Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Hubert de Givenchy – Collectionneur is the compelling sale held from June 14 to 17, 2022, at Christie’s Paris and from June 8 to 23 online. The occasion to find an object that belonged to the designer, or only to enjoy a pre-sale exhibition from June 8 to 15, 2022.





Hubert de Givenchy Collectionneur : la vente aux enchères ultra désirable de Christie's

Published by Audrey L., Rizhlaine F. · Published on 24 May 2022 at 20h01



Hubert de Givenchy – Collectionneur is the compelling sale held from June 14 to 17, 2022, at Christie’s Paris and from June 8 to 23 online. The occasion to find an object that belonged to the designer, or only to enjoy a pre-sale exhibition from June 8 to 15, 2022.


Hubert de Givenchy – Collectionneur x Christie’s: the fashion news to save in your calendar!


From June 14 to 17, 2022, the auction house set rue Matignon in Paris will propose an exceptional collection of 1,200 lots of masterpieces and art items. Prior to the sale, from June 8 to 15, 2022, Christie’s will invite the public to discover this precious treasure during a compelling exhibition.


“We are extremely honored that the family of Hubert de Givenchy has entrusted Christie's with the auction of his fine and decorative art collection, which combines his clear aesthetic vision for his interiors, with some of the most important collections in the world” – Christie’s France president Cécile Verdier.


Coming from two of the courturier’s most emblematic houses, the Hôtel d’Orrouer in Paris and the Château du Jonchet in the Loire Valley, the Parisian showroom will exhibit furniture, sculptures and paintings from the magnificent collection of this ambassador of French taste, fascinated by the clean classicism from the 18th century.


“Fashion changes, but the 18th century style will endure, as it is of exceptional quality. [Such style will endure] on the condition that it is not restrained within a fully period atmosphere… that it is given a breath of fresh air by Delaunay, Arp, and Giacometti, and above all, that it is not weighed down by pompoms and trimmings” – Hubert de Givenchy


Inherent to the couturier’s calling, his passions for art, decoration and gardens stem from a family and cultural heritage. Hubert de Givenchy received – among others – his unrivaled sense of detail from a great-grandfather who made sets for the Opéra de Paris, and a grandfather, collector too, and administrator of the manufacture de tapisserie de Beauvais.


“Through this sale, we are very pleased to be able to celebrate the exceptional taste of Hubert de Givenchy and his lifelong companion Philippe Venet. We wish to share the elegance and aesthetic heritage that they have passed on to us in order to inscribe their vision in the history of art and interior design in a universal way” – Hubert de Givenchy’s family


Through this compelling sale, Christie’s aims at paying tribute to Hubert de Givenchy and making his work durable. Come and enjoy this exceptional immersion into the belongings of the Haute-Couture designer!


Hubert de Givenchy’s Grand Collection of Decorative and Fine Arts Is Going Up for Auction


February 2, 2022



The house of Hubert de Givenchy is going up for auction.


Today, Christie’s announced the June sale of over 1,100 works of art, sculpture, and furniture that once belonged to the late, great French designer. The collection, which ranges from Old Masters paintings to neoclassical armchairs, all comes from Givenchy’s palatial homes of the Hôtel d'Orrouer in Paris and the Château du Jonchet in Loire Valley. The news comes at a very à propos time: February 2, 2022 is the 70th anniversary of Givenchy’s first haute couture show in Paris.


Givenchy amassed his artifacts over several decades—often with the sourcing help of his dear friend, horticulturist and socialite Bunny Mellon. Cécile Verdier, president of Christie’s France, notes that Givenchy had a particular penchant for 18th century furniture. ("Fashion changes, but the 18th century style will endure, as it is of exceptional quality,” Givenchy once remarked.)


“There's a taste for figure and a taste for structure,” Verdier says. He rarely strayed from a strict, stylish scheme of green—his favorite color—gold, white, and black. “This very small palette of colors and very geometrical form, even if it is 18th century, results in something very timeless,” Verdier adds. Although that’s not to say everything in the collection will be old-world: Givenchy was also a collector of modern 20th century painters like Rothko, Miró, de Staël, and Picasso.


Before hitting the auction block, Christie’s will produce an exhibition of his collection. It will show in Palm Beach from March 5 through 26, New York City from April 15 through 23, and Hong Kong from May 26 through June 1. On June 8, it will open to the public in Paris. A dedicated online sale will begin on June 8, whereas the live sale runs from June 14 through 17. "Through this sale, we are very pleased to be able to celebrate the exceptional taste of Hubert de Givenchy and his lifelong companion Philippe Venet. We wish to share the elegance and aesthetic heritage that they have passed on to us in order to inscribe their vision in the history of art and interior design in a universal way,” the Givenchy family said in a statement.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

Royal family drama threatening to derail the Queen's Platinum Jubilee | Platinum Jubilee | 60 Minutes Australia

Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee - movies released (UK) - BBC News ...

