London. When arriving on London’s Savile Row, there is one house which definitely cannot be overseen: Gieves & Hawkes. Located at the prime location of Savile Row No. 1, G&H holds three royal warrants and is the biggest house on the Golden Mile of tailoring. As Uncle Ben in Spiderman taught us: with great power comes great responsibility. And I do think that only a superhero would adequately fit the job description for a head-cutter. Main role: lead a company with phenomenal heritage of bespoke tailoring into the future. Enter Mr Davide Taub. The young head-cutter stands for a modern yet timeless take on a gentleman’s suit of armour. I was honoured to be given the opportunity to talk to this unique gentleman.
Mr Davide Taub – A rocky route to excellence
Mr Taub comes from a family of tailors but decided to start his career as a student of architecture and work for a small sleep research tech company in Iceland – not the traditional career path for a tailor. In his early thirties, he decided that he would like to create with his bare hands and decided to turn to tailoring. Given his age and lack of experience with sewing, it should not be all too surprising that he found it difficult to find a position at first. He was recommended to Kashket & Partners, a Military and Ceremonial Tailor in East London, for whom he worked from 2001 until 2004. That was certainly the right decision as he became head-cutter at the prestigious Gieves & Hawkes only 11 years later having previously worked for Maurice Sedwell (2004-2008 & 2010-2012) and Edward Sexton (2008-2010).
Gieves & Hawkes Bespoke – An intriguing shoulder line
One of the particular pleasures of meeting with Davide is that it did not feel like an interview but rather an inspiring conversation. We discussed the good and bad sides of Instagram and how we think the market is changing to perhaps be overly visual. This phenomenon leads to customers coming to the atelier with a lot of ideas in mind and practical examples on their phones. However, Davide does not wish to be seen as a copy-and-paste kind of guy. It was interesting to hear that he likes to let the customer be actively involved in the design process. He does his level base not to make clients conform to a strict house style. This again has its advantages and disadvantages. He sees the role of the modern tailor as being about creating and developing a unique style for each unique client. Still, one cannot not claim that all of his pieces have an unmistakable signature look. I personally was not able to spot that a clear stylistic link (e.g. a particular shoulder or chest style) among the creations I have seen so far. I know, I know: very unfortunate for the sartorial geek-boner generation (having used this neologism twice now, I feel comfortable claiming copyright on it – send all business enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org) who cannot stand a tailor whom they cannot spot a mile away. Instead this link is a feeling that his clothing conveys. There is a certain fragility and even an intriguing darkness mixed with a natural and not overly dramatic look.
Why, then, is the headline An intriguing shoulder line? I need to earn the click-bait bucks! In all seriousness, though: I was intrigued by what Davide himself was wearing that day. It was a soft-looking double-breasted jacket with a breath-taking shoulder line. At one point, during a lull in conversation, the pagoda-ish shoulder tapped me on the shoulder and kindly asked me if I could kindly ask its creator about its origins. The humble tailor explained that the idea behind the shoulder is to look and feel natural. There is little padding and not much sculpting to the shoulder. This allows the jacket to maintain a certain lightness while still possessing a pronounced shape due to a small amount of padding – just two fingers – at the end of the shoulder. This is an approach I had not seen in London tailoring before and something I associate with Italian tailoring. I quickly came to the conclusion that Davide’s look is the single most amazing, natural, yet English look I have ever seen. It currently tops my wish list for bespoke.
Firstly, googling Davide Taub will provide you with his favourite designers: Rei Kawakubo and The Non. Definitely worth a look! Secondly, I highly recommend his blog (http://davidetaub.blogspot.hu) if you are looking for inspiration and, of course, his drawings on Instagram. Finally, I am also a huge fan of his really, really sexy creations for women. DC/MM