Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Name's Williams...

At a loss for something to read I perused my book shelf and discovered a book that had lain there gathering dust for more than twenty years. It was a paperback edition of the Ian Fleming James Bond novel Moonraker. Inside was a correspondence card of the type you see in the windows of smart Mayfair stationers. I realised that it had been a gift to me from the esteemed journalist and author Nick Foulkes. The note read that it may not be the best written book but the sartorial references are of interest. I have never read a James Bond novel before but Fleming's description of Bond's clothing was fascinating. The photographs I have seen of Fleming show a man who looks as though he was a fastidious dresser and one who cared about the details which is why Bond was always impeccably turned out. 

On my mantelpiece was an invitation from Williams Motor Racing to join them at an event at the BT Tower formerly known as The Post Office Tower and built in the Cold War period of the 1960's; all very James Bond. We have recently become a sponsor of Williams and will be dressing all of the Williams team so it would be a good opportunity to meet them. Security was tight at the communications tower and when the security guard asked for my name and identity I resisted saying the name's Hackett, Jeremy Hackett. 

Parked in the lobby was this seasons Williams racing car and I have to say I did feel a sense of pride to see the Hackett name emblazoned on the nose and I was surprised at how fragile it appeared for a car that emitted such colossal power.  I stepped into a brightly lit and clinically clean elevator that glided me as swiftly and silently up to the 30th floor as a Formula One racing car. 

Inspired by James Bond I had chosen my outfit with care and had decided upon a one button mid grey lightweight worsted suit with turn back cuffs which I wore with a white double cuff shirt made from a two fold cotton fabric from Thomas Mason. I had selected a plain navy blue silk woven panama weave tie and my favourite silver tie pin that coordinated with my silver monogrammed cufflinks, that also complimented my  steel 1963 Rolex Explorer. I checked my tie in the mirror before leaving the lift and wondered if it was two way.

The evening had been planned to celebrate the forthcoming motor racing season. All the Williams sponsors were there, Martini being the most famous, a Martini was thrust into my hand and again, I resisted saying ‘shaken not stirred’. Every one there was awaiting the arrival of Sir Frank Williams who had been caught up in traffic. When the wheel chair bound Sir Frank arrived (the unfortunate result of a car crash) he apologised profusely for being late and made a short speech that was actually more like a cosy chat with friends. He was urbane, self deprecating and extremely relaxed, dressed in a white shirt, navy cashmere sweater and grey slacks. 

Before I left I took a walk around the slowly revolving floor and glanced out of the window into a clear bright night and the stars were twinkling making me think I must read Diamonds are Forever. Good luck to the Williams Team down under on Sunday.

Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 2 March 2015

Well Suited

It was a bitter sweet Sunday afternoon as I settled down to watch the England Rugby team take on Ireland in what I optimistically thought would be England's  third win of the the six nations; only it wasn't to be. Somewhat deflated by the unfortunate result of the match my spirits were lifted when Chelsea held the League cup aloft. To see Jose Mourinho so obviously ecstatic at his teams win was a rare sight. Mourinho rolling around on the grass in his Hackett Chelsea suit like a ten year old made me think that I shall probably be getting a call from Chelsea, no not to play but to provide their manager with a new suit which of course I shall happily oblige. I just wondered if we had kitted out Stuart Lancaster in a Hackett suit would the outcome of England's match have been different? I shall spare you my cod analysis of the matches suffice to say commiseration to England and congratulations to Chelsea.

Jeremy Hackett

Monday, 23 February 2015

Just a Walk in the Park

Walking Muffin in Battersea park early on Saturday morning I ran into a jogger who recognised Muffin. I asked him how he knew and he answered " because I read your blog".  Hurrah,  I've finally met someone who reads my ramblings. It doesn't take much but it made my day. Thank you Simon the jogger.

Jeremy Hackett

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


Last Saturday I hosted the BAFTA Fellowship lunch at The Savoy to honour the great writer and director Mike Leigh of whom I have been a long standing fan. It is Leigh's pin sharp observation of human nature and it's frailties that make him such an outstanding director. I couldn't help thinking when making a short speech that Leigh would be noting my every mannerism, gesture, tic and mode of speech and fashion to be stored away and in a forthcoming screen play served up as some excruciatingly toe curling and cringe making character. I do hope so.

On Sunday evening I hosted a table at the BAFTA awards dinner and my guests included several young actors such as James Norton, Freddie Fox and Ed Speleers all who were impeccably attired in Hackett dinner jackets and were extremely good company. I bumped into Eddie Redmayne fresh from receiving his justly deserved Best Actor award. I have known Eddie for a number of years having featured him in my book Mr Classic and despite all the fame and plaudits that have been heaped upon him he remains as charming and self deprecating as when I first met him.

That's probably enough name dropping for one blog.
Jeremy Hackett

Friday, 30 January 2015

Greatest Briton

Walking down Jermyn St the other morning on my way to visit our shop I was captivated by the display in Turnbull and Asser's window featuring numerous silk handkerchiefs with drawings  of Winston Churchill printed on them. 

The timely display of Churchill is a fitting tribute for one who has been voted our Greatest Briton and who today we commemorate his passing fifty years ago. With his trademark cigar, polka dot bow- tie and victory sign the drawing perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the man.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Finishing Touches

Just a few comments on our fashion show last week. I realise how important it is to have a bit of fun and accessories are a way to inject a touch of humour. For instance, when we showed the  military coat with the sheepskin collar I added a sheepskin glove which I placed in one of the pockets with two fingers pointing out, only to notice at the last moment that  it was suggesting and I put this in polite terms, "Go Away", I immediately turned the glove around so that it would be interpreted as "Peace".

With a nod to the 70s I had made several leather  H medallions to hang languidly around polo neck sweaters which instantly transformed the whole look. The main theme of the show had been to promote wool and British sheep so we featured several sheepskin pieces one being a Gilet which when the model walked down the cat walk I asked him that when he reached the halfway point to take off the Gilet and to reverse it revealing the Hackett logo imitating the branding of sheep.

For the finale the model wore a bold Prince of Wales suit made from British wool and woven into cloth by Fox Bros. I teamed this with a  brown bowler hat and umbrella to reinforce our logo and decorated the bowler with patches of material to match the suit, it made a strong impact, whether we sell any remains to be seen, but I had a lot of fun putting it together.

Jeremy Hackett

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

London Collections: Men

I realise that perhaps it's a little bit late in the day to be wishing you Happy New Year. I'm not sure what is the etiquette concerning how long into the New Year it is acceptable to greet people with Happy New Year?

I had intended to update you with the build up to London Men's Collection but out of the blue the Editor of How To Spend It magazine online invited me to write a daily journal for their column Diary of A Somebody for five days on the trot leading up to our Fashion show Sheep Shape and London Fashion. So if you are vaguely interested in what I have been up to recently then you may like to visit their website. On the evening of our fashion show and dinner we commissioned the artist Clym to sketch the backstage goings on, below is an example of his work. My Sussex Spaniel, Muffin made her debut on the catwalk and was an instant hit.

Happy New Year!

Jeremy Hackett