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London enters the High Season

AH, the London Season:  A dizzy round of social activity, much of it centred upon sporting occasions, traditionally preceding a general decamp for the country at the derbypair.jpgfirst volley of the Glorious 12th (of August) when the shooting season begins.

Built up over the years, with established fixtures and esoteric customs, the Season has long since ceased to be the preserve of the aristocratic and the wealthy, and provides great fun for the hoi polloi in all directions.  That it still has a core of exclusivity and privilege in no way detracts from its general enjoyment, and indeed adds a frisson of distinction for those who might aspire to such as the Royal Enclosure.

Once the annual opportunity for the upper echelons of society to mix and mate, the Season now draws an international crowd, here for the racing, polo, flowers, art, cricket, opera, tennis, rowing and a variety ofblazershats.jpg other activities, all with their attendant balls and galas.  And all requiring the right sort of dress.

While dress standards may have slipped into casual disarray in general, the fixtures of the Season bring about a wonderful revival of  old standards and style.  Happily, this brings benefits to Savile Row, where the bespoke tailors report an upsurge of demand for morning suits (for Ascot and other race meetings), and dinner jackets (for the evening events), and blazers and flannels and linen suits (Henley, Wimbledon and Lords).

At some events, the idioscyncracies of the English are much in evidence, in clothing that is a testament to personal originality. Old school caps, shocking club ties, fancy waistcoats, brilliantly striped blazers, ascottrio.jpgwhite and cream suits, patterned tailcoats - the Season brings out the extrovert in many otherwise sober, grown-up souls.

And the new City whizz kids have joined-in these Season-al festivities with enthusiasm, and are dressing for the occasions.  It is but one of many happy spin-offs from this annual jamboree.  We explore the high spots of the season in this edition.

At top, a relaxed but stylish Derby visitor in the traditional grey morning coat, striped trousers, lighter waistcoat and grey topper, plain white shirt and straight tie.

On the right,above, spectators at Henley Royal Regatta, glyndebourne.jpgshowing a cream blazer with distinctive braiding and a boater straw hat, beside a classic navy blazer, with a panama hat.

Above, a trio in the Royal Enclosure of Ascot, wearing classic morning dress.

On the right, the audience at Glyndebourne, dining out on the lawns during the interval, the gentlemen attired in dinner jackets, the ladies in evening dress, proving that we do have al fresco dining in England.


Left, fun Derby trio, below, a Derby punter.




  Spring 07 edition

:: SAVILE ROW Style Magazine ::


This edition focuses attention upon the London Season, with all its fixtures and the social whirl that goes with them. And the forthcoming ban on smoking in public places also prompts a look at the prospects for smokers here.

contact Home - New Non-Smoking Jacket
contact Style 1 - Dressing for the Season
contact Style 2 – Morning Dress
contact Style 3 – Dinner Jackets
contact Style 4 – Blazers
contact Grooming – Oil the Wrinkles
contact Cars Brooklands revived
contact Drink – The Season goes Pop
contact Bars - Smoke Signals
contact Sports - Racing First
  Yachts - Cowes Week
contact Travel – Gastronomic Trend
contact Culture – Culture in the Country
contact Contact
contact Companions of Savile Row – listing of top tailors and interviews
contact Archives



22-26 MAY The Chelsea Flower Show, like other long-established fixtures of the Season, has grown to have much wider appeal than its initial aims as an exclusive offshoot of the Royal Horticultural Society, and now attracts gardening enthusiasts from overseas as well the UK, professional designers, horticulturalists, celebrities and much media coverage.  The Queen and other members of the Royal family usually attend.
First staged in 1852, under the title of the Great Spring Show, it was rechristened the Chelsea Flower Show in 1913, and since then has become the international attraction that it is, attendance limited by the size of the grounds to 157,000.  On the final day, when many of the displays are sold off, Chelsea becomes awash with moving plants.

26 MAY-25 AUG Another sign that Spring has sprung and the great outdoors is to be enjoyed sees the start of the Glyndebourne Festival.   This opera fest, in the Sussex countryside, is noted not only for fine productions but also for its bucolic setting and the fact that many attending will arrive early evening, often by train from London, in full evening dress, to enjoy a drink on the lawns and later to have a picnic supper outside in the interval.

Given that these festivities hark back to 1934, long before any hint of global warming, it is a testament to the hardiness of the British that this al fresco tradition is firmly established.

17th MAY The Test Match series commences at Lord's and after last year’s
sad spectacle in Australia, England will be looking to recover the form they showed the previous year, when they won the Ashes.

Lord's gets its name from founder, Thomas Lord, who established the first regular cricket ground in 1787, and moved to the present ground just north of Regents Park in 1814.  Owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club, it is the cricket mecca to cricket lovers everywhere, and there is a 30,000 waiting list for memberships of the Club, entailing an estimated wait of some 18 years before acceptance. Cricket fans are noted for their patience. See Style page on Blazers for details of its firm dress rules.