From Start To Finish – A Fred Astaire Inspired Steed Bespoke 3-Piece Dinner Suit

Vox Astair Dinner Suit

Here is a look from start to finish of Steed Bespoke 3-Piece Dinner Suit which we finished and sent last week, for our friend and client in Boston, known by many online by his pseudonym “Voxsartoria

I published a post back in January with some of the photo’s from when started this commission so I will be repeating myself here when re-capping the details.

The inspiration for this design came via the legendary Fred Astaire.

The style for the jacket is a classic, single breasted, generous peak lapel, one button with jetted pockets and no vents.

Made up in the H. Lesser Formal Wear 31268, which is a 15oz black barathea, complimented by grosgrain silk facings.

The trousers, being of the fishtail (High Backed) style, with a single forward pleat, plain bottoms, button fly and finished with a single striped, silk braid.

For the waistcoat (Vest) he decided upon a formal double breasted, four button with a shawl lapel.

Another feature which will be incorporated in the waistcoat design, are interchangeable buttons, in case fancier vest studs are wanted to be worn rather than the standard self faced buttons.

We have done this before for Vox in which was later named the Steed SAS (Swiss Army Suit) in which we made a few sets of buttons which where all interchangeable to give the ultimate flexible suit/blazer. More can be read about this by following the link below to the short blog article on this piece, which was made a few years ago now.

http://www.steed.co.uk/en/blog/steed-sas-swiss-army-suit/

We tried the complete suit on during our trip to Boston back in March and it just took the single fitting before finishing and sending out to Boston last week as it was required last Saturday for a Gala.

It was great to see this finished photo just this morning of our friend wearing his suit before heading out for what I am sure was a great evening so I just wanted to share this with you all.

Both Dad and I are looking forward to seeing the suit on ourselves in the flesh on our upcoming trip to The States in May/June.

The dates can be found below.

http://www.steed.co.uk/en/travel-itinerary/

Cheers,

Matthew

No.3 Savile Row – The Beatles Last Ever Live Performance & The Shattered Dreams of a Young Savile Row Cutter

 

A bit of Savile Row & Music Trivia here for you…

The Beatles, along with Billy Preston, gave their final live performance atop the former Apple building at No. 3 Savile Row, London, in what became the climax of their Let It Be film.

“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.

We set up a camera in the Apple reception area, behind a window so nobody could see it, and we filmed people coming in. The police and everybody came in saying, ‘You can’t do that! You’ve got to stop.”

- George Harrison

It was a cold London day, on Thursday, 30 January 1969. To cope with the typically London Winter weather, John Lennon borrowed Yoko Ono’s fur coat, and Ringo Starr wore his wife Maureen Starkey’s red mac.

“There was a plan to play live somewhere. We were wondering where we could go – ‘Oh, the Palladium or the Sahara.’ But we would have had to take all the stuff, so we decided, ‘Let’s get up on the roof.’ We had Mal and Neil set the equipment up on the roof, and we did those tracks. I remember it was cold and windy and damp, but all the people looking out from offices were really enjoying it.”

- Ringo Starr

The 42-minute show was recorded onto two eight-track machines in the basement of Apple, by George Martin, engineer Glyn Johns and tape operator Alan Parsons. The tracks were filled with the following: Paul McCartney, vocals; John Lennon’s and George Harrison’s vocals; Billy Preston’s organ; McCartney’s bass guitar; a sync track for the film crew; Starr’s drums; Lennon’s guitar; Harrison’s guitar.

“That was one of the greatest and most exciting days of my life. To see The Beatles playing together and getting an instant feedback from the people around them, five cameras on the roof, cameras across the road, in the road, it was just unbelievable.”

- Alan Parsons, Tape Operator

The songs performed on the roof:

  • Get Back (five versions)
  • I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  • Don’t Let Me Down (two versions)
  • I’ve Got A Feeling
  • One After 909
  • Danny Boy
  • Dig A Pony (two versions)
  • God Save The Queen
  • A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody

Brief, incomplete and off-the-cuff versions of I Want You (She’s So Heavy), God Save The Queen and A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody were fooled around with in between takes – as was Danny Boy, which was included in the film and on the album. None of these were serious group efforts, and one – the group and Preston performing God Save The Queen – was incomplete as it coincided with Alan Parsons changing tapes.

Luckily for many of the passers by and members of the public that worked in the area, the performance started at midday so therefore coincided with many people’s lunch hours.

However and unfortunately their final live performance was cut short by the local police, situated at the opposite end of Savile Row, who decided that, due to the local traffic coming to a halt that the gig needed to be shut down.

John Lennon’s famous response to this was:

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.”

Talk about going out in style.

Ringo also had this to say of the abrupt actions of the police.

