Suited secrets

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As the sartorial crowds of the big smoke prepared to celebrate men’s fashion with London Collections: Men, the Museum of London has worked towards exposing the complexities of the suit by hosting an exhibition that has unpicked the secrets of the suit with a free display within their Sackler Hall. In the exhibition, The Anatomy of a Suit, historical components of the suit have been carefully sourced from the many eclectic markets across the capital, such as a c 1965 double-breasted pinstripe jacket found on Brick Lane market, or the black dress suit heralding from 1933, purchased on Broadway Market in Hackney.

These pieces stand as just two articles of clothing that have become the subjects of a vestiary probing, evincing the charm of yesteryear, during a time in which the ubiquity of sharp suits governed men’s dress. Dandy curator, Timothy Long, has been presented with the task of dissecting the collection of historical jackets in order to trace the technical genius lurking underneath the suit’s surface, and it’s no question that the magnetism of the exhibition is largely reliant upon the passion for the suit ensemble that seasoned connoisseur, Long, positively emanates.

Whilst the esoteric infrastructure of a suit, dubbed a “feat of engineering” by Long, is often overlooked, at the exhibition, the intricacies and hidden workmanship that is involved and has developed within the evolution of the modern suit is condensed and beautifully displayed and instructed via deconstructed blazers and evocative video aids.

Exploring the secrets of the suit, hidden allusively on the inside, it becomes easy to see why it’s only through deconstructing the suit jacket and turning it inside out that the innermost technical genius can be excavated. From the impeccable bowler hat to the sublime brogues, the specific lapel and the most fitting cravat, London, the locale of the highly influential original dandy Beau Brummell, has always held its own as a leader in menswear, as sterling British tailoring continues to lure individuals from around the globe.

This notion, and the exhibition on the whole, is readily advocated by Dylan Jones, chairman of LC:M, who has proclaimed London to be the  “home of menswear, with a heritage that boasts precision tailoring, craftsmanship and innovation”.

by Calvin Baillie

with additional reporting by Liam Feltham

Exhibition displays until June 1, 2014

Museum of London :