Carry on Colin

Last Sunday (Fathers Day), after a wonderful time spent with the fruit of my loins, I settled down with Mrs ‘M’ to watch a film that has been on my radar for ages – “Kingsman.”

Anything that involves spies, sharp suits, Savile Row and Samuel L Jackson has to be a winner. Right?

Well, as my fingers hover over my keyboard, I hear the voice of my Grandma, Edith, ringing in my ears…. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

So, I’ll say this: Colin Firth’s Double-Breasted Suit. In-bloody-credible.

Kingsman - Colin Firth

Playing the role of Harry Hart, he declares “the suit is a modern gentleman’s armour.”

As far as the “DB” (double-breasted) goes, I couldn’t agree more.

It’s rakish, imposing, dignified, and has a real element of gravitas about the proceedings.

Perfect for scowling down the board-room table at an impertinent upstart; or, upstaging an overbearing hipster, with obligatory man-beard, leggings for trousers and shoes without laces.

Here’s some of my customers, in classic “Button Two, Show Three’s,” with straight flap pockets, pointed peak lapels (each with their own button hole) and side vents.

Stephen – love the hand in pocket.

Stephen Woodfield

Tim – smiling on the inside.

Tim Ward - DB

Austen – a proper chalk-stripe.

Austen

David – love the shoes.

David Kerfoot DB

And now the Young Guns….

Richard – uber-sized lapels.

Richard Jobes DB

Ben – cheeky notch lapel.

Ben

My colleague, Charlie Anderson, in a more contemporary, deconstructed version (very thin pads in the shoulders and soft canvas) with patch pockets and a (slim) peaked lapel.

Charlie DB

In a cunning ruse to monetise Kingsman, a deal was done with Mr Porter to sell the garments “as seen on screen.”

So impressed by the wardrobe, Charlie and I visited the Northern based work-room, who are responsible for making Massenets finest.

Hats off to their choice of cloth suppliers, which included top UK mills and a stunning wool, silk and linen fabric from Loro Piana of Italy.

Kingsman Cloth

As far as the work-room goes, it was clear the staff had a real sense of pride in their work.

A young lady on Quality Control showed me an incredible sample overcoat they’d made-up for Vivienne Westwood. With a smile on her face, she crossed her arms and said, “James, at the end of the day, they’ve all got to get past me.”

Whilst she radiated sweetness and light, trust me – foolish is the sewer who tries to take liberties with this lass. An iron fist in a silk glove!

Here I am with Ray (The Production Directors ‘enforcer’) who gave us a tour of the production line.

Ray

Whilst his primary role is a technician, he’s a born salesman. His eyes twinkled with delight as he took us through their manufacturing repertoire.

At the top end of their construction, they offer hand sewn collars, padded-lapels, hand-sewn button holes, beautiful curtain waistbands, and hand-sewn hook & bar fasteners in the trousers.

Padded Lapel – helps to achieve a lovely ‘roll’ to the lapel.

Padded Lapel

Hand-sewn button holes – take time and skill to make and don’t they look gorgeous.

Hand sewn buttonholes

Hand-sewn Hook & Bar – built to take the strain of a man who enjoys a good lunch.

Hook & Bar

As a business they work with some serious names, including many of Savile Row’s finest, and even do a watered down version of their product for Marks & Spencer.

I have no doubt that their efforts will be enjoyed by many aspiring spies-to-be and only hope that some of the spoils make there way back to the producers, IF there’s a sequel.

Whilst Kingsman, as a film, is undeniably endearing and entertaining, have no doubt the suits were the star of the show.

The absurd, farcical,”Carry on Colin” vibe of it all, left me punching pillows and grinding my teeth, at what was ultimately an embarrassing paycheck, for a bunch of talented actors and wardrobe professionals.

Sorry, Edith! I just couldn’t help myself. x