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Davies and Son Media

BTBA Summer Party

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The BTBA Summer Party at the historic Merchant Taylors Hall in the City of London was the place to be last Friday evening.

Always an excuse for all and sundry to show off their sense of style – this was perhaps best demonstrated by Greg’The Trumpet’ Davis

wearing his new Davies & Son bespoke suit. The man not only knows how to play a mean sax – he also rocks a suit to the max!

BTBA

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As anyone who has been to the BTBA summer party at Merchant Taylors Hall will know – the Greg Davis Band set the tone for the evening. Not only with the smooth Jazz – but also Greg ‘The Trumpet’s suits. This year will be no exception, Patrick Murphy is cutting a suit for him using this fabulous wool/silk/linen mix cloth.

This year’s summer party is on Friday 8th July 2016.

Caption ........Alan Bennett proving that style starts young.

1. Alan Bennett – Master Tailor and Cutter, Davies & Son.

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My father took me to his tailor in Barking, Morris’ to buy my first bespoke suit. I had to pick out cloth from stock of course, I didn’t really want brown, but the best I could choose at the time from what they had was a brown worsted – probably around 14 ozs. It’s was what I would call a brown ’double plain’ .

It was 1965, I was 15years old and heavily influenced by ‘mod’ fashion, as a result I managed to insist that they make me a two piece single breasted, 4 button suit with a very narrow notch lapel with a long centre vent, completed with an outside ticket pocket and slanted pockets.

The trousers were narrow as well – of course!

This was quite a challenge for a Barking tailor.

2. Patrick Murphy – Head Cutter, Davies & Son.

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My first bespoke suit was cut by Alan Bennett for whom I worked at the time – it must have been around 1984. It was a single-breasted, notch lapel 2 button suit with two vents and straight pockets – in 11/12ozs navy blue herringbone stock cloth from Alan’s shop – at that time Alan Bennett at 36 Savile Row. The jacket (coat) was made by Jim Stevenson and the trousers by Don Snow.

5. Joe Mathews (Cutter Davies & Son)

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I was 17 or maybe just 18 years old. It was a two piece, perfect navy hopsack. The colour was not too light but not too dark. It was single breasted, 2 button with a notch lapel. It had slanting pockets and an outside ticket pocket. I remember being told not to go too flashy on your first suit as I would be wearing it everyday at that time. The Jacket was made by Tim Sheehan and the trousers by Peter Theophanis

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6. James Sherwood , Author

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My introduction to bespoke tailoring is a tale of two suits. In the early Noughties, I got a booking to be a fashion presenter for the BBC at Royal Ascot. I didn’t own or inherit morning tails or a top hat but fortunately had recently met a dapper chap called Chris Modoo who worked for Britain’s oldest tailor Ede & Ravenscroft. I was measured-up for black morning tails, grey and black stripe brace-top trousers and a buff waistcoat. Instead of the usual consultation between cutter and customer, I just nodded my head and allowed myself to be guided. It was Chris who pointed out that the brace-tops had to be high so there was no danger of showing shirt and insisted that I wear yellow over-the-calf socks and garters. Chris selected a claret tie with white micro dots, a duck egg blue tunic shirt and a detachable stiff, stud collar. We worked on over forty combinations of shirt-tie-waistcoat-pocket-silk for the subsequent nine years that I worked at Royal Ascot. He never got one wrong.

About five years into the BBC gig, weight or wear necessitated new kit. By then, I was a little more familiar with Savile Row and asked Davies & Son chairman Alan Bennett to cut a new tailcoat inspired by one worn by the Duke of Windsor when Prince of Wales in the 1920s. Alan doesn’t advertise it, but he is incredibly knowledgeable about the history of Savile Row. There wasn’t even a question that he was going to cut generous ‘spongebag’ (houndstooth) trousers as worn by the prince and trim the tailcoat with black braid. It is the form at Royal Ascot for the men to wear dark waistcoats on Ladies’ Day so Alan cut a single-breasted tone-on-tone vest from the same cloth as the tailcoat and trimmed it with ‘slips’ made from white Marcella. Every detail was an homage to the Prince of Wales and was carefully considered. Even if you didn’t know or care about tailoring, you’d know Davies had produced a winner.

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