Sartorialee’s Soho style notes
BRANDS / COLLABORATIONS / LONDON / SOHO
There’s so much more to Soho’s Berwick Street than simply its gourmet food stalls and market. It’s become the new menswear hub of central London. From home-grown tailors like Chris Kerr to independent fashion boutiques like Oliver Spencer, plus a smattering of international brands like Sandqvist and A.P.C., juxtaposed with textile merchants such as Misan Brothers and Broadwick Silks.
Chris Kerr is Soho’s oldest Tailor and arguably its most personable. Founded by Chris’s father Eddie back in the swinging sixties when many of the showbiz stars of the time would call in for a fitting. Chris admits that he doesn’t wish to be constrained by a house style, preferring instead to allow his clients to express their personal style while still getting the Savile Row treatment.
While bespoke suits are handmade in Soho by skilled craftsmen , they adhere to the great traditions of Savile Row tailoring. Kerr’s Made To Measure service is a popular alternative for time -sensitive folk and those with a more modest budget.
I’ve been a mainstay at Oliver Spencer’s now legendary LC:M shows over the past few years, always a colourful riot of foot-tapping rhythm fused with cutting-edge catwalk pieces. His stores, always artfully curated, offer a relaxed retail experience with knowledgeable non-pushy staff. Pick of the bunch from SS17 for me is their denim Artist’s jacket, paired with brown suede Dalton boots to add an Italianate air. Both are from Spencer’s Casa Malaparte collection: a house on the Island of Capri that inspired the collection, famed for its imposing modern architecture that has become a personal favourite of Oli’s.
I’ve been a big fan of Stockholm brand Sandqvist for some time – I already own one of their legendary tan leather back packs and a black business briefcase. Their recent collaboration with premium camera brand Hasselblad resulted in a backpack to rival all other backpacks. It unzips to reveal divided sections for all your cameras and lenses and is definitely an item I’ll be courting for my travels to Sri Lanka this summer.
A.P.C.‘s denim credentials are considered among the very finest on the market. I picked up a pair of their Petit New Standard slim-leg jeans – stonewashed to contrast with the Artist jacket.
Vintage is an integral part of my sartorial armoury, and Reign has great covetable pieces. It’s a veritable minefield of ties, shirts, knitwear and suiting. But my pick of the bunch was this Valstar-rivalling suede bomber – a steal at £40, considering the former would set you back upwards of £1k.
I know exactly where I’ll be headed to get my new autumn/winter coat. Misan Brothers, at number 32, is textile heaven for a sartorialist like me – and their rolls of Casentino have got me dreaming up a bespoke topcoat for Pitti 93. In vivid Seville orange! You heard it here first.
And now to dinner. The Duck and Rice is more than just its show-stopping exterior. Commandeered by legendary restaurateur Alan Yau, it draws inspiration from both Asian and British traditions; it manages to capture the cosiness of a traditional Victorian boozer, so beloved of Londoners and tourists alike, coupled with the Asian tradition of space. A lover of both cultures, I lapped-up Kung Po chicken coupled with Kona Fire Rock pale ale drafted out of shiny copper vats.