There are many celebrated streets in our capital, but none epitomises the word “heritage” more than Savile Row. Every gentleman has a tailor, and every tailor has a story to tell. Gieves’ story dates back to the late 18th century, supplying custom-made uniforms to British naval officers and, from there, dressing three generations of our royal family through their thriving bespoke tailoring business. The firm is steeped in tradition – and traditions can sometimes be difficult to break with.
This fact hasn’t passed Gieves’ creative director Jason Basmajian by, but like everyone, he’s also seen London change immeasurably over the last few years. Savile Row’s archetypal pinstripe-and-bowler-hat customer has been replaced by young Russian oligarchs, Saudi princes and French ex-pats. Gieves has had to undo its top button, loosen its tie and lose the slightly fusty image.
So what Basmajian brings us for Spring/Summer 2016 is a younger, more streamlined, smart-yet-casual Gieves, still exuding plutocratic assurance, yet far more suitable for the global jetset. The outlook may be Mojitos by a sun-drenched beach bar, but the quality and execution is the faultless Gieves standard.
An organic palette of lush, verdant greens, and burnished brick reds and rusts adds an equatorial edge to the stone and navy; chamois-soft suede rubs against feather-weight summer wools, silk and tactile linens. Narrow lapels, patch pockets and trousers cropped to just above the ankle carry a modern, sporty appeal.
Gieve’s spiritual home, No. 1 Savile Row, has also evolved, decadently decked out to resemble a luxurious clubhouse; an ideal setting for the tailor’s on-the-nose overhaul, including a collaboration with upmarket resortwear brand Orlebar Brown. Whilst the other denizens of The Row languish in habitual decrepitude, Gieves is looking forward to a brighter future.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion)