Pocket Guide: William Gilchrist

Acclaimed stylist William Gilchrist lets The Rake into a few of his sartorial secrets…
Pocket Guide: William Gilchrist

William Gilchrist moves in a very unique and nonchalant manner, with slow, graceful strides that exude confidence. He is the man behind the Rolling Stones’ aesthetic of the last 15 years, and personal stylist to Jude Law. Wonderfully rakish and with a carefree, bohemian and intellectual candour, he’s someone you’d want to hit the town with, exemplified by the contents of his hip flask: tequila. When asked if the flask has an interesting provenance, he says, “No, it’s just always good to be prepared…”

Often seen around Mayfair on his Brompton bike, which underlines his penchant for functional products, William is never in a rush. He prefers louche, unstructured tailoring to dress his slender frame, and he bespeaks Richard Anderson “for all the grown-up stuff”, including the double-breasted jacket featured here, which is cut from a slightly stretched cotton twill. “It’s kind of like my runaround jeans, I wanted my version of the tracksuit, I guess.” The trousers, in the same cloth, are by his great friend Oliver Spencer. He also doesn’t like dry cleaners — “nothing worse”, he says — so as a result he chucks everything in the washing machine, tailoring and cashmere included.

Originally published in Issue 55 of The Rake. Subscribe here for more.
William is unable to stand the cold. “It’s not a peacock thing, it’s a warmth thing,” he says when asked why he has two scarves, which he bought from Peckham Rye in Soho.
William wears a fedora by the age-old American hatmakers Stetson, a name that has become synonymous with quality millinery. It was a gift from a musician whose identity he’d rather not reveal.
William’s choice of smokes for the evening is a pack of Tor Oriental, which is a marinated Turkish tobacco. During the day, however, it’s a pack of Marlboro Red, which he keeps in a silver cigarette case from 1915 engraved with his initials.
He always carries his Sony RX1003, and he keeps hold of it using this perfectly measured lanyard, so if he drops it, it won’t come to an early death courtesy of the pavement.
Strong, sturdy and easy to throw about, William’s bag is from the Danish luggage brand Mismo. “I don’t really see a bag as anything other than a receptacle,” he says.
“It’s organic and all that kerfuffle,” he says about his fragrance from Fueguia 1833, which he discovered in Buenos Aires and has only ever managed to find there. Propped against it is his hip flask, with Fortaleza Blanco tequila at the ready.
Also at the ready, in the buttonhole of William's lapel is his Pelikan pen, which he likes because it’s semi-transparent and doesn’t leak on airplanes.
Sporting his favourite pair of running-about-town shoes, William wears a pair of double monkstrap shoes by Oliver Spencer. He opts for buckling only one strap, to make it easier to slip in and out of.
“I like a list, and sometimes I actually manage to cross things off,” he tells me. Notice how there’s no regimental order of western left-to-right script.
Stylist William Gilchrist wears cotton twill double-breasted jacket, Richard Anderson; cotton twill trousers, Oliver Spencer paired with a white shirt and a Stetson fedora.