Hôtel de la Marine / VIDEO : Hôtel de la Marine, Paris, France Walking Tour HD

The hôtel de la Marine (also known as the hôtel du Garde-Meuble) is an historic building located on place de la Concorde in Paris, to the east of rue Royale. It was designed and built between 1757 and 1774 by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel, on the newly created square first called Place Louis XV. The identical building to its west, constructed at the same time, now houses the hôtel de Crillon and the Automobile Club of France.


The Hôtel de la Marine was originally the home of the royal Garde-Mobile, the office managing the furnishing of all royal properties. Following the French Revolution it became the Ministry of the French Navy, which occupied it until 2015. It was entirely renovated between 2015 and 2021. It now displays the restored 18th century apartments of Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville-d'Avray, the King's Intendant of the Garde-Meuble, as well the salons and chambers later used by the French Navy.


The decision to create the current Place de la Concorde was originally taken in 1748, as the site for an equestrian statue of Louis XV. The statue celebrated the recovery of the King from a serious illness. The site was on swampy land beside the river at the very edge of Paris, between the gates of the garden of the Tuileries Palace and the Champs Elysees. This construction took place well before the construction of the Rue de Rivoli, the rue Royale, or the bridge over the Seine at that location.


The King owned most of the land, and donated it to the city for the new square. A competition was held for the design, which attracted nineteen different plans, but none of them were acceptable to the King. Instead, he assigned his royal architect, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, who had inherited the title of First Architect of the King from his father, Jacques V Gabriel, to make a fusion of the best ideas. Gabriel borrowed features of the proposals of Germain Boffrand, Pierre Contant d'Ivry and others. The most distinctive feature, the facade of columns facing the square, was largely inspired by the Louvre Colonnade designed by Claude Perrault in 1667–1674. The new plan was approved by the King in December 1755, and construction began in 1758. At that time, the plans for the use of the specific buildings had not been finalised. In 1768 the King decided that the northwest building should be become the home of the Garde-Meuble of the Crown, the overseer of royal furnishings.


The new building was one of two structures with identical neoclassical facades on the north side of the square. To the west of the Rue Royale are four separate buildings behind a single facade, which originally were residences of the nobility. Number ten is now houses the Hotel Crillon, The Automobile Club of France occupies number six and number eight. The other building, to the east of Rue Royale,was designated the royal Garde-Meuble, or depot for the royal furniture, art, and other possessions of the crown.


The Hôtel du Garde-Meuble

The Garde-Meuble of the Crown had been created by Henry IV of France in the 17th century, and its head was given more specific duties by Louis XIV under his chief minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The Intendant of the Garde-Mueuble was a high official who reported directly to the King. Under Colbert, he was assigned to oversee and maintain all the furniture and decorative items of royal residences, including tapestries, and to protect and maintain particularly fine pieces of furniture, labeled as "Furniture of the Crown". These pieces were considered National, not personal property; in 1772, the Garde-Meuble became the first museum of decorative arts in Paris. Its galleries were open to the public on the first Tuesday of each month between Easter and All Saints' Day.


The Garde-Meuble contained a chapel, a library, workshops, stables and apartments, including those of the intendant of the Garde-Meuble – at first Pierre-Élisabeth de Fontanieu (1767–1784), then Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville-d'Avray (1784–1792) whose apartment has been restored and is on display. Marie-Antoinette also had an apartment there which she used when visiting Paris from the Palace of Versailles.


The Revolution – the Ministry of the Navy


In 1789 Hotel had a large collection of weapons, mostly ceremonial, including swords, medieval lances, and two ornate cannon, which Louis XIV had received as gifts from the King of Siam. On 13 July 1789, a large crowd angry at the King's decision to dismiss his finance minister Jacques Necker marched to the building, encouraged by the radical orator Camille Desmoulins. The intendant of the Garde-Meuble, Thierry de Ville-d'Array, happened to be absent that day. The acting intendant was frightened by the angry mob. He invited the crowd inside the building to take away the weapons and two cannon, but urged them spare the more valuable art, tapestries and furniture. The next morning, 14 July 1789, the two cannon from the Hotel de la Marine fired the first shots at the Bastille, launching the French Revolution.


Soon afterwards, in October 1789, as the Revolution grew, the King was forced to move with his family from Versailles to Paris, to the Tuileries Palace. Some of his valuable possessions were moved to the Conciergerie. It soon took on other duties. The Secretary of State of the Navy, César Henri de la Luzerne, moved his offices to the Garde-Meuble. and from 1789 onwards it housed the naval ministry.[1] UnderAdmiral Decrès, the Navy gradually expanded its offices, and by 1798 the navy occupied the whole building.


