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Writing exclusively for Savile Row Style, wet shaving expert and Wilde & Harte Director Paul Thompson talks through solutions for common shaving related queries raised by today’s style-conscious gentleman

In this first instalment, Paul answers the common question ‘Can I still shave every day, even if I have sensitive skin?’ and explains that yes, regular shaving for anyone with sensitive skin should be encouraged to promote and maintain a healthy complexion. For the best irritation-free results, he recommends the following shaving techniques:

1. Before every wet shave, it’s important to soften the beard hair. Having a shower before shaving is a great idea. Or, you can massage warm water over your facial hair to soften, ready for applying your pre shave oil, shaving cream or shaving soap.

Tip: If you own a shaving brush, create a rich, dense lather from your shaving soap or cream and work the brush bristles in a circular motion into your stubble to lift the beard hair in readiness for your shave.

2. Shave with short strokes, in the direction of your beard growth (see illustration left) without applying unnecessary downward pressure. Your razor will glide effortlessly through your stubble for a clean, close and comfortable shave, minimising nicks, cuts and razor burn. Remember to rinse your razor blades with warm water at regular intervals during your shave to remove debris.

Tip: Always use the sharpest razor blades or newest razor cartridges you have available. At the first instance you experience the razor ‘tugging’, change your blades immediately (you will typically yield a handful of close shaves before blades lose their sharpness).

3. Wet shaving removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin (the act of exfoliating). It’s very important to wash away all shaving by-products and apply skin moisturising post shave balm or oil (organic, if possible) to rehydrate and protect sensitive skin.

Tip for sensitive skin: Consider one or two ‘shave free’ days every week to allow sensitive skin to recover from regular exposure to sharp razor blades.

Conclusion: With clean, sharp razor blades, lathering with a quality shaving cream or soap (avoiding aerosol shaving foams) and using the correct shaving techniques, regular shaving should not have any negative impact upon sensitive skin. However, if you rush your shave or let razor blades or razor cartridges lose sharpness, you will leave yourself susceptible to a host of unsightly skin irritations such as ingrowing hairs and razor burn.

For the next shaving article – to be published later this spring – Paul explains why the shaving industry is experiencing a upturn in the use of traditional safety razors, describing what they are and why we should consider using one.

Wilde & Harte design and manufacture razor collections inspired by the splendour and grandeur of iconic houses and palaces in London. Where style meets sustainability, the brand offers hand crafted 100% plastic free shaving options and accessories to minimise plastic consumption and lower shaving costs. Wilde & Harte are members of the Made in Britain campaign.

To learn more and view the offer exclusive to Savile Row Style, visit

Writing exclusively for Savile Row Style, wet

Celebrating the history of masculine attire is the subject of a current exhibition at the V&A museum. It looks at how menswear has changed over the centuries. Called The Art of Menswear, it is the first major V&A exhibition to celebrate the power, artistry and diversity of masculine attire and appearance. The show traces how menswear has been fashioned and refashioned over the centuries, and how designers, tailors and artists have constructed and performed masculinity.

The exhibition showcases three iconic gowns – worn by Billy Porter, Harry Styles and Bimini Bon Boulash – alongside a specially commissioned, monumental film by Quentin Jones with Cadence Films. The exhibition presents around 100 looks and 100 artworks, displayed thematically across three galleries. Contemporary looks by legendary designers and rising stars are displayed alongside historical treasures from the V&A’s collections and landmark loans: classical sculptures, Renaissance paintings, iconic photographs, and powerful film and performance. The exhibition brings together historical and contemporary looks with art that reveals how masculinity has been performed.


In the 20th century an abundance of mass-produced suits bred creativity as Mods, Teddy Boys and all manner of subcultures looked to define their styles through tailoring, explored in the exhibition through garments and photography. A section on leather shows how designers like Tom Ford for Gucci, Hedi Slimane for Dior and Donatella Versace took their interest in leather to a new place, whilst a series of frock coats from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day includes examples by Prada, Alexander McQueen and Raf Simons. Redressed also includes paintings as well as extensive photography showing changing styles and attitudes, from Oscar Wilde, Claude Cahun and Cecil Beaton to The Beatles and Sam Smith.

Tickets on sale at

Celebrating the history of masculine attire is

Robert Bright, the man who  founded the Golden Shears back in 1974, has died, aged 89.  In announcing the news, Rear Admiral John Clink CBE told members of the Merchant Taylors’ Company: “It is with a heavy heart I bear the sad news that Liveryman Mr Robert John Bright MBE has passed away. Robert was a much loved member of our fraternity and died on 26 December.

“Robert joined the Company by Redemption in May 1987. He immediately was involved in re-establishing the links between the Company and its historic trade. He was elected to the Livery in 1990. He created the Golden Shears Awards, which champions the tailoring trade and celebrates outstanding new talent from across the UK.

“Robert is best known as a pillar of strength in the Trade, and as a grantee of a royal warrant of appointment to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. His legacy in the City is impressive. He was chair of the Golden Shears committee from its inception and was involved in the City and Guilds committee and was chairman of the Livery Companies’ Skills Council. Robert’s vast experience and passion for the Trade upheld his values of excellence, fairness and integrity; he was a shining example of all that is best in a Merchant Taylor and our thoughts are with his wife Jean and their family.”

There will be a full tribute to Robert Bright in the next edition of Savile Row Style Magazine.

