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"Towards 2001" - a Retrospective on a Look Forwards

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:15 PM

In the March 26th, 1971 issue of The Tailor and Cutter, there appeared a transcript of discussion by several industry people asking what the state of the tailoring industry would be like in 2001. Of the personalities in the discussion, one will be known to all and sundry - Tommy Nutter. However, the most cutting comments actually come not from him but from Eric Joy, a bespoke tailor with a firm on Old Burlington Street, and Karl Dallas, a fashion consultant for The Tailor and Cutter. What a pity they didn't invite along the chief technical editor of the journal - Archibald Whife. There seems to be very strong tension in the discussion between fleeting fashion and classical style in men's dress. Nutter, interestingly actually stresses his relationship to classical tailoring, rather than his radicality.

Here, I thought were the most insightful moments, sometimes prophetic of what was to come.

However, the thing that they didn't really count on was the internet. The internet has really stirred a profound awareness of the fact that most over advertised fashions are little more than plastic gimmicks - often made in China, except with Made in Italy labels affixed to them. Most of the men's fashion labels are based on women's models of built in instant obsolescence and disposability. With this awareness has come a renewed yearning for genuine quality based on traditional artisanal tailoring methods. Between 1971 and now there has been so much water under the fashion bridge, yet that classic two or three button lounge remains an absolute classic. Now people want that coat that has been cut, with very little change, off something straight off a 1950s Tailor and Cutter pattern from Whife, or a classic 1960s Rundschau. Today we look at the dodgy fashion experiments of the 1970s (and 80s and 90s), in now obsolete "space age"synthetics such as Terylene with little more than laughter and ridicule:

The full article is as follows:

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