Redwood and Feller – Bespoke tailor in Pimlico, London
Pimlico and West London is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about English tailoring, that’s for sure. Savile Row has over the years built such a strong identity in the tailoring industry that is almost impossible to imagine a good bespoke tailor to be based anywhere else. However, there is at least one workshop outside the most famous English tailoring street that is worth a visit – Redwood and Feller.
I met Elliot, who is running the operation with his dad Edward Rowland, sometime ago in his workshop and returned to meet him again this past weekend. He is a lovely chap, very kind and friendly and keen to run the store in the future on his own. I wanted Elliot and Eddie to tell me more about the history of the workshop and particularly a bit more about their tailoring house style.
Founded in the 1946 by Mr Redwood and Mr Feller it has been run under Edward Rowland’s supervision since 1974. Edward trained on Savile Row and Carnaby Street (where he had his first shop and used to make suits for rock stars) and then brought his own label to Rochester Road where the workshop has been since then. He made suits for politicians and Prime Ministers and in 1988 received a Royal Warrant from the Queen. In the meantime he also trained in Italy in Milan and Naples where he picked up the close-fitting jacket style.
You never know who is going to get you recommendation or who is going to go through the front doorEdward Rowland, tailor
Eddie, apart from his work at Redwood and Feller, also teaches people from Savile Row and help them especially when they have got problems. I am not surprised. He is such a nice person, willing to help and share his experience. He’s got many interesting stories to tell as well! Pleasure to listen to him.
We discussed some tailoring issues and style aspects of the jackets and I found Eddie to be very much aware of all the issues modern gentleman have with their garments. He is not someone that stopped learning at some point of his career. “Of course, all the time” he said when I asked him if he still plays with the style of his jackets, width of the lapel or position of the gorge. The most important aspect of a suit according to Eddie is the lapel and collar. Once those two elements fit well and sit nicely then everything follows. It is the first thing that everyone notices when looking at the jacket so if you make it wrong then the whole jacket looks bad. What I also noticed about Redwood and Feller is that they pay a lot of attention to each customers body type. During few fittings I have seen, they always referred to body type and explained its consequences in the jacket. They are honest in their judgement and not only focused on the business side of the work. Your appearance is above all the most important thing to them.
I would describe Redwood and Feller house style as English or continental with some Italian influences. Most importantly jackets are being kept as simple as possible, simple – in a good way. “We are not designers or anything like that, we like to keep things nice and simple, traditional if you want” says Elliot. Traditional even oldschool tailoring one might say. The jacket is relatively long with a strong line of the lapel and slightly sharp, angled quarters. High armhole is something Edward picked up while working in Italy – which according to him was the best tailoring workshop he has ever seen. This definitely gives you very nice shape from underneath and provides much needed freedom of movement, the higher the armhole the better, they say. Redwood and Feller lapel size, as a standard, is 3.5” on single breasted but Eddie trained in the 60’s (Tommy Nutter style) likes them to be as wide as possible. This is obviously something you might want to change depending on your body type. Another characteristic would also be a high gorge. It has been modified in the last 3-4 years and developed by Eddie and his son.
Everyone can take measurements but it is all about figurationElliot Rowland
During first fitting Edward always start with very tight armhole and eventually widens it a little bit to achieve perfect comfort. All garments are made by Elliot and his father at the premises, chest is always padded by hand as is the collar. Floating canvass in the chest and the canvass in the shoulders is very soft. Another characteristic is that there seem to be always a bit more free space left in the front of the jacket, going a little front edge but keeping nice and fitted waistline on the back.
‘We like to keep things nice and simple’ Elliot said again. ‘A little longer jacket, nicely waisted in the back and sides, beautiful classic navy or grey English fabric (Yorkshire is best according to Eddie) and you can easily wear the suit for years and years. It will last you 30 years and will always look good, no matter what the fashion is’. Assuming obviously that you take a good care of it and do not take it to dry-cleaners or at least do not do that too often. As with everything that is natural, as a fabric, no chemical treatment should be applied.
Tailoring is a magical thing they both say. ‘It is not only about the well fitted jacket but also about the relationship and a personalised garment that was moulded to your body, not only cut to your measurements.’ At Redwood and Feller you can not only get a well-cut suit but also a very personal experience. Another important thing we discussed during our conversation is a skill needed to cut a well fitted suit for someone who doesn’t have a perfect figure. It is not a difficult task to do that for a model but to make a suit for gentleman who is of different shape, maybe larger or very thin, this is what makes a good cutter.
You can be 100% sure that once you step into the Redwood and Feller shop in Pimlico, London Edward and his son Elliot will not only take a great care of you but also make it an unforgettable experience summarized by a beautiful and well fitted suit.
Prices start at around £2100 for bespoke and about half of that for semi-bespoke service.
Redwood and Feller Bespoke Tailors
89 Rochester Road
Westminster, SW1P 1LJ, London
Short video and more photos of Redwood and Feller bespoke garments:
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