In 1792, a remarkable crime took place in the building. A set of The diamonds used in the coronation crowns of Louis XV and XVI, including the famous Regent Diamond, had been moved for safe storage to the building. On the night of 16–17 September 1792, the diamonds disappeared. The thieves, Cambon and Douligny, were later caught and guillotined in front of the building (The first executions by the guillotine on the Place de la Concorde), and the diamonds recovered.


In 1793, during the Reign of Terror, the portion of the modern Place de la Concorde in front of the neighbouring building, the Palais de Gabriel (now the Hotel Crillon, was the site the guillotine, and the place of execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and then in 1794, of the revolution leaders Danton and Robespierre.


Throughout the 19th century the building was modified for the various needs of the Navy. New wings were constructed behind the original building, and a neighbouring building at 5 rue Sain-Florentin was purchased in 1855 and added to the Hôtel. The interiors were also transformed; the salons facing the Place de la Concorde remained in place, but the large hall for the display of large royal furniture pieces was replaced in 1843 by two new salons honouring great moments in French naval history. Much or the original decoration of the rooms was removed, or covered by new works.


The interior decor by Jacques Gondouin, inspired by Piranesi, was an important step forward in 18th-century taste, but it was profoundly distorted by changes under the Second French Empire, although the grands salons d'apparat and the Galerie Dorée still maintain some of the original elements. The building was the scene of several historic events, from a ball honouring the coronation of Napoleon I in 1804, the celebration of the dedication of the Obelisque on the Place de la Concorde by King Louis Philippe in 1836, and the drafting of the decree of the French President abolishing slavery in April 1848.


After the fall of France in June 1940, the Kriegsmarine, the naval forces of Nazi Germany set up their headquarters here. They remained in place up until the Kriegsmarine had to evacuate its presence due to the approach of American and Free French forces in August 1944.[11] In 1989 President François Mitterrand invited foreign leaders to the loggia of the hotel to view the parade celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.


National monument

In 2015, the French government decided to consolidate all of the French military headquarters at a single site, the Hexagon at Ballard in the 15th arrondissement. The navy definitively left the building in 2015. Before its departure, the government considered leasing 12,700 square meters of the building to other tenants, but, after a study of the problem by a commission led by former President Giscard d'Estaing, it was decided to keep the entire building as a public monument under the direction of the Center of National Monuments.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

V&A to host exhibition on Coco Chanel’s career and designs / VIDEO 3 Oct 2020 : ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ Palais Galliera Exhibition — CHANEL

VIDEO - 3 Oct 2020  The first Parisian retrospective dedicated to Gabrielle Chanel in Paris, the ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ exhibition highlights the development of her style, the characteristics of her work, the emergence of her codes, and her contribution to the history of fashion.


V&A to host exhibition on Coco Chanel’s career and designs


Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto will display 180 designs, jewellery, accessories and perfumes


Lauren Cochrane

Fri 27 May 2022 00.01 BST



The V&A is to host the first ever exhibition in a major UK museum on the work of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, covering the career of the French designer from the opening of her first millinery boutique in Paris in 1910 to the showing of her final collection in 1971.


The London museum’s exhibition, Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto, will display 180 designs as well as jewellery, accessories and perfume, and outfits created for Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich.


And like much of Chanel’s work, the show is likely to be a blockbuster. It is organised into eight themes, and based on a show first displayed in Paris in 2020 and more recently in Melbourne. In addition to the pieces that are part of the touring exhibition, there will be outfits from the V&A’s collection which are rarely on display.


Chanel is widely regarded as a pioneer of modern fashion, a woman who designed for herself – a radical concept in the early 20th-century France, where women did not have the right to vote until 1944. She sought to emancipate clothes for women by making them simple, comfortable and chic, and doing away with corsets and fripperies of the era.


Items now known as classics – such as the “little black dress” and the Breton top – can be traced back to her work. Her perfumes – including Chanel No 5, which was first launched in 1921 – remain some of the world’s bestselling fragrances. She also had a Wildean knack for a bon mot: “fashion changes, but style endures” is a regular on Instagram feeds more than 50 years after her death.


Miren Arzalluz, the director of the Palais Galliera, the Parisian museum of fashion, said: “Gabrielle Chanel devoted her long life to creating, perfecting and promoting a new kind of elegance … a timeless style for a new kind of woman. That was her fashion manifesto, a legacy that has never gone out of style.”


