THE ROW'S NAUGHTY SISTER
Soho has always been the naughtier sister of Savile Row, the adjoining area that houses many of the workrooms that support the Row’s illustrious names.
Existing cheek by jowl, so to speak, with the girls and clubs of London’s entertainment centre, its ambience is quite different to the sober-suited mien of the Row.
Not surprisingly the tailors who have chosen to open their shops here are also rather more colourful characters and attract a corresponding clientele.
Long time Soho tailor, Mark Powell, right, is a case in point. An exuberant cockney, he is a well known figure about the area, cutting a dash in his impeccable suits and eye-catching accessories. Many of his customers come from the showbiz and entertainment worlds and look to him for classic tailoring but with distinctive style.
A fount of knowledge on men’s style, particularly the Edwardian, he has designed costumes for a number of films, with gangsters a speciality.
His recent move into a new shop prompted an opening party this summer, that also marked the start of an impressive exhibition of photographs.
The exhibition, ‘Cool London Through the Photographer’s Lens’, provided capsule collections from leading photographers who Mark has known and worked with over the years. Great shots from Patrizio di Renzo, Dan Farson, Iain McKell and Romano Cagnoni were among them.
“Yes, I’ve got much more room here,” he said expansively “which gives me more scope and provides a good drop-in place for my customers.” It also offers scope for further exhibitions in the future.
Above, Powell's extensive corner shop in Soho. One of his suits, right, a three piece, one-button with peaked lapels.
FROM SOHO TO NEW YORK
Another Soho-ite, Tom Baker, has his own rock’n roll style that also attracts showbiz customers, though he can do traditional classic when required.
His quirky shop, with Dickensian bow window in one of Soho’s oldest streets, offers a variety of fun accessories, and cheekily bears the legend Sir Tom Baker above the door.
With a penchant for unusual fabrics and distinctive details, as seen on the collar of this suit jacket, left, he has a loyal following in Soho.
He goes for a long, lean style, with leather and other trims. But would such bespoke tailoring go down well across the pond?
For the first time this summer he was due to visit the Big Apple to meet customers and hopefully attract new ones.