MALE GLAMOUR AT CITY HALL
Its the occasion when male finery outshines the female. The annual dinner in aid of the Master Tailors' Benevolent Association takes place in February and a host of immaculately suited tailors descended again this year upon the splendid Merchant Taylors' Hall in the City of London to celebrate their trade.
This event, which is predominantly male - though with an increasing sprinkling of ladies as more and more of them work in the tailoring world - provides a chance for tailors to show off their talents.
No lairy, colourful djs here but a classic study of uniform black and white, with just the Scottish President, Cameron Buchanan's tartan vest providing a flash of colour. It must be the best dressed occasion on the calender.
Despite economic worries, it attracted a full house, evidence that whatever the prevailing economic climate, the tailors are determined to support their charity - and enjoy themselves.
Cameron Buchanan was the exuberent host of the proceedings again this year, as the reigning President of the MTBA. He heads up the overseas operations of Harrisons of Edinburgh, top cloth house that is now part of the Lear, Browne & Dunsford group. He is to be assisted by Lindsay Taylor, from Scabal, who has taken on the title of Appeals Chairman, the first woman ever to hold this office.
At top, from left, Lindsay Taylor, Group Sales Director of Scabal, with Ainsley Penson from Lutwyche and guest speaker, author Mark Tungate.
Top right, from left, Ravi Tailor from Anthony Hewitt, with Barry Austin, centre, and brother Ken Austin of Benson & Clegg.
Above, Past Master's of the Merchant Taylor's Company (see below for further information), the Earl of Stockton, left, with William Skinner.
Above, John Wilson, Director General of the recently renamed UK FT, formerly the British Clothing Industry Association, with Charlie Allen of Charlie Allen.
Left, Cameron Buchanan, President of the MTBA, centre, sporting his tartan vest, with the Lord Mayor of Westminster on his left, Duncan Sandys (great grandson of Winston Churchill) and right Mrs Emma Buchanan.
Below, right, George Orris, with Carol Morris. He became International Brands Director of Chester Barrie in December. His brief is to develope the overseas business of this quality ready-to-wear suit house and his office is to be based at the Chester Barrie shop in Savile Row.
Below from left, Andrew Musson with his father, John, centre,who run a family tailoring business in Lincoln, and William Skinner of Dege & Skinner on the right.
Bottom right, from the left, Neil and Emma O'Brien of City tailors Neil O'Brien Tailoring, with James Dunsford, joint managing director of Lear, Browne & Dunsford, suppliers of top cloth and linings to the tailoring trade, and Carol Hannaford, of LBD.
TAILORS FOUNDED LONDON'S WEALTH
Those young City finance workers may pride themselves on being masters of the financial world but they are but the latest group in a long history of others who have made the City an international hub of commerce.
Way back in the 14th century, the mighty Gilds of London came into being, effectively running the City and controlling its commerce, and of these the Worshipful Company of Taylors was one of the most important.
Each company or guild had its own Hall, grand repositories for rich collections of silver and gold plate, but over the years many have gone, some in the Great Fire of London, more in the Blitz. Now, forty companies have Halls, some magnificent old places, others fairly modern rebuildings on ancient sites.
The Master Taylors Hall has been on its present site since 1347. Though badly damaged in the Great Fire and the Blitz, it still retains parts that date back to the 14th and 15th centuries, including the walls and foundations.
Though the company has long since ceased to be a representative body for tailors, it remains an important City ‘club’, devoted to educational and charitable activities. But it does retain some links with its old trade, sponsoring the Golden Shears Awards, providing annual fashion bursaries for student, and supporting trade charities. And each year, the Master Taylors’ Hall is the grand setting for the tailors’ annual dinner in aid of the Master Tailors' Benevolent Association.