Chanel undeniably changed the course of fashion, but she is considered a controversial figure. During the second world war, the Nazi officer Hans Günther von Dincklage was her lover. In 2011, the investigative reporter Hal Vaughan’s book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War showed evidence that she was antisemitic and carried out work as a Nazi intelligence officer, recruiting agents across Europe. The exhibition, which is due to open in September 2023, focuses on her work, rather than life.


Chanel the brand remains a huge powerhouse in fashion – partly thanks to Karl Lagerfeld, who revitalised the house after Chanel’s death. In his tenure as creative director from 1984 until his death in 2021, he made Coco Chanel an icon, reimagining many of her designs, such as the 2.55 quilted bag, and by featuring her image in campaigns and imagery. With the collections currently designed by Virginie Viard, Chanel was valued at $13.2bn (£10.5bn) in 2021.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

V&A’s Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature / Exhibition Review – Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Victoria and Albert

EXHIBITION  On now until Sunday, 8 January 2023

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

Celebrating the life and work of one of the best loved children's authors of the 20th century

On now until Sunday, 8 January 2023



The Porter Gallery


This family friendly exhibition takes visitors on a journey to discover Potter's life as a scientist and conservationist and explores the places and animals that inspired her most beloved characters. In collaboration with the National Trust.

Glass reviews the V&A’s Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

 Charlie Newman  March 2, 2022  Culture, Exhibitions, Feature



Children’s author Beatrix Potter has come full circle. Potter grew up on Bolton Gardens, a short walk from the South Kensington Museum, today the Victoria and Albert museum, where we can now find Potter’s studies and stories in Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature.


Curators Annemarie Bilclough at the V&A and Helen Antrobus at the National Trust have created a family friendly space where adults and children alike can wonder at the author and illustrators world with the same set of eyes.


Beatrix Potter Drawn to Nature, installation image (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2)Beatrix Potter Drawn to Nature. Victoria and Albert Museum, London


The exhibition is a much needed reminder that nature can be found and enjoyed wherever you are. While Potter preferred the countryside, a lot can still be said for the first 47 years of her life in Kensington.


London was where she could visit the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood artist, John Everett Millais at his nearby studio in Cromwell Place, where she could take art exams or frequently visit the National History museum next door.


At the London Zoo Potter wiled away afternoons sketching animal movements, and spent her mornings strolling along the excavated Thames, fascinated by the archaeologists Roman discoveries. Upon seeing Angela Kauffman’s Design at the Royal Academy Potter exclaimed “I never thought there could be such pictures!” inspired by “what a woman has done.”


It’s safe to say Potter was an inspiration herself. After complaining about always being short of money, her brother Bertrand suggested she sell her self made Christmas cards which always used to amuse the family – unsurprisingly they quickly sold out, “It is pleasant to feel I could earn my own living.”


Her wealth grew further when she signed a publishing deal with Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902, publishing two titles a year for a decade. The first of her 23 tales began with The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a character based on the family’s pet rabbit Peter Piper who was bought for an “exorbitant” four shillings and six pence, the equivalent of £25, on the Uxbridge road in 1892.


Potter referred to Peter Piper as her “quiet friend” and “affectionate companion.”


Indeed she sought friendship in many of her pets. In the exhibition we find a particularly memorable photograph of Beatrix with her pet rabbit Benjamin Bouncer at Bedwell Lodge, Hertfordshire in September 1891.


The rabbit sits in profile with a collar and lead on, whilst Potter appears to be glancing down chatting away to Bouncer, like a mother to her young child.


We are informed that Bouncer is a Belgian hare ‘partial to hot buttered toast and would come running at the sound of the tea bell.’ It’s these witticisms and humane flourishes paired with Potter’s sharp, articulate drawings that lift her characters out of the page and come bouncing, scurrying or leaping to life before us.


Over a century later it doesn’t seem too far a stretch of the imagination to envisage a mouse hastily reading a newspaper through oval spectacles, sat atop a bobbin, or a curled up hedgehog donning stone blue boots.


Throughout the exhibition it’s hard to believe that you are in fact looking at the works of a self taught artist. Even from the tender age of nine she was drawing like for like imagery of hippopotamus’s swimming and ambling tortoises.


Potter put her artistic talents down to her “irresistible desire to copy”, but Millais’s explanation seems more applicable when he explained to her that “plenty of people can draw, but you…have observation.”


Her observation prospered under her obsessive gathering of insects, animals, ferns and rocks, to perform taxidermy and collect animal anatomy with her brother. Potter was particularly fond of mycology, the study of fungi.


Aged 39 Potter took the leap from only holidaying out of London to permanently moving out when she bought Hill Top Farm in the Lake District. Once she was fully submerged in nature, her writing began to take a back seat, whilst conservation and farming took a front seat.


