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Beyond the Bale : March 2016
OFF FARM 13 Ever since Henry Poole opened his tailoring residence at 32 Savile Row in 1846, the iconic sartorial strip for menswear has acted as a second home to Australian Merino wool. Go inside any of the iconic tailoring houses and you are guaranteed to see luxurious men’s suits and separates in various stages of preparation, each crafted in the premium, natural fibre. Menswear’s prominence in the UK and further afield has risen greatly during the past few years, particularly since the creation of the London Collections Men fashion week in June 2012. AWI has a history of supporting various designers at the event including Lou Dalton, Christopher Raeburn and Sibling, ensuring that there is more Australian Merino wool in their collections and ultimately in stores. This year however, AWI also teamed up directly with the tailors of Savile Row, going behind the scenes to highlight the skill and craftsmanship required to produce bespoke Merino wool suits. Presented in a collaboration between London Collections Men, Huntsman owner Pierre Lagrange and AWI, the Ambassador’s Project saw five Savile Row Bespoke houses each partner with and create a unique suit for an appointed ambassador: multi-talented Chinese creative Hu Bing; model David Gandy; British GQ editor-in-chief, Dylan Jones; television and radio presenter, and newly announced guest editor for British GQ Dermot O’Leary; and musician Tinie Tempah. The behind the scenes process of kitting out the ambassadors began at the ‘Inside Out’ event during London Collections Men (Spring/ Summer 2016) in June (see the September edition of Beyond the Bale), with the results showcased at London Collections Men (Autumn/Winter 2016) in January. The initiative laid bare the bespoke processes shaped by centuries of history and tradition, highlighting the tailoring techniques of yesteryear using the finest Merino wool cloth to make it relevant to the modern gentleman and aesthetics of today. Hu Bing teamed with Huntsman to create a charcoal grey pick and pick single breasted three piece suit, with double breasted peak lapel vest with three show three buttons using Super 150s 8oz Merino wool fabric. David Gandy collaborated with the prestigious tailor Henry Poole to create a Merino wool window-pane check suit, complete with waistcoat featuring the Jaguar logo as a reference to his love of vintage cars, whilst Tinie Tempah appropriately partnered with Edward Sexton – the tailor to the world’s most famous musicians – to create a contemporary split-suit, with a Donegal texture wool-rich jacket and narrow-leg Merino wool flannel trousers. Dylan Jones favoured the contemporary architecturally inspired design of Kilgour in a double-breasted travel performance Merino wool fabric, while in contrast Dermot O’Leary chose a double-breasted two show two, peak lapel with flat-front trouser suit from Hardy Amies in a lightweight Merino wool flannel. The tailors and ambassadors partnered with some of the world’s most high-profile mills and merchants to create the bespoke suits for the ambassadors; these included Scabal, Hunt & Winterbotham, Holland & Sherry, Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico and Caccioppoli Napoli. MORE INFORMATION www.merino.com/ambassadors In an AWI-supported initiative, the bespoke tailors of Savile Row have partnered with high-profile European mills and merchants to craft exclusive Merino wool suits for project ambassadors that were showcased to the international media at the London Collections Men fashion week in January. AMBASSADOR’S PROJECT GOES BEHIND-THE-SEAMS Chinese actor, model and singer Hu Bing; model David Gandy; British GQ editor-in-chief, Dylan Jones; and musician Tinie Tempah were four of the ambassadors that each teamed with a tailoring house to showcase a bespoke suit (pictured here) made from Merino wool. The project demonstrated to the menswear fashion industry the versatility of Merino wool in bespoke tailoring.
In the Shops - March 2016