Tuesday 31 October 2023

The Goring Hotel / Belgravia / London


The Goring Hotel is a 5-star hotel in Belgravia, London. It is located near Buckingham Palace. Its restaurant, The Dining Room, holds one Michelin Star.



The Goring Hotel was opened by Otto Richard Goring on 2 March 1910 and professed to be the first hotel in the world in which every room had a private bathroom and central heating.[ In 1914, The Goring became the command centre for the Chief of Allied Forces, and contact with President Woodrow Wilson during World War I was made from this hotel.[6] In November 1917 it became the U.S. Army Headquarters in London, as it was adjacent to the American Naval and Military authorities. The hotel was released back to its owners on 8 September 1919.


In 1919, Lady Randolph Churchill, the mother of Winston Churchill, moved into The Goring Hotel. During World War II, the Fox Film crew stayed at the hotel on their way to film footage of the D-Day invasion.


The hotel is the only remaining hotel in London that is still owned and run by the family that built it. The Queen Mother was a regular at The Goring.[9] The Goring has held a royal warrant of appointment from Queen Elizabeth II since 2013, and it is the only hotel to have been granted this honor.


In 2011, Kate Middleton and her family were based at the hotel for the days around her wedding to Prince William. The Duchess stayed in the Royal Suite the night before she got married. She returned to the hotel while eight months pregnant to mark renovations that had taken place, which included a newly decorated front hall.





One hotel, One family

Built by Jeremy Goring’s great-grandfather Otto in 1910, The Goring has been lovingly run by the Goring family since its inception.


A visionary, Otto Goring saw great promise in a plot of land situated at the Buckingham Palace end of what today is known as Beeston Place. After removing a public house and several cottages, the path was laid clear for the last grand hotel of the Edwardian era – The Goring.


Opened on the 2nd March 1910 this historic hotel was finally complete, along with en suite facilities and central heating in each and every bedroom – widely believed to be a world first.


A number of historic events have taken place at The Goring over the last 113 years. The Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces was based at the hotel during World War I. Winston Churchill held meetings with allied leaders in the Silver Room during World War II, while the Polish army in exile was based upstairs. During the coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, the hotel played host to a number of foreign dignitaries and other esteemed guests. In between all that, every reigning Monarch and serving Prime Minister has been welcomed into the hotel since 1910. And of course there have been all sorts of other historic events where The Goring has been privileged to assist.


George Goring, took over The Goring in the late 1960s from his father and refurbished it from top to bottom. He was voted Hotelier of the Year in 1990 and awarded an OBE for services to hotel keeping in 1991. George was also a founder and chairman of Pride of Britain Hotels, and chairman of the Master Innholders. In 2010 he was awarded the AA lifetime achievement Award.


During his tenure he guided The Goring through recessions and oil crises, putting it on the map as one of London’s very best hotels. He insured that The Goring built a lasting and enviable reputation for excellent service. But he also made it a joyful place to be, engendering a loyalty from both staff and guests that is almost unique in today’s international hotel scene. George sadly passed away in 2020 and Jeremy continues the family legacy building upon the strong values and traditions of his father.


Otto Goring



Today, The Goring remains a favourite address and hidden gem for anyone seeking that impeccably English luxury hotel in the heart of London.


Through four generations of the Goring family, the hotel has come to deliver some of the finest personal service in the world. This world class service is set against the elegant backdrop of the rest of the hotel. From the Linley designed Dining Room celebrating the very best of British food, to the artistry of the hand-woven Gainsborough Silks which adorn the walls so gracefully, The Goring is a wonder to behold. The inside of the hotel is beautifully enhanced by The Goring Gardens – one of the largest private gardens in the capital. The Gardens provide guests with the perfect setting to enjoy the award-winning afternoon tea and The Goring is proud to be leading the way in restoring this wonderfully English pastime to popularity once again.


With only 69 luxurious suites and rooms, The Goring is affectionately known as a “Baby Grand”. It is the finest of traditional hotels in the perfect location, but with the most intimate of atmospheres and personalised attention.

Monday 30 October 2023

A Crash Course in Tweed and More at Lovat Mill in Hawick, Scotland



“Tweed” …an accident!

The term “Tweed” was coined quite accidentally in 1826 as the result of a misread label on a shipment of woven wool “Tweels” – the Scots dialect word for twill – from weaver William Watson & Sons of Commercial Road, Hawick, to a London cloth merchant. The word “Tweel” had perhaps not been written clearly on the label but to the merchant “Tweed” made complete sense as these fabrics were chiefly used in those days by gentlemen for shooting and fishing, with the nearby river Tweed being a fashionable destination for such pursuits.


A brand was born

With the misunderstanding then being perpetuated by the customer reordering another consignment of “Tweeds”, William Watson chose not to correct the mistake. Realising he had a fantastic name for his product, and recognising the branding opportunity, he promptly adopted the term as a description for his mill’s high quality sporting cloths. In modern times William Watson would have been well advised to register copyright on this new product, however 200 years ago there were few such considerations and use of the word soon spread all over Scotland and, ultimately, throughout the World.