As a member of the Community Association, she helped employ district nurses and ensured traditional farming practices could survive, whilst also encouraging Girl Guides to visit, opening up the countryside for all.


Beatrix Potter Drawn to Nature. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.Beatrix Potter Drawn to Nature. Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Her dedication to nature was unwavering and continues to thrive. Potter donated over 4000 acres and 14 working farms upon her death in 1943 to the National Trust, an organisation she described as “a noble thing, and…immortal”. It is in the final room of the exhibit where you gain perspective and begin to understand the importance of Potter’s work as an entrepreneur, farmer, conservationist and natural scientist on top of her more famous roles.


Whether it’s the Tale of Miss Moppet, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Timmy Tiptoes or Squirrel Nutkin that transported you as a child, you can try them on for size at Drawn to Nature or peer through a microscope over the fantastical detail of a flys leg, mushroom, sheep’s wool or a dragonfly’s wing.


That’s if you can fight the kids of all ages off first.


by Charlie Newman

Friday, 20 May 2022

Return of the king: Juan Carlos’ problematic Spanish homecoming


Return of the king: Juan Carlos’ problematic Spanish homecoming


The former ruler has spent years in self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi — but now he’s coming back.



May 20, 2022 4:04 am



MADRID — This weekend, things could get awkward in Spain.


The former king, Juan Carlos I, who abdicated in 2014, returned home on Thursday evening after nearly two years in self-exile in Abu Dhabi, having fled the country under a cloud of scandal.


The shelving earlier this year of investigations into his finances has cleared the way for his visit. But Juan Carlos’ return to Spain, to attend a sailing regatta in the north-western town of Sanxenxo, remains controversial, highlighting how the personal stock of the former king has plummeted, tainting his own legacy and hampering the reign of his son, King Felipe VI.


“This is someone who did a very good job, politically, and then at the end of his reign made a series of terrible personal and professional mistakes,” said Ana Romero, an author who has written several books about the Spanish monarchy. “[In Spain] he is not having to pay a legal price for what he has done, but there are things that he has to pay for morally.”


The return of Juan Carlos, 84, has been rumored since March, when the supreme court closed three probes into his finances.


One was into a $100 million payment he received in 2008 from the Saudi royal family. The investigation decided there was no evidence that the money had been a bribe linked to the awarding of a fast-train construction contract and found that regal immunity protected him from facing tax fraud charges. A second probe found he had not benefitted in recent years from an offshore fund in Jersey. The third case, related to more than €500,000 he received from a Mexican tycoon, was closed because Juan Carlos had paid €5 million to the Spanish tax authority to clear arrears.


Juan Carlos took the throne in 1975, on the death of his mentor, dictator Francisco Franco, helping usher in parliamentary democracy. His reputation was cemented in 1981 when he was seen to have acted decisively in thwarting an attempted coup d’état.


A respectful media kept its distance and his popularity remained robust for the next few decades. But revelations in 2012 that he had been on an elephant-hunting holiday in Botswana with his lover, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, as Spain was in the depths of the eurozone crisis, were tremendously damaging.


Juan Carlos abdicated two years later, but the scandals continued, culminating in his departure to Abu Dhabi in August 2020, a move instigated by his son, King Felipe VI.


“The decision by Felipe VI to send his father abroad was an attempt to put up a barrier between the decline of his father’s image and the crown as an institution,” said Pablo Simón, a political scientist at Madrid’s Carlos III University.


“But this whole plan has been a bit of a fiasco,” he added. “It looked like [Juan Carlos] was fleeing the justice system.”


Felipe, 54, is seen as a more austere figure and he has taken steps to make the royal family’s accounts more transparent. He has also distanced himself from his father, avoiding meeting with him last Sunday during an official visit to the United Arab Emirates. On Monday, however, they are due to meet in Madrid before Juan Carlos flies back to his residence in Abu Dhabi.


Felipe has not been able to prevent Juan Carlos’ personal fall from grace from eroding the crown’s image, particularly among younger voters who have no memory of the former king’s achievements. A 2021 poll found that 31 percent of those asked were in favor of the monarchy and 39 percent in favor of a republic.


This has placed the monarchy, unwittingly, in the political arena, making it yet another cause of division between left and right.


The Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) of the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has tended to put its historic republicanism to one side during the democratic era, seeing the monarchy as providing stability. But while the party continues to support the institution, it no longer defends the former head of state. Sánchez said that Juan Carlos “has to clarify all the information that we’ve been hearing about …which paints a picture of a certain kind of behavior.”


The junior partner in the coalition government, the far-left Unidas Podemos (UP), is more strident. Party spokesman Pablo Echenique said that the ex-king’s planned return shows that “he can commit crimes without facing penal consequences, that he can return to Spain and laugh at the Spanish people.”


