The Bing Crosby tuxedo

In 1951, the world famous American crooner Bing Crosby was denied entrance into a Canadian hotel because he and his friend were dressed completely in denim. Although the Hotel management eventually recognized Bing and made an exception because of who he was, the story of the incident traveled fast. Friends of his back home contacted Levi Strauss and Co. and the designers immediately developed a custom denim tuxedo jacket for Bing so that he would never have problems wearing denim again, even in fancy establishments.

We have replicated this for the 1940’s to 1960’s inspired Goodwood vintage festival, an event based around fashion, music, art and design of that time.

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Interchangeable buttons

We was asked if it would be possible to make a jacket that could be transformed from a blazer to a sports jacket by being able to change the buttons. Occasionally we have made jackets with say pearl buttons for a wedding then have changed them to horn after the event, transforming it from wedding to work suit. It’s amazing the difference buttons make, even adding a brown horn button rather then navy on a blue suit seems to relax it a little. The main problem we had with this request was that the customer wanted 3 sets of buttons that he could change whenever he felt the need. Rather then supplying him with a roll of buttoning thread, we first made the buttons. After some research on small, thin but durable metals we decided the best option was a 3/4 inch long fishing bar which we hand stitched the buttons to. Where the buttons are normally sewn, we made hand eyelet holes for the bar to go through and used butterfly clips ( which is how military buttons are attached ) to secure them. The buttons of choice was a set on black blazer buttons, a set of gold and a set of brown horn.buttons1 buttons2 buttons3 buttons4

Limited Fox Brothers lengths

Just as the sun finally decides to show its face, we were pleasantly surprised to see some one off lengths arrive this morning from Fox Brothers. Mainly known for their flannels, Fox Brothers have been weaving cloth in the west of England for years. The lengths we have received have no trace of flannel and are mainly all summer lengths, we have two exploded prince of Wales checks, one with a blue and red over check the other orange and red both linen wool mix. We also have a few different options in 9oz suitings, a brown small gun check, a plain grey and a grey prince of Wales with a subtle purple over check. As far as jacketings go we have two, both cashmere soft, one a pale pink fleck the other a white and blue candy stripe. Lengths are limited to either one jacket or suit as the amount on each are different. Jacket price £800.00, Suit price £1100.00

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Harry’s retirement

After nearly 70 years in the trade (20 plus years with Graham Browne), Harold Gellar has decided to retire at the age of 93, with the commute rather then the actual work the main reason behind the decision. Harry says he classes the start of his tailoring career when he used to help his father (who was a military tailor) at the age of 14, cutting out wadding and chest piece’s ready to be fixed to the canvases and did so until the great depression in the 1930’s where he briefly changed profession and worked as a draughtsman for aircraft company DeHaven.

After returning back into tailoring, this time as a coat maker he was again forced to put the trade he loved on hold, this time for the war where he was driving tanks in Egypt. Once the war finished he went back to work with his father making tunics for Gieves & Hawkes and Dege & Skinner in Savile Row and even made a tunic for King George VI. After that he went on the be a coat maker for Johns & Pegg, who are now Davis & sons again in Savile Row before doing the same for Graham Browne until he was 70 when he retired, for a week. “I didn’t know what to do with myself,” says Harry, so came back to work for Graham but this time making baste fittings and has done so to date.

All the regular customers will know that Harry is a great character who always has a story to tell and sometimes people use to pop in the shop just to sit and chat to Harry for a while. For a retirement present we framed the shears he used to use, which were his fathers and hopefully its an ornament that can stay in the family though generations.


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Double pick-stitch

A double pick-stitched ( or edge stitched ) jacket is something that only seems to be requested from time to time so we thought it would be worth a look. Double stitched around the edge, collar, out breast welt and patch pockets with additional stitching over the shoulder seams makes the finishing a lot more visible which I think is a positive when applied to a soft jacketing like this of Caccioppoli as sometimes it can get lost in the density of the fabric. Horse shoe shaped patch pockets was something the client had seen somewhere before and asked if we could do it on his jacket, we must admit it was the first time we have done that shape, with a narrow top and wider bottom, but are happy how it has come out.

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