“Men used to dress so superbly, so elegantly,” says Anda Rowland, owner of the esteemed tailoring house Anderson & Sheppard on London's Clifford Street. “If one goes back to the time of court and military uniforms, there is a clear expression that to dress sublimely was the male birthright. In fact, there are certain periods in history where men are absolute peacocks, and women are downright dowdy. All of that was lost in the culture of ready-to-wear, which wiped out creativity and options. Dressing in your bespoke suit used to be the way you expressed who you were. And there has been a vast renewal in bespoke culture. This is not new. It is not evolution. It is a return to the natural condition.”
Ready-to-wear may have once sounded a temporary death knell for bespoke (or at least catalysed a good deal of improvement in the process), but one very beneficial thing it did do was force the great bespoke houses to produce off-the-peg clothing that closely matched the tenets of the bespoke tradition, only without the bespoke price tag. Anderson & Sheppard are one of the few houses dotted around London's Savile Row who have consistently maintained a 'bespoke-like' level of quality in their RTW collections and this season is no different. Clients are once again afforded the opportunity to dress 'so superbly, so elegantly' at the click of a button: The Rake is proud to present a stunning new Autumn/Winter '19 curation featuring military-inspired heavy drill travel jacket in a stunning taupe hue, the classic lambswool cardigans with a swooping shawl collar, or the Gurkha-style trousers in three seasonal colours: a beautifully earthy tan and a deep navy, both in narrow-wale corduroy, along with a classic dark grey wool option.