Power & Style and Gieves & Hawkes
The best address in menswear, No 1 Savile Row, the HQ of Gieves & Hawkes, was the venue tonight for an enjoyable get-together to discuss the relationship between power and style.
Appropriately enough, given G&H’s links with the Navy (which date back to the founding in 1785 of what became Gieves), the opening address was delivered by Admiral Lord West. The former First Sea Lord looked suitably powerful and stylish in his uniform – which had been tailored by Gieves & Hawkes, of course. In his entertaining and amusing speech, he revealed that his exalted rank (he is still on the Navy’s Active List) requires him to have no fewer than 28 uniforms in his wardrobe. He also showed us that this jacket has a surprising rich blue lining – so his uniform is not very uniform.
The main proceedings of the evening involved husband-and-wife team Francois and Dominique Gaulme answering questions from my friend, the eminent fashion commentator Colin McDowell, who was having a dressed-down Thursday. The Gaulmes have written a handsome volume called Power & Style (Flammarion), which examines the role of Les Habits du Pouvoir (The Clothes of Power) from the days of early history.
After the panel discussion, I was pleased to spend time with members of the relatively new Gieves & Hawkes team, including its new creative director Jason Basmajian and managing director Ray Clacher.
And to complete a very enjoyable evening, I espied my old Sportswear International colleague from many moons ago, William Gilchrist, who is now (as indeed he was back in the late 1980s and early 1990s) one of the best fashion stylists in the business. It’s about time Cult, the brilliant book on classic jeanswear that he produced with SI’s photographer Roberto Manzotti in 1992, is re-issued. William doesn’t even have a copy himself of this highly desirable collectors’ item. But I do…
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