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Savile Row, London, April 2016

For the first time in four centuries of Piccadilly’s association with tailoring, Kathryn Sargent, will be the first woman to open her own tailoring house on historic Savile Row.

Head Cutter and Master Tailor, Kathryn Sargent says: “I am delighted to be opening a shop on Savile Row. As a tailor it has been a long held ambition of mine, and throughout my career, I have upheld the excellent values of Savile Row. I am thrilled to be making history, although for me being a woman is incidental, I am a tailor first and foremost.”

William Skinner, Managing Director of Dege & Skinner and Chairman of Savile Row Bespoke Association commented: “It’s fitting that the first woman to be appointed as a Head Cutter on Savile Row is returning, to open a shop of her own and is testament to the continued appeal of Savile Row as the sartorial home of high quality, hand-crafted tailoring.

The shop will be sister to Kathryn Sargent’s established atelier on Brook Street, tailoring for both men and women. The house does not have a specific style, Kathryn’s approach to her craft, from the initial consultation to the finished garment, is tailored to the wearer, their lifestyle and requirements.

Kathryn Sargent on Savile Row will open for Spring/Summer ’16 as a seasonal residency.

Savile Row, London, April 2016 For the first

By Robin Dutt

Often the last resort of the last minute gift hunter, cufflinks must never been taken for granted.  And more and more men of style are realising their potency.  Of course the discreet, almost anonymous (yawn) silver or gold examples are daily musts but there is a panoply of delightful examples available – even in the most unexpected places.  Shoot a cuff with a dash.  Double cuff of course.  The wonderful thing about these jewels is that they can remain hidden unless you wish to display.  Longmire has long created wonderful animal inspired pieces, exquisitely crafted and Stephen Webster’s Gothic owls and Pop Art word explosions, for example, a radiant star on one side and a word bubble as a foil in a lavishly polished silver are magnetic.  Of course, intrinsically. There is nothing at all wrong with the plain silver or gold ovals.  But so much is out there from Paul Smith finds to the finds YOU find in the bottom of your less visited drawer. Ah…that gift you thought you’d never wear…

By Robin Dutt Often the last resort of

By Robin Dutt

One might be thankful that trends are cyclic.  Not so long ago, no ensemble would have been complete without a cane and every hallstand from town to shire, an explosion of sticks informed, with confidence – intended for day, night, a seaside stroll or the opera.  Thank goodness we still have James Smith – legendary umbrella and stick shop now sadly surrounded by 21st century commercial detritus.  The amazing frontage remains the same from the early days.  But also consider Michael German just passed the dog leg bed on Kensington Church Street, London for canes you MUST shake a stick at dating from centuries ago.  Or drag out the contemporaneous in you and head to the sublime Guy West, whose Jeffery-West boutiques, known for their signature shoes for urban dandies (are there anyothers) also stock fine, tightly furled umbrella-canes with handles in the shapes of rearing cobra heads, crystal orbs clasped by bony hands, skulls and skeletal hands.  A walking cane is increasingly the accessoire du jour and every outfit will benefit when you judiciously pair.  And also… think of this. You will provide panache for yourself, appreciation in observers and have a device to point to that certain box of mushrooms in Waitrose when asked by an assistant. Well…if you want assistance.

Also, you will be a walking example of yesterday.  Today.

By Robin Dutt One might be thankful that

By Robin Dutt

More and more men it seems are choosing to finish off their sartorial suiting with for some, seems an unessessary addition.  Not so.  The pocket kerchief, square or pochette is a visual delight – or can be depending on if you know what to do with it.  Practically every tailor of Savile Row understands the importance of this square of silk or cotton, for the most part, certainly not used to clear a nasal disaster but a flash and a flourish and perhaps and even then, only perhaps, to rescue the tears of a film going campanion before high tailing it to Claridge’s for a slightly Dirty Martini.  Here are a few ways to accomplish the look…

1) FLOUNCE – Take your silk square by the middle and give it a shake.  Without too much thought, insert into the pocket and forget all about it.

2) STRICT SQUARE – Iron robustly – cotton is best.  A spray of starch might come in handy.  Make the most minimalist square, insert and await compliments.

3) PYRAMID POINTS – Quite 1950s gangster but hey… Arrange corners of the square together until they resemble sartorial shark’s teeth.  You might also like to consider a solitary triangular shape too.

4) BI-SQUARAL – My favourite is to match or mismatch two squares, as long as they are of the same material and shove them into the pocket, with elan and not too much fretting (a twist or two may be required).  Match this look with balancing sock patterns.

By Robin Dutt More and more men it

By Robin Dutt

Known by so many names – beaver hat, silk hat, cylinder hat, pot hat and even stove pipe hat, which Marc Bolan references in I Love to Boogie (he wore a Mad Hatter’s example in several photographs), the article remains correctly, the Top Hat. Yes, every change in the dimension and materials used for the hats caused a name change but for the foreseeable past, it is the top hat – and please…not the Topper.

For this writer, there is only one kind.  Silk plush.  Ebon black – of course –  but the black is blacker than any midnight can summon and the feel, softer than…well, you imagine.

I have four examples dating from the 1860s to, I believe, the 1920s – all black silk plush. They are all erect – not crush-collapsible (for the opera).  Yet I continue to still seek them out.  Pre-quibble the price?  Never.  You are dealing with works of art. That they might turn up, de temps en temps, in charity shops is rare, but not impossible. For the real deal you have to take a deep breath and head to one of England’s oldest establishments: Locke’s (some 300 years) or seek out the brilliant knowledge of David Sexton in his shop Top Hat, to learn about the charm and formality of this most eloquent sartorial survivor.

With Ascot approaching – and several other essential meets of The Season – go on a voyage of discovery.  Your wallet will be lighter but you won’t regret the journey.  Black plush. Yes.  Grey? Don’t.

By Robin Dutt Known by so many names