Now generally recognised as “The Home of Tweed”, Lovat Mill is proud to be the torch bearer of William Watson’s legacy, continuing the manufacture of this unique product into the 21st century.


Lovat Mill now stands just a few metres from where Watson’s mill once stood.


Humble beginnings

Weaving in Hawick began centuries ago as a cottage industry using wool from local sheep, the abundant supply of water from the River Teviot and, of course, the skills of artisan craftsmen and women.


By the late 1800’s, as new dyestuffs and loom types evolved, weaving in Hawick developed into a thriving industry supplying wool cloths to many new international markets. Lovat Mill currently exports around half of its product to “Tweed” connoisseurs the world over.

Saturday 28 October 2023

Brexit ‘shaved £850m off beauty industry’s exports to EU’


 Brexit ‘shaved £850m off beauty industry’s exports to EU’


Customs delays and increased cost of cross-border trade have affected sales, report suggests


Rob Davies


Fri 27 Oct 2023 05.35 EDT



Brexit has led to an £850m fall in the value of the UK beauty industry’s exports to the EU, according to a report by a leading economics forecasting organisation.


The research, commissioned by the British Beauty Council, blamed customs delays and the increased cost of cross-border trade for putting a dampener on sales.


Oxford Economics, which wrote the report, compared exports of beauty products to the EU against those to the rest of the world and found a drop-off to the single market bloc, while sales held steady elsewhere.


The small businesses that make up much of the sector have been “disproportionately damaged” by trade barriers, the report found, while decreased availability of EU workers has caused a skills shortage.


Covid-19 has also affected the sector but the report, sponsored by brands such as L’Oréal and Space NK, identified a divergence in the performance of exports to the EU and the rest of the world.


UK exports of cosmetics and other personal care products were rising between 2010 and 2016, the year of the Brexit vote, by 3.1% and 5.3% respectively. However, exports to the EU have been in decline since then.


“Covid is not the problem, Brexit is the problem,” Millie Kendall, the chief executive of the British Beauty Council, told Bloomberg. “People have pulled out of territories.”


A survey by the British Chambers of Commerce, released earlier this week, found that 49% of UK exporters have struggled to adapt to the changes required to keep exporting as they did previously, before the UK-EU trade deal.


The BCC said a survey of 2,000 small and medium-sized exporters found that half had seen no change in the past three months, while one in four reported a decrease.


Exports continue to languish for many companies as the global economy remains under pressure, the business lobby group said, adding that the UK’s exports have been broadly static since the pandemic.


The proportion of businesses reporting a decrease in sales began to worsen in the run-up to Brexit and has remained stubbornly higher ever since, according to the report.


William Bain, the head of trade policy at the BCC, said: “The reality is if UK business is to thrive, then we must export more, it’s as simple as that. If we want to remain one of the world’s largest economies, then we need more firms selling goods and services internationally.


“The pandemic, supply chain disruption, Brexit, non-tariff trade barriers and global headwinds have all made this more difficult over the past few years.”

The challenges of Savile Row to survive Covid and Brexit



How Savile Row is cutting its cloth for lockdown


Savile Row tailors and formal menswear retailers are battling store closures, non-existent footfall and tourist numbers, and difficult conversations with landlords, as they endure the third national lockdown.



21 JANUARY 2021



All "non-essential" retailers have faced changing restrictions since coronavirus came to UK shores last March, including the current national lockdown that came into force on 5 January and is set to last until at least mid-February. However, formalwear retailers have been hit worse than most, as cancelled events and a move to home working have caused sales of suits and smart clothing to plummet. Savile Row has been particularly stung by the absence of office workers and tourists in central London.


The sector is tackling these challenges, using government support, international trading and the continuation of training programmes, to stay afloat during the pandemic.


Taj Phull, head of retail at Huntsman, said it is using the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cut costs and retain staff. Huntsman currently has 30% of its employees on part-time furlough.


“The biggest thing for us on managing costs the furlough scheme – we have taken advantage of it more this time compared with previous months.


“This has allowed us to rotate staff, and put the [sales] team on part-time furlough, which has massively helped with costs. If you have government funding towards a degree of their salary, that’s an ease in what we are having to pay out, especially if there is a reduced turnover for us.”


Huntsman has focused efforts on its international customers, which has helped support the store over the last few months: “We have been quite fortunate – in Q3 last year we had our most successful trunk shows [where a tailor presents a limited range of products physically] in Texas and California.


“For us to do a trunk show that was our best ever, during a time when people are talking about closing down, is great. It has been a good to focus on our business and emphasise the quality [of our items] and what we are able to deliver.”


Phull added that the enforced closure of the store in lockdown has prompted Huntsman to focus on its tailoring training programme, which has continued to operate virtually throughout the pandemic.


Judith Ekblom, general manager at Maurice Sedwell on Savile Row, said its tailoring academy, which has continued to operate remotely during the pandemic, has similarly been a lifeline for the business: “We are very lucky that we run the academy where we teach people tailoring. We have been able to continue that almost without interruption. That has been our saving grace, in that we are still getting money in.”


