It has been an exciting time of year for us at Denman and Goddard, as we are pleased to announce that we have been proudly supporting The Campaign for Wool. Monday 5th October 2015 saw Savile Row remarkably transformed into a luscious green field, with Bowmont Merino and Exmoor Long Horn sheep grazing along the iconic street.
The ‘Sheep on the Row’ event saw 25 tailoring houses and woollen merchants pair up to produce an exciting display of outfits. We paired with Hield Brothers, who were founded in 1922 and have been at the forefront of British textile manufacturing ever since. Our work was being modelled throughout the day as part of the Bespoke Roll of Honour; in the form of a traditional grey double-breasted suit, inspired by the likes of Cary Grant and other true English gentlemen. We feel that it is not only of great importance for people to learn and understand more about our fine craft, but also the dedication of the sheep farmers and just how much the wool that they produce has to offer.
The very first sketch that was roughly drawn down during discussions about what we were to produce. Notice the full trousers with turn ups, and the classic silhouette of the outfit.
The jacket and trousers can be seen here baisted and ready to try on. The grey chalk-striped cloth lends itself perfectly to the double-breasted suit, and the classic Savile Row look we wanted to achieve.
Our model, James Hampson, being fitted. Only minor alteration was needed to go on and produce the finished outfit.
Here, the coat construction is finished and is ready for the button holes and linings to be hand sewn. Again, the strong upper body and hollow waist can be seen clearly.
The positioning of the cuff holes are marked ready to be hand sewn.
The same applies to the lapel holes. Being a traditional double-breasted suit, two are required.
After pressing and buttoning, the finished garments are ready to be worn.
This picture was taken just after the sheep were delivered to the event. Throughout the day they seemed perfectly at home on the Row, inquisitively assessing the people surrounding them taking photographs as they grazed and wandered around their pen.
This Exmoor Horn was perfectly happy posing for photographs. This breed originates from the high hills of the Exmoor National Park, one of the most beautiful and remote natural landscapes in England. For all its beauty, the Exmoor climate requires hardy sheep that can withstand harsh winters and thrive off of sparse upland hill pasture. They are ideal grazers of marginal wildlife-rich grassland and have an important conservational role to play in the changing agricultural environment. Their fine quality fleece has a micron count of 36.7 per fibre, making it ideally suited for coarser cloth for use in jackets, coats, carpets, interior fabrics and furnishings.
Also happy to be centre-stage were these Bowmont Merinos. Merino sheep produce the softest, finest wool that is used in Savile Row suits, luxurious knitwear and high tech, weather beating textiles. 200 years ago Merinos were a common sight in England. Together with Merinos from European countries, some were exported to Australia to form the backbone of the great industry there today. Australia now has 71 million sheep and a range of Merino genetics adapted to all conditions and all requirements of the wool industry. The ones brought to Savile Row were from Westcott Farm in Devon, which have been selectively bred over 11 years using the best Australian genetics. They produce wool between 14-18 microns thick per fibre, on a sheep suitable for conditions in northern Europe.
Model James Hampson wears a Denman and Goddard bespoke, double-breasted chalk stripe suit, cut and made on the premises at our 11 Saint George Street shop.
Alongside other exhibiting models, James poses for the press photographers. Unfortunately, being in central London in October meant that the rain was never far away!