DAKS 125 Anniversary Check – A Window To The Past

Founded in 1894, DAKS is today know for their chic tailoring and colourful checks. This year the brands turns 125 years and to celebrate this important milestone they have created a special ‘125 anniversary check’ which filters through their Autumn Winter collection. With the check being deeply rooted in the house’s history, Ciinderella Balthazar and I payed a visit to the birthplace of DAKS’s 1st flagship store “Simpsons of Piccadilly” to unfold the story behind the design.

In 1936 DAKS opened their first flagship store on Piccadilly. – Not long after the heritage label invented the first ever self-supporting trousers, it was a period considered the golden age within sartorial menswear. Simpsons of Piccadilly was created by Alexander Simpson and architect Joseph Emberton and when opening its doors in April 1936 it was the largest menswear store in Britain. – Today the store is a “Grade 1 listed” building and Waterstone books occupies the premises.
When creating the anniversary check, DAKS’s design team looked at the architecture and drew inspiration from the sharp elements of the building. From inside and out, the large formatted windows and glass tile ceilings resemble check like structures that has made its way to the final design.

The 125 check is delivered as a powerful reinterpretation of the original House check and of course in DAKS’s signature colours; Black, Vicuna, Beige and white. The anniversary coat’s fabric has been spun from a variety of yarns to create a rustic surface, combining wool, linen and man made fibre for strength, the result is modern take on classic overcoat.

Shot against powerful architecture of Simpsons of Piccadilly, glass tiles and books of Waterstones, the campaign has been captured by photographer Nick Tydeman and features singer-songwriter, Ciinderella Balthazar and creative director, Mathias le Fèvre in refined cuts of anniversary check. Highlights from the campaign include a double breasted coat, long-sleeved statement dress and plush check knitwear. 

Produced by Le Fèvre Media
Photography by Nick Tydeman
Creative direction: Mathias le Fèvre
Models: Ciinderella Balthazar & Mathias le Fèvre
Styling: Joshua Scacheri

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The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 in Steel – A blend of tradition and stylistic originality

I travelled to Vacheron Constatin’s manufacturer in Geneva, Switzerland to discover the heritage of the highly anticipated steel watch and to meet with the Italian artisans of Serapian who crafted its strap with a unique house signature.

The original Cornes de Vache was first manufactured in 1955, specified as reference 6087, a timepiece that was named after it’s iconic looking lugs shaped as ‘cow’s horns’ (“Corne de Vache” in French). It was born in the beginning of a period considered the renaissance of watch design and known to be the maison’s first ever chronograph with a waterproof case. Only twenty-eight original examples were made and like most watches at this time, it was made of yellow gold. 
In 2015 Vacheron revived the model from their archives with a case made of platinum as an addition to their vintage-inspired Historiques collection. A year later, it was introduced in 18-karat pink gold. Now the timepiece has its debut in a highly anticipated steel-version and it sits on a rather distinctive piece of tanned leather.

The modern design takes most of its style cues from the original reference 6087 such as the mushroom-style chronograph counters, grooved crown and distinctive cow-horn lugs. The new model is slightly bigger with a 38.5 mm case compared to 35 mm on the vintage watch, a size that is typical for a timepiece form the 50’s. Looking closer at the characteristics of the dial you will see that the a beautiful petrol blue hands too have been adopted form the original. Elements that have been added to the modern design include the grey velvet-finished opaline dial and the oxblood minute track numerals. The colour details that adds a nice depth to the dial and gives the watch less formal look.

The strap of the new Cornes de Vache 1955 is the first to be made for Vacheron by the Milanese leather Maison, Serapian. A company that was acquired by Vacheron’s parent company, Richemont, in 2017. During my visit to the Vacheron Constantin manufacturer in Geneva I had the pleasure of meeting Giovanni Serapian who represents the familiy’s third generation in the business. Together with one of the atelier’s artisans he introduced me to the house style and took me through the steps of creating the watch strap. It is made of patinated dark brown calf leather, with tone-on-tone stitching and a polished steel buckle closure in the shape of a half Maltese cross. The second loop of the strap features the “attacco” shape, characteristic method used on Serapian handbags to make the handle more sturdy.

The second loop of the strap features the “attacco” shape, characteristic method used on Serapian handbags to make the handle more sturdy.

Turning over the watch you will find an open caseback showcasing the beautiful is the Vacheron Constantin calibre 1142. The calibre is produced in-house by Vacheron Constantin to Poinçon de Genève standards, which means each component is individually finished and decorated by hand. Polished chamfers and sink holes, polished jewel heads, côtes de Genève stripes on the plate and bridges, and chamfered wheels on the going train. The screw head on the column wheel is shaped like Vacheron’s famous symbol, the Maltese cross.