Ekblom, the only store staff member not currently on furlough, said rent remains a contentious issue for numerous tenants in the Savile Row area: “Rent has been the biggest issue because landlords still want to be paid. [Some] landlords have been absolutely ruthless, especially [when taking into account that] a lot of customers on Savile Row have been paying rent there for 50 years. It is not like they are brand new tenants.”


David Moss, owner of Mayfair menswear store Richard Gelding, agreed that paying rent on closed stores has been a burden: “[It has been a challenge when] trying to work with the landlord, and help [them] to understand that a store that is closed is simply not able to pay very much in terms of rent. Sadly not all landlords are understanding that quick enough.”


Moss stated that, given the location of the store, a return to tourism will provide a great boost once it is able to safely open: “What is key for us in Mayfair is the return of international travel. Almost any London business cannot return to normal until the restoration of a good degree of international travel. We did see some return in September, and it was remarkable.”


This sentiment was shared by Simon Cundy, managing director and owner of Savile Row tailor Henry Poole. He is concerned that customers in the European Union may be put off by the new Brexit trading regulations: “We will no doubt have clients that would like to purchase from us, but if it becomes bureaucratic [and] it comes down to filling in forms to get the end product to them, then you worry about that scenario.”


Despite the challenges, tailors are optimistic that, once restrictions ease, the sector will experience a revival, as shoppers return to physical stores and social gatherings are able to take place once again.


Owner of Cad & the Dandy, James Sleater, said the pandemic has prompted a review of the business and as a result it is looking to expand later this year: “If there is any silver lining to this dreadful situation it is that we have shown, through dynamic thought and planning, we can come through this stronger, and meet head on the change in tastes and consumer behaviour, while maintaining each of our beliefs and standards.


"We are one of just a few menswear retail businesses looking to expand in 2021 and are actively seeking new retail space from which to retail our new product lines."


Brexit, Covid and a World Gone Casual: Can Savile Row’s Legendary Tailoring Survive the Moment?


The cradle of Western menswear is experiencing seismic changes.




If you had taken a walk down Savile Row last fall, you’d have found yourself on a glitzy London shopping street, supercars lined up on either side and well-dressed city slickers strolling between stores with suit bags fit to burst. Skip forward 12 months, and all that has gone. As the UK slowly emerges from its lockdown slumber, the Row feels more like a sleepy side street than one of the world’s most famous retail destinations.


Savile Row has been the lodestar of bespoke tailoring for over two centuries; the street’s oldest firm, Henry Poole, opened its doors in 1806. Today, more than 15 world-class tailoring firms work inside whitewashed Georgian townhouses to create exceptional men’s clothing by hand. Most bespoke suits here cost between $5,000 and $6,000, require an average of three fittings and take around 80 hours of handwork over roughly three months to complete, passing through up to five different specialist craftspeople on the way. It’s a time-honored process and the definition of old school. To step inside your chosen tailor’s shop is to begin a personal relationship with people who are on hand to create one-of-a-kind clothes that will last a lifetime.


The past year and a half, though, has presented Savile Row with unique challenges. For starters, even before the smart-shirt-and-pajama-pants uniform of recent months, the suit’s place in the world was growing less and less certain, as office dress codes have relaxed, most notably in finance and law. Soft Italian tailoring, with its lightweight construction and carefree informality, also poses a threat to the Row’s traditional battle armor, which usually has more padding in the shoulders and chest, making it rather more formal. Alongside these cultural shifts, 2019 was marked by questions surrounding the impact of Brexit on Britain’s luxury industry—and its repercussions on tailors’ ability to stay competitive and attract Europeans.


Despite these hazards, things were looking up: Many on the Row reported sales growth in the first months of 2020. Then Covid-19 hit and they were forced to close up shop completely for three months, a turn of events that has disconnected the tailors from their international clients, who can constitute up to 80 percent of business, putting serious pressure on cash reserves.


“International travel, particularly to the USA, has played a vital role in the continued success of Savile Row since the 1960s,” says William Skinner, the managing director of Dege & Skinner and chairman of the Savile Row Bespoke Association, the tailors’ official trade body. “For the key bespoke houses, the clientele is approximately 40 percent American, 30 percent European, 20 percent British, and other areas such as the Middle East and Asia account for around 10 percent. Now there’s nervousness about when the US border will reopen and our regular trunk shows can resume.” With travel restrictions likely to be in place for the rest of the year—at press time, most foreign visitors were required to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the UK—Savile Row is now faced with a simple yet daunting prospect: adapt quickly or die.


In the first instance, many tailors started to communicate with overseas clients on videoconference calls, sending out fabric samples to drum up interest and some even shipping test or sample garments for clients to try on at home, but these solutions are unlikely to make up for the serious drop in revenue plaguing most houses. Cad & the Dandy is one of the Row’s newest and largest firms, cofounded in 2008 by James Sleater and Ian Meiers, and it’s among the hardest hit. “I’m expecting us to be 50 percent down this year,” says Sleater. “We’re looking at losing approximately £1.75 million [around $2.25 million] worth of sales for the three months of lockdown alone.”


