Just when I presupposed the reopening of shops and outdoor dining spots in the UK is exciting enough, I was hit by a tremendous piece of news that makes the former insignificant. Dobrik & Lawton, unquestionably one of the most forward-thinking tailoring houses from the younger generation, is opening their first store on Savile Row.
Now, this may appear to be trivial if understood out of context, but hear me out. Last Monday, Dobrik & Lawton became the youngest bespoke tailors to open a shopfront on the Row in 52 years. You are correct — the last time when this happened was the monumental opening of the one and only, Nutters of Savile Row, from which our new generation tailors draw ample inspiration.
Recurring readers may remember Kimberley Megan Lawton and Joshua Dobrik from a previous write-up, in which I documented the scrubs the young tailors have made for the NHS in response to the pandemic.
Indeed, apart from the architectural and dynamic house style the tailors are best known for — a point which I will further elaborate on later — Kimberley and Joshua, in my view, are also some of the most thoughtful persons in the trade.
You need not look any further than the duo's commitment to longevity and sustainability, for instance, in which they provide a complimentary yearly service in recalling their garments for examination and to make any essential small repairs before the damage is irreversible; or that they employ the highest grade of Bemberg Cupro yarn for the lining of their garments.
Another great example is none other than Joshua's heartfelt yet sober write-up on his reflections on the infamous 2013 Rana Plaza collapse, and how the incident motivated him to be outspoken regarding workers' rights.
In any case, it is exciting to witness Kimberley and Joshua injecting new blood into Savile Row, given the young tailors being more upfront about such causes.
Of course, no discussions about tailoring are complete without examining the tailors' work. At first glance, it is clear that the duo's signature style is the complete opposite of the currently in-fashion Neapolitan tailoring.
With its square padded shoulders, cinched waist, and high rope, Dobrik & Lawton's coats can transform any man and woman into a sartorial demigod straight out from an Art Deco-style illustration. Now, so far, you may say their house style closely resembles that of Huntsman or Edward Sexton.
Here is where things get more impressive. Firstly, a diamond-shaped pocket is included in the facings of the jackets. As the jets of the inner pocket overlap and fold into one another, this means they could only be inserted by hand. Secondly, the corners of the peak lapels and the pockets are exceedingly sharp, which resonates with the duo's ethos of presenting the highest level of craftsmanship.
To raise the bar even higher, the duo's garments are arguably best known for the amount of handwork which is carefully executed by the young tailors themselves.
Having worked at traditional houses on the Row, Kimberley and Joshua took notice of how garment inconsistencies are caused by cutters having to rely on multiple tailors for sewing. Consequently, this occasionally results in drastic differences in the fit from one commission to another, especially if the tailors employ different sewing techniques. In response to this predicament, the duo has made the bold decision to do all the basting themselves, despite how taxing in time (and profits) the process would be.
Having heard of many stories related to inconsistencies myself, I am certain this is a feature many readers would appreciate.
It goes without saying that the duo's technical capabilities have already won themselves some rather awe-inspiring commissions up their sleeves.
'The most technically demanding piece we have made to date would have to be Brian May's robot breastplate', say the young tailors. Here, Kimberley and Joshua are, of course, referring to the piece they have made for Brian May's guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody, for his Queen + Adam Lambert USA & Asia tour 2019 / 2020.
Indeed, one can hardly compare the technical dexterity required to create a modern men's and women's suit of armor to a futuristic-looking robot breastplate. The characteristics of the vinyl fabric, for instance, were a lot less forgiving than the more conventional ones the duo would use for tailored suits.
Likewise, whether the garment would perform as intended on stage is another matter of grave concern. In response to the breastplate being pushed to one side during one of Brian May's rehearsals, the duo had to build a harness underneath the piece to prevent the reoccurrence of the incident.
All of this just goes to illustrate how Dobrik & Lawton are not only very capable tailors but also skilled in the art of couture techniques.
With a portfolio reaching this degree of impressiveness, it is only imperative, or at least understandable, that a bespoke Dobrik & Lawton two-piece suit starts at £4950.
Nevertheless, the duo is fully aware that garments with such a hefty price tag are not attainable for everyone, and that the economic factor has often played a considerable role in shaping the trade's imagery of irrelevance to the outside world.
To this, the young tailors have been actively looking into different payment plans that would increase the affordability of bespoke. Now, for instance, having the costs spread over a year is an option.
Elsewhere, a competitive made-to-order (MTO) service with the duo's favorite house styles is also on the horizon, which is said to be launched in Fall. There will be 6 styles of trousers, to begin with — classic, subtle flare, extreme flare, parallel leg, matador, alongside a side slit. As for the coats, there will be 3 options — a battle dress, a kimono style, and 3 tops, including a cowl back top.
Adding onto that, Kimberley has stated that for all of these MTO garments, the client will be able to pick the chest, waist, seat, leg length, as well as some smaller details, such as fastenings.
More details regarding the service will be released later this year — definitely watch this space.
Dobrik & Lawton's Savile Row store is at 31 Savile Row, London, W1S 3PT.
All images are provided by Dobrik & Lawton.