Robert Bright, the man who  founded the

Do make a visit to any major gallery or even costume display (if you can find one) and look at the 18th century section, advises Robin Dutt. They are certainly silent lecture halls. You may be certain to see portraits of well-dressed gentlemen at home in their drawing rooms resplendent in silk and satin or out hunting in sturdy thorn-proofs and ‘Pinks’. Period clothes on anonymous mannequins still show the character of the look which lent a sense of occasion to those dressed for evenings of elegance. But pay closer attention and you just might see elements of classic ‘undress’ – ‘loungewear’ of three centuries ago. It makes more than a difference when compared to our contemporary boxers and bare feet look many sport, because they can’t be bothered. And Zoom sessions have only increased this slovenly approach. For what the desk hides, no one can chide about.

Elegant contemporary undress in the capable hands of New & Lingwood, Jermyn Street stalwarts, takes the form of glossy silk dressing gowns and sleek pyjamas finished with velvet slippers, embroidered to perfection – or left stoically plain. Some Drawing Room Dandies might want to top the lot off with a circular smoking cap in velvet plush with tassel – even if they don’t partake of a Gitanes or amber flakes stuffed into an Applewood bowl. Rewind, cinematically and you see a young Dennis Price in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’ wearing a house gown with such sartorial aplomb it almost hurts one’s inability not to pull this look off. No. Not almost…

New & Lingwood has much in plain silk (cotton for every day) but their signature looks include their florid peacocks and almost military, piratical skull motifs. The latter you can buy emblazoned on socks and washbags too. Many will plump for navy or blacks, greys or moss but those with a penchant for deliberately lurid (in the best possible sense) hues will marvel at the selection of clashing and harmonic ruby, teal-petrol, grape purple and ice blue colours, the silk threads reflecting light, whether that of sundown, a candle flame or roaring fire.

Sport one for any future Zoom meeting you just may have to be part of and you might say that you will have much on your side.

New & Lingwood’ s pyjamas from c. £275, silk gowns from c. £895.
0800 083 5102

Do make a visit to any major

Book Review – ‘Bacon in Moscow’ By James Birch, with Michael Hodges

By Robin Dutt

James Birch is one of the most original and maverick gallerists and curators in the country and very possibly the world. A big claim, perhaps but knowing him for some 35 years or so, and witnessing his shows, displays, performances and ‘happenings’, I am confident that no one will be able to refute this. He it was who championed a then unknown Grayson Perry and hosted the artist’s ‘Sardine Cinema’ at the end of the King’s Road, where the object was to cram as many souls as possible into the space of this once Victorian domicile turned art space? For those who saw the flickering flick, who can forget Perry’s ‘A Pucker-Lipped Cow’ (Yes, yes…’Apocalypse Now’). Then there was Jennifer Binnie riding practically naked to the gallery on a white horse, a la Lady Godiva. I seem to recall she had a bit of silver netting about her. She and another Binnie sister or two once also strapped/sellotaped themselves, naked to a vintage Rolls Royce and cruised down Cork Street in its art hey day, at one of the street’s then annual summer parties.

So, it will not come as a complete surprise to learn that Birch’s book is a memoir/document celebrating a most unusual event in Russia – the unveiling of a Francis Bacon retrospective at the Central House of Artists, Moscow in 1988. Bacon’s unique depiction of the human (especially male) body has always caused controversy but garnered also the praise of eminent critics and of course the young. But this project was so typical of James Birch. I had been a guest at an event (call it a tableau vivant?) where jazz maestro George Melly was playing a game of cards with some ‘nuns’ and seemingly lost each hand and removed layer after layer of clothing until he got down to his wizened underpants. Rather yellow and grey. He lost another hand which meant the removal of said pants to reveal a small, wizened willy. It’s all in the name of art, you know… Birch is a magnet for such affairs and people and a dalliance with the seemingly bizarre – but of course full to bursting with art credentials – is his style. One might say that he more than recognises and appreciates originality – especially when controversial.

And so this book about Bacon reminds just what a shock the master must have caused all those decades ago in a Russia, nay Soviet Union, which had not much (if any) time for eccentricity or flouting convention. And little time for Western values, one might add. I remember encountering Bacon one twilight in Soho, his eyes living coal (probably on his way to the Colony Rooms), his hair jet black from boot polish. He it was who famously intoned at a do – ‘Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends’.

Birch with Michael Hodges have assembled archival photographs, transcripts, copies of telegrams and also hilarious quotes from Russian artists, gathered from the visitor’s book, about the whole Bacon experience. It is also an important document recalling Soviet-Western relationships at the time before Russia emerged as the eagle she was under the Tsars and now is again. These quotes from fellow creators range from the sublime to the plainly lost in translation. ‘Bacon’s vision! Why is it so horrible?’ ‘Speaking frankly, this exhibition depressed me.’ and ‘ I would like to ask artists: “Haven’t we got anything better to show than this daub?” As ever, Bacon divides opinion and thought, as this lively text recounts.

It is, at once the work of Birch’s creative spirit and a mischievous one at that, who had to brave convention, hostility, the possibility of any kind of positive reception – and all this, under the eyes of the KGB; And just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. This gives the book an immediate and important time context.

Grayson Perry himself says of the book, that it is ‘a rollicking cultural adventure…fascinating and true.’ This is a fast-paced and informative read for anyone interested by revolutionaries – of every kind.

Published by Cheerio. £20 (Hardback)

Book Review - 'Bacon in Moscow' By