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MichaelBond   , 56

from England


Savile Row – Bespoke Tailoring, Fred Astaire, and The Beatles



Savile Row has a long history of being the home of bespoke tailoring. The first tailors set up shop on Savile Row and in the surrounding area in the 1800s. They were drawn to the area by the wealthy, fashionable gentry that lived in the houses on Savile Row. The Savile Row tailors soon began to change the face of Savile Row. They began installing larger windows on the fronts of their premises. This wasn’t for the display their fine garments, it was to let more natural daylight in for the craftsman that were working inside the buildings. The first modern shopfront didn’t appear until 1969. That was when Nutters of Savile Row began to revolutionise Savile Row. Both with their shopfront display, and with their modern take on bespoke tailoring. Nutters of Savile Row was financially backed by Cilla Black and Managing Director of the Beatles’ Apple Corps Peter Brown. Customers at the shop included Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger and Elton John. The other connection to The Beatles that Savile Row has, is that it was the venue for the last ever live performance of the band. The Beatles performed live for the last time on the roof of No.3 Savile Row, which was then the headquarters of Apple Corps.


Celebrity Patronage of Savile Row Tailors

The celebrity patronage of Savile Row tailors was nothing new.  The very first tailors to move into area catered to influential politicians, writers and poets of the time. In fact, established traditional Savile Row tailors, like Kilgour Savile Row, have been making bespoke garments for the celebrities of the time for hundreds of years.


Kilgour was founded in 1880. It began trading under the name of T & F French. The business has been through several changes over the years. It began trading as Kilgour in 2003. It was Kilgour that supplied Fred Astaire’s tailcoat for the 1935 film Top Hat. That brought Kilgour Savile Row a whole host of new Hollywood clients, including Rex Harrison, Cary Grant and Louis B Mayer. The list of famous customers of Kilgour is a long and impressive one. It includes Rex Harrison and Frank Sinatra, and more recently, Daniel Craig and Bryan Ferry.


Kilgour Savile Row – Moving with the Times

Savile Row has changed over the years. When designers like Richard James, Timothy Everest and Ozwald Boateng moved in, it was called the dawning of the “New Bespoke Movement”. The traditional tailoring businesses like Kilgour that have moved with times, though, continue to thrive to this day. Today, Kilgour combines the best of the traditions of the past with the modernity of the current period.  It is said that, if you wear a Kilgour suite, you will be the best dressed man in the room. But, no one will know what you are wearing. Kilgour makes suits that are influenced by the past, but the business is not tied to it. They use the tailoring expertise that has been gathered over many years, and they apply it to contemporary fashion. With an attitude like that, Kilgour Savile Row suits and the suits of similar Savile Row bespoke tailors are going to be what the best dressed men are wearing for many more years to come.