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My visit to Huntsman

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
It's often said that Huntsman lies at one end of Savile Row, and Anderson and Sheppard on the other. I can report that this is false – Huntsman is located near the center of Savile Row, while A&S is on another street entirely. But I managed to find Huntsman anyway.

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.


Smoking jacket.



Huntsman house tweeds.


A bicycle still used to run errands around the Row.


The storefront.
post #2 of 34
This makes me appreciate the Huntsman I found at a thrift store that much more. Nice post.
post #3 of 34
Lovely post once again.
post #4 of 34
good god those colors! drool.gif
post #5 of 34

I love their house tweeds. The purple is something I could really go for.

post #6 of 34
Thanks for the report. I'm not sure I'd describe huntsman's shoulder padding as generous but I suppose it depends on who the comparison is.
post #7 of 34
Beautiful indeed
post #8 of 34
Great stuff.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by agjiffy View Post

Thanks for the report. I'm not sure I'd describe huntsman's shoulder padding as generous but I suppose it depends on who the comparison is.

Well here's the Steed pad by comparison:

http://www.styleforum.net/t/361877/lightbox/post/6587079/id/959328

Patrick Murphy, the head cutter, agreed that they use more padding than most Row tailors. But I'd also say that most bespoke work uses less padding than RTW (obviously not universally true, this is a general and therefore almost unfalsifiable statement). But I don't think I've ever seen any bespoke work (unless it was compensation for a really dropped shoulder or something like that) with a pad as big as this RLPL:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21977945@N02/6869475193/

from Jeffery's post here:

http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2012/02/ralph-lauren-purple-label.html

That said, Jeffery says in his dissection of a Huntsman jacket here:

http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2009/12/huntsman-ripped-and-smoothed-part-two.html

that there was less stuff inside than he thought there would be given their reputation.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

That said, Jeffery says in his dissection of a Huntsman jacket here:

http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2009/12/huntsman-ripped-and-smoothed-part-two.html

that there was less stuff inside than he thought there would be given their reputation.

 

Interesting. But it's not surprising that their 'strong shoulder' is based on the way they cut rather than just padding. I would be a bit disappointed if that's all their house-style was based on!

post #11 of 34
We need some wearer pictures!
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Well here's the Steed pad by comparison:

http://www.styleforum.net/t/361877/lightbox/post/6587079/id/959328

Patrick Murphy, the head cutter, agreed that they use more padding than most Row tailors. But I'd also say that most bespoke work uses less padding than RTW (obviously not universally true, this is a general and therefore almost unfalsifiable statement). But I don't think I've ever seen any bespoke work (unless it was compensation for a really dropped shoulder or something like that) with a pad as big as this RLPL:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21977945@N02/6869475193/

from Jeffery's post here:

http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2012/02/ralph-lauren-purple-label.html

That said, Jeffery says in his dissection of a Huntsman jacket here:

http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/2009/12/huntsman-ripped-and-smoothed-part-two.html

that there was less stuff inside than he thought there would be given their reputation.

I wouldn't rely on the JeffreyD post as it is basically 3 generations ago of Huntsman. Here are pictures of one of my Huntsman jackets (the tweed) and one of my Steed jackets (the blue flannel). In each, I'm pinching enough to bring the sides together and no more (you will have to take my word on that). The thickness is about the same. And in terms of feel, I can tell you that the Huntsman feels every bit as light and comfortable in the shoulder. I've never felt like it had a great deal of padding. I can tell you that my Kilgour bespoke feels like football pads in the shoulders. I think I would describe the Huntsman shoulder as strong and structured, but I don't think that is a result of the padding.



Edited by agjiffy - 9/17/13 at 7:04pm
post #13 of 34
Unbel, what did you kop on this epic UK trip?
post #14 of 34
Nice write-up.

When tailors at the various houses use shoulder-pads (thick or thin), do they typically buy pre-made ones or do they modify existing shoulder pads? Steed's look like they're made from scratch, whilst the ones by Gieves and Hawkes look like they were modified from pre-made shoulder pads.

GH shoulders here -- http://therakeonline.com/atelier-luxury-designer-brands-artisans/gieves-hawkes-rips-it-up/

I think Dopey and I had an exchange on one of the threads (I think Medtech's RA thread) about the H Huntsman shoulder and he said that, contrary to belief, his shoulder isn't actually heavily padded, though relatively more than his Dege coats. On my coat, the padding doesn't look as thick as in the picture you posted, though it looks maybe that way because it hasn't been sewn down or something.

Edit: Agiffy's shoulders look a bit more padded than what I have on mine. Though I've no doubt their judicious use of padding is based on the individual's anatomy.
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Almost all the tailors on the Row use ready-made pads. The Huntsman pads pictured above are ready-made, but they might trim them as required for a given customer. Steed is the only one that I know for sure makes them from scratch.

There's always going to be variance across different customers for a given house, as it's bespoke after all, and even for a given customer there's some variance across cutters. I don't have anything from Huntsman, but based on all the things I've seen, and heard after talking to the people working there, they tend to have more padding than Steed. As others have mentioned, the Huntsman look is not solely due just to jamming in some more padding. I hope in the pictures you can get a sense of what's in there and how much of it. It's a cleaner look, but it's not rigid - the shoulders follow the natural shoulder line rather than always going straight out like 70s Nutters.
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