It’s a similar picture at other tailors. Stalwart Henry Poole, inventor of the tuxedo, by the way, relies on overseas trunk shows for almost 70 percent of its business—and 40 percent of those trunk shows take place in the US. A few doors over, 20 percent of Richard Anderson’s business is American, and you’ll hear similarly concerning geographic breakdowns from tailors up and down the street.


The question then becomes, how does Savile Row reach its clients at a time when travel is tricky at best and impossible at worst? The obvious answer is to digitize, but opinions differ on whether companies like these, which rely on client interactions that can feel as intimate as doctor exams, could thrive online. “We’ve been taking advantage of technology wherever possible,” says Skinner. “Some customers like these innovations. Others still prefer the more traditional approach. Certainly, it’s been a genuine challenge to maintain the standards expected of Savile Row bespoke tailoring without being hands-on.”


Back at Cad & the Dandy, which, as a relatively recent addition to the Row, is often viewed as a disrupter, Sleater is taking a different approach. The house already sells accessories and some shirts online but now plans to launch a sizable collection of off-the-peg wardrobe staples—made using bespoke techniques in the firm’s own workshop—toward the end of the year. “We were just starting to think about making some ready-to-wear pieces before lockdown, but now we’re accelerating our ready-to-wear collection,” says Sleater. “It will be made up of pieces you’d tend not to [buy] bespoke, like overshirts or safari jackets. I’m also looking at ways to step up what we can do digitally, whether that’s webcams in our workrooms or more virtual fittings. The rest of 2020 is all about showing that we’re more versatile than most people realize.”


Retail consultant Ray Clacher understands the realities better than most. During his time as commercial director of Gieves & Hawkes, he took it from a tailoring house with around $25 million in domestic turnover in the early 2000s to a diversified global brand with annual revenue of more than $125 million by 2012, when he became managing director and further developed its strategy involving ready-to-wear, e-commerce and international expansion. “Often, I think Savile Row doesn’t realize what it has,” Clacher says. “The Row can be quite insular, and some firms fear trying something different—or just don’t know how to digitize and showcase what they can do online.”


But it would be remiss to write off the tailors as reactionary. Bespoke tailoring is a niche product for a niche audience, and many tailors are innovating in their own fashion. Huntsman, one of Britain’s most famous houses, has built a robust US business with a pied-à-terre and permanent bespoke cutter in New York, allowing the firm to service its clients there even when other tailors can’t travel to the city. After experimenting with two bespoke offerings—one made entirely in-house, the other partly outsourced overseas—Huntsman in July decided to drop the all-Row service, unless a client is willing to pay a substantial premium. A jacket will now start at $3,950. “Consumers are still looking for that bespoke piece but conscious of spending,” says Huntsman owner Pierre Lagrange. The company is also offering a made-to-order option with in-person or video consultations and the promise of delivery in three to four weeks.


Outsourcing certain stages of bespoke production in return for a lower price proved popular with both new and existing clients, a clear indication that today’s customer doesn’t obsess over every single stitch of his new suit being made at a specific address. The Savile Row Bespoke Association, on the other hand, decrees that its members must make suits within a 100-yard radius of the street itself. But to remain competitive, more tailors may have to adapt to outsourcing, as have some prestigious shops in other parts of town. Edward Sexton and Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, for two, offer bespoke clothing that relies on workshops in China and India for certain tasks, both with success similar to Huntsman’s, attracting a younger client while maintaining quality. Sexton’s Offshore Bespoke now accounts for 50 percent of its orders, for example.


All these challenges are compounded by most firms’ steep overheads. Bespoke suits are not cheap to make (world-class raw materials and the wages of highly skilled local workers add up), and while rents on Savile Row are reasonable by Mayfair standards, a ground-floor commercial unit still costs an annual $90,000 to $260,000 to rent. The Pollen Estate is the street’s majority landlord (most of central London’s property is held in chunks by private estates, a system inherited from the 16th and 17th centuries), and it’s been working closely with the Bespoke Association for the past two years to increase foot traffic. But here, too, lockdown has set things back: As of midsummer, there were 10 ground-floor vacancies, and some of the street’s thoroughbred tailors, including Chester Barrie, had shuttered pending liquidation or permanent closure.


“Our ambition is to ensure as many of our tenants as possible can work through to the other side of Covid-19,” says Julian Stocks, the Pollen Estate’s property director. “We’re closely working with the tailors to give them some breathing space.” The estate has moved quickly to put in place a welcome mixture of rent reductions and deferrals, but this short- term relief doesn’t resolve a long-term, and potentially more damaging, issue: Many of Savile Row’s street-level properties are restricted to clothing retail or manufacture by the government (a regulation, ironically, designed to preserve the Row’s character). The unintended consequence of banning complementary businesses, such as watch shops or art galleries, and even bars and restaurants, is an absence of the kind of vibrancy that might draw new customers.