My thoughts from a style perspective? My weakness is nostalgia, hence the Historiques collection’s vintage soul has always spoken to me ever since I was introduced to Vacheron Constantin. The Cornes de Vache is in my opinion a very attractive option for a chronograph due to its iconic lugs, pleasing proportions and movement which is an excitement to any watch enthusiast. When not on a bracelet, steel watches are usually presented on a black strap, a look that I have always favoured. However spending time with this watch and styling it with brown, dark grey and burgundy tailoring I might have changed my mind. What do you think?

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

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“SYMPHONY OF AUTUMN” – NEW & LINGWOOD AW19

The Autumn Winter 2019 collection by New & Lingwood celebrates the essence of British fall with a symphony of rich colours, confident checks and sharply cut tailoring. From a handsome forrest-green wool coat to an authentic Bicton Shetland tweed jacket in a brown, teal and burnt orange houndstooth, the quintessential English gentlemen’s outfitter will certainly be preparing you to take on any adventure in style.

Fall and winter are without a doubt the most exciting seasons in any sartorial wardrobe. The colder weather is upon us and as the temperature drops -the well dressed gentleman enjoys adding layers of earthy tweeds, mottled flannels and soft moleskin.

I stopped by New & Lingwood’s Jermyn Street store and picked out my highlights from the AW19 collection. A 4 AM alarm clock was set for the following day… Accompanied by my photographer, I left “the big smoke” and drove off towards Somerset to chase the sunset over Cheddar Gorge and explore the Palladian architecture of Bath.

A selection of big overcoats to keep warm should be an essential part of any gentleman’s winter wardrobe. This is the Althorp Coat. It is a double-breasted “hero piece” that takes its style cues from the greatcoat which was originally know as military attire in the 19th century. Made from a luxurious forrest-green wool this will allow you to combat the depths of winter chills in fine style. The overcoat is here styled with a burgundy cashmere roll neck and pair of window pane flannel trousers.

Fall signals the start of the tweed season. A fabric that belongs to the days of misty mornings, plumped hazel shells and all that: proof against the chill winds and showers. But is tweed still chic and contemporary? At New & Lingwood this is their answer; an unstructured Bicton Shetland tweed jacket in a brown, teal and burnt orange houndstooth. Here styled with a camel cashmere roll neck, a silk pocket square and a bold pair of mustard moleskin trousers.

Corduroy is certainly a focus this season. In a plush Italian corduroy, New & Lingwood has created the Rokeby mid-blue jacket, unstructured and double-breasted with a sleek six button front. Here styled with a striking tartan trouser, brown suede loafers, a burgundy knit tie and socks.

Last but not least, a true New & Lingwood house signature and perhaps the most aristocratic element to the outfitter’s offering: the jacquard dressing gowns. These utterly rakish pieces are handmade from some of the finest English silks on the planet and come in a variety of vivd colours and eccentric patterns. Their purpose is to transform the eveningwear of the world’s most tasteful men. This is The Rococo gown. With its baroque-inspired gold and black silk brocade fabric which is finished with quilted black velvet shawl collar it guarantees a compliment at you next dinner party.

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre


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The No. 1 Savile Row Made-to-Measure experience

When I received the news that Gieves & Hawkes had relaunched their Made-to-Measure service, I booked an appointment straight away to see how the new blocks would measure up.

Bespoke will always be the epitome of traditional tailoring, but increasingly advanced made-to-measure services has made it possible to enter the world of to custom suiting at a more accessible level.

Gieves & Hawkes just relaunched their MTM system with fitting blocks that have been completely redeveloped. “They now offer an enhanced fit – well suited to today’s stylish, international man,” says creative director John Harrison. It is defined by well-balanced lapels, an elegant waisted silhouette, sharp-cut shoulders and a subtly longer jacket length.  The new block is in short a little more relaxed than Gieves & Hawkes’ traditional standard, but no less elegant for it.

I booked an appointment straight away to see how the new system would measure up.

The Made-to-Measure Tailoring Process:
The first consultation is straightforward and can be split into 3 parts; selecting the cloth, having your measurements taken and choosing the details. It is a simple process but does involve many decisions to be made in a short amount of time. So it does pay off doing some research on which kind of suit you are after before turning up at your appointment. Instagram and Pinterest can be good sources of inspiration and help you put together a mood board of the colours, textures and cuts that you like. If you are still not sure about the details when arriving, it is always great to start with asking advice from the MTM consultant who will be able to guide the choices depending on your requirements.

The Cloth:
With a focused edit of 16 fabric collections, you are as a made-to-measure client spoilt for choice: options range from super fine wools, soft flannels to breezy seersucker fabrics.

This choice is a matter of weight – lightweight (typically 8oz-9oz), heavyweight (14oz-15oz), or something in between. A 12oz is good trans-seasonal choice. Of course it is also a matter of colour, weave and pattern – chalk stripe, bold or subtle checks and so forth.

