It used to be, way back when, that I could set my watch by the annual wedding season – enquiries come early in January following the Christmas break when groom is likely interrogated by both sides of his family about progress with finding himself a wedding suit! Measuring would then start in February/March for the May/June weddings and whilst conducting these fittings we conduct the next wave of consultations for the August/September weddings. But add to that the odd shotgun wedding and now January weddings, instead of the end of the year being a time to reflect, take stock and get excited about the year ahead, it was Christmas Eve before I finally got the first of the new Custom Collection pieces onto the cutting table!
So, what is in store this year..
Well, owing to the success of our Summer Suit, we will finally be launching the tobacco Summer Suit to accompany last years blue incarnation – those who follow us via Social Media will have had a preview last year – but you’ll see it in all it’s glory on our website this Summer. Whereas the first incarnation was cut from Holland & Sherry’s fantastic 11oz Classic Cottons range and in the most vivid of blues, the second coming will be cut in Brisbane Moss’ 9oz Cotton Drill – which drapes and handles a little more like a classic chino cotton, as opposed Holland & Sherry’s which drapes more like wool i.e. it does not crease like a classic chino cotton does. Both have their merits so choose wisely.
And, owing to the incredibly positive feedback from my associates – namely the girls at the salon – whenever I wear separates, we thought we’d push the boat out and endeavour to wear separates during the course of the working week; quelle horreur, I hear you cry! But we have become increasingly inspired by the preppy look of our peers at some of my favourite tailors, outfitters and haberdashers, so we are going to experiment with a more preppy look this year that is natty and perhaps a little rakish.
So, to complement our Custom Collection chinos, we are introducing a pair of mid-grey worsteds to complement our blazers and jackets. This ensemble will mean that it can be worn in a more formal setting, where chinos may be too casual. I have to say that these slacks are among the most comfortable which I have worn. They are cut from an 11oz worsted twill from Harrisons of Edinburgh. And this particular shade of grey has been a sartorial stalwart since the 1930’s when flannel ruled supreme, all the way through to the 1980’s when the informal wardrobe consisted of grey flannel trousers and blue blazers. But there will be no brass buttons here, just fine tailoring inspired by our sartorial past, not hindered by it.
The most successful piece for me personally was our flannel blazer. Cut from a b.e.a.u.tiful 14oz Wellington Check flannel jacketing from Fox Brothers, it not only contained many of ‘my colours’, as it were (increasingly grey and fawn as I get older and fairer/greyer) it has provided warmth and utility during the Autumn and Winter months. If you have never tried it, there is something incredibly luxurious in the handle and and the wearing of flannel that has to be experienced to be appreciated. So we will continue in this fashion with another flannel blazer, this time cut from Holland & Sherry’s Dandy range, in order to continue our appreciation for authentic cloths and pieces which provide the wearer investment in our iconic heritage mills and brands, not to mention garments which are incredibly versatile, functional and hardwearing.
2017 will also see the introduction of a tweed jacket; our first would you believe?! We have chosen the Abraham Moon mill for this cloth, with whom Brown in Town has not worked before but their cloths are synonymous with heritage brands such as Toast and Jack Wills. They have some wonderful tweeds, as well as lambswool jacketings in their collection and we are very excited, not to mention a little proud to be working with them and following in the footsteps of our creative director Saffron Darby, who worked closely with them for many years in her capacity as Senior Designer at Toast.
We will likely add a summer jacket to the collection, when the time is right. Presently I am thinking a seersucker, but more of that when the ice has thawed..!
Finally, but perhaps the most exciting of all, Brown in Town will be launching it’s first item of outerwear. Still in the R and D stages at present, it will take it’s inspiration from my own Belstaff heritage motorcycle jacket which has stood me in good stead during our Winter walks, as it fits perfectly over my blazers and jackets and is a go to when my Covert Coat is too long for the occasion. The Belstaff is not what I would consider to be sartorial, so I sought inspiration from the Norfolk Jacket, which was invariably the precursor to today’s Field Coat – a boxy jacket, traditionally used for stalking and shooting. The Norfolk was cut from heavier and harder wearing cloths, invariably tweed and featured a sewn on belt which buttoned at the front, which gave it a more fitted and tailored aesthetic.
We have chosen to use Abraham Moon’s 18oz overcoating in a green khaki. Famed for it’s use as a ‘Greatcoat’ cloth and used since the 15th Century by the military for keeping troops warm and dry, owing dense felted wool construction. Our version of these two classics will take the most sartorial elements of their utilitarian designs to provide a go-to item of outerwear.
We have had lots of fun designing the latest offering from our Custom Collection and we look forward to sharing it with you in due course. We hope that the start to your New Year has been as exciting as ours and we hope to see you at our Bristol studio or London outpost soon..