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Chester Barrie Unveil Their AW17 Collection

Earlier this month Chester Barrie gave MenswearStyle an exclusive and flirtatious glimpse into their new AW17 collection at Dalloway Terrace. Today they unveil the catalogue online and we'd like to add our thoughts to some of the collection. Firstly, for the uninitiated, Chester Barrie opened its first store on Savile Row in 1937 and the business has maintained a presence there ever since. Today, the shop at number 19 acts as a flagship for the brand, showing the clothes and accessories at their best and serving an international clientele. Chester Barrie is the official formalwear partner of the Olivier Awards and therefore dressed many of the presenters and nominees. They're also the formalwear sponsor of Leicester Tigers, England’s most consistently successful rugby club and home to a number of international players.

The Chester Barrie tailoring story majors on bringing gravitas to suit wearing. English and Italian cloths (including some luxurious West Country flannels) have substance but are soft to the touch. Texture is an important element – especially with Tweeds and Prince of Wales checks – but it is the construction that makes it distinctive. Structured suits are strong of shoulder and sculpted at the chest; the unstructured tailoring molds to the body without restricting movement. Both flatter and enhance; the shallow armhole allows for greater freedom of movement and a trimmer appearance.

This new capsule has seen a notable shift over to Double Breasted jackets. Which cosmetically invokes a very regal and austere aesthetic. They're also looking to revive both the polo neck and roll neck sweats, encouraging you to escape the treadmill of conformity. Amongst the collection, the standouts that assailed my attention were the following: The Prince of Wales Check, composed from fox cloth. It has a lower rake finished with one button on the bottom. A wide lapel which has become a signature of the Chester Barrie style but with a softer silhouette than its predecessors.

Simon Kirby, Creative Director admitted that he was ambivalent to the idea of tartan in general and admits it was choppy waters for him to interpret this for Chester Barrie. However, he intimated that he's delighted with the outcome which is derived from an Italian blue clay yarn that gives it an interesting slant. The look has been completely deconstructed and model Richard Biedul is demonstrating with his typical brilliant insouciance that you can pair it with something other than matching tartan trousers.

Other highlights worth mentioning are the Window Pane Fleck Yard Jacket composed from a mélange twill, a blend of blues and grays. It's housed in the Black Label which are concessions lent to the likes of House of Fraser. And lastly, a tonic cloth two piece, 100% mohair, was the same cloth that Michael Caine wore in Get Carter. Adorned with statement geometric ties and Mother of Pearl buttons, it carefully traverses the trusses of business and occasion wear. I found the collection to be very forward leaning with its deconstructions, very accessible with its price points, and if you have a penchant for the Double Breasted look like I do, then this could be an interesting season for you.

Peter Brooker

Peter is a published author on men's style, a huge James Bond fanatic and the host of our very own Menswear Style Podcast. His new book 'From Tailors with Love: An Evolution of Menswear Through the Bond Films' is available now.

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