When the master tailor Terry Haste asked Nick Foulkes to come up with the designs for three new tweeds, The Rake’s Contributing Editor was in his element. Now, surely, Foulkes had reached his life’s destination: to create a pattern so distinctive — indeed, exclusive — that only he would or could wear it…

Much in the way that others have a drink or drugs problem, I have a tweed problem. I have a problem getting hold of enough of it, because more is never quite enough. In fact, more is never anything like enough; you can never have enough tweed. I would go as far as plundering Boswell’s Life of Johnson and observe that when a man is tired of tweed, he is tired of life.

Part of its beauty is its total redundancy. It might have been a cutting-edge performance fabric if you were climbing Everest circa George Mallory’s era, or stalking circa Queen Victoria’s and Albert’s favourite ghillie, John Brown. But these days, unless you work as an extra on Downton Abbey or Peaky Blinders, you have no need of tweed. So, when Terry Haste asked if I fancied designing a tweed, I said, “Why do just one — surely that is a little pusillanimous?” I reckoned that if we were going to design one we might as well do half a dozen; in the end he talked me down to a mere three.


February 2020


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