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London Collections: Savile Row Open Day

15.06.12

To celebrate the inaugural London Collections: Men, Savile Row, London's tailoring mecca, has opened its doors and given us a peek inside the historical - and often secretive - world of bespoke tailoring.

From Henry Poole & Co (the design house which is credited with creating the tuxedo in the 1860's), to H. Huntsman, who have Winston Churchill's patterns stored in their archive, through to contemporary tailor Richard James which was established in 1992, the houses have all opened their doors. With vintage cars parked along the road and celebrities including Dermot O'Leary (making an appearance at Chester Barrie) the afternoon had a sophisticated party atmosphere; and it's a party which will undoubtedly continue into the evening with a cocktail reception at the Burlington Arcade with cocktails by the legendary American Bar at the Savoy.

At No. 14 Savile Row, the house purchased by Hardy Amies in 1945 and still in use by his namesake label today, cutter Antonia showed her afternoon's work and took us through her row of current patterns. Antonia graduated from the London College of Fashion last June, and began working at Hardy Amies in July. 'In terms of fashion versus tailoring' she said, 'for me it was a no-brainer'.

At Maurice Sedwell, meanwhile, Dharmesh showed us the workshop at the back of the house where the coat-makers, trouser-makers, and cutters can all usually be found working.

And in the window, coat-maker Julio was hard at work, whilst trying to ignore the stares of passers by. We weren't REALLY trying to put you off, Julio. Honest!