Sunday, November 27, 2011
This past week I had the pleasure of a visit to Kent, Haste & Lachter. Even though their shop just off Piccadilly is a recent addition to the Savile Row periphery, the individuals concerned are legendary figures woven into the fabric of that famed street. The purpose of my visit was for a chat with Terry Haste to discuss his house style and whilst chatting it was lovely to witness the banter between the three, considering these gents have been working together for decades (on and off) they are clearly still enjoying each others company as well as their work.
John Kent, Terry Haste and Stephen Lachter (from left to right, Haste, Lachter and Kent in the photo) met whilst working for Hawes & Curtis in the 70's, Kent and Haste as tailors and Lachter as shirtmaker. They've been dressing the great and the good from various locations ever since. Mr Haste went on to run Huntsman via Tommy Nutter and Hackett before moving to Berkshire and operating solo for a couple of days per week out of Holland & Sherry. In his distinguished career Haste has dressed rock royalty from George & Ringo to Mick Jagger and Elton John whilst his former mentor and now business partner Kent has dressed actual royalty, namely HRH The Duke of Edinburgh which has afforded the firm an official royal warrant.
Haste considers his house style to consist of s sharp shoulder line, eschewing the soft shoulder approach of Anderson & Shepherd for example, cut closer to the chest reminiscent of the Huntsman style and avoiding the hourglass shape with a soft overall silhouette. Below the waist Haste favours a slimmer cut but observes that the customers preference and fashion often dictates this. Two hole buttons are also a signature and bespoke starts from £2500 (approximately $3,858). Discussions and plans are already underway for a RTW collection but nothing is concrete at this stage.
Spending a short time with Terry and his partners was a pleasure and an education, they display as much enthusiasm for their craft now as they must have done all those years ago when they first started. We discussed the industry and how things change. Tailoring was once seen as a trade for which you had to serve a 10 year apprenticeship, now it's seen for some as a way into the fashion industry with people using a couple of years service to enhance their credentials and move on. Also, the trio looked at a couple of sites on the Row when they first decided to open and it became apparent that the landlords didn't want traditional tailors moving in, which is most worrying. Still they are in good company just around the corner so their clientele of rock stars, royalty, bankers, art and antique dealers won't have to look too hard to find them. And that is a good thing as there is no web site to help them out.
Kent, Haste & Lachter
7 Sackville Street, London