This year, there’s been a question at the forefront of every sartorialist’s mind: “How can I dress up, when there’s almost nowhere to go and nothing to dress up for?” It turns out that Savile Row master tailor, Edward Sexton, the infamous ‘rebel of British bespoke’ has the answer.
“Tailoring is very much about simple pleasures at the moment,” he tells us. “Suits will come back as our society starts to take control of Covid-19 but, while we’re all staying local, I’m finding there’s something really pleasurable about putting on a cashmere rollneck, a well-cut overcoat and choosing trousers with some interesting details. That’s all you need to dress well, right now.”
You can see this logic in Sexton’s newly expanded ready-to-wear collection, which puts relaxed separates first. Sexton devotees will doubtless already be aware of the tailor’s signature Hollywood trousers, which are cut with a soft waistband and dropped belt-loops for an easy look reminiscent of the 1930s. You might also have come across Sexton’s statement-making greatcoat, cut with a huge collar, midcalf length and impressive pleated back. These pieces have made a return for the fall-winter season, but now sit alongside an expanded range of new designs, from showerproof raglan coats to louche silk shirts to thick cashmere cable-knits.
“Our house style is quite striking,” Sexton says, “but menswear these days is all about the luxury of feeling comfortable. We’ve sourced some really great cashmere knitwear, developed our new silk and jersey shirts to relax in at home, and focused on soft, mottled flannels and silk blends in our tailoring. Our new house trousers in soft Italian woolen flannel are a good example; the cloth has real depth to it, both visually and texturally when you touch it.”
Moreover, Edward Sexton isn’t just selling tailoring this season. The house has just announced a six-month residency on Savile Row (the street where Sexton made his name in the 1970s) that is half-shop, half-gallery. Sexton’s creative director, Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, has worked closely with photographer David Nutter, brother of Sexton’s late business partner, Tommy Nutter, on a photography exhibition that showcases a series of remarkable never-before-seen images from the early ‘70s.
Alongside some dramatic shots of Nutter’s of Savile Row suits (all of which were cut by Sexton when he and Tommy founded the firm), highlights include a double-exposed portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono lying together in bed, recording their heartbeats for their avant-garde Wedding Album, and a positive print of John Lennon’s skull wearing his signature round glasses, based on an X-ray he had taken following a car accident. Silver gelatin prints of each photograph in the exhibition, signed by Nutter and available in strictly limited print runs, are now available on Sexton’s website.
“It’s an exciting time to be returning to Savile Row, especially with this photography exhibition,” Sexton continues. “I’m also proud of our new ready-to-wear collection; we’ve worked very hard to create a range of luxurious tailored clothes that you don’t have to think too much about—they feel good even if you’re just puttering around the neighborhood. To dress up in tailoring, without feeling too ‘tailored’ is a great thing.”