Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Britain's Royal Mail has issued a set of ten stamps honoring what it considers the great (British) clothes designs of our time. One of those is a nicely rendered image of Tommy Nutter's checked suit for Beatle Ringo Starr made fifty years ago.
Now I will not pretend to have done any formal research to confirm my suspicion but I believe that suit was the post-War highlight of Savile Row's search for relevance in a world taken with first French and later Italian tailoring. The Row has come a long way in the intervening years, but it is a search that continues today. James' Sherwood's call for tailors to begin publicizing the names of their clients in the current issue of The Rake and the British Fashion Council's announcement of a new London menswear show to take place immediately prior to Pitti Uomo are two more events from just this week. By contrast, the Italians seem relatively complacent.
There is inherent conflict between this fight for commercial success and traditional British reserve as evidenced by The Chap's recent organization of a protest against the presence of Abercrombie and Fitch on Savile Row. Like it or dislike it, A&F promotes itself brilliantly. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the Row can do the same but they do seem to be working at it.
Posted by Will at 7:09 AM