London Craft Week 2017
Posted on April 29th, 2017
This week I was lucky enough to be taken on a preview tour of London Craft Week 2017 (LCW), and my goodness, have we got some incredible talent right here in London. Let me take you on my bespoke tour; grab a coffee because I just couldn’t make this short.
Hitting the kitchens of the Café Royal in London, we were met by Sarah Barber, Executive Pastry Chef, with a chocolate salted caramel lollipop class – honestly my most heavenly moment of the year. Dipping and swirling into the bowl of colour not only made the job a huge amount of fun, but the creativity in making it and eating it was wildly satisfying.
Get my drift… demonstrations are an insight to the extraordinary creative talents right here in London, and it’s not only about food. You too can dip your toe, or even your lollipop, into the experience, and take home some of the magic each craft house is showcasing. There is everything from clothing, to ceramics, to glassblowing, even book binding.
Moving on to Gieves & Hawkes, By Royal Appointment tailors to HM The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and HRH Prince of Wales, you come to realise and appreciate what bespoke really entails.
Every garment is sewn by hand, making on average 300 suits a year, and each suit taking 800 hours to make! Can you imagine… the work, the detail, the care, the love… true collaborations and team work.
Jeremy King OBE has supported a project with Savile Row Tailors for LCW, who are creating a bespoke Capsule Collection for the fictitious 1920’s character of Jimmy Beaumont, who lives & breathes The Beaumont Hotel. It looks such fun, and all on display in collaborative window displays along Saville Row.
Britain truly leads when it comes to cutters and craftsmanship in tailoring.
Next stop, William & Son for breakfast. WOW! Founded 6 years ago by William Asprey, this is as English as you can get for the finer things in life and luxury.
Upstairs they have the most beautifully made leather games I think I’ve ever seen; Snakes & ladders has never looked so fun!
The Telegraph are hosting a debate on the role of craft and design in supporting the British economy with William Asprey & a panel of experts on 4 May. Limited places, but well worth booking.
Dunhill then drew us in with more tales of beautiful bespoke leather goods. If you haven’t been to their shop in Mayfair, you must, it is beautiful. All week they have their skilled artisans doing demonstrations on fine leather goods, including embossing & stitching.
One thing I’ve learnt more than anything, is that every bespoke commission takes the creator, be it the tailor, the designer or the artisan, on a journey. It is all a mixture between art and science.
So we have the suit sorted, now where for the shirt? Yes, Turnbull & Asser.
Shirt makers to everyone from Winston Churchill, HRH Prince of Wales to Bond, James Bond.
Bespoke shirts are as complex as suits. 18-21 measurements, 2 fittings, your shirt envelope, and then choosing the small details that will make you too feel like the great men of England.
All made here in the UK, in Gloucester, with craftsmen and women that have been with the company for years. The minimum order is 6 shirts, but once you have felt how soft the cotton is, there is no turning back…
Our final stop was the beautiful Floris perfumer in Jermyn Street. Established in 1730, London was once the capital of perfumery – I know I couldn’t believe it either, but when you have the privilege to listen to the 9th generation of the family still running the business, you appreciate all the stories that have been shared and respected.
All their perfumes are still measured in drams and ounces, and the cabinets in the store were purchased from The Great Exhibition in 1851, so it’s a museum in itself.
Let me finish with a few of my favourites to entice you in a little further to the 237 events all over London between 3-7 May. These hit my radar;
Tea and Perfume with Postcard Tea and Perfumer H
How to Customise Your Shoe – Cheaney & Co
Anya Hindmarch – Bespoke
Product Creation at Aston Martin
Conserving the Clock of Westminster
Michael Ruh : How to commission glassware & lighting
Glassblowing at London Glassblowing
Free events: 79 non-ticketed events, 49 ticketed. Check listing for booking details
Paying events: 109 events. All require booking
I know I have cleared my diary and I hope I have inspired you to as well. Don’t delay… book today!