That said, there is new blood. The Pollen Estate has taken the bold step to collaborate with men’s stylist and writer Tom Stubbs, who’s taken up residence at No. 31 Savile Row with a brief to introduce new brands to the street. In many ways, he’s the ideal candidate. His trademark summer look is a double-breasted bespoke suit, worn open, over a tank top: a more contemporary styling of tailoring. He’s also masterminding the Instagram page @therowstance to capture the street’s most colorful personalities out and about, myth-busting the stereotype that Savile Row is staffed only by crusty characters in chalk stripes. Moreover, he has succeeded in cajoling dynamic bespoke tailoring duo Joshua Dobrik and Kimberley Lawton onto the street for a six-month residency. Dobrik & Lawton are based in edgy northeast London and known for using their Savile Row training to make couture suits that feel more red carpet than boardroom-ready. Theirs is a radically different aesthetic to old- school Savile Row, but that’s the point.


Alongside Stubbs’s efforts, other young brands are lending the street fresh energy. Chief among these is Drake’s, the quirky British haberdasher that’s known for its irreverent aesthetic and casual approach to tailoring and that opened a new flagship on Savile Row last fall. It’s not a bespoke tailor, but Drake’s is nonetheless making the kind of relaxed, slouchy jackets and pants that are in right now, and helping to bring a younger generation of snappy dressers onto the street. The same applies to Hackett, which opened a palatial store at No. 14 Savile Row last November, and Thom Sweeney, which is soon to open its new four-story townhouse one block over on Old Burlington Street. This expansive space will host bespoke tailoring, made-to-measure and a modern ready-to-wear collection under one roof.


Between them, these new players are changing the street from a tailoring hub into a “full-look” shopping destination, with everything from navy blazers to luxe cotton T-shirts. To many fashionistas observing the street from afar, it’s real progress. Creative consultant Jason Basmajian was creative director at Gieves & Hawkes from 2013 to 2016, and worked alongside Clacher to modernize the brand. Also of Brioni and Cerruti 1881 fame, Basmajian is convinced that Savile Row needs to broaden its horizons. “My role was to view Gieves through an international lens,” he explains. “We took a Savile Row identity and gave it a global feel, made it a little more comfortable and contemporary. We understood that there was a bigger world out there, and we wanted Gieves to be more than a tailor’s shop. To see some brands on the street doing this now is really exciting.”


In some corners, there are rumors of more radical thinking still. “Craft industries have always had to evolve to stay relevant. Tailors used to sew every stitch by hand before the invention of the sewing machine,” says Dominic Sebag-Montefiore, creative director at Edward Sexton. “Designer brands are starting to invest in fashion tech like 3-D printing and body scanning, but surely there’s no better place than Savile Row—where we’re experts in garment fit and construction—to be pioneering these technologies. I’d love to explore how we can make 3-D modeling and AI work for bespoke tailoring.”


While not quite so maverick, even some of the old guard are daring to mix things up in their own way. Henry Poole is trying out a new “super-lightweight” design that takes the heft out of its conventional suit. “We’re already seeing that our clients are thinking about their wardrobes differently,” says managing director Simon Cundey. “Post-Covid, I expect most of our clients will go the way that San Francisco has gone for us. We’ll make less business suits because highfliers no longer need to wear them, but the same highfliers will invest in relaxed, lightweight tailoring to dress up in and wear about town instead. Men will always want to dress elegantly to go to dinner or see friends.”


Perhaps all is not lost, then. Savile Row has some huge challenges to negotiate through 2020 and beyond, but its community of tailors remain optimistic, and many are working hard to navigate their way through this new, rocky landscape. “Savile Row’s collective nature is its strength,” says Sleater. “That’s the thing we have that separates us from other world-class tailors in Paris or new entrants in Hong Kong. We need to work together now to ensure we’ll still all be here in a year’s time. This street has survived two World Wars and the Great Depression, so we plan to be around for a good while yet.”

Thursday 26 October 2023

Cardiff students’ union bans chinos and blue shirts after violence


Cardiff students’ union bans chinos and blue shirts after violence


Incident at university clubbing night leads to preppy staples being barred from union premises


Richard Adams Education editor

Fri 20 Oct 2023 13.30 EDT



They may have been preppy fashion championed by Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein but chinos and blue shirts have now been banned by Cardiff University students’ union after being associated with a violent incident at a nightclub.


The students’ union announced the ban in a memo sent to all members of Cardiff’s athletic union, the umbrella body representing sporting clubs on campus.


Local residents say that the chinos and blue, button-down shirt combination had become an unofficial uniform of male students involved in many of the athletic union’s clubs.


The students’ union said the clothing ban was “not aimed at a specific group”, and was solely related to incidents at its weekly “Yolo” clubbing night.


An email from the students’ union to athletic union members said: “Due to the dangerous behaviour portrayed by groups of individual wearing chinos and blue shirts in the Yolo queue on 4 October, a decision has been made to temporarily prevent similar attire to be worn to future events.


