The extraordinary Norman Foster, arguably one of this century’s greatest architects, famous said quite simply, that ‘architecture is an expression of values’. Apply that statement to the realm of bespoke tailoring and the name that springs to mind instantly is Edward Sexton; a craftsman who’s clothes arguably represent some of the most sophisticated works of sartorial architecture on the planet. A true bespoke veteran, his work has stood as the pinnacle of elegant, timeless English tailoring for half a century. What is more, during his reign as British bespoke master, Sexton has mastered the art of cutting clothes that combine a phenomenal understanding of structure, with an authentic appreciation of the soft, drape-inspired lines of the golden age of Hollywood. Fortunately for readers of the The Rake, this architectural, imposing aesthetic extends not only to his tailoring but also to the entire ‘Sexton look’, shirting, ties, pocket hankies and all.
What is more, we’re pleased to report that thanks to the house’s new ready-to-wear shirting and accessories collection, readers are now able to shop their own ‘Sexton look’ on shop.therake.com, care of our new ‘Edward Sexton for The Rake’ shirting, ties and collar pins.
But why should we partner with Sexton for our first foray into ready-to-wear shirting, quite apart from his extraordinary reputation as a craftsman? Well, though not a shirtmaker, Sexton approaches his shirting with the same extraordinary balance of precision and artistry that characterises his tailoring. An Edward Sexton shirt features a taller collar stand than normal, particularly at the front, which enables the tie to stand proud from the neck, even before a collar-tab or pin enters the equation. The collar is kept comfortable, in spite of its impressive stature, thanks to the use of non-fused interlinings.
Sleeves are in-set like those on a jacket, which ensures that the front of the shirt sits cleanly across the chest, and swelled edges finish the shirt collar and cuffs. Indeed, the cuffs in question are up-scaled to compliment the depth of the collar, but the links holes are sewn towards the front edge of the cuff, to ensure that links remain visible below one’s jacket sleeve. Sewn using single-needle stitching with 9 stitches per centimetre, all Sexton shirts use the finest Italian cotton satin as opposed to poplin - "we prefer it to poplin", Edward explains, "it’s richer and less see-through. It lends itself to a masculine look."