London Craft week, we’re pleased to report, it going from strength to strength. Last year, the celebration enjoyed an impressive turnout, with more British brands participating than ever before. This year, it’s set to be another cracker, with the heritage menswear showing particularly strong. As always, contemporary tailoring and shoemaking come high on the list (naturally), but this year, there are some pop-up exhibitions that are well worth seeing, and London design scene’s is well represented, too. Here are six of the men’s style events worth making time for this week.
1. The making of a peacoat with Gieves & Hawkes
The bastion of bespoke at No.1 Savile Row was founded primarily as a tailor to the British navy’s officer class in 1785. As such, the humble peacoat is a core part of the house’s DNA and fewer are more elevated than those cut by the Gieves’ bespoke team. Head Cutter, Davide Taub, is known for his pin-sharp reinterpretations of sartorial classics, and will be on hand in London Craft Week’s Savile Row Pop-Up (see below) to take curious parties through the bespoke process; from measuring a client, to drafting a pattern (complete with all a peacoat’s design quirks) and onto to the several hours of hand-tailoring that turn a flat piece of melton cloth into a handmade menswear masterpiece.
Demonstration, 11 May 10:00 – 18:00, free to attend
Masterclass, 11 May, 14:00 – 15:00, £12 a ticket, book here
Savile Row Bespoke Pop-Up
34 – 35 Savile Row
2. Exploring elements of silk at New & Lingwood
New & Lingwood’s relationship with silk is a best-kept secret in British menswear. In fact, the house’s exquisite dressing gowns, Albert slippers, ties and pocket handkerchiefs are made from silk woven by a former-Huguenot silk weaver in Suffolk, that’s been plying its trade in one form of another for the best part of 400 years. Many of New & Lingwood’s silks are exclusive to the house, designed with reference to the company’s archives – championing a riot of colour and quirky British design. For London Craft Week, Simon Maloney, N&L’s Product Director, will be on-hand with a tie-maker to talk you through the traditional skills that go into producing silk menswear investments of the highest quality.
Demonstration, 10 May 13:00 – 14:00, free to attend, book your place here
New and Lingwood
53 Jermyn Street
3. Shirt cutting masterclasses at Budd Shirtmakers
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that Budd is the only Jermyn Street shirtmaker that still has its bespoke cutting room on the premises, tucked away on the top-floor of a charming Edwardian shop on Piccadilly Arcade. For a lesson in what makes a bespoke shirt special, and how the house still hand-cuts its shirts in the same way it has done since 1910, stop by to meet either Darren Tiernan or James McAuslan, two of the house’s cutters, who’ll talk you through this traditional process and make it look deceptively easy, while they’re at it.
Thu 10 May, 12:30 – 14:30, free to attend
Fri 11 May, 12:30 – 14:30, free to attend
1 – 3 Piccadilly Arcade
4. The Jimmy Beaumont bespoke travel collection
Following on from last year’s introduction of fictitious early 20th century aesthete Jimmy Beaumont as a fun figurehead for Mayfair’s craftsmen, this year, the Beaumont Hotel is hosting another Jimmy Beaumont themed showcase, this time for luxury leather goods. Explore the exhibition, including pieces from Trunk Clothiers, Purdey and Gladstone, among other refined luggage makers, for a superlative guide to the art of travelling well. Be sure to keep a look out for Ettinger’s display of archive attache cases, as well as a sample bespoke piece, inspired by that carried by Jimmy Beaumont’s friend, David Niven.
9 – 13 May, 10:30 – 17:30
8 Balderton Street
5. The art of Savile Row bespoke
We’re returning to Savile Row for our fifth LCW highlight. For three days only, Nos. 34 and 35 Savile Row are playing host to three tailors and two cloth makers, who’ll be showcasing some of the art (and science) that underpins a Savile Row bespoke creation. Apart from the aforementioned peacoat masterclass, you’ll be able to explore how Dege & Skinner tailor military uniforms, the design markers of the original dinner bespoke suit with Henry Poole, and come to appreciate some of the technology that goes into making the world’s best suiting cloth with traditional British cloth merchants Dugdale Bros. & Co, and Huddersfield Fine Worsteds. If you’re searching for a suit that will travel well, resist creasing, or breath beautifully – these makers will be able to help.
Exhibition & demonstrations, 9 – 11 May 10:00 -18:00, free to attend
34 – 35 Savile Row
6. Make horn spectacles at Cubitts
Cubitts’ horn specs are something of an eyewear gem: they’re made in Kings Cross, using traditional methods and very steady hands. Even so, the sporting folk over in the company’s workshop are opening their doors to the public to give a few lucky customers the chance to learn just what goes into hand-making a pair of bespoke frames. Choose your material, cut a front, then file, polish and work a pair of frames into being. Explore the differences between working with horn and acetate, learn how to add pin hinges and lens grooves, too. We can’t guarantee you’ll walk away with a pair of finished glasses, but you’ll certainly leave with an appreciate for the fine art of spectacle making.
Six places per workshop, £50 per head, book your place here
97 Caledonian Road