By contrast, the conservative Popular Party (PP) has supported his decision to visit and Iván Espinosa, of the far-right Vox, said the former monarch “has nothing to hide, despite the continuous attempts by the left to single him out and falsely accuse him.”


As part of efforts to push back against the narrative of a lavish royal who had skirted the rules, the pro-monarchy Concordia Real Española association has published a report claiming he generated €62 billion for the Spanish economy during his reign.


Despite the shelving of the investigations into his finances, the legal coast is still not clear for Juan Carlos. A British court recently ruled that he cannot claim regal immunity there to avoid a possible trial brought by zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who accuses him of waging a campaign of harassment against her after their relationship ended.


But it appears unlikely that the monarchy is in jeopardy — at least in the short term. Major constitutional change would require the kind of political consensus that is rarely seen in Spain.


“The more polarized and fragmented Spanish politics is, the more difficult it will be to gather the parliamentary support to carry out such a reform,” said Simón.


JEEVES / TWEEDLAND will be back in one week.


Thursday, 19 May 2022

SAVILE ROW NEWS : Edward Sexton: Return of the wizard with the scissors



Edward Sexton: Return of the wizard with the scissors



Cindy Lawford catches up with Edward Sexton, back in business on Savile Row

There is a thrill to be had these days for suit lovers walking down the west side of Savile Row for the first time in many pandemic months. It comes at the sight of the name “Edward Sexton” above the door of number 36. He’s back, the legendary cutter that dressed everyone cool, famous and glamorous at Nutters on Savile Row. “Once [Savile Row] is in your blood, it’s in your blood,” says Sexton, sitting in his new shop and dressed immaculately as ever in suit, tie and rose-gold tie-pin. After an absence of more than 40 years, Sexton declares the street without hesitation “my birthplace”. His desire to do something new and do it impeccably well is undiminished at age 79, as is his tailoring reputation. “I love what I do,” says Sexton, who has no interest in retiring. “I have this huge passion for it. I love being in the workroom. I love a challenge.”


A working-class lad living in Elephant & Castle, Sexton first entered the workroom in 1957 when he was in his early teens. He soon found himself making riding coats for Harry Hall in the day and taking tailoring classes at Barrett Street Technical College by night. In the early 1960s, Sexton would serve an apprenticeship at Savile Row’s Kilgour, French & Stanbury, before becoming a military cutter for Welsh & Jefferies. In 1966, he arrived as the new cutter at Donaldson, Williams & Ward in Burlington Arcade. There Sexton found himself faced with an entirely conservative approach to suit construction and, by way of extreme contrast, a handsome young man working front-of-house whose personality was finding him wide favour among movers and shakers in London’s social scene. Possessed with a flair for design, Tommy Nutter shared Sexton’s disenchantment with the DW&W’s staid approach and, over afterwork pints, the two became convinced that together they should find a way to make a new kind of suit.


Thanks to the financial backing of Beatles manager Peter Brown and Cilla Black among others, Nutter, 25, and Sexton, 26, opened the doors of their tailoring house at 35a Savile Row on Valentine’s Day 1969, with a guest list that included Paul McCartney and Twiggy. From the moment their first suits were put on show that evening, the house became known for clothes with a cutting-edge style that were beautifully made – without the slightest compromise of the Row’s high standards. “All the tailors had to admit that, respect that,” recalls Sexton.


They had to admit it even though in many other ways Nutters was doing things differently, most obviously with their window displays on a street where all the other curtains were firmly down. In his book House of Nutter, Lance Richardson records Peter Sprecher’s memory of passing by Nutters’ window and becoming suddenly fixated by “this crazy suit: navy blue, pink lapels, with flared trousers in a box plaid”. Then there is the anecdote of Hardy Amies at a cocktail party pulling out his tape measure to examine the width of the lapel of Tommy Nutter’s suit. Face-to-face with the upstart, Amies then pronounced that lapel “extraordinary”. “We started afresh,” says Sexton, “and [the other tailors] could not fault our designs, even if they were much more extravagant than theirs.”


It’s worth remembering that back in 1969, when the boutiques of Carnaby Street and the King’s Road were selling all kinds of ephemera to the hip and the young, Nutter and Sexton together were conjuring up their own new possibilities, suits made to last that were unlike anything seen before in their colours, fabric combinations, trimmings – lapels and pockets often in dizzying contrast to the fabric of the main body of the suit jacket – and, most importantly, in their fit and shape. Dubbed “the wizard with the scissors” by the clientele at Nutters, Sexton incorporated his training as a tailor both of military and riding wear to create trend-setting new shapes, building on the long coat and the wide skirt of the traditional hacking jacket. Then, as now, Sexton’s suit structure is “achieved in the foundation”, Sexton says. “I don’t make suits, I build them, stage by stage.” His relish for exploring variations in contour remains undiminished. “I like strong architectural lines in my clothing,” he adds. “My cut is very unique, it’s very recognisable.”


