STAR NAMES OUTSIDE THE 'CLUB'
Edward Sexton, Denman & Goddard, Tom Brown, Douglas Hayward – these are legendary names in the bespoke firmament.
With the exception of Sexton, they were not included in the recent TV series on Savile Row, and they are not members of Savile Row Bespoke because they are not based on the Row. But they represent the very highest of Savile Row standards.
Sexton exited the Row for less expensive premises in Beauchamp Place, a small exclusive thoroughfare in Knightsbridge. First apprenticed at 16 to Kilgour, French & Stanbury under the legendary Fred Stanbury, he is a master cutter with design flair and an engaging personality, who has successfully launched into other fields
Famous as the technical genius behind Tommy Nutter, he makes clothes that are based upon a classic Savile Row construction but with a stylish twist. “I go for a long, slim silhouette with a high-cut arm hole and slightly higher waist shaping.We aim to make those who are fat look slimmer and taller – and I like to see daylight through the legs.”
A suit from Sexton's new ready-to-wear collection, showing a more emphasised fashion look for a major catwalk presentation during London FashionWeek.
He chats away as he cuts, rushes off to get a copy of a DVD, jokes with the staff. He is the antithesis of the quiet, reserved image of a Row tailor, a bundle of energy and fun. These characteristics have undoubtedly helped establish him with a new young generation of showbiz and fashion folk as well as Establishment clients, here and overseas. He is in by 7.30 in the morning, seeing clients before their business day starts, and in addition to his bespoke work, oversees ready-to-wear collections for men and women, shirt and tie ranges and various design projects, another new one in progress. And now, he is a founder member of the new Savile Row Alliance organisation (see Style p1).
Sexton is the very model of a modern bespoke tailor, who clearly enjoys what he is doing. “I love it, I’m just as enthusiastic as when I started,” he says with a grin.
Tom Brown's schooldays keep customers coming
Tom Brown is probably the oldest tailoring house, started in 1784 and, and as supplier of clothing to the pupils of Eton College, has undoubtedly dressed more Prime Ministers than any other tailors.
Established by the first of five successive Tom Browns at No 1, Eton High Street, hard by the famous school, it is now under the management of David Coulthard, seen here, the first owner not to be a member of the Brown family. He served his apprenticeship at Gieves in the 1960s, so is a hands-on tailor as well as m.d.
A London branch was opened in 1890 and is now based in Sackville Street. At both establishments, suits are the mainstay of the business, and nearly all for UK customers.
Continued on Style p4