“I always feel let down about the police. Someone in the neighbourhood called the police, and when they came up I was playing away and I thought, ‘Oh great! I hope they drag me off.’ I wanted the cops to drag me off – ‘Get off those drums!’ – because we were being filmed and it would have looked really great, kicking the cymbals and everything. Well, they didn’t, of course; they just came bumbling in: ‘You’ve got to turn that sound down.’ It could have been fabulous.” – Ringo Starr

With all that said and done, it is another great bit of history of which us patrons of “The Row” can hold onto which will forever be linked with this special place in London.

I will always remember one of the first times that I walked down Savile Row with my Dad when I was just a young lad, we stopped outside No.3, which at the time was boarded up and looked out of place compared to the rest of the buildings on the row due to it standing empty for many years and the graffiti laden door.

Dad told me of the history of the building in that it had once been the HQ of famous Apple Studios and how The Beatles played their last ever live performance there.

I remember saying to him what a shame it was that it was not being used and all that history not being taken advantage of, when I suggested how great it would be to turn into a shop for Steed.

He agreed but laughed it off at the same time as it would be a near impossibility, I would dread to think how much it would be to purchase that building.

Then once I ended up following Dad into the the trade, 5 and a half years ago and began travelling down with him to see our clients on Savile Row, I would always mention to him how great it would be if we won the Lottery (it would likely take multiple wins) and we could buy the building to turn the bottom two floors into a flagship store for Steed. Then to convert the upper floors into recording studios to rent out to musicians from around the world. I mean who wouldn’t want to create their music in a building with such history?!

None the less that dream, for now at least, has ended with Kier, a property development company, purchasing the building and presumably deciding that money over history and tradition takes precedent, when deciding to lease the bottom floors to Abercrombi & Fitch so that they can turn it into a “Kids Store”. Right in the middle of “The Home of Men’s Bespoke Tailoring”

Perhaps the only positive of this could be that one day the kids will return to Savile Row to commission a bespoke suit, hopefully from Steed.

Cheers,

Matthew

 

 

Mixing Brown & Blue – The Altered State of Mind

Steed Bespoke with Signature Pleated Waistcoat

Mixing Brown and Blue is always something I have been a great advocate of, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I think it promotes a more modern smart-casual look rather than the occasionally stiff, blue business suit look. I think it can even change the way you approach things that day as well, in terms of altering your mindset in a positive way.

For example if you had a job interview or a big meeting and you turned up wearing the traditional blue business suit, with standard black brogues, your going to blend in more with other interviewees or other people that are included in the meeting, which isn’t exactly what you want.

You want to stand out in the crowd but not in a brash sort of way but I honestly do think that the way you dress can alter, to a small extent your mind set for that day and the way you approach things.

Maybe this is just me being slightly weird and perhaps this doesn’t go for anyone else but I feel that if you were to compare the difference in a strict blue business suit with a standard black pair of brogues, you would find your self acting in a more robotic manner and approaching the daily tasks in a more structured way.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and probably better for most days of the week but if you where heading into a big meeting or interview, like previously mentioned I would want to change things up a little from the average day and come in with a more positive and free flowing attitude towards to the tasks ahead that day.

This is where doing something as simple as mixing brown and blue together can help, in my opinion anyway.

I honestly think that the way you dress influences both the way others perceive you and their attitude towards you and more importantly your own perception of yourself as well as altering your confidence.

For example, whenever I wear one of my Steed suits, I automatically and subconsciously stand a little taller, walk more confidently and approach the day in a more positive and exuberant manner. Compared to days when I am just in a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and some trainers where you look no different to 90% of the others around you. When dressed like this I tend to be more reserved, even for a pretty confident and outgoing person. I guess because I am blending in more with the crowd. It’s a strange one…

Though as I was saying, the way you dress definitely changes the way others perceive you as well, for example there was an upmarket store here in Carlisle that I never actually shopped in but I often use to cut through, to get to another street. For one it was nice and warm inside plus it was much shorter than walking around the large building to get to where I was going.

Now, whenever I would walk through there wearing just my plain clothes I would never once be approached by any of the staff asking me if I would like any help etc. Now this is a good thing for me usually as I hate being pestered when shopping anyway.

However, every single time I would walk through the store in my suit, I would always be greeted by a number of the staff with, “Hello Sir, may I help you Sir? How is your day Sir?” Even though it was quite obvious that I was just being cheeky by using the store as a cut through, they clearly saw me in a smart suit and thought I would be interested in purchasing the expensive offerings in their fancy store.