Your choice of cloth is the main factor affecting the final price of your suit. Next – you will also at this stage need to select the level of construction you require – half-canvassed or fully-canvassed.

I had ahead of my appointment already decided that I wanted two suits for the summer’s many garden parties and sport events. I wanted two beautiful three-piece suits that would work well on their own and together as separates to mix and match. For the first suit I decided on a heavy Irish linen in an elegant cream. For the second, I went with a brown linen with a Prince of Wales check.

The Measurements:
This step is slightly more intimate. Your tailor will now be taking several of your measurements including your chest, waist, seat. He will then have you put on a fitting garment that is used as a template to sculpture the suit after your body’s unique characteristics. By observing your body, he will address your build, posture and symmetry. It is for instance normal for a lot of men to have one shoulder higher than the other – for me it is my right.

What’s more exciting about this step, this is where you get to form the silhouette of the suit. I always like my jacket’s length to cover the seat and end just at knuckle of my thumb. I am very particular about my trousers; my preference is a high-rise with a wide fit and two forward pleats which creates a pleasant full drape. 

The Details:
“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”

The last step of the consultation might be the one that requires the most time. It is now time to choose all the details that makes the suit your own. You will have to decide on lapel style and width; belt loops, side adjusters or brace buttons; trouser turn-ups (cuffs) or a plain finish; type of pockets; ticket pocket or none; and many more.

I decided on a wide notch lapel to give the suit a more masculine and powerful look. I chose to have side adjusters and brace buttons; a 2-inch turn-up on my trousers and a ticket pocket.

Once these three steps have been completed your consultation is over. Your tailor will send your measurements and style choices to the production facilities. The suit will there get a pattern which the cloth is cut from. The process there after requires several man made elements and the suit is carefully manufactured before sent to London 6-8 weeks later.

The Final Fitting:
At this stage the suit is pretty much finished. The final fitting of the suit takes place in the store where Gieves & Hawkes’s in-house tailor will do the finishing of the trouser length and other possible small alterations.

I was pleased to arrive at the second fitting to review my two new garments. All the fundamentals were perfect – the balance front and back, side to side, the clean close fit around the neck. The only things we changed were to balance the sleeve length and put a little extra width into the trousers.

Lastly, I would like to say that I am very pleased with the choice of cloth. I have always wanted a cream three-piece summer suit. It makes a striking statement when wearing all three pieces together, but you can also break it up with a checked waistcoat or pair the trousers with a blazer.

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

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Photographic Essay: A Fragrant Safari

Autumn is on its way, a season that signals the days of misty mornings with leaves dancing off the trees.
A time to go on adventure and explore the changing nature. This is a spirit shared with Penhaligon’s latest addition, Terrible Teddy, from the Portraits Collection. “Portraits” is a tribute to the English spirit; between establishment, humour and provocation. The new fragrance is drawing its inspiration from, a high-spirited and beguiling globetrotter. His scent is smooth, dangerous and mysterious. Pink peppercorn cajoles leather into revealing itself through a smoky haze of incense.

To see the fragrance on Penhaligon’s website: click here

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

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Dressing for the races: At Glorious Goodwood with New & Lingwood

I made my way to Goodwood, which is in England synonymous with racing. I joined style sponsor, New & Lingwood, to place bets and enjoy horse races.  

This year I had the pleasure of attending the Qatar Goodwood Festival for the first time. Goodwood is in England synonymous with racing and this particular horse racing tradition dates back to 1802 which was the year of the first public race meeting held by the third Duke of Richmond. #TheSportOfKings⁣⁣⁣

Through the nineteenth century, ‘Glorious Goodwood’, as the press named it, became a highlight of the summer season. King Edward VII (who came almost every year) famously dubbed it “a garden party with racing tacked on”. ⁣⁣⁣

New & Lingwood has for the past 3 years been the official style partner of the horse racing festival. In my opinion they are perfect fit, being know for making bold and colourful garments that are glorious in every way. ⁣⁣⁣

For the occasion I wore a striking New & Lingwood jacket made from a blend of silk and cotton, woven in Italy by Ferla. I paired it with a pair of Tartan trousers, layered with a striped shirt and a midnight blue neckerchief.⁣⁣⁣ I picked a watch that would feel at home surrounded by horses, the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso, given its origins within the world of polo. This particular model is the Reverso Tribute Duoface and its blue dial complimented the purple New & Lingwood jacket exquisitely.

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

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Talking Summer Tailoring on The Gentleman’s Journal

I joined The Gentleman’s Journal to discuss how to wear suits when the temperatures rise; from traditional British tailoring spun for summer to exciting retro-inspired pieces, I am revealing the best brands for your warm weather wardrobe.

