A bit more ombré, that elusively elegant effect that, having appeared on pocket squares (as it does here), wallets and the Savile Row eau de toilette packaging, has become something of a Richard James trademark, underlining our commitment to colour.
As a young filmmaker, long before the delights of Dressed to Kill, Scarface and, more recently, Mission Impossible, Brian De Palma made documentaries.
One, notably, was The Responsive Eye (right, dubbed into Spanish…), which looked at the groundbreaking exhibition of the same name that was held at The Museum of Modern Art in 1965.
De Palma’s film was something we looked at quite closely when we were putting together our new AW17 Camofleur collection, which takes inspiration from the work of the celebrated razzle dazzle camofleur Norman Wilkinson and the Op Art movement of the sixties and early seventies that his engagingly geometric work went on to influence.
According to the author and curator Marina Weinhart, The Responsive Eye exhibition – which featured 123 works by such artists as Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley and Josef Albers – represented “the height of the Op Art wave”.
And by way of defining Op Art, the exhibition’s curator William C Seitz said of it at the time: “These works exist less as objects to be examined than as generators of perceptual responses, of colors and relationships existing solely in vision. They exert a control over perception capable of arousing delight, anxiety and even vertigo.”
Designed to induce delight more than anxiety and vertigo, you can see a strong Op Art influence and something of Norman Wilkinson’s razzle dazzle camouflage in certain of our new-season shirts, ties, pocket squares and scarves.
Sean Connery bounces back as a knocking-on-a-bit-Bond and there’s unfinished business with his old bête noire Blofeld (Charles Gray), who had the brass neck to bump off his newly-wed wife Tracy the last time he was out and about in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
This time around, in Diamonds Are Forever (1971, Guy Hamilton), he’s come up with an admirably low-emission but costly-to-run diamond-powered laser with which to hold the world to ransom. Cue a precursor to the arch irony of the Roger Moore Bonds with careering car chases, cheeky chat with Bond girls Plenty O’Toole (“Named after your father”) and Tiffany Case (“That’s a nice little nothing you’re almost wearing”), a couple of camp assassins in the form of Wint and Kidd and a bout of all-in wrestling with the unforgettable Bambi and Thumper (pictured).
Wardrobe-wise, the high point is Bond’s perfect-if-you’re-in-a-hot-spot two-button linen suit (pictured), complete with patch pockets for a more casual feel, flat-fronted trousers with buttoning side adjusters and a generous notch lapel, which he wears with a pitch-perfect pink tie. Suit jackets with patch pockets are super adaptable as they can easily be worn separately with chinos or jeans. Not that Connery’s Bond ever wore jeans…
The Savile Row and Bespoke stores will be closed for the May Day public holiday this coming Monday 1st May.
Richard James Online will be open to take orders at any time, but will not be able to ship orders until Tuesday 2nd May.
If, like us, you have the Monday off, we hope you have a very enjoyable time.
Soft pink pastel hopsack suit (jacket and trousers also available as separates), aqua coloured blooms shirt, pink deco flower pocket square and dark brown Walton loafers at the Savile Row store and Richard James Online now.
British summer time has officially started and sun and flowers are all around.
Our softly sun bleached Dandy Kim collection looks to ‘50s Havana; the sights, sounds and colours all gave life to it.
As featured on a couple of pocket squares (one of which can be seen here) and a knit (bottom right) our deco flower was inspired by the colourful, handmade encaustic tiles (pictured are a couple from our SS17 moodboard) which have become synonymous with Cuban architecture.
Originating in Spain, the tiles were first imported into the country towards the end of the 1800s. As their popularity grew, Cuba became home to the then largest tile factory in the world, La Cubana, which was founded in 1903.
A couple of ’50s vintage menus from the Tropicana in Havana, which at that time was very much the peripatetic pleasure seekers’ nightclub and casino du jour. No surprise then that it attracted the attention of Michael Dandy Kim Caborn-Waterfield, the celebrated gentleman adventurer and contrebandier who gave his moniker to our new Havana-inspired SS17 collection…
We took the typeface of the Tropicana logo and tweaked it (not copied it, if you’re reading and were wondering about copyright, Mr Tropicana) very slightly to come up with the design for our engaging SS17 Tropicana print pocket squares (bottom, right).
Backstage at last night’s National Television Awards in London.
Sir Tom Jones and Aidan Turner all set to go in Richard James.
Three looks from our AW17 Camofleur collection, which we are revealing today.
See more of the collection and read about the buoyantly befuddling inspiration behind it here…
A question comes from Mr Elliot Cosgrove.
“Any tips for Christmas present shopping, Richard? I find it a terrible bind and I tend to get it horribly wrong.”
Straight to Richard, who we found busy at work in the Savile Row store (right):
“I can’t think of many worse things than putting people through the awful act of thanking you, quite possibly in front of an audience, for something they neither like or need. And then, if the present isn’t right, you’re obliged to put yourself through the very boring process of returning it and getting something else. Or, worse still, they, the recipient, offers to return the present, so you have to give them the receipt, which – if you haven’t already lost it… – means you end up revealing how much you’ve spent on them…
“So, for that reason, I tend to play it safe when it comes to Christmas present giving. I think of classic, non size-specific – returning something that doesn’t fit is another bore for everyone concerned – practical items. Not what you might expect from me, I know, but there you go… Think scarves, beanies, wallets, card holders or, indeed, cufflinks. Or, of course, if you’re pushing the boat out, you could – to mix and match my euphemisms – take a slightly different tack and buy someone a bespoke suit. We can cut a suit to fit anyone and in my mind there’s nothing quite a as special and wholly personal as a Richard James Bespoke suit.
“I mentioned cufflinks, because I’m giving these here (right) from the Bespoke store to a very good friend this Christmas. They’re made of solid silver and pearls, so are as simple and understated as they are special. Button cuffs are far more popular these days, but you still need a pair of cufflinks to wear with evening wear to add that extra little bit of polish. They meet the criteria of being classic, non size-specific and practical. There will be trouble if he doesn’t like them.”