Going out to events in East London is always a bit hit or miss. Sorry. It just is. So, when an unexpected invitation to tailor Gresham Blake’s book launch at his Shoreditch store and before setting off, we had those 50/50 ‘let’s go along and support the launch anyway’ thoughts. Welding me away from my W1 playground is a hard grind for any brand/designer. But Gresham Blake’s quirky Savile Row anarchist approach to tailoring along with his jovial sense of humour and huge celebrity client list meant this launch had good prospects.
Gresham Blake doesn’t yell about his work which is more the pity. He quietly applies his skill, artistry and humour to his tailoring which has more celebrity fans than you can shake a celebrity gold stick at. Actors, comedians, journalists, musicians all rock up to Gresham Blake (a wayward and even more quirky Richard James) for made to measure slick mayhem with the occasional loud colour, pattern or hint to deviance. Just check out the Karma Sutra or LSD ties or the swearwords jacket on display in the Shoreditch store. This is tailoring to make a statement in a big or little way. And it’s so very London for a man who started off in Brighton.
Blake’s work is characterised by his use of high quality English cloths with contemporary cuts, and classic tones with flashes of vivid pattern or colour. Distinctive linings are another of his specialities – whether florals, lipstick prints or LSD formulas, the feel is very ‘A Clockwork Orange.
The evening, held to mark the publishing of a beauty of a coffee table tome filled with portraits of Mr Blake’s clientele and marking his firm foothold on the London gentlemen’s tailoring scene, (his business has been going for 15 years) was rammed packed into the super stylish store with handmade wallpapers, gorgeous wild flower arrangements, visual merchandising sets and arty displays.
The guests attending were every bit as colourful in character as well as in clothing. Art, fashion and media types mixed with chaps from The Chap mag, East London wide boys, Brighton’s best and celebs such as Ray Winstone, Steve Coogan, Mark Williams and Krishnan Guru-Murthy while the ladies included Vanessa Feltz, Jamie Winstone, Yasmin Mills and Brix Stuart Smith.
Drinks were fast flowing and included vodka martinis from Black Cow and Regal Rogue vermouth aperitifs. Gresham Blake’s boys’ club sure is a lot of fun.
Gresham Blake’s book is available from Gresham Blake’s stores.