“The behaviour displayed by the group in question can only be described as reckless, dangerous and incredibly irresponsible.”


A spokesperson for the students’ union said: “It is our established practice to proactively respond to behaviour concerns so we can ensure that our events are safe, accessible and comfortable, and we thank the student body for their support in achieving this. The current clothing restrictions are temporary, not aimed at a specific group and is in direct response to a specific recent incident.”


Student media reported that a large group of “rugby freshers” – first-year male undergraduates – had started pushing each other within the queue, causing security staff to take action.


The students’ union said its security was “able to intervene and safely disperse the crowd” but that it could easily have escalated into a “major incident”. It called for help in identifying the men involved.


The preppy look, promoted by the US brands such as J Crew, has long been associated with the elite of the east coast as long ago as John F Kennedy in the 1950s. But in recent years the look, including polo shirts, has become identified with some “alt-right” groups in the US, such as the deadly torchlight march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and protests involving the far-right Proud Boys.


In Cardiff, the students’ union told members of the athletic union that after imposing a ban on chinos and shirts “we saw a marked improvement in behaviour in the queue”. The ban applies only to students’ union premises.


The spokesperson for the students’ union said it “proactively communicates any changes in safety measures to students to ensure they know of the initiatives in place”, adding: “We regularly review the effectiveness of our safety measures in line with best practice in the sector.”

As "Preppy" as you can get ....vineyard vines /The Official Preppy Handbook / VIDEO:Every Day Should Feel This Good | vineyard vines


Vineyard Vines is an American clothing and accessory retailer founded in 1998 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, by brothers Shep and Ian Murray. The brand markets upper market ties, hats, belts, shirts, shorts, swimwear, bags for men, women, and children. It has grown to a collection of retail stores and outlets across the United States.The company's main logo is a pink whale. Their clothing is considered preppy and southern styled.
Shep and Ian Murray grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and spent their summers on Martha's Vineyard, where they were introduced to the coastal lifestyle of sailing, fishing, and boating. The two brothers originally held jobs in New York City, but soon grew tired of the corporate lifestyle. Ian claims the duo "traded in [their] business suits for bathing suits" and “started making neckties so [they] didn’t have to wear them.” Before quitting their jobs, the two brothers opened credit cards so they could buy silk and launch vineyard vines. The company's entire startup capital was raised from the brothers' accrued credit card debt. Shep and Ian sold their neckties on Martha's Vineyard, selling out of a backpack from their boat or Jeep rather than a storefront. Initially, they offered four different styles of ties. After they sold 800 ties on a single weekend in July, Shep and Ian quickly re-ordered more, paid off their accrued debt, and moved into a new office. The Murray brothers claim that the business was founded through a philosophy of "living the good life," which is reflected by their slogan "Every day should feel this good." Shep Murray claims his goal is to be "a cross between Warren Buffett and Jimmy Buffett" in building the "lifestyle brand" he founded. Vineyard Vines is still owned outright by the two Murray brothers.
Since the summer of 1998, the Vineyard Vines company has expanded nationally, particularly along the East Coast. Vineyard Vines has opened numerous company, outlet, and retail stores. In addition to these traditional channels, Vineyard Vines has expanded its sales to online shoppers. The company manufactures licensed NFL and MLB product, which it sells through its retail channels. Vineyard Vines also manufactures licensed college apparel, which is sold primarily through campus stores. Vineyard Vines was placed on Inc. magazine's list of the 5000 fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. in 2007. Between 2004 and 2007, the relatively new company's revenue tripled.[5] In 2015 the company inaugurated a new headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.In January 2018, sportscaster Jim Nantz announced a partnership with Vineyard Vines to create a golf-oriented lifestyle clothing line set to launch in spring 2019.
The first stores were opened in Northeastern locations associated with the sea such as Martha's Vineyard. The first was in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, followed by Greenwich, Connecticut. The company has expanded to more than 59 stores as well as 15 outlet locations across the U.S. states.

The Official Preppy Handbook (1980) is a tongue-in-cheek humor reference guide edited by Lisa Birnbach, written by Jonathan Roberts, Carol McD. Wallace, Mason Wiley, and Birnbach. It discusses an aspect of North American culture described as prepdom. In addition to insights on prep school and university life at socially acceptable schools, it illuminates many aspects of the conservative upper middle class, old money WASP society. Topics range from appropriate clothing for social events to choosing the correct college and major.

The book addresses "preppy" life from birth to old age, lending understanding to the cultural aspects of "preppy" life. In general, elementary and secondary school, college, and the young adult years receive the most attention. Coverage lessens during the book's latter chapters.The book was first published in 1980 by Workman Publishing.

