Savile Row Artisan
Tailor Made For History
The Tailor's Manual or Twenty Years A New England Tailor (By One Of The Craft)
Victorian History: The tailors and the Lady
In the rarified world of Savile Row tailors, there is general consensus on decorum, business conduct, and related matters. This clutch of high-end tailors has done business for centuries in London's central city, and customers are required to call on them for custom fittings and adjustments. Recently, there has been a bit of a controversy brewing regarding one "rogue" tailor, Matthew Farnes. Farnes recently left his job at the firm Ede & Ravenscroft to set up his own shop far from the precincts of Savile Row. Mr. Farnes is a third-generation fabric cutter, and he has actively embraced the modern age with his blog, "The Savile Row Artisan: Matthew Farnes Savile Row Bepoke Tailors", and he even makes house calls on clients. The established houses in Savile Row are bracing for a fight, and they have retained a lawyer to protect their brand and the term "bespoke", which is part of their established tradition that means suits are made entirely by hand and that do not come from ready-to-wear patterns. Many old-guard tailors seem to look askance at Farnes' work, and others have claimed that he is merely riding on the fame and historical traditions of the Savile Row name. Farnes and others claim they are only trying to "break down the barriers around Savile Row" and aim to modernize "bespoke" suits by attracting younger clients with lower prices.
The first link will take users to an article about Farnes and Savile Row from this Monday's Wall Street Journal. The second link leads to Farnes' personal blog, which contains fashion tips and comments about the life of a tailor. Moving on, the third link leads to the professional organization of Savile Row tailors, and visitors can learn more about their organization and history here. The fourth link whisks users away to a great piece from Colonial Williamsburg's Journal that talks about tailoring practices in colonial America. The fifth link leads to an excellent book by Charles Hamilton, a tailor in mid-19th century New England. In the book he talks about the practice of his craft, and hoped that the book would let readers "know the real condition of our business." The last link leads to a fine post from the "Victorian History blog (written by Professor Bruce Rosen) about a dispute between a tailor and the well-known courtesan, Catherine Walters, better known as "Skittles".