he managed to answer a couple of questions for our good selves, enjoy.

If you could have invented anything what would it be?

The suit. A perfect piece of design, the detail of which affords endless opportunities to express individuality. 

 

If you had one day to live what would be your biggest regret?

That I haven’t traveled more. It’s such an inspiration and there are too many countries that I haven’t seen. Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador…

 

What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire?

A floral Mr Fish shirt from the late sixties. The shop was on Clifford Street, just a couple of doors away from where Richard James Bespoke is now.

 

Who is your style icon?

Tommy Nutter. He made Savile Row so exciting in the 70s.

The tailoring icon Tommy Nutter

If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life who would it be? 

It would have to be Richard James. I get a discount!

 

Tell us something no one else knows? 

If you make suits, you can only call yourself a tailor if you work for yourself. If you’re employed by someone else you’re a cutter.

 

What piece of style advice do you live by? 

Dress for yourself, not for other people.

 

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it? 

Stunning vintage Cazal sunglasses. Too bling for me. But I still put them on from time to time and try to convince myself that they’re not.

 

What do you have to do after this conversation? 

Have a cup of strong coffee and work on the very exciting show we’re doing for London Collections: Men in June.

 

What would you like to be doing after this conversation? 

Exactly what I am doing. I love my work.

 

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests ? 

Tommy Nutter, The Queen Mother, Lady Gaga, Les Dawson and Greta Garbo. That would be interesting.

Images from the Spring/Summer 2012 Richard James Collection

www.richardjames.co.uk

NEW YORK

So good they named it twice, the city not the Empire State Building.

For the second of our essential city guides, Home & Away, what other city could you choose, Norwich, Preston, Inverness. No, the city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle, where dreams are made of etc etc the city that has been the inspiration for a million and one songs & films. New York !

Top 5 Things to do

5) Do the open top Bus Tour you get to see so much in just a relatively short space of time.

4) Take a stroll round NOHO (North over Houston) and SOHO (South over Houston) and work your way down to Century 21 (c21stores.com), even if you hate shopping, you will find yourself buying something and the prices have to be seen to be believed.

3) Wear trainers, sorry sneakers and walk, you’ll recognise so much from years of watching Films and TV Series.

2) Visit the Moma (Museum of Modern Art – moma.org) on a Friday evening as it’s free or the Metropolitan Museum (metmuseum.org), free entry but a donation is HIGHLY recommended. Great to partake in a lil drinky on the roof over looking Central Park in the Summer.

1) While over at Central Park, hire a bike and take a ride round the park. Must see stops are the Roller blade disco. After laughing and dancing from the side lines, go and grab a drink, I recommend a Dirty Martini from the Boat House.

Eat – The Fat Radish (thefatradishnyc.com)

Sleep – The Standard(standardhotels.com/new-york-city/)

Drink – Freeman’s Alley(freemansrestaurant.com)

Ask a Local – Ben Kay

“Take a walk over the Bridges, think BMW, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsberg. Brooklyn Bridge being my Fav”.

Lovetting your work ! – Jonathan Lovett

Today’s textual conversation is with Jonathan Lovett,Head of Design at Burton Menwear London. The Brand has been through somewhat of a change in image recently with the launch of such brands as Drift King and Montague Burton and with the website having a re-design to clean it up and make it easier to navigate. Captain Lovett has been at the helm of the SS Burton keeping it steady as it goes.

Before turning his hand at Burton, Jonathan oversaw menswear at Debenhams and his CV also includes Marks & Spencer and Tu at Sainsburys. He lives in East London and LOVES the east end way of life, his favourite cafe being Fix, on Curtain Road, as for its people watching ability and favourite shops in the area are Anthem on Calvert Street and HUB off Broadway market for divine inspiration.

If you could have invented anything what would it be ?

Invented……I don’t think I could invent anything apart from a good story however I would of love to have come up with the idea for the Bobble Hat, I love them right now and can’t stop wearing one with, literally, everything!

What inspires you ?

Its less about who more about whom, what, where and when. I am so inspired by what guys are wearing in London right now, it just seems to have come into its own again. Its part of my job to monitor trends and make them happen at the right time, London is where you see things emerging.

What’s your favourite piece of clothing ?

The Tee Shirt. I have loads of them, a drawer for casual, a drawer full for going out and work and a drawer for the gym and lounging around my flat in. I will spend anything from a fiver to a hundred quid on one if I really love it.

If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be ? 

That’s a tough one, I am not a big follower of any particular brand I just buy what looks good on me. However if I really had to it, or could afford to, would be Burberry because it offers such a wide selection from Porsum to Brit that I could still look cool when I am seventy in it.

Who is your style icon ? 

Sorry I don’t have one and never will, I take a bit of inspiration from anything I like but ultimately I can style myself.

Can you tie a bow tie ? If yes, who taught you ?

Yes, you did Anthony when we worked together on a shoot!

What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Have a style and buy around it rather than going off on tangents, those garments never get worn.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

A pair of vintage jeans, I cannot remember not having at least one pair in my wardrobe and they are a failsafe solution to anything apart from formal of course. I don’t do holes though, its too eighties and I was there first time around.

