Monthly Archives: February 2017

BTBA Annual Festival Dinner

At the beginning of February we attended The Bespoke Tailors’ Benevolent Association Festival Dinner, once again held in the stunning surroundings of The Merchant Taylors’ Hall in The City of London. As always, it provided the perfect platform for everybody to catch up with old friends and raise money to support those from the trade who have fallen on hard times. Evenings and weekends throughout January were entirely devoted to making myself a dinner suit, as the dress code was Black Tie! Given my admiration for the likes of Fred Astaire, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra I opted for the most traditional spec. My jacket was single breasted (one button) with peak lapels and pure silk facings, no side vents and jetted pockets. The trousers have double pleats and braiding down the outside leg to match the jacket. The cloth is pure worsted barathea (11oz) from Smith Woollens, with a stunning black paisley lining from Lear, Browne and Dunsford (LBD). I would like to thank my good friends John Bell and Patrick Osborne of LBD for kindly giving me the lining. 


David Cook, Joe Holsgrove and Peter Day.

Joe VBC Group Picture BTBA

Joe Holsgrove, John Bell of LBD, Francesco Barberis Canonico of Vitale Barberis Canonico, Simone Ubertino Rosso of Vitale Barberis Canonico and Patrick Osborne of LBD.

Whilst the dinner is the perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends, it is always wonderful to be introduced to new ones. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Francesco Barberis Canonico; Creative Director of Vitale Barberis Canonico, a family owned Italian woollen mill. Currently in its 15th generation of ownership, the company have been producing the finest cloths since 1663. I also met Simone Ubertino Rosso, Communication Manager for the company.


Joe and Emily BTBA 2017

Emily Rhodes of Whitcomb and Shaftesbury and Joe Holsgrove.

Table, BTBA 2017

We shared a table with Whitcomb and Shaftesbury, another tailoring house located at 11 Saint George Street.

Hall, BTBA 2017

The Great Hall in all its glory.

Nín Hǎo from Beijing

In December 2016 Peter, David and I were invited to ‘Beautiful World’, the Spring/Summer 2017 Collection launch by acclaimed Chinese fashion designer Grace Chen. In our relatively short visit to Beijing, we attended the fine fashion show in the heart of China’s capital. On display were a range of spectacular garments, all beautifully hand crafted from delicate fabrics. Inspired by the beauty of feathers, the collection featured dresses and gowns that skillfully combined Western cutting and Chinese embroidery.

DJC, JH, PRD China

David Cook, Joe Holsgrove and Peter Day on the red carpet.

Chinese Outfit

Chinese Embroidery

Traditional hand embroidery. The quality of work was exceptional.

Grace Chen Dancer

The show opened with a stunning ballet performance.

Grace Chen Swan Dress

A particular favourite of mine, this dress appeared to be inspired by the natural elegance of swans.

Grace Chen Dresses 1

A selection of bespoke dresses from Grace Chen’s archives.

Grace Chen Dresses 2

Another selection of bespoke dresses from Grace Chen’s archives.

Grace Chen Grey Dress

Another fine creation from Grace Chen’s archives, again incorporating feathers.

Tiananmen Square

We also managed to visit Tiananmen Square.