The Official Preppy Handbook explains and satirizes what it takes to be a preppy person in the 1980s, parodying the lifestyle of the WASP elite. Birnbach reveals through an ironic tone where preps go to school, where they summer, what brands they wear, and how they decorate their homes. Birnbach divides The Official Preppy Handbook into 7 sections, each devoted to a different period of the preppy lifestyle. The Handbook begins by caricaturizing the childhood of a preppy person in 1980. Lisa Birnbach satirizes a prep’s ideal family lifestyle, and humorously advises readers how to pick, interview, and gain acceptance into a prep school.The book then wittily discusses “the best years of your life”- a prep’s college years.[7] With tongue in cheek, Birnbach elucidates which college courses to take, how to design one’s dorm room, and how to party at college. In Chapters 5 and 6, the book explains the prep adult life as first a “young executive”, and later as a retired adult in “the Country Club Years”. Birnbach jokingly educates readers on navigating a cocktail party, networking, and vacationing. The Official Preppy Handbook also teaches readers how to dress preppy. In chapter 4, Birnbach emphasizes the importance of appearing effortless, preppy and casual, writing, “socks are frequently not worn on sporting occasions or on social occasions for that matter. This provides a year round beachside look that is so desirable that comfort may be thrown aside”.By teaching readers on where to shop, what to wear, and “the merits of pink and green”, Birnbach makes preppy culture attainable to anyone – contrary to the popular belief that one needs to be born into a preppy lifestyle, she makes prepdom something anyone can cultivate.

The book's reflections on young urban professional culture inspired Arthur Cinader, the founder of the J. Crew clothing line. Cinader hoped to capitalize on the book's success.

The book also represented a resurgence of interest in preppy culture that aided the growth of retailer L.L. Bean, which the book describes as "nothing less than Prep mecca." The book's exposé of university life and the drug and sex culture at various schools had a significant impact on public thought about those schools. The book spawned many other "official" handbooks for other American subcultures.

The Handbook exposed preppy culture to the masses, and helped to democratize the preppy subculture. Prior to the book, primarily only wealthy WASP elites adopted the preppy subculture. From the 1920s, WASPs dominated American universities, and preppy fashion was traditionally worn on university campuses. However, as universities became less exclusive as a result of economic and cultural shifts, preppiness as a subculture became less exclusive. Preppy fashion adopted new nuances, and preppy culture has become more inclusive. By writing The Official Preppy Handbook, Lisa Birnbach helps to further democratize preppy fashion and culture. Birnbach explains in her introduction that the handbook is not intended as an exclusive text describing preppiness as subculture reserved for “an elite minority lucky enough to attend prestigious private schools”. Rather, the Handbook was written as a guidepost for the revival of the preppy style. It shared the secrets of the preppy code, making preppy seem “neat, attractive, and suddenly attainable”.

TAKE IVY and many links in TWEEDLAND connected with the IVY obsession


TAKE IVY published an Interview With Toshiyuki Kurosu


Talk Ivy: An Interview With Toshiyuki Kurosu

APRIL 20, 2021



W. David Marx did this interview for Ivy Style back in 2013 while researching his groundbreaking book “Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style.” As part of the research he sat down with Toshiyuki Kurosu (pictured above second from left) at the Kamakura Shirts office in Tokyo. Kurosu is legendary in Japan as one of the very first people to ever discover and wear Ivy League clothing. After joining brand VAN in 1961 at age 24, he convinced his boss Ishizu Kensuke to re-focus the whole company on Ivy style, a risky move that eventually brought the company incredible success, fame, and fortune. And as both a VAN employee and a writer for Men’s Club, Kurosu later became part of the team who created the legendary photo book “Take Ivy.”

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Community Clothing by Patrick Grant


Grant’s episode on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 at 11.15am on Sunday.





Men's Fashion & Outfit Ideas

India Price

-Menswear Editor



From juggling huge brands to helping deprived communities, Patrick Grant has had an incredible career. As John Lewis becomes the first to stock his Community Clothing line, we talk to the groundbreaking designer about his life and work

Patrick will be kickstarting the My John Lewis Festival of Sewing with an event on Wednesday 21st of March, starting at 6pm. Please join us for an evening of conversation and an open Q&A with Patrick.


There are those who say that they want things to change, and then there’s Patrick Grant. A man so invested in improving the British fashion and manufacturing industry that he has moved his entire life from London to Blackburn in order to devote more time and effort into effecting that change. 


It’s hard not to be aware of the man and his work. You may recognise Patrick from his role as a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee. Perhaps you’re a fan of the brands he heads, which include Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, menswear pioneer E. Tautz and the basics brand that we’re talking to him about today, Community Clothing. You may well have worn a piece of clothing made at Cookson & Clegg, a manufacturer that he saved from going under six years ago. Safe to say his influence is hard to overstate.


We sat down with Patrick over Zoom to discuss the fashion industry and much more, including what it means to have Community Clothing – the five-year-old brand that he founded in a bid to restore prosperity to the UK manufacturing industry – join the John Lewis family for the first time.


On the


Patrick’s 15 years in fashion have seen him cover off pretty much every role available – from creative director and designer to manufacturer and factory owner – giving him a unique insight into what’s really important in the industry.


