The most enjoyable fixture on the Gentleman’s calendar
Country pursuits hold a special significance for Huntsman; the house’s history is inextricably linked with riding, hunting and shooting. Our founder Henry Huntsman was (as the name suggests) a keen sportsman and when the house was founded, in 1849, it quickly gained a reputation as London’s premier sporting and shooting tailors’.
Today, we take great pride in our heritage. Huntsman’s sporting customers have ranged from George V and Clarke Gable - those Huntsman safari suits in Mogambo - to Eric Clapton and the Earl of Cawdor. Our famous stags’ heads were left by a customer who came in to fit his shooting suit in 1926 and a pair of Henry Huntsman’s very own breeks are still proudly on display at our Savile Row shop.
As with all traditional British sports, it’s important to approach the season suitably prepared and to understand its foibles. Doubtless, many Huntsman customers will be seasoned sportsmen, but it’s important to ensure that your shooting clothes are up to scratch. It was Edward VII who said that dressing appropriately is as important as tipping your loader and bringing a suitable thank you gift for your host. Huntsman is well positioned to ensure that not only your suit but all of its furnishings are beautifully made and fit for purpose.
First, your suit. Not only should it be elegant and comfortable, it must take account of various shooting-focused design features. Action backs, half-belts and bellows pockets all require specialist attention to tailor correctly, as do shooting vests and breeks. Suits can be cut with matching breeks, or separate coats can be paired with plus-twos, fours or eights in heavy moleskin, thorn proof or whipcord. We recommend that breeks and coats be cut in the same cloth and can advise clients on the right fabrics and styling details accordingly.
Our Client Managers are there to understand your every need this season. Perhaps a light Gabardine is preferred for the start of the season when shooting grouse and early English partridge in warmer weather. Or, as the temperature drops, why not include a fishtail brace back to your shooting trousers for that extra bit of warmth whilst remaining inherently elegant.
Even the lining is important. Huntsman customers now have the option to digitally print their favourite piece of artwork or photograph into the lining of their jacket; such as one customer's beautiful jacket lining of 'Grouse in Flight' as shown below.
Remembering shooting is of course not a Gentleman only sport, we feel it's important to highlight our womenswear capabilities, with Campbell Carey at the helm. His ability to reconcile form with function creates elegant shapes and silhouettes in ladies bespoke shooting wear. Huntsman has made some exquisite tweed suits and plus 4's for women . Why not go for some trews or cigarette trousers to really stand out at the shooting dinners?
Gentlemen, treat your better half to a bespoke shooting suit (that will go a long way to forgive you for that extra day spent shooting with friends!)
Of course, Huntsman also enjoys a long tradition of designing house tweeds. We have a long tradition of weaving our tweeds on Islay, by the oldest mill in the Inner Hebrides, with careful attention paid to our signature checks. Customers can choose from any of these iconic cloths, but can also now commission their own bespoke tweed. Our team will work with clients to design a tweed with personal significance, with designs mapped onto a garment using cutting-edge design software. Once the design is perfected, clients have the option to travel to Islay with the Huntsman team to experience their tweed on the loom. The result is a bespoke suit that is completely unique, cut in an authentic cloth that bears special significance, available only to the customer and his family.
With the foundation of your outfit taken care of, there’s plenty more to think about.
Suits should be dressed with appropriate ties, we advise discreet knitted ties or our stag’s head silk tie, which is well suited to shooting. To the beautifully contoured cut of Turnbull & Asser, we have added the Huntsman eye for detail and classic tattersall pattern to create the perfect shooting shirt.
It also pays to pack some warming knitwear, either to layer under your shooting vest or to wear post-shoot. We offer a trio of cable-knit cardigans, knitted in a traditional Welsh workshop in the finest three-ply Himalayan cashmere. In navy, charcoal and dark olive, they lend themselves to country dress beautifully.
This season we are introducing our beautiful lightweight John Smedley polo necks. A stylish way to keep one's neck warm; the classic fine merino wool roll neck style is the perfect layer for a day of comfort in the cold. Created in 6 different colourways, that match with our wealth of tweeds.
A tweed cap is a final, practical addition. We are very happy to make caps in matching tweed to your suit, but also carry a selection in store and online.
