Lutwyche launch Hampton men’s tailoring range
PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 June 2016
You don’t need to travel far to get superb tailoring as some of the finest suits in the world originate right here at Lutwyche in Crewe.
If you have never heard of Lutwyche before, there’s a home-grown secret that has been discreetly operating within Cheshire for the past fifteen years. The Crewe-based luxury tailoring house has a pedigree that is second to none and while the art of British tailoring is widely associated with a certain street in London, what is less well-known is that some of the finest suits in the world have been made right here.
It is at Lutwyche in Crewe that a highly skilled workforce has undertaken commissions for Savile Row and luxury brands, at both home and abroad.
The workshop has crafted suiting for men of global influence such as Barack Obama and HRH The Prince Of Wales, provided fashion-forward tailoring for dynamic brands such as Vivienne Westwood and Christopher Kane, and of course spends many hours creating bespoke designs for its very own luxury label, Lutwyche.
Now it launches its Hampton by Lutwyche brand which makes it possible to experience the tailoring close to home and in a newly opened showroom at its Crewe HQ.
Hampton has been created as an alternative choice for its discerning clientele. No compromise on detail, cut and flair has been made, but Hampton tailoring is slightly more accessible to those who may not be able to stretch to the £3,500 Lutwyche price tag.
Tony Lutwyche, who has been running his eponymous label since 2000 explains: ‘With a Lutwyche suit there are at least eight hours of hand finishing. With a Hampton suit though, it will only be slightly less. We’re going to reduce the hand work in order to achieve a more affordable price, but ensure the quality remains. The jacket will still be a fully canvassed garment with a significant amount of detail, ensuring a quality that I am delighted to put my name to.
For the uninitiated Tony explains the meaning of ‘fully canvassed’.
‘Inside one of our jackets are layers of canvases that are carefully crafted to give the shape and fit. The art of tailoring is to get a suit that sits on the shoulders and chest properly. Once you get that then the drape of the suit will flow naturally and the canvas will give structure and shape to the front of the jacket. A premium quality tailored jacket should always be fully canvassed. Many brands available in the UK use cheaper techniques that don’t give the same shape, structure and feel.
‘One of the things we’ve been working on since 2006 is creating new canvasses and exploring different ways of doing things. When I took over the workshop we were making suits that were almost like suits of armour; you could almost stand them up on their own.
`Today, people are used to wearing T-shirts, sweatshirts and cashmere jumpers and used to having mobility in their clothing. What they don’t want to do is put on a suit that immediately feels restrictive, so we’ve put a lot of effort into transforming patterns and utilising the finest canvasses available, to make sure that people get the sort of comfort in a suit that they have come to expect in the rest of their clothing.
‘We have made for a wide variety of personalities, from suits for Prince Charles which include a classic double-breasted jacket in a slightly heavier fabric, right through to those for the Vivienne Westwood and Christopher Kane - which are more fashion-oriented - through to our own label which offers some of the lightest and finest tailoring that you can find anywhere in the world.’
Stroll around the factory - and visitors are encouraged to do just that - and you will be able to meet some of the friendly workforce who are involved in creating these beautiful bespoke tailored pieces.
For Lutwyche an hour may be spent just hand-sewing one buttonhole. Hampton benefits from all these skills and in many cases uses the same techniques that are used on the full Lutwyche make but also seeks to utilise machinery and techniques to offer a more affordable price point.
Tony adds: ‘Here we’ll invite a customer to come and see us, and if possible be there during the production process so that they can say “I was there when my suit was being made.” It’s similar to when a luxury car is ordered and the customer is invited to the factory to see its progress.
‘What we are looking to do is capture those moments for you. We can send imagery to a client to show them their suit being cut, or another detail such as their lapel being shaped. I’d like to engage clients as much as possible and I think once they understand the process, along with the dedication and effort we’re putting in, they’ll understand the quality and premium nature of what we do.
‘Men like to understand the process. There aren’t many of us who want to sign a job over to a builder or an architect and have no involvement and I think the same applies to a suit. We encourage people to come to the workshop and gain awareness of the skills involved, which hopefully leads to a further appreciation of their finished piece.
The beauty of a suit that has been made exclusively for you is that it becomes an investment piece that you will still feel comfortable wearing in years to come, both in terms of style and fit, and all of our suits can be easily altered to allow for future fluctuations in both size and shape.’
Tony adds: ‘In many cases made-to-measure has come to mean minor adjustments being made to a ready-to-wear block, while bespoke has been made creating a unique pattern for an individual. That is not so here. Everything we do that is made-to-measure is created completely uniquely for that client.
‘You can go upstairs in the workshop and see a pattern being marked on a piece of fabric, see it being individually cut out. It is created entirely for you...here in Cheshire.’
Hampton: 7c Marshfield Bank, Crewe CW2 8UY 01270 303107 www.hamptonbylutwyche.co.uk