Read the full article via this link: www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/these-are-the-best-summer-tailoring-brands-according-to-mathias-le-fevre/

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“Midnight in Morocco”

I have always enjoyed dressing up for a wedding or a summer party, really any occasion that says “dress code: black tie” on the invitation. However, it has always been a fairly traditional and limited variety of looks that men have the possibility to opt for. Thanks to the rise of destination weddings and the continuous evolution of the suit, men now have an incredible range of options to stand out as a groom or guest.

Gieves & Hawkes has with their SS19 collection presented a series of beautifully crafted silk jacquard formalwear that pays tribute to the collection’s botanical inspiration. The distinctive looks include;

Made by one of England’s oldest vertical mills for Gieves & Hawkes. A pure silk evening jacket with a bespoke tropical cactus jacquard. It is woven piece by piece, cut and pattern-matched by hand, it perfectly showcases the tailor’s craft.

One of the collection most sophisticated designs, this single-breasted tropical jacquard evening jacket in pale pink. It features details such as jetted pockets and Mother-of-Pearl buttons that nod to the traditional dinner suit. Here styled with an unbuttoned pleated dress shirt and cream linen trousers.

For a statement look; go for this double-breasted evening suit in midnight blue. It is cut from lightweight wool with tonal dark blue stripes, and finished with black silk grosgrain lapels and buttons for a polished glance.

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

Photography by Nick Tydeman

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Timeless British craftsmanship – The Ettinger Heritage Collection

Mathias le Fevre with Ettinger London - Heritage, Westminster Flap-Over Briefcase - wearing Gieves & Hawkes Made to Measure suit
Mathias le Fevre with Ettinger London - Heritage, Westminster Flap-Over Briefcase - wearing Gieves & Hawkes Made to Measure suit
Ettinger London – Heritage, Westminster Flap-Over Briefcase

Ettinger was founded by Gerry Ettinger in 1934 and is today still family owned and run by his elder son, Robert Ettinger. A brand that I have always admired for its original aesthetic and uncompromising British craft.

To celebrate the art of true craftsmanship I worked with Ettinger to produce a campaign around the brand’s top range, the Heritage Collection. Made from the finest traditional bridle leathers with hand-stitched handles and polished brass locks, these cases mean business.

Mathias le Fevre with Ettinger London - Heritage, Westminster Flap-Over Briefcase - wearing Gieves & Hawkes Made to Measure suit
Heritage, Bank Lid-Over Attaché Case

Soon after setting up the company, Gerry Ettinger made himself a unique attaché case. It was different to the traditional classic at the time, with it’s smaller size and lighter weight. Not only was this one of the first bricks laid towards building the brand, but Gerry proved to be a visionary as it is still, 85 years later, Ettinger’s most popular attaché case.

The original attaché case is still used today by Robert Ettinger, his son, proving its extraordinary durability. And it has through its long life and many years of use developed a patina that is worth its years in gold.

In Ettinger’s signature colour: London Tan, the attaché is the ultimate expression of timeless British craftsmanship and is handmade over a twelve week period to the customer’s bespoke specifications.

The campaign film is shot in a stunning home in London’s Holland Park which was designed and developed by Echlin, a London-based architectural design and development studio.

Mathias le Fevre with Ettinger London - Heritage, Bank Lid-Over Attaché Case - wearing Gieves & Hawkes Made to Measure suit
Heritage, Bank Lid-Over Attaché Case

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

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Suits and Seperates: A Summer Special for The Rake

One thing to remember when dressing while the temperature rises; style and comfort never need to be mutually exclusive. Great summer tailoring is often by necessity defined more casual by it’s lighter fabrics, earthy tones and softer construction, however this is no excuse for sloppy dressing.

I joined forces with fellow menswear aficionado and model, Richard Biedul, to produce a summer editorial for The Rake magazine to show that warm weather can facilitate a kind of dressing that has its own charms.

The editorial is available on The Rake via this link:
https://therake.com/stories/style/juxtaposing-styles-messrs-biedul-le-fevre/

Photography by Nick Tydeman

Yours sincerely, Mathias le Fèvre

Dalcoure jacket, Edward Sexton shirt, Cifonelli tie and Rubinacci Manny trousers.
Dalcoure jacket, Edward Sexton shirt, Cifonelli tie, Rubinacci Manny trousers and Carmina Shoemaker Loafers.
Drake’s Beige Needlecord suit, Edward Sexton Tab-collar shirt and striped tie.
Drake’s Olive cotton suit, Edward Sexton Blue Bengal Tab-collar shirt and a cashmere tie.
Dalcoure Double-Breasted jacket, Santillo Rizzi Polo Shirt, Kit Blake flannel trousers.
Salvatore Piccolo cotton jacket, Frabo shirt, Rubinacci Manny trousers, London Sock co socks and Grenson Sandals.
Edward Sexton Cream Double-Breasted jacket, King & Tuckfield denim shirt & trousers.
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