IN FAVOUR OF SAVILE ROW
Savile Row is a much more friendly, welcoming place than in the days of yore. Up until middle of the 1990s, unless you were brought by your father, almost as a rite of passage, or came recommended by an existing customer, many houses were decidedly sniffy about accepting just any old customer who came through their doors. Now, they have opened up no end, attracting a wide variety of customers. Here a disparate group reveal their views on the Row.
Girls the world over would undoubtedly say that Mr. David Gandy is a very nice man, and indeed he is. As the male celebrity of the moment, feted and photographed wherever he goes, seen at all the best parties and in all the gossip pages, it might be expected that the had become just a touch removed, a little precious, but not a bit of it.
He managed to cause no little excitement in Savile Row recently, when being fitted for his latest suit at Henry Poole. Posing outside the tailor’s beside a rather special 1952 C-Type Jaguar sports car, he even had some other tailors, noted for being singularly unimpressed by celebrities, coming out to catch a snap of him – though admittedly, the Jag might have been the main attraction for some male passers-by.
He is that rarity – a hit with the ladies and yet very much a man’s man, a good bloke. And even rarer in the modelling world, he has the sort of physique usually associated with a boxer, broad shouldered and narrow hipped, a muscular figure that makes the stick insect shapes of other young male models look as hapless as their female counterparts.
The Poole suit, still at the fitting stage, showed this off to advantage. The bespoke cut fits the shoulders naturally, then the jacket whittles to his enviably trim waistline, with a Norfolk pleat back giving freedom of movement for his muscular top. Ready-to-wear would never do such justice.
It was being fitted in time to be worn at the Goodwood members’ meeting this Spring, which he was attending with Simon Cundey of Poole, both passionate about cars.
"I have lots of Savile Row suits," Gandy volunteered. "I just love the feel of them and the way they look. I am very supportive of British craftsmanship and believe it deserves more honour in its own country. Rather than letting foreign investors take over our top British firms, there should be more investment here. It makes economic sense."
In one of this many sidelines, he has written fulsomely on this theme, most recently in a Daily Telegraph article that attracted a high response. He also makes the point that British consumers can do their bit.
"Not just in clothes but in other areas, consumers can help British businesses and support traditional crafts like Savile Row simply by buying British."
He has been a customer at Henry Poole for two and half years, and likes a certain fairly traditional style. For this latest outfit, he chose a cloth from the new Hardy Minnis range, in the Worsted Alsport collection, designed especially for town and country wear.
Since winning a modelling competition on TV in 2001, Gandy has modelled for all kinds of top international brands. But he sent a million female hearts a flutter when he appeared in the memorable Dolce & Gabbana campaign in 2007, modelling underwear, and since then has chalked up a raft of industry awards, magazine covers, fashion projects and writing assignments, and managed to find time to support various good causes.
One of these is as patron and foster carer for the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. "I’d love to have a dog but it just hasn’t been right up till now, with all the travelling I’ve been doing. But I’ve not got a nice old Victorian house with a garden, and the dog I’m fostering at present is so special, the time may just be right…"
David Gandy’s suit is in a brown herringbone with a double brown window check, a 12 oz weight, with the jacket showing Norfolk-style shooting pleats at the back to allow him ease of movement when driving.
Magazine website: Savilerow-style.com
Magazine website: Savilerow-style.com