Introduction

This is a sample newsletter which students receive.
Typically, the newsletters contain student's questions,
various tips on looking after your clothes, details of
special offers and promotions that we arerunning and
a variety of Tailoring related items. 


Tailor and Cutter
Newsletter September 2001


Welcome to our Savile Row Feature.

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Shown here is the original Henry Poole building circa 1900..

At Tailor and Cutter we regularly receive e-mails enquiring about Savile Row
in London.  Most of the enquiries focus on the question "what is it that makes
Savile Row Tailoring so special".   In this month's newsletter we hope to give
a small insight into the workings of the Row and what makes it so different to
anywhere else in the World.

Firstly, there are some general observations that should be understood by
both those  wishing to commission a Tailor and Students looking for role
models within the trade. 

1.  Where is Savile Row?  Situated in the West End of London, traditionally
"Savile Row" is regarded as being Savile Row itself and a few of the adjoining
streets, such as Sackville Street.  At present there are "Savile Row Tailors"
spread from Jermyn Street right across to Mount Street in Mayfair.  Note
though, the Savile Row area has never been regarded as venturing as far as
Regent Street.  This does cause a problem when a well known Savile Row
Tailoring Firm relocates to Knightsbridge for example.  Are they then still
Savile Row Tailors?

2.  Are all the Tailors in the Savile Row area or indeed on Savile Row itself
top quality Bespoke Tailors?  The answer to this is No.  Whilst it is true that
the finest Tailors in the World are represented here, there are also firms
selling extremely low priced and obviously not hand made Bespoke Suits.

3.  What can be expected in terms of Tailoring from a Savile Row Tailor?
The services offered by Savile Row Tailors vary greatly.   In terms of
construction technique and styling, even Tailors sharing the same premises
can make vastly different garments. 

To give an understanding of this next month we will be giving advice on
"How to Choose a Tailor".

4.  Are there Tailors of a similar quality in other parts of the world?  The
answer to this is "yes similar".  However,  just as there are fine wines now
available from many countries in the world, the truth is that Châteaux  Pétrus,
Latour and Haut Brion only come from Bordeaux in France.  So it is true
the very best Tailors are on Savile Row.

 

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Pictured here one of the Tailoring buildings situated just off
Savile Row.

HISTORY

Savile Row itself was at one time the gardens of Burlington House and the
area behind was green fields (this was the case even as late as the 1700's).
The original inhabitants of the street were well to do gentlemen of London
and their families.  Initially the street was popular with the professional
classes such as Physicians, Lawyers and the odd Explorer or two. 

One by one the Tailors came including Thomas Hawkes (Gieves and Hawkes),
Henry Poole (Poole and Co).  What distinguished these Tailors from the
others in London was the quality of the garments they were producing and
the clientele they were serving. 

With the advent of George Brummell and a move from French to English
Tailoring, the Savile Row Tailoring firms were well placed to take advantage
in styling.  Soon they had won won the patronage of most of the royalty
throughout Europe. 

Brummell himself mainly used the firm Meyer and Mortimer but it was
Henry Poole that became established as the main Tailoring Firm.   At this
time Savile Row was also producing a vast amount of Military Tailoring.
The latter 1800's saw a great many developments in the evolution of men's
(and ladies) Tailoring.  The Savile Row Cutters were World leaders in
garment design.  Each house had its own particular styling and the workshops
were kept well away from prying eyes.  The picture above of Jones Chalk
and Dawsons premises in Sackville Street is a good example of what most
Tailors premises looked like at this time.

In the 1900's there were 38,000 people employed in the Tailoring Trade in
London alone.  The cutting was done on the premises with the Tailoring
conducted in nearby workshops, either around Savile Row or in Streets
such as Kingley Street nearby.

Today many of the famous names of the past 200 years are still represented
in Savile Row.  This works well to preserve both a sense of tradition and helps
to keep the standard of workmanship at its very pinnacle.   Savile Row is seeing
a revival in its fortunes at the moment, although all that glitters is not gold.
There is the problem of some of the premises in the area now being occupied by
non Bespoke Tailors.  To this end, "most" of the real Tailors have formed an
organisation called the "Companions of Savile Row".  This has been done
really to inform the public as to the quality of a particular Tailoring House.
This is a very good idea.  However, there is the slight anomaly that a few of the
very best Tailors have not yet joined which causes a slight confusion.

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Savile Row today.  "Yes it's raining, so it must be London"


What do you get for your money?

For those not able to visit Savile Row themselves we  have featured links
to two of the greatest Tailoring Firms on Savile Row.  Both of these firms
are different in their approach to the business of Tailoring.  They also
produce different forms of Tailoring though each is of the highest quality.

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Pictured above a Bespoke Dinner Jacket from the firm Maurice Sedwell.



Please visit and spend some time on the two web sites listed below:

Maurice Sedwell
Maurice Sedwell's is currently owned and run by Andrew Ramroop.   This
is one of Savile Row's most important Tailors for various reasons including
the wide range of "couture" type work they will undertake.  Also, the
quality of the garments is outstanding. 

http://www.savilerowtailor.com/ 


Kilgour, French and Stanbury
Kilgour are owned by the large cloth and garment manufacturer, Lincroft.
These also own the Cloth Merchants, Holland and Sherry.  Kilgour have
always been a very popular Tailoring Firm, one of their great claims to
fame was making the outfit Fred Astair wore in the film "Top Hat" when
he sang "Putting on the Ritz".  This is a tailoring Icon. 

http://www.8savilerow.com/


*Next month, if we dare, we are going to give advice on how to choose a
Tailor.  This may also be of use to Students starting a business who are
not quite sure about what sort of service they should be providing.