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it ? 

So many over the years especially when I was younger. The last real disaster was a Burberry tee shirt with gold brocade running down the front, I think I thought I looked hot in it but every time I put it on I felt like Adam Ant. If it’s a fashion piece now I always get a second opinion.

Who would do you ideal diner guest and why ?

It would be old friends that I worked with when I lived in Hong Kong, one’s president of Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, another Design Chief for Playboy in New York and couple of others doing interesting things. We used to have a riot and I bet we could still now if we all got around one table.

These are a few of my favourite things – Summer 2012 Burton

Polka dot shirt £28

City Trekker Rucksack £28

Carrot fit Chinos £32

Fisherman's jacket £45

Montague Burton Collection suede shoes £46

burton.co.uk

Dress to impress – AskAnt

Salutations my friends I hope life is treating you well and off we go again on another voyage of discovery in this week’s AskAnt. This week’s subject was inspired to reach out after reading the column two weeks ago. The problem in question was sent in via an anonymous reader and regarded having started work at a Trendy Ad agency and wanting to fit in more via his workwear wardrobe. On a different but similar vein we have today’s subject matter;

OK then Antony, great name by the way, maybe think about improving it by adding a ‘h’. Anyway, I digress, essentially you have two interviews coming up for the same company,  in front of the same panel and you want to impress them to ensure you get the jobs you’re after. OK straight off you need to remember with job interviews, the interviewer/s make their mind up on the matter of whether you have or haven’t got the job within 15 seconds of meeting you. So first impressions last and making the right one is vital, so ensuring you are wearing the right clobber is essential. To help you on your way here are a few points to remember;

1) Never think you can overdress for an interview.

2) You have to feel comfortable in the clothes you’re wearing, it will help with you feel and come across in a confident manner.

3) Think about what you are going to wear, approach it like how you approach your interview. Research it, what will the weather be like on that day, raining, bring an umbrella and mac, Hot, don’t wear a shirt which may show swear marks and leave in enough time so you can arrive cool and relaxed. These are all factors that you have control over.

4) If you are going to invest in a interview suit, be conservative and classic now isn’t the time to show your creative side, stick with navy, grey or black with are multi purpose in their usage. Dame Vivienne Westwood, creates incredible suits but there is a time and a place and you want the focus of the interview panel on be on you, what you say and not on what you’re wearing. Yes, you want to impress them with your professional attire but not to let it detract from the point you’re trying to get across.

So, bearing in mind all the above points I assembled three opinions for you to choose from;

Black single breasted suit £129 from BHS

A good solid suit, at £129 you could buy a two different versions so you ensure you wear completely different looks to the interviews. Plus you get what you pay for so I would suggest buying slightly bigger and then having the suit tailored to you via a local trusted tailor.

Silver Grey Wool & Mohair suit £349 from the Inspired by Savile Row range by Richard James for Marks & Spencer.

Reliable, faithful and good quality, yes slightly more but you can’t go wrong with this section, we’ve discussed the how good the Richard James range is at M&S and we look forward to seeing what he turns out for Autumn. Make this suit look completely different for both interviews with accessories, maybe go white shirt, black tie and black oxfords for one and tonal colours for the other one finished off with a pair of tan brogues.

Blue Twill single breasted suit £599 by Austin Reed

Yeah I know this is slightly more expensive for an interview suit, but remember first impressions last and you WANT these jobs so you want to bowl the panel over with a professional, clean and crisp look.

So Antony, all that is left for me to do is to tell you, the choice is yours ??? Good Luck and let us know what your decision was and which job you end up taking, because of course, they’ll offer you both !  Join us again soon for another style clinic.

A.M.

Get your prep on – Grooming

Eau de Prep Tommy is the new Fragrance from the All American Fashion House which promises a cheeky twist on the Classic preppy feel. What that all important twist is, is a mix of Egyptian geranium, wet greens (answers on a postcard as to what “wet greens” are please), a splash of tonic, white pepper, lavender absolute, and juniper berry. And finally, rich amber, georgywood, oak moss, and white suede reflect his comfortable yet familiar style.

But the man who wears Eau de Prep isn’t your normal run of the mill Prepster, this is a modern take on the classic American dream, he’s had somewhat of a makeover. While his wardrobe is still based on a foundation of smart separates, new silhouettes and details have emerged. Trousers may still be khaki, but are now slim-fit or slouchy. The classic colour cornerstones of navy and red have been updated to airforce blue and burgundy but the classic boat shoes and polo shirts still remain but are worn in a more contemporary manner. This is a man who doesn’t take life as serious as his forefathers but has a sporty, ready-for-anything, spontaneity.

If you feel you are that man and you fit that bill, Eau de Prep Tommy and his female counterpart Eau de Prep Tommy girl are available exclusively at the Perfume Shop.

Eau de Prep Tommy 100ml Eau de Toilette, RRP £45 / 50ml Eau de Toilette, RRP £35

www.tommy.com.