I found evidence that others had been there before me. Gregory Peck's pattern is on display – The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit wore Huntman. Rex Harrison and Peter Sellers too.
The Huntsman silhouette is as distinctive as its client list – which is, of course, the real reason that it is said to be an extremum of Savile Row. The imposing shoulder line constructed from generous padding reigns over a cleanly tailored chest. Side bodies – the extra panels of fabric on the sides of the coat – help give shape to the jacket by bringing in the waist and kicking the skirt out. The standard Huntsman jacket has only one button and hacking pockets, which further emphasizes the “X” shape. These jackets give a masculine and athletic look to even the frail and the pudgy.
Also unique to Huntsman are their house tweeds, woven in Scotland but designed by Huntsman. They update every year. These tweeds are made for men who don't mind their clothes being noticed. The original Scottish estate tweeds were made in colors that would blend in to their natural rustic surroundings – hence all the “earth tones”. Some of the Huntsman tweeds might be more accurately described as “Mars tones.” These are loud and colorful, including oranges, pinks, and purples. Huntsman tweeds stand out rather than blend in.
Almost all of the bespoke work is done in the workshops above and below the Huntsman showroom on Savile Row. Couturier Roubi L'Roubi recently bought Huntsman, became Creative Director, and will be launching Huntsman's Italian-made ready-to-wear line in late October. The RTW is based on the Huntsman bespoke and does include some pieces in Huntsman house tweeds, and will be available both in-store and online. But I was assured that the bespoke operation would remain untouched. Let's hope that's the case. If Hollywood ever produces another elegant leading man, we'll need someone on the Row to clothe him.
Patterns for famous Huntsman customers.
The famous Huntsman shoulder pad.
Jacket ingredients, ready to be sent to tailors.
A coat in progress.
Some coats awaiting fittings.
A lot of shape gets ironed into a Huntsman trouser using this special ironing board with a device underneath that sucks moisture through the fabric, locking in the shape and preventing harm to the fabric.
A coat of house tweed and its proud maker.
An overcoat made out of patches of many different Huntsman house tweeds.
Head cutter Patrick Murphy.
Huntsman house tweeds.
A bicycle still used to run errands around the Row.