LONDON — A new report commissioned by the British Fashion Council contends the U.K. is the global epicenter of men’s fashion.
The report was prepared in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum and written by a Ph.D alumnus of the history of fashion course at the Royal Academy — which is run in conjunction with the RCA and guided by Dr. Glenn Adamson, head of research at the V&A.
Coming just before London Collections: Men (LC:M), the 4,000-word study looks back through almost 500 years of fashion, beginning in 1528 — when Henry VIII granted a Royal Charter to the Clothworkers Company — and passing through the centuries, outlining the trends and men’s wear milestones that have originated in the U.K.
The report, “London: Home Of Menswear, The History & Heritage Study,” recounts that the first three-piece suit was recorded in 1666 in Samuel Pepys’ diary, that military accents filtered through to civilian clothes throughout the Napoleonic wars, that the accidental misspelling of “tweel” by a merchant led to the naming of what we now know as tweed, Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co. created the tuxedo in 1865, the loose Oxford bags appeared in 1924, the punks emerged with bondage trousers in the Seventies, and the New Romantic movement started here in the Eighties.
The report is accompanied by a map of London’s key men’s wear destinations: Jermyn Street, Burlington Arcade, Savile Row, Carnaby Street, the New King’s Road and more. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, will launch the map at an event on June 18, the last day of the men’s wear shows. The map will be supported as a tourism initiative by Visit Britain and London & Partners overseas.
The report will be distributed by the BFC during LC:M, which runs Sunday through Tuesday.