THE definition of a ‘dandy’ is someone who is devoted to style and fashion in dress and appearance. That description is very applicable when also describing Chester Barrie creative director and buyer Chris Modoo. Chris very kindly invited me down to his Savile Row office to talk all things sartorial and give me an insight into the evolution of Chester Barrie under his stylish guidance.
Chris Modoo fell in love with tailoring and clothes from an early age and it was his father whom he took original inspiration from in the form of his Dad’s ‘Notting Hill mod’ style of dress. It was also imbedded into Chris by his father to take pride in his appearance and to look after his clothing. An ethical way of thinking that is so lost in amongst today’s youth. Chris learnt his formalwear trade on the sales floor working for Thomas Pink, 40 Savile Row and then Ede & Ravenscroft.
As a stylist I’m a big fan of Mr Modoo’s rakish style and for today’s meeting his formal stance was made up from a beautiful houndstooth three piece suit, a rounded tab collar contrast shirt with a pristine four in hand knot to accompany. Oh and also throw in to the mix an expertly positioned silk pochette and pearl tie pin to finish off the look. The word dandyism springs to mind. Here are a few examples of Chris Modoo’s exquisite formal stance and styling.
Now in charge creatively at Chester Barrie, Modoo has managed to reinvigorate and get people talking about the classic British tailors. The best bit of collective business Chris was involved in was bringing renowned Savile Row master tailor Edward Sexton on board. Sexton was given the job of creating a new block and cut for Chester Barrie and with Modoo’s skilled eye when it comes to fabrications and style, it was a match made in tailoring heaven. Like Chris explained to me, if you have an Edward Sexton cut block that your off the peg collection is built upon, that’s a pretty impressive selling point?
He’s dead right.
For you stylish readers that don’t know Edward Sexton, he is famous with Tommy Nutter for putting the vava boom into the Row back in the 70’s and has been an inspiration for many of the new generation of Savile Row tailors and fashion designers of today.
Recently, the fashion press and I witnessed this at the Bloomsbury hotel in London for Chester Barrie’s SS14 London Collections: Menswear presentation.
You see I’ve always been a fan of Chester Barrie’s traditional tailoring style from the bold peak lapels to heritage club stripe ties. With a little help from Mr Sexton, Chris Modoo has been able to keep the traditional formal values that Chester Barrie are fundamentally known for without giving in to the modern contemporary “fashion cut” way of tailoring. Even so Chester Barrie’s offering is so modern and contemporary. With the designer big guns somewhat leaning back to the way of a wider cut trouser and a more generous, traditional cut of jacket. Adding the Gatsby movie that has had guys being braver and bolder with their formal colour showcase, the timing couldn’t be better as more and more men look to dress as a modern dandy.
Also up Modoo’s sleeve for SS14 was a ready to wear capsule collection of informal pieces. Bright colours amongst traditional pallet tones. One of my favourite pieces is the golfing jacket that Chris had made from a beautiful lightweight houndstooth fabric. It’s a jacket that oozes class and can be dressed up or down. A great wardrobe piece. This Informal capsule collection will be debuting at Harvey Nichols next season and with that comes closer Modoo’s vision of a Chester Barrie one stop shop for their customers.
For all information on Chester Barrie’s tailoring service and all other inquiries please go through their website www.chesterbarrie.co.uk/