British Style Genius: Part 2

A Cut Above: The tailored look

British style is religion in Japan and Paul Smith is the God. He is the most successful British designer in Japan

Paul Smith has taken a colourful playful approach towards tailored suits. He uses bright prints both inside and outside of suits along with the British flag and flowers.

Paul Smith suit 2010

Savile Row

The most famous street in London providing tailored garments was founded by Henry Poole. Tailored suits are exported worldwide.

The word ‘Savile’ means 3 piece suit in the Oxford dictionary. ‘The suit is the potent symbol of authority’.

Tailoring has been a tradition in London for many centuries

In the 1930-40s when the Golden Age of film existed Hollywood stars were drawn to Savile Row.

Fred Astaire 2011

Fred Astaire was a Hollywood entertainer who wore Savile Row tailored suits while dancing.


Until the 1960s tailored suits were worn by all working class.

Burton tailoring bought tailoring garments to the mass market.

All fabrics were woven in Britain for improved quality and remain to true British style.


Roger Moore as 007, The Art of Manliness 2008

James Bond was and still is a symbol of being well-dressed and elegant. The look was originally created on Conduit Street.

Michael Caine was another actor whose costumes were often tailored suits.

Michael Caine 2012

Douglas Hayward designed the suits for Michael Caine in Alfie and the Italian Job (1969).

Douglas Hayward and Michael Caine, The Telegraph 2010


The process

Savile Row suits go through a long process. It is necessary for the designer to get the customers ‘blueprint’ which, includes the measurements, customers interests etc.

  • the fabric is cut by hand
  • several fittings
  • minimum of 8 weeks to produce

    The Japane Times Online by Paul McInnes 2011


In the 1980s european designers such as Giorgio Armani designed suits to become more relaxed than structured. Theremoved the dhoulder pads and left the jacket to fit loosely.

Giorgio Armani suit 2012

In the 1990s designers like Ozwald Boateng, Richard James and Timothy Edwards made tailoring ‘cool’. Suits became slimmer with slanted pockets which elongated the body.

Ozwald Boateng, The Telegraph 2011

Ozwald Boateng

Richard James suit The Telegraph 2010

Mannequin fitting Japan Times 2011

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