Huntsman also enjoys innovating where appropriate; if you’re looking for a shooting vest with a difference, customers can request that the vest’s shooting patch be lined with technogel. Technogel is a soft, lightweight gel that retains its shape and is highly shock-absorbent – perfect for eliminating the kick-back from your gun.
We offer a range of accessories that make for the perfect gift for your shoot’s host. Huntsman produces a range of fine cashmere scarves, box-cloth braces (which the gentleman always needs in his wardrobe) and finely-turned 18-carat gold and silver cufflinks should you stuck for gift ideas. This season also sees the introduction of beautiful cashmere blankets - the perfect gift to warm your hosts shooting lodge as the temperatures begin to drop.
The shooting season ushers in an exciting time of year, bringing with it a rare opportunity to embrace a Great British tradition.
Allow Huntsman to be of assistance for all your sartorial needs in the field this season.
Sheep on the Row
Sheep on the Row celebrated wool and its characteristics, hardiness and versatility. What better way to show this off than with torrential rain and sixty sheep, none of whom seemed to remotely mind the wet weather thanks to their thick fleeces!
Turning on to Savile Row last Monday morning was a magical experience. The site of the street turfed over with fresh grass, accompanied by rustic barns, bales of hay and two pens full of gamboling sheep brought an instant smile to faces, followed by wonderment and awe at the spectacle of over twenty five elegantly dressed models and members of the Savile Row community parading in their finest bespoke suits!
The Campaign for Wool’s, Sheep on the Row feels very much like a village fete or country fair. A bustle of activity up and down the street also fed through into each of the tailoring houses, who opened their doors to everything from afternoon teas and demonstrations, through to talks and tours and a general celebration of our work with wool.
Huntsman led the way on the activities theme throughout the day, welcoming visitors for regular tours as well as the opportunity to view our cutters at work and learn about the pattern cutting process. We also held a reception for customers and press; a great opportunity to catch up with friendly faces and old and new and to introduce our cutting team, including Creative Director, Campbell Carey and Co-Head Cutter Dario Carnera.
Dario also cut our show piece for the day, a superb belted Norfolk jacket, paired with plus twos, an Emma Willis shirt and navy knitted tie. Cut from Harris tweed, one of the country’s best and most iconic mills, it cut a dash out on the Field and many an admiring glance. Twenty five houses from London’s bespoke tailoring community created outfits for Sheep on the Row, and whilst many of them were striking, ours was definitely a stand out piece, reawakening people’s awareness of the Norfolk jacket and how its slim lines and belted details lend themselves equally well to a contemporary look, whilst drawing on traditional, period principles.
Our window fully entered into the spirit of the day, the combination of Joy Pitt’s Bespoke Merino of Savile Row (see previous blog) and our superb LaLanne Apartment Herd Sheep lending a whimsical and enticing note to proceedings and drawing visitors inside. Our Apartment Herd Sheep continue to be on display in the Huntsman window for another ten days, greeting passes by and providing a keen nod to another great London activity this October, the Frieze Art Fair.
Huntsman Autumn Winter 2018 Collection
Under the direction of Creative Director Campbell Carey, the autumn winter 2018 collection embraces the house’s strong visual signature and celebrates synonymous styles from its extensive archive. Spanning a range of ready-to-wear and complimentary accessories, the collection offers versatile and effortlessly stylish pieces to fit in any gentleman’s wardrobe.
The highlight of the collection are three slim-fit sports jackets in signature Huntsman style referencing the house’s riding and sporting origins. Available in brown and olive, the two herringbone jackets are crafted from a soft blend cloth of merino and Shetland wool, the finest micro count to be found in Britain that embody the earthy elegance only known to the Isle of Shetland. The third sports jacket, available in grey sherry tweed, offers a modern yet traditional look with a cloth that has been meticulously crafted to give it its rich vibrant colour.
Three cotton and wool trousers are available to compliment the jackets in a brown brushed cotton, herringbone and striking green Glenroyal check.
A new range of four cashmere cable knit jumpers with exclusive rib detailing arrive for the winter season. Available in navy, charcoal, burgundy and camel colourways, each jumper is hand-knitted from 100% cashmere sourced from the highest peaks of the Himalayas. Alongside this, a pair of cotton and cashmere blend shirts in new navy and grey colourways are available which offer soft, warm yet breathable qualities.
The Cashmerello grey and navy shirts
View the campaign imagery below: