Culture picks: A life on Savile Row, figurative art and London Jazz Festival 2018

Three smart-thinking events to keep on your radar this week

Richard Anderson1. Spend an evening in the company of a Savile Row guru

It’s easy to condemn Savile Row’s esteemed tailors as antiquarians today – given their reputation as the antithesis to fast fashion and throwaway design – beavering quietly away to bring timeless bespoke investments to life by hand.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Savile Row remains an elevated menswear institution, and at its forefront stands Richard Anderson, a former head cutter at Huntsman and co-founder of his namesake house since 2001, what Anderson doesn’t know about modern tailoring isn’t worth knowing. He started on Savile Row aged just 17, and learned to cut (the most technically demanding part of the tailoring process) at the behest of two Savile Row legends, Colin Hammick and Brian Hall. He watched them build up Huntsman, and foolish investors break it apart, before deciding to go it alone in 2001. He’s not looked back since, and today has a reputation for mixing seamless craftsmanship with a forward-thinking approach to design. Do you know any other tailors making sequinned dinner jackets or asymmetric pinstripe lounge suits? Didn’t think so.

For one evening only, you’ve got a chance to hear his story first hand, and quiz him on all things menswear, style and bespoke. He’s hosting an evening of conversation at the Fashion and Textile Museum in two weeks time, and there are precious few tickets left. Want to know what it really takes to make it big in luxury menswear? Book your ticket this week to find out.

29 November, 6-8pm, £15 per ticket,

2. Support a group of independent artists

This week, for a few days only, a collection of artworks by six London-based portrait painters are going on display at the Old Brompton Gallery in Kensington. All recent art school grads, the exhibition’s called Human/Nature and has been curated primarily to give the participants a vehicle to push themselves.

Each is trained in figurative oil painting, and practises as what lay minds like mine would call ‘classical portraiture’ (probably to each artist’s chagrin) but the criteria for works displayed in the exhibition is that they experiment with an aesthetic well beyond their comfort-zones. Co-organiser and exhibiting artist, Brendan Fitzpatrick explains: ‘we’re all using this exhibition as a vehicle to explore different ways to innovate our technique and the applications of figurative oil painting. We all were trained at traditional studios in Florence, but are now evolving our work in the contemporary London art scene.’

The exhibition opens tomorrow evening, and runs through till Sunday, with paintings and sketches available to buy for the duration. If you’re looking for an artwork from an up-and-coming talent with a different perspective to the norm, this is the place to look.

Free entry, 20 – 25 November, Old Brompton Gallery, SW5 0DE,

3. Don’t miss London’s annual Jazz Festival

This year’s EFG London Jazz Festival is in full swing, with over 200 live performances across the capital from some of jazz’s leading lights, and most promising up-and-comers alike. It’s on for another five days, so if you’ve yet to get involved, don’t despair.

The Southbank Centre’s hosting many of the highest profile gigs, and many performances are still to come. Book a last-minute ticket for Camilla George & Sarah Tandy. A talented saxophonist, The Independent’s heralded George as the ‘golden girl of British jazz’. She’ll be performing with her band, following an opening set by pianist Sarah Tandy, who’ll be giving audiences a taste of her debut album, out next month.

Our other hot tip is to try to Davina and the Vagabonds with Natalie Williams at Cadogan Hall this Thursday. Davina’s crew is known for its powerful blues numbers, old-school brass and husky vocals, while six-album strong soul singer, Natalie Williams, is an institution at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho – she hosts the club’s ‘Soul Family Sunday’ every month. /