For over 200 years the historic London street, known as Savile Row, has been the home of the world’s most exclusive tailors who create unique bespoke suits for exceptional men. The Master Tailors of Savile Row have dressed famous and infamous men and women the world over who demand the Row’s touch of elegance and eccentricity. Icons of Savile Row’s past include Admiral Lord Nelson, The Duke of Windsor, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant and John Lennon. Customers today show the Row’s spectacular diversity:The Princes William and Harry, Mick Jagger, Tom Ford, David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Pete Doherty to name a few.
The London Cut, planned together by Pitti Immagine and Florence to take place next January, is a decisive historic moment in the entrepreneurial activities of Savile Row. It is the first time so many of the leading tailoring houses and individual craftsmen have cooperated to promote the Savile Row ethos and product. It is even more important because it will be staged abroad with the explicit intention of placing the Savile Row product and influence in an international context. The exhibition coincides with the emergence of the Savile Row Bespoke Group, which has attracted both historic family firms and individuals to exploit and develop the Savile Row image around the world, stressing the original and fundamental qualities of exclusivity and quality.
Thus it is appropriate that Pitti Immagine and the City of Florence should provide an ideal focus for such a project, combining both creativity and craft in a modern culture. Italians have noted the efforts of the Prince of Wales to foster continuity in communities by encouraging a fresh look at tradition and native skills. The continued prosperity of Savile Row is a graphic example of how these elements can survive and thrive in the 21st century.
The London Cut: Savile Row Bespoke Tailoring is an exhibition and a book and a showcase.
The exhibition, curated by James Sherwood and designed by Luca Trevisani, will be held at the world-famousPalazzo Pitti in the Duchess of Aosta’s Apartments. This series of private rooms decorated in the Empire style are not generally opened to the public and are untouched since the last Duchess vacated the palace in 1945.
The exhibition not only celebrates the legendary founders of Savile Row but also aims to introduce the new generation of bespoke tailors who have made the Row their home. The traditions of Savile Row bespoke are as relevant in the contemporary world as they were at the turn of the 19th cetury. Bespoke deserves to be in the spotlight in 2007 and continues to inspire the many fashion designers who create made-to-measure men’s lines in their collections. The London Cut is the first time in Savile Row’s history that all the bespoke tailors have displayed their work together and presented a united front to protect their art and indeed the very survival of their shops.
The story of Savile Row is told in bespoke suiting, livery and military uniforms from the archives of the historic houses such as Henry Poole, Gieves & Hawkes and Ede & Ravenscroft, Huntsman and Dege & Skinner. Alongside the giants of the Row will be new interpretations of the London Cut by new establishment tailorsRichard James, Timothy Everest, Ozwald Boateng, Spencer Hart, Tony Lutwyche and Richard Anderson and maverick master tailors Edward Sexton, John Pearse, Mark Powell and Henry Rose. The exhibition includes bespoke accessories created by the greatest English houses of St. Jame’s Street and Jermyn Street: Lock the Hatter, John Lobb, Swaine Adeney Brigg, Hilditch & Key, Gorge Cleverley and Turnbull & Asser.
Each tailor will recreate a suit inspired by one of his iconic customers in order to demonstrate the timelessness of great tailoring. Henry Poole, the oldest tailoring firm on of the Row, will remake the midnight blue smoking jacket invented for Edward VII in 1865 when he was Prince of Wales. Anderson & Sheppard will re-cut the soft-shouldered jacket and flannel trousers the house made for Fred Astaire, while Kilgour will re-interpret the suit made for Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
The book, edited by James Sherwood - the first in the Italian language on the subject of Savile Row and the first in English for twenty years – is a portrait of Savile Row today and contains conversations with the tailors and images of Savile Row past and present. The book will propose that Savile Row is a style and a story that inspires fashion. The Row’s signature is clearly seen at the A/W 2006 men’s collections. Ralph Lauren, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford have all walked the Row while Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen were trained here.
The book is a Fondazione Pitti Discovery and Marsilio publication.
During Pitti Immagine Uomo many of the Master Tailors will demonstrate their craft in the Villa Vittoria exhibition space. This is an unique occasion to study the secrets of the bespoke tailoring and meet the men who make arguably the finest bespoke suits in the world. The Showcase is a Pitti Immagine promotional project to complement the programs dedicated to Savile Row.
Anderson & Sheppard, Chittleborough & Morgan, Davies & Son, Dege & Skinner, Ede & Ravenscroft, Edward Sexton, Gieves & Hawkes, Hardy Amies, Henry Poole & Co, Henry Rose, AJ Hewitt, Huntsman, John Pearse, Jsen Wintle, Kilgour, Mark Powell, Maurice Sedwell, Norton & Sons, Ozwald Boateng, Richard Anderson, Spencer Hart, Richard James, Timothy Everest, Tony Lutwyche and Welsh & Jeffries.
_James Sherwood is style writer for The Financial Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Independent, and fashion critic at Royal Ascot for the BBC.
_Luca Trevisani is a young Italian contemporary artist. His work moves among sculpture, video art, photography, art installations
THE LONDON CUTSAVILE ROW BESPOKE TAILORING on occasion of Pitti Immagine Uomo 71 Palazzo Pitti / Apartments of the Duchess of Aostaopening 10 January 2007 until 4 February 2007hours 9.00 a.m./ 6.30 p.m. (to be confirmed)
CENTRO DI FIRENZE PER LA MODA ITALIANA
AND PITTI IMMAGINE
_Pitti Immagine Uomo and the Savile Row tailors participating in the London Cut would like to extend special thanks to those merchants of fabric long associated with the Row, who have assisted in the preparation and generously sponsored this unique event.
Dormeuil; Dugdale Brothers; Harrisons of Edinburgh; Holland & Sherry; Scabal.
_Particular thanks to UK Trade & Investment in London for their generous support extended to both the merchants and the tailors.
CASSA DI RISPARMIO DI FIRENZE
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