For a contemporary Savile Row tailor which more or less embodies the notion of power-suiting, look no further than Chester Barrie, who's Autumn/Winter '16 debut at London Collections: Men yesterday more or less redefined the notion of glamorous eveningwear.
In a red-carpet themed presentation at the Waldorf Hotel on The Strand, black-tie clad models mingled with over thirty looks, beautifully presented on mannequins care of the styling of Grace Gilfeather, Fashion Editor at British GQ and the inspired designs of Chester Barrie's Senior Creative, Christopher Modoo - a man who has the lifeblood of modern Savile Row pulsing through his veins.
It's always hard to choose Chester Barrie highlights because every look is invariably immaculate, and thoroughly inventive. Even so, the presentation's centre piece; a beautiful French blue low-buttoning double-breasted dinner suit, finished with exquisite RAF blue Mogador ribbed facings, was an astonishing piece of sartorial design. A rather marvelous alternative, the Noel Coward-esque chocolate brown 'Kensington' mohair dinner suit, complete with a full-bellied shawl lapel and rounded quarters was another stunner. Powder blue, cream and pink pleated dinner shirts, complete with bejeweled studs marked a rather inspired touch too.
On the more casual side, Chester Barrie's 'Kingly' low-button double-breasted house style was realised in a number of chic incarnations; from soft taupe wool windowpane jacketing, to an immaculate Fox Brothers navy chalkstripe flannel suit, complete with perfectly poised lapels, jetted pockets and six show buttons for a seriously imposing impression. Notes of chocolate and caramel pop throughout the collection theough accessories and casual jacketing - it seems that in British formalwear at least, caramel and biscuit tones are set to be a key trend next winter.
Aesthetics aside, perhaps the most impressive thing about Chester Barrie is in the quality of the clothing's construction. For ready-to-wear tailoring, the house's blocks are particularly well balanced, elegant and succeed in combining a powerful, structured silhouette with form-fitting comfort. Superb canvassing, unique high-presses on lapels, roped shoulders and smooth lines are all hallmarks of Modoo's own impeccable taste.
As you can probably tell, I'm rather a fan, and could continue to waffle inevitably but the point, one hopes, has been made. Chester Barrie is going from strength to strength, and the Autumn/Winter '16 collection is the house's most elegant yet.