I would always be polite and decline as I made my way through to get to my destination but it would always make me laugh but also a little miffed that I wasn’t approached or greeted in the same way when wearing my normal clothes, sometimes even as soon as the day before, as they obviously would look at me and assume that I couldn’t afford anything they had to offer so wouldn’t waste their time with me. (Cue Pretty woman scene) I could of been a Millionaire for all they knew..if only I was! Though it just goes to show the change in perception by others based on the way you dress and act. The old adage “Never judge a book by it’s cover” comes to mind…

Anyway….back to my main point…

It is going slightly against the grain in terms of traditional rules of business dress by combining blue and brown, for example the old saying of “Never Wear Brown in Town”. Therefore you may be inclined to do the same in your head. It may convince you to be more adventurous in your ideas, more exuberant in your general approach and more confident in your judgements and decisions throughout the day by doing the same in your dress.

Another reason I like to mix brown and blue is the flexibility that it can bring. There are a few examples in the gallery below.

For instance, one of my own Steed Bespoke suits is a Blue Birdseye from Dugdale’s (F1814). Now I chose to go with nice brown horn buttons on both the jacket and waistcoat for a couple of reasons.

One, I just much prefer wearing brown shoes, whether it be brown brogues or brown suede or leather boots. It’s quite rare that I wear black shoes at all really so the brown buttons complement the shoes.

Then secondly it makes my 3-Piece suit much more flexible as I often, like today, wear the jacket as a blazer with grey flannels or sometimes with jeans for a more relaxed look & feel, yet still looking smart and ready for business.

I also like to wear the waistcoat as an odd waistcoat, sometimes on nights out with friends where I can partner it with a crisp white shirt and roll up the sleeves for a smart casual look which has become more popular due to hit CBS TV show The Mentalist, in which Simon Baker, who plays the lead role of Patrick Jane often dons this look.  So by having the brown horn buttons on waistcoat as well it again promotes a more smart casual feeling.

However even with the brown buttons on the blue suit when worn as a 2 or 3-piece suit, I think you will agree it is still very smart and functional for serious business as well as more casual affairs.

So basically by doing this it turns my 3-Piece suit in to an extra blazer and extra waistcoat which is great for me  due to the distinct lack of bespoke garments in my wardrobe…the story of The Cobblers Son With No Shoes, comes to mind..

Cheers,

Matthew

 

Making of a Steed Bespoke 3-Piece in Pictures

Trimming

Here is a small gallery following the process of a Steed Bespoke 3-Piece Suit being made from start to finish for a customer of ours, Mark Rutledge in San Francisco.

Unfortunately I can’t find any photo’s of the fitting on this suit but once I do they will be added to the gallery.

The final photo is Mark wearing out suit to the recent San Francisco Style Forum meet up, where it was nice to hear that he got plenty of compliments.

Fred Astaire Inspired, Steed Bespoke 3-Piece Dinner Suit

astaire1

Here is a Steed Bespoke 3-Piece Dinner Suit which we cut this morning, for our friend and client in Boston, known by many online by his pseudonym “Voxsartoria

The inspiration for this design came via the legendary Fred Astaire.

The style for the jacket is a classic, single breasted, generous peak lapel, one button with jetted pockets and no vents.

Made up in the H. Lesser Formal Wear 31268, which is a 15oz black barathea, complimented by grosgrain silk facings.

The trousers, being of the fishtail (High Backed) style, with a single forward pleat, plain bottoms, button fly and finished with a single striped, silk braid.

For the waistcoat (Vest) he decided upon a formal double breasted, four button with a shawl lapel.

Another feature which will be incorporated in the waistcoat design, are interchangeable buttons, in case fancier vest studs are wanted to be worn rather than the standard self faced buttons.

We have done this before for Vox in which was later named the Steed SAS (Swiss Army Suit) in which we made a few sets of buttons which where all interchangeable to give the ultimate flexible suit/blazer. More can be read about this by following the link below to the short blog article on this piece, which was made a few years ago now.

http://www.steed.co.uk/en/blog/steed-sas-swiss-army-suit/

Anyway, now the suit has been cut, trimmed and is ready to be given to his jacket, trouser & waistcoat makers, who will all be preparing a fitting for our upcoming USA trip, where we will be seeing him in Boston.

I will try and get a few photo’s up during this next process, so that you can all see more of the work that goes into each Steed Bespoke suit.

Have a good one till then.

Matthew

Dinner Suit Lay Dinner Vest Lay astaire1 astaire2

Full Canvas Jackets Added to our Semi-Bespoke (MTM) Range

We are now very pleased to announce the launch of our new “full canvas” jacket.

The New Semi-Bespoke Canvassed Jacket from Steed, cleverly combines traditional, bespoke features with the revolutionary technology that is at the heart of fine garment creation.

The Canvassed Jacket, available to order now, has a complete absence of fusing and instead requires a classically trained tailor to attach the canvas directly to the outer fabric by hand.

This process, although more time consuming and specialist, results in a softer drape and an easier, more comfortable wear for the customer, whilst the weight of the jacket is reduced.

This new line will come at an additional cost of £250 (email matthew@steed.co.uk for Price-Lists) and will be available our upcoming trip to The States.

Cheers,

Matthew