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Archive for the ‘designers’ Category

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Kim Jones, Dunhill’s creative director, will put his vision of a modern Dunhill on the Paris menswear catwalk at the Maison de l’Architecture on Sunday. (Chris Moore/Karl Prouse)

It is England, 1914. Imagine Alfred Dunhill dashing along in his motor vehicle at a daring 12 miles an hour, his eyes flicking to his rose gold stopwatch, tooting his four-note horn, the entrepreneur in a leather coat with matching goggles. And all these magnificent pieces designed by himself.

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The heritage of Dunhill is so broad and so British: from its beginnings with the birth of the car to creating luxury accessories for motorcycling, aviation and the oh-so-fashionable smokers in the Roaring Twenties.

“This is from the 1920s – from the collaboration with Japan,” says Kim Jones, 32, Dunhill’s creative director, who will put his vision of a modern Dunhill on the Paris menswear catwalk at the Maison de l’Architecture on Sunday.

Jones was referring to a dynamic and ergonomic range of travel bags in wood-grain leather. But it would be a stretch to guess that a pen case from the 1920s had been the inspiration. (more…)

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Tommy Nutter boldly cut against the traditional Savile Row grain.

Tommy Nutter will always be known as the flamboyant bee in Savile Row’s stuffy bonnet.  It was the late 60s, and narrow suits ruled the day.  Trained as traditional tailor, the sexy and innovative Nutter was not happy following the status quo of Savile Row and literally took matters into his own hands.

Tommy Nutter- a peacock if ever there was.

He created a sensation with his bold, signature look- wide shoulders and unapologetic lapels.  Nutter became the darling of the celebrity scene- clothing the likes of Mick & Bianca Jagger, Elton John and The Beatles.

Paul, Ringo and John- clothing by Tommy Nutter.

His influence can still be seen today, through a legacy of apprentices who trained under him, and in the young new designers of today who are discovering his work.   Tommy Nutter has forever left a mark on Savile Row, and defined a moment in time when bigger truly was better.

British rock musician Mick Jagger and Nicaraguan Bianca Perez Morena de Marcias just after their Wedding in St Tropez, France on 12th May 1971.

(more…)

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TARTAN Romancing the Plaid by Jeffrey Banks & Doria De La Chapelle

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Tartan makes me feel like no other fabric.  I can’t say it any better than the book, a must read- “Whenever the word tartan is mentioned, scores of exuberant images abound.  Like a flag, tartan evokes the Scottish nation and its colorful kilted clans.  It resonates with the wail of bagpipes.  It snaps to attention with its smart, symmetrical design.

But tartan is more than a design, it is a sign; and while it signifies kinship (real or imagined), country, and celebration of the Scots, its subtext is dignity, distinctiveness. and a sense of belonging- qualities that possess universal appeal. That is perhaps the reason why tartan, a textile indigenous to the Highlands, has evolved into one of the world’s most popular fabrics, beloved by just about everyone. Scot or not.”

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The impeccable Jeffrey Banks

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Knowing Jeffrey Banks, I can tell you that writing this book was a passionate labor of love for him.  An avid collector of all things tartan, particularly Black Watch, Jeffrey is the tartan authority and owns some of the greatest pieces I’ve seen– apparel, accessories, home furnishings, tartanware– you name it.  Jeffrey- I want that Black Watch toggle coat when you die!  No hurry, chap.

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Jeffrey Banks’ personal collection of tartanware. Photo by Thom Gilbert.

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Jeffrey Banks is one of those guys that seems to have been born with impeccable style.  As a high-schooler working at the legendary shop Britches, he was tapped by Ralph to come work for him.  Ralph became very fond of Jeffrey– he even lent him his own personal tuxedo and pumps for his Senior Prom.  Polo was a small company back then, so he worked directly with Ralph as his design assistant, and they are still close today.

Jeffrey, passionate about design, made the decision to leave Polo and finish his studies at Pratt Institute and Parsons.  Jeffrey later designed for Calvin, and Merona Sportswear, among others.  He launched his own menswear collection in 1977 to much acclaim, and is among the “who’s who” of fashion.  Jeffrey is one of the most dapper guys going, and a two-time winner of the Coty American Fashion Critics award.

I have a great story for you about Jeffrey in a kilt- but that’s for another time.

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