“America has had a wonderful Oedipal relationship with England in that it could not have us ruling them but could not do without our tailors.”
– Nick Foulkes
“It is a real honour to mount this exhibition showcasing the talents, craft and vitality of the most famous tailoring address in the world. Savile Row is rightly recognised for its long tradition of ultimate quality, but it is also a tradition that is living and thriving; training new generations of craftsmen, constantly inspiring the worlds of fashion and style and responding to customers’ changing needs and desires. Americans have long recognised the unique charms of a bespoke Savile Row suit and we have a truly rich selection of pieces in this exhibition exploring this special relationship from Buffalo Bill to Samuel L Jackson.”
– Pierre Lagrange, Chairman of Savile Row Bespoke
The Savile Row Bespoke Association takes pleasure in announcing the exhibition, Savile Row and America: a Sartorial Special Relationship. The event is hosted in Washington DC by Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador to the United States of America, at the historic British Ambassador’s residence at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. An original Lutyens house, the Embassy is considered one of the most exceptional in the world.
Curated by critically acclaimed author and life-long Savile Row aficionado, Nick Foulkes, the exhibition centres on the special relationship between Savile Row and the United States. It focuses on important commissions from famous Statesmen and Hollywood legends through to customers of today. The showcase demonstrates Savile Row’s position at the forefront of its craft, today catering to the bespoke needs of the style-conscious modern gentleman. Visitors will appreciate the skill of London’s bespoke tailors in all their diversity: from historic companies trading as early as 1689 through to contemporary houses established within the past few years.
Homage is paid to Savile Row’s American customers both past and present, with names such as Junius Spencer Morgan and his son J. P. Morgan, William Randolph Hearst, John Jacob Astor, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Fred and Adele Astaire, Bill Blass, Gary Cooper, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr, Louis B. Meyer, Samuel Goldwyn, Gerry Ford, Douglas Fairbanks, Katharine Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Humphrey Bogart, Stewart Grainger, Gregory Peck, Duke Ellington, Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, Presidents Harry Truman, George Bush Sr, Ronald Reagan, John Paul Getty, Cole Porter, Bing Crosby, Steve McQueen and Michael Jackson, plus present stars such as Henry Kissinger, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The above roll call and those of many more is brought to life by over 70 outfits and 175 artefacts, including ledgers, patterns, photographs, documents and curiosities, collectively demonstrating the history and heritage of Savile Row and the unique relationships formed between one small street and a nation.
In addition to the main exhibition, guests will also have the opportunity to view clothing made for members of the Royal family as well as a selection of garments specially created for Bentley drivers by five Savile Row tailoring houses. The show also includes a number of exquisite bespoke pieces from Huntsman ‘s Gregory Peck exhibition, which met with critical acclaim in London last year.