Welcome back to the Meyer & Mortimer 2018 Round Up. Part I which covers January through to June is found here. Meanwhile back at the tailor’s shop, the World Cup continues, as do the high temperatures…
July & August
With the World Cup extending into mid-July and with deadlines to meet for summer wardrobes completed we were glad for the relatively less busy months of late July, and August. This is when the majority of our customers take their holidays.
Brian Lewis with Ralph Fiennes
In August, taking advantage of a quieter shop, we thought we’d buy director Brian Lewis a coffee and enquire into M&M’s history of making uniforms for the army. Mr Lewis, it is well known to our regular readers, is M&M’s resident historian. He can tell you about the company’s history; our shops in Paris and Vienna (now sadly closed), and our move from Conduit Street, at the top of Savile Row, to Sackville Street due to a spot of bombing by the Germans.
The Military Knights of Windsor
With his latte (no sugar) Brian took us through M&M’s proud history of making uniforms for the armed forces. In fact, most Savile Row tailors started out making military uniforms. We were no different. We know, from our surviving ledger (see earlier bombing issue) that we made uniforms at the time of Waterloo in 1815. The ledger details a uniform made for Major Henry Percy who was entrusted by Wellington to take the first dispatches bearing news of victory to London.
Although the majority of work now is for civilians, we do still make uniforms for army officers and for the Military Knights at Windsor Castle. Read the full story here in The Military Q&A.
The Original Lookbook
When cleaning or on the search for some item at the showroom, we are often surprised to find the odd treasure or two. Finds include century-old silk, army regulation books from the late 1800s and beautiful fashion illustrations from the early 20th Century. Please visit our Look Book and scroll down to discover our many Hidden Treasures.
Another such find, came in August, tucked at the back of one of the drawers by the front board and window we found an original lookbook. For those who don’t know, a lookbook is an illustrated brochure detailing the many style options for different garments. A salesperson would take it on the road with them as a visual aid for customers. We took some pictures of the pages which are detailed here.
In September, we thankfully bid farewell to those hot summer temperatures. No.6 Sackville Street is an old building and not the best equipped to deal with the heat. With no AC, little ventilation we were glad for the colder climes of September. It was also back to the business, with the holidays over, of meeting our customers here and overseas. And Brian completed work on another fascinating garment: a Jerusalem Coat illustrated below.
In the same month, we were the subject of another blog, this time for a HONG Kong-based blogger called My Modern Darcy. We’re always grateful for the extra exposure – especially when it's from overseas. We are proud of our heritage and – as members of the Savile Row Bespoke Association – welcome the opportunity to champion bespoke tailoring in the highest traditions of Savile Row.
Savile Row Street Party 2018
Staying on Savile Row, literally, we attended The Savile Row Street Party in September to celebrate the completion of work done on the thoroughfare. The event was also an opportunity to honour the young tailors and cutters who work in and around The Row. A good time was had by members of M&M and those associated with our business like bespoke shirtmaker Sean O’Flynn. Events like these are great opportunities to catch up with our fellow tailors around The Row. Despite being from different houses, we’ve worked in and around Savile Row for many years, and get on very well with each other – as illustrated in the very jolly shots taken on the night.
In October, Paul flew out to the US & Canada on another 2018 customer visit.
A Queen’s Royal Hussars Coat
Our Look Book received its latest update: A Queen’s Royal Hussars Coat. The Queen's Royal Hussars is the most senior armoured regiment in the UK. What stood out immediately on this impressive garment is the chainmail on the shoulders This symbolises the regiment's calvary past when full chainmail was worn, particularly on the shoulders, to protect the sword-bearing arm. Over time the chainmail reduced as weaponry evolved. Nowadays, the regiment uses Challenger 2 tanks instead of swords & horses, but the chainmail remains as a firm nod to their proud past. View all the images here.
Cutter Steve Phythian who joined M&M in 2017, had now passed some sort of unwritten and nebulous probationary period. For it was after year, Steve finally joined directors Brian Lewis and Paul Munday on the About Us page of the website. It was either that or “Is Steve on our site? No?Well get him up there then”.
National Album Day
On October the 12th is the very first National Album Day here in the UK to celebrate 70 years of the album. Music forms part of the daily conversation topics at Meyer & Mortimer. Sometimes, a few remembered lines of a lost classic sparks a discussion about who recorded it and when. This is often concluded with the team huddling around a smartphone to search for the song on YouTube. Recent examples include ‘Tainted Love’ by Soft Cell; ‘The Pina Colada Song’ by Rupert Holmes and ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Brian Lewis with two of his top three
Not only did we get their Top Three Albums, but we also discovered the stories behind the album: What were they doing at the time, who introduced them to music, and who they were seeing at the time? It’s fascinating stuff indeed, and the long player version is found here.
A man of wealth & taste: Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate
On the 27th October, the clocks went back extinguishing any remaining light of summertime. With the nights enclosing, and the dry ice drifting over Mr Lewis’ back garden thoughts turned to Halloween. Mu ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa! We published the blog, The Devil Wears Bespoke, which was a light-hearted look at evil and the clothes thou doth adorn thyself with. Basically, the bad guys and women get the best wardrobes while the good get the bad.
Is it still Halloween? Paul with his shears
In November, we published a blog on shears. Every tailor has them, and they are often placed in tailor’s hands at 16 and stay with them until they retire Like our album choices, each set of shears tells a story, usually starting decades before the current tailor came by them. In the piece, we looked at the shears ‘currently’ owned by directors Brian Lewis and Paul Munday, and cutter Steve Phythian. We revealed how each tailor came by them and attempted to uncover their long histories, often stretching back over 100 years.
We ended November with the Ode to Remembrance for those brave men and women who fell serving their country.
That’s (nearly) it folks!
And that brings us to December and the end of our Round-Up. Meyer & Mortimer will be working up to Christmas Eve, midday to be precise, and be open again for 2019 on Wednesday the 2nd January. In the meantime, we’ll be continuing the final act of this year over on Twitter and Instagram. We would like to thank you our customers for your custom and your continued loyalty to Meyer & Mortimer. This is something we never take for granted.
Merry Christmas to one & all,