The other day, I announced the newly released Japanese / English Savile Row Book by Yoshimi with pictures by Edward Lakeman.
The author was so kind to send me a copy for review and I have to say overall it seems to be a great book for Japanese readers. Why only Japanese? Well, the book is first and foremost a Japanese book and only the introduction to a few houses is translated into English. Since Savile Row tailors have been subject of numerous discussions online, these introductory tidbits do not provide a wealth of new information about the individual houses.
Interestingly, Hasegawa paid particularly attention to military tailoring and the houses of Gieves & Hawkes, Henry Poole, Dege & Skinner and Welsh & Jefferies. Personally, I find that subject quite interesting and hence it is a pity that I could only read the introduction. Furthermore, there is a chapter dedicated to to Robe- and Wig maker Ede & Ravenscroft who offers bespoke, MTM and off the peg clothing as well. In addition, you will find features of Anderson & Sheppard, Henry Poole, Huntsman, Norton & Sons, Richard Anderson, Spencer Hart & Timothy Everest
The photography of the book is splendid and complemented by the matte textured paper. It seems to me like Hasegawa opted intentionally against a glossy paper and it turned out beautifully. Now, if you can read Japanese, go ahead and order a copy on Amazon. However, if you don’t, I suggest you wait until the there will be an English version available. To me, it simply seems as if the pictures are closely related to the written content and currently, you will just see an assortment of nice pictures, but you will not really understand the context.
Considering that the introductions were already translated, I remain hopeful that a full translation of the Savile Row book should be available shortly.
At the end of the 160 page book, you will find a directory that lists not only the tailoring houses presented in the book but also other tailors and craftsmen from around the Row as well as a map.
Overall, I think it could be a fantastic book if it is available in English – otherwise, only a limited number of readers will be able to fully understand the contents of the book.
Picture Credit: Edward Lakeman for Savile Row Book