Sexton’s creative director Dominic Sebag-Montefiore points out that this famous cut has never stood still, continuing to evolve with the master cutter’s changing tastes. To this day, Sexton is ever ready to create a new pattern for an old customer. “You’ve got to be current,” he says. The constants of Sexton’s style remain the strong shoulders and peak lapels with a high-cut armhole. “You stay with your signature lapel, your signature sleeve head,” Sexton says with well-deserved pride. “It’s all got your signature.” Sebag-Montefiore is happy to state the obvious to his boss, “You’ve always liked the peak lapel. It’s always been not on the narrow side.”


Sexton is particularly known for his double-breasted suits. According to Simon Crompton in a post for Permanent Style, “The big sweep of the bellied lapel is wonderful, particularly when married with the wide, roped shoulder and long straight edge below the waist button.” For Sexton, “You get the emphasis in the shoulder, and the hip, and everything in between the shoulder and the hip is fluid.” When asked why he remains a fan of the double-breasted despite the formality often imputed to it, Sexton is quick to say the double-breasted blazer travels easily, “You can dress it up or dress it down.” Nor does he hold to the view that those with wider waistlines should avoid it. “We can make a fat man look slimmer and we can make a skinny guy look more beefy. I like the security of double-breasted, personally.”


From the start, Nutter and Sexton’s new shapes were in part inspired by the lapels and Oxford bags of the 1930s and 1940s, often ventless jackets that were closer, sexier than the draped ones of 1950s and 1960s. In those latter two decades, Savile Row had found itself standing in stern reaction against the flamboyance of the working-class Teddy Boys, who had dared to presume they could imitate and improve upon the neo-Edwardian looks of their social superiors. By the end of Swinging Sixties, Savile Row’s conservatism was leaving more than a few of its customers bored and disenchanted, ready for something new. Cecil Beaton famously opined of the tailors: “They really should pay attention to the mods… The barriers are down and everything goes. Savile Row has got to reorganise itself and, to coin a banal phrase, get with it.”


“Men could not express themselves” with the suits then on offer, recalls Savile Row tailor Joseph Morgan of Chittleborough & Morgan, who worked under Nutter and Sexton. Morgan’s is a telling phrase, indicating that the zeitgeist of the late 1960s encouraged some to question their elders in the clothes they put on their backs even to go to the office. Tailor and designer Timothy Everest, who worked for Nutter for five years, says Nutter and Sexton presented their clients with “subversive tradition”, lifting and wholly reimagining style aspects of suit history to challenge the status quo and bring exquisite tailoring to a younger audience – be they the bankers in search of suits anything but solid grey or navy, or the more adventurous pop stars. A large number of Nutters’ early customers were gay like Nutter himself and willing, says Sexton, “to suffer to be beautiful. They were quite happy with something very close fitting, where they couldn’t move as easily.”


At Nutters, both City men and celebrities could have made snug jackets with defined waists, bottomed by widening trousers too tight in the hips to hold any pockets that were nevertheless great for dancing in. Gradually, the shoulders at Nutters became much larger and heavily roped. Tommy Nutter would rapidly sketch out the pictures in his head, confident that Sexton could bring them to fruition with a skill that impressed everywhere. As Everest remarks, “Without Edward, you could not translate Tommy’s ideas”. Both Sexton and Nutter were aiming with their suits for a kind of beautiful precision that would work uniquely for each customer. Morgan remembers that, though many hours might have been spent creating any particular suit, “They would pull it apart if it was not to their standard” and begin the work all over again. “It was their integrity to style. That was the element that fascinated me.” Cutter and coatmaker Henry Humphreys, who went to work for Nutters in 1970 and now works for Morgan, admits that he “learnt loads of things” from Sexton, who was “generous with his time and himself”. Indeed, Humphreys recalls Sexton saying to him, “Come and work for me and I’ll pay you more than anyone else.” And he was true to his word.


