Hostem Bespoke at The Chalk Room – Spring 2013


Posted on 20th February, by Colin Chapman in Designer profiles, Fashion launch. No Comments


One of the joys of being involved in men’s fashion is being able to have meaningful conversations with people about clothes that go well beyond a personal shopping agenda. And this morning at the launch of Hostem’s Bespoke offering there was much to learn and discuss with some of London’s most talented artisan menswear designers, including Sharpened Lead favourite Casely Hayford and master shoemaker Sebastian Tarek.

Through the pioneering Redchurch Street boutique, Casely-Hayford are offering made-to-measure suits and shirts, with prices (for a suit) starting at an approachable £1200. As Charlie was keen to remind us, the benefit of something made to measure is that it will be created to accommodate the quirks of an individual body (we all have them, however disturbing that thought might be) as much as individual preference. Whilst a Savile Row suit remains a distant dream for most, the Casely-Hayford offering seems well positioned to create an appetite for made to measure, with the added benefit of that subversive Casely-Hayford touch.

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A rail of Casely-Hayford jackets suggests the potential delight of trying on your own made to measure suit.

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Sample books hidden within a chest of stacked suitcases hint at an endless world of suiting options.

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A solitary suit hanging in an enigmatic corner of the store is irresistibly tactile.

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Up close the cashmere-rich fabric is in signature Casely-Hayford midnight blue.

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Tools of the tailor’s trade.

Beautifully crafted leather goods were another highlight of the launch this morning, fittingly displayed in Hostem’s atmospheric lower floor.

I’ve been aware of Sebastian Tarek’s work as a master shoemaker for some time, but this was the first opportunity I’ve had to properly chat with him about the exquisite process of having a bespoke pair of shoes made from a unique wooden last. Sebastian’s shoes transcend trends but I was fascinated by the idea that the same pair of shoes could be treated over time, with colour being adjusted to compliment the natural aging of the leather or the wearer’s own preferences.

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I love the deep colour of these shoes, the hand-made quality suggests the high standards of another age.

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Sebastian informed me that the laces are made from the same sturdy thread used to stitch the welt.

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Imagine having your own last!
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The attention to detail extends to Sebastian’s beautiful logo.

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Even the swatch book is desirable!

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Your shoes would arrive wrapped in a leather-lined paper bag: too much!

Stepping into the next room, Fleet Ilya’s range of elegantly finished accessories offered a different take on leather luxury. Masks, straps and collars blur the line between fetish and fashion, and beautifully so.

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Generally, breakfast launches are best avoided, all that effort to keep croissant crumbs at bay whilst enthusing, but the Hostem Bespoke launch got it just right by leaving us in the hands of real, eloquent experts in their crafts and left me wanting to explore bespoke further.

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