Double Take: Dean Gomilsek-Cole & Shaun Gordon

Together, Dean Gomilsek-Cole and Shaun Gordon are the driving force behind one of The Rake's favourite British brands, Turnbull & Asser, and their contrasting styles are demonstrative of Turnbull & Asser's versatility.
Double Take: Dean Gomilsek-Cole & Shaun Gordon

Apart from the common denominator of a blue shirt and tie combination between the two, you couldn’t wish for a pair of more intriguing takes on classic men’s style than those of partners in crime Dean Gomilsek-Cole, Turnbull & Asser’s Head of Design & Product Development, and Shaun Gordon, Turnbull & Asser’s Menswear Designer. 

Founded in 1885, Turnbull & Asser has long been heralded as a powerhouse of British sartorial menswear, transcending its origins manufacturing shirts for London’s gentlefolk in the late Victorian era. Today, its collections are in the capable hands of Dean and Shaun, and one of the things that make the house’s design interesting is their contrasting personal styles and differing sartorial tendencies. Despite their ensembles in this photoshoot, shot on a crisp, blue January afternoon, being distinctly different in character – both work exceptionally well in tandem, providing the perfect Pocket Guide through which to explore different elements of the sartorial spectrum – this being a spectrum which Turnbull & Asser takes pride in exploring in its collections.

Fittingly, as you might expect, the mainstay of what both designers are wearing is own brand (with a few exceptions). An item of clothing that T&A is not typically known for is the Siren suit – a sartorial variant of a boiler suit, or jump suit – which was originally made in teal velvet by Turnbull & Asser in the 1940s for Sir Winston Churchill to wear when hunkered down during air raids, and which Dean now wears with such nonchalance.

“Because it’s bloody cold!” replies Dean when asked why he chose to wear the siren suit — which was a welcome surprise for this Pocket Guide. It’s well known that the British brand was a firm favourite of Sir Winston Churchill, whom the Siren Suit was originally made for. “We made the original Churchill Siren Suits and have decided to bring it back to life. So Shaun designed three silhouettes and this is the kind of country-appropriate, utilitarian one.” With big patch pockets, a drawstring waist and action-back, it’s uber-useful, comfortable, and its flickers of red, orange and autumnal tones in the tweed work with his well-kept beard. He also sports a pair of Tricker’s boots that he admires for their sturdiness, utilitarian character and the fact that they can take a real beating.
Raising his right arm Dean remarks: “It’s a bit like me. The closer you look the rougher it is!” You could say that Dean is something of a speed flâneur – and his wax riding jacket only underlines it. Amazingly, it was his father’s and it was purchased the year that Dean was born: “I would say it’s my most prized possession. My dad is still around but now my son has his eye on it.” The tears in the sleeve are from a motorcycle accident he was in a few years ago – “luckily my tyres hit the tractor’s and I kind of bounced off” – and he was more upset about the jacket being torn than he was the crash itself.
Perhaps the highlight of Dean’s ensemble is his scarf, which instantly grabs your attention, and its provenance is deeply endearing. “It’s a family tradition. My wife is Swedish and when you join the family you get a scarf that has been knitted. So these are all my wife’s jumpers from when she was little. They’ve been unpicked and then stitched into a scarf.” It somehow pairs well with his shirt-tie combo, both items of which are, of course, Turnbull & Asser. The shirt is a denim-cashmere blend, a fabric that Dean developed in-house, whilst the tie is a wool-cashmere old favourite from a few seasons ago.
It was a stunning, crisp January afternoon in Mayfair, so Dean had his Turnbull & Asser prototype sunglasses at the ready. Made by Larke Optics, they are one of the few remaining eyewear companies’ still hand-making frames in London. “We did a collaboration with them and this was one of the prototypes I kind of adopted… perks of the job!”
As you might have noticed, Dean isn't afraid to add small personal touches and extra elements to his ensemble. Here, he collides an elegant poppy, own-brand pocket hanky that sits in front of his grandfather’s military bar. “They have been the inspiration for a lot of shirt designs, because the colour palette we use has a rich history in military uniforms,” Dean adds.
Dean’s bag is a reinterpretation of his school music bag from when he was a child – which his friend, ex-colleague and craftsman Jade Rhone made for him. “I kept the bar from the original bag so it’s a bit rusty, and it’s just one piece of leather that folds into itself and which has my initials and my friend’s logo.” He keeps his iPad, and other necessities in it and he adds, “I need one to go with every outfit!”
Explaining his ‘Hamilton’ lapel pin from the Military Hardware collection of Alice Made This, Shaun says: “I love things that are military inspired, it speaks about quality, longevity and has a section of perfection, you know? I love all the intricate detail of the embroidery too.” This section of Shaun’s chest has been carefully thought out, as the diamond shape of the magnetic lapel pin – which doesn't tear the buttonhole – pairs with the points of his pocket square.
Shaun wears a navy rabbit fur trilby with a tall teardrop crown from Borsalino. A favourite of his, “I wear it pretty much the whole time, and it goes really well with pretty much everything in my wardrobe.” Shaun is very detail orientated, and he loves the mock-bow and the way in which the craftsman at Borsalino tacked it down, so it stays perfectly posed the whole time.
Shaun wears a vintage 1953 Omega, which he says represents an aspiration of a luxurious and elegant lifestyle. “I’ve always adored vintage watches for their unique character which comes with age and the fact the face is much smaller which suits my wrist much better than the modern watches available today.”