The most perfect model for their creations was, in Sexton’s words, the “very handsome” Nutter himself, widely seen on both sides of the Atlantic in the 1970s as one of the world’s best-dressed men. All those celebrities who flocked to 35a expected that Sexton and Nutter could make them stand out as their grandest selves, with suits more individualistic than they had ever dreamed possible. Two top highlights must include (as a “pure coincidence”, claims Richardson) McCartney, Lennon and Ringo Starr all wearing Nutters for their famous walk across Abbey Road in 1969; and Mick Jagger in an eau-de-nil suit for his 1971 wedding to Bianca, who herself became a regular customer. Justin de Villeneuve and his girlfriend Twiggy swaggered in the suits, as did Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Peter Sellars, Lionel Bart, David Hockney, Leonore Annenberg, Tommy Tune, Nancy Reagan and the Duke of Bedford. Many of the most daring were worn by Elton John, who would buy twenty suits at a time.


By the early 1980s, Sexton had decided to work under his own name on the Row, and in 1990 he left the Row to work in Knightsbridge, where he still makes his bespoke suits today. The celebrities have never stopped coming, with Annie Lennox and David Gray both wearing his suits for their 2009 Full Steam video; Mark Ronson in a white double-breasted for his 2011 wedding; and that same year Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Yasmin Le Bon and Eva Herzigova all decking out in his suits as they mimicked a rock band for the Duran Duran video, Girl Panic. Naomi was in the centre in flaming red. Well worth an internet search is Harry Styles in a pink Sexton suit performing on the Today show in 2017. Sexton, however, cannot afford to be awestruck. “I’ve personally never been impressed with celebrities,” he says. “You have a job to do with them, same as anyone else.”


Perhaps some of the greatest compliments have come Sexton’s way when top fashion designers and tailors have openly taken his ideas. For his Purple Label, Ralph Lauren adopted the ventless jacket that Nutters made popular and that Sexton is still fond of making. Tom Ford, Ozwald Boateng and Richard James have all been inspired by him. He has been asked to create ready-to-wear lines for Hardy Amies, Chester Barrie and Bill Blass. Rick Owens and Stella McCartney (whose mother Linda Sexton dressed for years) have both turned to him for advice, with McCartney so pleased by his tutelage that she got him to design for Chloé when she became its creative director. “She went to Chloé and Chloé came to me,” Sexton says. Chloé’s look was all soft and flowing, so at first the brand “couldn’t identify with what we did”, that is, structured tailoring for women, a process which Sexton then translated into factory production. Many tailors “tend to make [women] look like stormtroopers”, Everest notes, while Sexton is without doubt “one of the best women’s cutters in the world”.


The wizard with the scissors is very pleased that, having designed clothes for so many other fashion brands, he can now offer his own ready-to-wear line at his latest Savile Row premises, including knitwear and silk evening shirts. Yet his suits will always be the main attraction. “Our response to Covid and everyone wearing athleisure is to do bold, strong suits,” Sebag-Montefiore says, “because the people who are going to be buying a suit this year want a real suit.” Also available at the shop are rare 1970s pictures of Tommy Nutter, models and celebrities, taken by his brother, photographer David Nutter. So much history travels with Sexton’s name, valuable history. Morgan speaks for the entire Row when he says, “It’s great to have him back.”


Cindy Lawford gives tours of Savile Row, Jermyn Street and other menswear shops. Visit fashiontourslondon.co.uk to find out more.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

The Reader: Pause in rents will be smart for Savile Row


The Reader: Pause in rents will be smart for Savile Row

Savile Row plea: Richard Anderson

05 May 2020



Covid-19 is an unprecedented challenge for our industry. We shut our shop in March and had our tailors convert living rooms, and spare bedrooms into workshops where they could continue to produce garments.


The efforts of my team mean we are still able to fulfil orders from loyal customers. The furlough scheme has been crucial to us not having to make redundancies. We are lobbying our landlords hard for a rent-free period which will be paramount to us being able to resume trading. When we can reopen it will be a period of challenging change: how do we practise social distancing in a hands-on environment or manage numbers of customers in the shop? We will meet these issues head-on and come out stronger on the Row.

Richard Anderson, Savile Row tailor


Editor's reply

Dear Richard

 It is hard to think of a sector that better embodies the values of quality personal service than Savile Row, a world renowned address for centuries. But traditional methods — lengthy measuring sessions and cutters in crowded basement workshops — are going to have to change. Some of the charm and intimacy of a Savile Row fitting will inevitably be lost. For now at least. But The Row — with the support of landlords and other stakeholders — must and will come through.

Jonathan Prynn, Consumer Business Editor


During furlough, as a not-forprofit charitable social enterprise operating leisure and library services in 20 London boroughs, we have no money coming in. GLL can’t afford to pay the top-up from 80 per cent to 100 per cent of pay for our 12,000 staff. We are asking all our local authority partners to do as our partners in Greenwich have done, and make good all pay packets up to 100 per cent. This will ensure the sustainability of our staff-owned trust and our contribution to public health when we can fully open again.

Mark Sesnan, CEO, GLL ​