Going crazy for the sharp-dressed man

Nick Robinson-Baker with Jon Davies of Savilles
Nick Robinson-Baker with Jon Davies of Savilles
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Something for the weekend, sir? How about a three-piece Cuban slim-fit with plain-front, cavalry hem trews, high-break wide-knotch lapelled jacket and five-button waistcoat in top-stitched pure Yorkshire wool?

All made to measure of course, sir. Maybe you would like to add a concealed gambler’s pocket, sir – and accessorise your Gangs Of New York alter-ego with a period haircut to match, sir?

Champions at Savill's Barbershop, a collection of designer, hand-tailoed suits created by London-based John Lancaster

Champions at Savill's Barbershop, a collection of designer, hand-tailoed suits created by London-based John Lancaster

Savill’s, the renowned barbershop on Sheffield’s Devonshire Street, is taking its homage to the past a further leap. And you can make it in reverse-pleat fishtail back trews if you like.

The salon, already, a Godfather-esque epic with Tiffany-style lighting, polished wood panelling, antique barbers’ chairs and enamelled sinks, is extending its service with a few choice extras –it’s going into the fashion business. To enhance its reputation for sharp vintage styling, the salon has linked with a celebrated London designer and tailor. Effectively, the move brings Savile Row tailoring to Savills.

John Lancaster, founder and head designer of ground breaking clothing label MONO, a renowned style adviser to many legendary actors, entrepreneurs, musicians and racing drivers around the world, is the man in whose hands the Savill’s fashion venture rests.

Head stylist and personal tailor for Brit luxury brands Alfred Dunhill and Jeremy Hackett, John’s latest mission is to champion a classy, edgy suit collection for style- savvy customers at Savill’s. The union came about because John is married to a Sheffield girl, make-up artist Helen Lancaster.

Champions at Savill's Barbershop, a collection of designer, hand-tailoed suits created by London-based John Lancaster

Champions at Savill's Barbershop, a collection of designer, hand-tailoed suits created by London-based John Lancaster

“A male model I worked with was also from Sheffield and told me about this ultra-stylish, vintage-inspired barbershop he’d been to. When I was next in Sheffield visiting the in-laws I decided to check it out,” says John.

“I loved it – the cut, the service, the atmosphere. And later I emailed the salon suggesting a fashion collaboration with the Savill’s brand.”

“It’s the perfect fit all round,” said Joth Davies, the owner of Savill’s Barbershop and proud wearer of a number of John Lancaster three-piece suits.

Sheffielder Joth set up Savill’s on Chapel Walk in 2009 after a long hairdressing career had taken him to London and back. He opened the second Savill’s on Devonshire Green, now the sole outlet, in 2010.

He is one of the team of 12 apron-, shirt-and-tie-clad barbers offering traditional cut-throat wet shaves and ‘old-school’ haircuts.

Period styles from the Forties and Fifties are a speciality, so much so that Joth is often called on to cut the hair of actors appearing at the Crucible and Lyceum.

He expects big demand among Sheffield’s stylishly suited and booted for Champions by Savill’s, a 15-piece capsule collection of two- and three-piece, ready-to-wear suits, starting from £800, inspired by ‘Gentleman Jim’ Corbett, the American World Heavyweight Champion boxer and style icon, and cut from the finest Yorkshire and Donegal wools.

There is also a made-to-measure service, which along with the ready-to-wear fittings will be overseen at the barbershop by John Lancaster himself two days a month.

“We’re bringing new season originals, one-off tweeds and legendary classic cloths to Sheffield from the world’s finest British and Italian mills. Many suits will be made from Yorkshire wools, a fact we are proud of,” says Joth.

Tweed jackets and waistcoats, pea coats and double-breasted winter coats in plain, checks, stripes or pinhead fabrics are also in the pipeline. Prices include fabric, construction, fitting sessions, suit bag and delivery. A 50 per cent deposit is taken at the first appointment and the balance is paid when the suit arrives 28 days later.

1920s America set the iconic standard for men’s tailoring Across the pond at the turn of last century, New York experienced a huge influx of European tailors and mill workers.

The mad men of Manhattan had the ability to get a whole lot smarter and a major trend for razor-sharp, suiting paired with English country gent style pointers and accessories took off.

Immaculately tailored US gangsters and prohibition club owners added their own twist, creating a look that was truly iconic.