Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Cad and the Dandy: New Savile Row Premises


Last Thursday (13/06/13) I was privileged to be invited to the opening of Cad and the Dandy's new Savile Row premises at 13 Savile Row. My first meeting with them was just over three years ago and took place in the borrowed premises of (I think) Chittelborough and Morgan, at no 12 just next door to where they are now. While, as I described at the time, the experience was excellent and the service exemplary, that quiet downstairs room now seems a million miles from the grand and beautifully decorated surroundings on the 1st floor at no 13. Most important of all, it is all Cad and the Dandy's own, where their own cutters will work side by side with their own coatmakers and finishers, with every step done on site.


Even on Savile Row, doing everything on-site is relatively unusual, and I think is as indicative of James and Ian's enthusiasm for the whole process of tailoring as it is for their stated objective of removing some of the mystique that surrounds the process. A large part of the secret of their success is in making bespoke suits accessible, both from a financial and cultural point of view, and it's clear that ethos will continue even now they are permanently ensconced on the Row.

In a couple of weeks I shall be there for an appointment to kick off the process of having a new suit made, and will then be able to report more fully on how successful the whole venture is. In the meantime, I'll leave you with one final remarkable part of the party.

In the back of the premises, near the changing rooms, is a small room where some of the shoes that Cad and the Dandy sells are displayed. Currently, though, it's all taken up with an enormous antique loom. Acquired from a friend, and repaired with parts that had to be borrowed from a museum, it is fully functional and over the last few weeks was used to weave a completely unique length of cloth in a Prince of Wales check. James, one of the owners, was then measured (if I were feeling cruel I might suggest that James was used for this exercise rather than Ian in order to reduce the amount of cloth they needed to make...) and the cloth was cut, made and finished all on site.


Finally, on the evening of the party, James appeared standing on the cutting table and wearing the completed suit.


Although I'm not sure this is an exercise that is likely to be repeated on a regular basis (the effort involved in making small lengths of cloth on-site is unlikely to be worthwhile in comparison to buying in from a dedicated clothmaker) it's an impressive achievement and is apparently the first time a suit has been made completely from scratch, including the cloth, all on the premises of a single Savile Row tailor.

5 comments:

  1. Never mind all this Saville Row cobblers, when will C&tD be breaking out of London and offering fittings in the North?

    I'd love the opportunity to try their wares but trailing all the way down to London for fittings would add £300-£400 in rail fares to price of the finished suit.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting question, and one I shall put to them. In the meantime, sod spending £300-£400 on rail fares coming to London. Instead spend £500-£600 on an air fare to New York, have a nice holiday, and catch C&tD on one of their regular visits there! http://www.cadandthedandy.co.uk/appointments/new-york

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    2. Good point!

      In the meantime, I wonder if you can recommend a reasonable tailor in the north of England? I notice that you've previously mentioned Mullen and Mullen of York on your blog - are they worth considering?

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    3. Unfortunately I don't have any personal experience with any tailors outside London, so I can't give advice from first-hand knowledge. Mullen and Mullen looked good from their website but some questions aren't answered on there so before you order I would be sure to find out if the suits are cut and made on the premises (or, at least, locally), whether they will cut you your own paper pattern, and whether you will have one or more basted fittings. Other than those questions all you can do is look at other suits they have made and see if you like the quality.

      I have also heard good things about Michelsberg in Leeds (http://www.michelsberg.co.uk/) and the information on the website suggests promise - he has his own staff cutter and coatmakers which is relatively unusual and always a good sign.

      Another option might be someone like Thomas Mahon. He's considerably more expensive than the other two but then he's a Savile Row tailor with Savile Row prices. The advantage with Thomas is that I know he's happy to travel. I'm not completely sure if he goes up North much but if you gave him a call you could find out if he's going to be nearby at some point. I've always found him very friendly and agreeable so I'm sure he'd do his best to accomodate.

      Let me know how you get on. In particular if you do use either of the two Northern tailors then I'd love to have a review for future info.

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  2. Thank you for your advice.

    Michelsberg certainly looks promising and will probably be getting an exploratory visit in next week or two.

    I shall be sure to let you know if I like what I see.

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