Cover Image Credit:
p. 141 Illustration Oriana Fenwick, The Savile Row Suit, gestalten 2024


The Savile Row Suit Book Cover

Savile Row is the home of bespoke tailoring. This short street is home to many of the world’s finest tailoring houses, a street where for over 200 years royals, rock stars, and giants of the business and political world have come to have their clothes cut, sewn and fitted. Patrick Grant, co-owner of Savile Row tailors Norton &Sons, describes the long-standing traditions of craftsmanship that are maintained in the workrooms of this quiet corner of London’s Mayfair – a fascinating and uniquely storied world. He celebrates the extraordinary ecosystem, from the British weavers and cloth houses to the trimmings merchants, that allows Savile Row to flourish. Grant shines a light on the captivating story of Savile Row, the painstaking processes required to create a bespoke garment, and the story of his personal experiences on this most famous thoroughfare.

Image Credit:
p. 081 Illustration Mathew Wood, The Savile Row Suit, gestalten 2024

This book details, for the first time, the complete tailoring methods of several of Savile Row’s finest sewing tailors, providing a  detailed step-by-step manual on how to hand-make a pair of trousers, waistcoat, and coat in the Savile Row style, and a shirt in the style of one of Jermyn Street’s finest shirt makers. Richly illustrated, this book gives an insight into a highly discreet and rarefied world of craftsmanship.

 

Questions & Answers with Author Patrick Grant

 

1. What inspired you to write such a beautifully illustrated book about Savile Row?

It has been my great privilege to spend twenty years working on Savile Row. There have been many great books written about the history of the great tailoring houses that have made the street their home for close to 200 years, but very little has been written about the craft of bespoke tailoring and about the unique and wonderful community of craftsmen and women who practice the art. I wanted to celebrate those people, and to give my personal reflections on two decades working amongst them. Bespoke tailoring is a craft of global significance and importance and I felt that it was historically important that the complete process and method of the Savile Row bespoke tailor be documented.

Image Credit:
p. 049 Illustration Oriana Fenwick, The Savile Row Suit, gestalten 2024

2. As a tailor on Savile Row, what is your favourite part of the process?

The bespoke process is unique, and truly personal. Every suit begins with a conversation about where and when the suit will be worn, every aspect of cloth, style cut, and detail is discussed between customer and salesperson or cutter. At every stage of the fitting process further conversations take place as the garments take form. The customers is deeply connected not just to their suit, but to the cutter and tailors who have crafted it, and to the house in which they work. It is for this reason that every suit made on Savile Row is so cherished, and why so many of them remain much loved garments for a whole lifetime.

Image Credit:
p. 080 Illustration Oriana Fenwick, The Savile Row Suit, gestalten 2024

3. What makes a suit created on Savile Row different from other suits made elsewhere?

The hand tailored Savile Row bespoke suit has no equal anywhere. The finest cloths and interlinings are cut and sewn by hand, by tailors who have trained in the houses of Savile Row, and who can trace the lineage of their craft back 700 years. No corner is cut, no expense spared; every craftsperson working in he workshops of Savile Row is given the time and space to create every garment in the very best way possible. The cloths we use, from the finest British mills are also unrivalled in quality, many of the mills we use tracing their knowledge and experience back through two and in some cases three centuries. There is nothing on earth that compares.

Image Credit:
p. 140 Illustration Oriana Fenwick, The Savile Row Suit, gestalten 2024

4. How has the internet and modern technology changed Savile Row?

Modern technology impinges very little on the way in which Savile Row works, indeed with the exception of the Sewing Machine, no technology has had any impact at all on the way in which our clothes are made for almost 700 years. But what technology has done is made the world of Savile Row less mysterious, to make the houses and the people within them more approachable, I think the modern Savile Row house feels open minded, and welcoming in a way that in the past they did not.

Image Credit:
p. 102 Illustration Oriana Fenwick, The Savile Row Suit, gestalten 2024

5. How often do you wear a suit – and do you know how many you have? 

How often I wear a suit very much depends on what I’m doing in any given week. Last week I wore one twice, this week not at all. I find I wear a jacket and odd trousers far more often than I wear a suit, but I was at Downing Street for a meeting, and at a wedding, and for such things only a suit will do. I couldn’t say exactly how many suits I own. I’ve suits of my dad’s, formal, sporting, and day suits that date half a century. I still have a few of the designer suits I bought in my early 20’s though I never wear them. And then I have the suits I’ve had made since starting at Norton & Sons twenty years ago, far fewer than people might think, maybe just a dozen or so (I chose them all with great care, and they really last). But I’ve probably another dozen beautiful, tailored jackets in an array of colours, patterns, and weights, and a good handful of trousers.

Biography and Publishing House

Patrick Grant is the co-owner of Norton & Sons and the co-owner and Director of Community Clothing. He was named Hewon Menswear Designer of the  Year at the 2010 British Fashion Awards and is best known as a judge on the BBC One show The Great British Sewing Bee.

About gestalten
gestalten is an international publishing house collaborating and engaging with the world’s most interesting creatives to document and anticipate vital movements in architecture and interiors, design, and fashion, escape and mobility, travel, food, and beverage, as well as visual culture. Exploring creativity in every form, gestalten is known and loved by millions around the globe for its unique lens across print and digital mediums. gestalten also publishes illustrated books for children through its imprint Little gestalten.