Huntsman in poppy tribute
NEWS / POPPY APEAL / HUNTSMAN
Regulars to Savile Row will have noticed some rather poignant window displays including that of Huntsman which is arguably the most visually emotive of the poppy-bearers.
Between 22 October – 11 November (Armistice Day), to coincide with the launch of the Poppy Appeal, Huntsman commemorates the 133 customers who lost their lives in the First World War. Whilst their books contain orders for hundreds of gentlemen that served in the military at this time, 133 bare the poignant reference “killed in action” or an annotation or clipping by their name, documenting another sad loss of life. These ledger’s are available to view in store.
Paul Cummin’s incredible Tower of London installation (2014) entitled ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ saw his ceramic poppies spill from the walls of the tower down into the moat – a single Poppy representing each of the 888,246 fallen soldiers that perished in the line of duty. The memorial’s impact was powerful and incredibly moving, a stirring reminder of the scale and bloodshed of war.
Drawing inspiration from Cummin’s spectacular work, albeit on a much smaller scale, poppies cascade down from the first floor of 11 Savile Row, diagonally across the shop’s front window, ‘through the glass’ and out the other side.
The company purchased a ceramic Poppy in memory of each fallen patron. Fittingly, each one was assembled by young members of the 74 Detachment, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers cadets in South East London, before final installation in store.
The British Warm overcoat (pictured below) on display in the window, stands solitary, almost as though in quiet reverence of the sacrifice of so many. Recreated by Huntsman’s cutting team last year as they reflected on the centenary of WW1, its roots come from the fabric and styling of the Great Coats worn by officers during the First World War, where the British Warm made its first appearance. The heavy Melton cloth is hardy and warm and would have provided a welcome reprieve from the elements.
It has remained a staple of military dress ever since (Huntsman Warm Coat) and has also crossed into the vernacular of day dress, worn by gentlemen who appreciate its heritage, nod to tradition and warmth – an understated but composed piece.
Throughout the period of the Poppy Appeal, Huntsman will donate 50% of proceeds from any British Warm coat ordered at the shop to the Poppy Appeal charity.
Huntsman, 11 Savile Row, London, W1S 3PS