The days of making friends with your local tailor are back and the tailleur de choix in London right now seems to be Gresham Blake. Renowned for his “Savile Row style tailoring with a rock star twist”, Blake’s bespoke, made-to-measure and ready-to-wear clothing and accessories have generated him a cult following.
A-list aficionados include Norman Cook, Christian Slater, Plan B, Jimmy Page and Nick Cave. Will.i.am has also recently been added to the list with a commission in the pipeline. Earlier this month, modern day dandies and stylish cognoscenti gathered to celebrate the launch of Blake’s Shoreditch emporium, the third in his portfolio.
Actor Ray Winstone, event co-host and long-term fan, was joined by an eclectic ensemble of stars including Steve Coogan (sporting long curly hair for his role as Soho property tycoon Paul Raymond in an upcoming film), who declared that it was his first outing in London following the Leveson Inquiry. Winstone’s daughter Jaime stopped by to show her support and discussed getting a Gresham tweed shooting jacket – a stylish must-have in my opinion. Other guests included Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru Murphy, Agent Provocateur creative director Sarah Shotton, and Tim Wade, who will soon play Marvin Gaye in an Idris Elba produced film.
Blake, who was taught to sew by his mother when he was just four years old and launched his first tailoring outfit in 2000, has been successful in his aim of reinvigorating classic British tailoring to appeal to younger and edgier audiences, putting him at the forefront of the “new bespoke movement”. The Brighton-based tailor blends fine British milled materials with contemporary cuts, adding quirky and distinctly urban features.
If bespoke suits aren’t normally up your street, it’s worth remembering that a well-made “whistle and flute” will last for years and there’s sharp investment potential. Gresham Blake’s new London shop is at 143 Commercial Street, Shoreditch, London, E1 6BJ.