‘John Lewis has a strong sense of honesty and trust, two things which are really important both for me and Community Clothing,’ Patrick explains. ‘In everything that we do for the brand, we try to be completely transparent and honest, right down to the way we shoot our product.’ Retouching and unrealistic beauty ideals are, refreshingly, out of the window. ‘We want people to be able to relate to Community Clothing and we want our clothing to represent our community.’


 Patrick Grant



Community Clothing was born when Patrick spotted a gap in the market that desperately needed to be filled. ‘You used to be able to go anywhere on the UK high street and buy really high-quality, affordable clothing,’ he says. ‘Now, you can get affordable clothing but it’s just not the quality that it used to be. Long-lasting, high-quality, affordable clothing was missing from the British clothing landscape.’


The Blackburn-based brand launched five years ago. It is defiantly local – right down to the homegrown photographer and the models, who are from a nearby school and the wider community. Patrick is particularly fond of Bob, a retiree and now model, who he met at the bowling club in Blackburn. Bob’s wife Barbara also comes to the shoots to make the tea and hand out biscuits.


“Long-lasting, high-quality, affordable clothing was missing from the British clothing landscape”

Patrick Grant


‘I understand the price that British shoppers are prepared to pay for clothing, so I started to think about how we could make the product in British factories, using great quality cloth, and still keep it affordable.’ Patrick realised that people wanted something that went against the grain of traditional seasonal pieces and standard manufacturing practices.


‘There’s a fixed model in the clothing industry and everyone does the same thing, to a greater or lesser extent. It’s based around designing new stuff season after season and always moving around to find a cheaper way of making those pieces. But I understood that in order for a factory to work, it needed to be operating on a high level of output 365 days a year.’


Patrick Grant

On the


‘We set out to create as much economic value in the town where we manufacture as we can,’ Patrick explains. ‘The reason that we shoot with local photographers, local models, and use a local Blackburn studio is so that the money we pay everyone actually goes into the pockets of those in the local community.’


And it’s not just the shoots that Community Clothing does locally. The Cookson & Clegg manufacturer that Patrick owns is also in Blackburn, so he’s created a community of factory workers to make the clothes, using locally crafted materials. ‘The manufacturing industry used to be the beating heart of a community. The sense of purpose and pride, as well as the economic prosperity and cohesion that came from the industry, has disappeared,’ explains Patrick. ‘The loss of these industries has resulted in a lot of things, but most importantly the breakdown of community.’


 Patrick Grant



The rise of fast fashion and a declining British textile industry gave Patrick the push to start Community Clothing. But how does he keep prices down, without losing quality or, indeed, using materials or labour from abroad? ‘We want to encourage people to slow down their consumption,’ he argues. ‘We have two design principles: simplify the purchasing process for the customer and make things easier for the factory. Where other brands might have seven different fabrics for seven different coats, or a slight variety in their material for different pieces like a hoodie or joggers, we almost always use the same fabric within each category.’


And rather than importing fabrics, 90% of those used by Community Clothing are made in the UK. ‘The only thing that we don’t get in this country is our denim, and that’s because there’s only one very expensive producer of denim in the UK,’ says Patrick. ‘Instead, our denim is sourced from two super-sustainable and ethical firms – one in Turkey and one in Portugal.’


“Everything that we do is to sustain and create jobs in the UK textile industry and to help restore economic prosperity in some of the most deprived communities”

Patrick Grant

Patrick can reel off the names of his local suppliers without having to consult a phone or notebook. There’s the raincoat material from British Millerain in Rochdale, the jersey for sweatshirts and T-shirts from Leicester, the rugby shirt cloth from a specialist in the midlands.


Patrick proudly declares that ‘the yarn for our T-shirts is spun in Manchester, the jersey is knitted and dyed in Leicester, and then it’s cut and sewn in our factory in Blackburn. We have a tiny, tiny footprint. The fundamental goal of everything that we do as a brand is to sustain and create jobs in the UK textile industry and to help restore economic prosperity in some of the most deprived communities in the country.’


Patrick Grant

On the


‘We’ve got modest ambitions, but each year we want to continue to grow and improve, and to have a positive impact on the people that we work with and the dialogue that surrounds the industry,’ he says. At last count, Patrick and his team had created 140,000 hours of work since 2015, with that number doubling every year. So far, they have 28 factories in 24 different towns, a number that they also aim to keep growing. The aim is to create 5,000 full-time jobs.


So, what’s next for Community Clothing and Patrick? ‘We want to make big social change,’ he answers. ‘We’ve already had a very positive impact for Blackburn, and we hope to do the same for lots of other communities. It’s genuinely incredibly rewarding to be working in a business where everyone who comes into contact with it says great things.


‘I’m lucky enough that, because I’m on TV on The Great British Sewing Bee, I’ve managed to talk about sustainability, reuse and repair and get those issues to a much broader audience,’ he says. ‘I’m fortunate to have a voice that can help move the discussion of clothing in a positive way because it really can be a positive thing. We’ve seen how it can create good jobs, prosperity and happiness in communities all across the UK.’