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#WattsWhat: Joseph Menswear Savile Row

David Watts
14 March 2016

With Spring making a valiant effort to arrive and thoughts of warmer weather and Summer holidays, this week I visited the newly opened JOSEPH Menswear store at 2 Savile Row in London to see the new collection.  A recent addition to the "sartorial address" and having opened one month ago, it promises much to the fashion savvy man-about-town.

I have been a fan of JOSEPH (designer multi-label) for many years but its own-label menswear, which first started in 2013, is growing into a very strong fashion offering. Under the stewardship of creative director Louise Trotter and menswear designer Mark Thomas (former head of menswear at Givenchy) the collection is steadily moving away from producing "only beautiful basics" such as the inky navy merino knits, the black wool/cashmere top coat and grey (expertly cut) glazed cotton trousers, to a more clearly recognisable "fashion statement" with its own refreshing DNA.

Jospeh1

The store itself is a temple to minimalism, a JOSEPH trademark, with a monochrome colour scheme throughout from the black and white tiled floors in the entrance space through to the silvered concrete grey industrial flooring; a crisp and rather functional backdrop that doesn't distract you from the clothes themselves. Beautiful black and white marble blocks are used to great effect for displaying the growing footwear range also.

The SS16 collection is strong and my standout pieces are the navy super-fine merino wool crew neck with wide cream vertical stripe down the centre back, grape viscose relaxed waist (toggle drawstring) tailored trousers and merino stitch polo shirt with zip detail. All of which I must confess to buying!

There are some interesting pieces which rework the classics such as, jersey t-shirts with half sleeve woven pinstripe detail and button-through woven shirts with a drawstring toggle detail at the hem, a nice touch which has been used across a number of styles this season.

Jospeh2

If I have any criticism of the collection, it is that it seemed to be quite lacking in print and colour. The fashion accent colours this season are grape and tobacco (both used in tailoring also), the former worked really well, the latter not so much in my view. So there's definitely room for development in these areas, particularly for the summer season collection. The wider leg and drawstring/zip hem trousers looked good on the hanger and are a refreshing change to slim-fit, but the fit was off and both seemed a bit lumpy and just too boxy on the body. I struggled to think who would be able to wear them!

Jospeh3

There is no question that retail is having a challenging time right now and just getting people into stores is proving to be very hard for many fashion brands. I believe this also has quite a lot to do with the level of customer service, which in London can be questionable at best. I really have to commend the team at JOSEPH Savile Row for their genuine friendliness and exacting product knowledge.

Store manager Vincenzo and sales associate Gabor are exemplary of how the retailing experience should be for shoppers and are an asset to this company. I really enjoyed the shopping experience and certainly made me feel I would want to return and shop again. Other retailers could take note.

JOSEPH Savile Row is definitely one to check out for those who want to be stylish and in the know, and I for one am already looking forward to AW16!

Images : David M Watts

 


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