Designers brought up in a world where the trainer reigns supreme now helm the world’s biggest fashion houses. The dominance of streetwear may lead one to assume that the future of the classic suit is hanging by a thread.
Not in London. Fashion in the UK capital is rarely a slave to, well, fashion: and now classic menswear is undergoing yet another renaissance. And that means the suit – which, after all, is a garment designed to flatter: a jacket that accentuates the breadth of the shoulders, makes one’s waist appear narrower and withstands the rigours of the three-course business lunch.
The difference is in the styling of today’s creations. On Savile Row, the world’s most famous street for menswear, not a huge amount changes. There you’ll find master tailors aplenty, but mavericks? Not so much. If you want to find the designers reimagining the suit for a more creative audience, you’ll need to look slightly further afield…
Barely a season old, this label founded by Christopher Modoo and Richard Wheat has already made a big impression at the smarter end of London’s tailoring scene. Favouring roomy, pleated trousers and peak lapel double-breasted blazers, Kit Blake is very much for the purist. It’s still a best-kept secret – with no physical shop and only the occasional pop-up, you’ll need to go online for the ready-to-wear collection.
When Timothy Everest opened his townhouse in Shoreditch over 20 years ago, far from the tailoring crowd in Mayfair, many thought him mad. But his softly tailored silhouette, skill with unusual fabrics and consistent reinvention have made him a must-visit for unique suits or separates. An avid cyclist, Everest is keenly aware of the need for movement and comfort, so frequent travellers would be well advised to seek him out. 37 Redchurch Street and 35 Bruton Place
Connolly takes a more contemporary approach to classic menswear silhouettes. Favouring a unisex style with an elegant drape and soft contours, it’s a far cry from the sharp shoulders and paper-cut lapels of Savile Row. Designer Marc Audibet is a genius with the shears, creating versatile tailoring that can be dressed up or down with ease. 4 Clifford Street
Michael Drake’s eponymous brand, founded in 1977, has built a devoted following of young tailoring aficionados who crave interesting fabrics without a brow-raising price tag. In fact, Drake’s is probably the best-value tailoring brand in London right now and customer service in its Clifford Street shop is second to none. The Easyday suiting range is a steal for elegant business attire. For weekends, its corduroy options will have everyone asking where you got your suit from. 3 Clifford Street
One of the icons of British bespoke tailoring, Edward Sexton has never deviated from a distinctly romantic aesthetic, taking inspiration from the art deco period of the 1920s and ’30s. Based in Knightsbridge, Sexton’s small atelier still produces some of the sharpest and most flamboyant cuts in London, with strong, firmly roped shoulders providing a powerfully masculine look. His high-waisted Hollywood pleated trousers are also a must for those who prefer old-world nostalgia over new-world hype. 26 Beauchamp Place
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