Black linen stand-up collar suit from Heron’s Ghyll and Maison Hellard
Shortly after I was introduced to Heron’s Ghyll at Pitti Uomo in June 2023, I was sent new fabric samples to the house from French linen house Maison Hellard. Among them, a black linen quality called “Palais Garnier” from the new collection “Nuit parisienne” with fabrics for the evening. At 360 g/ m made from 100 percent linen, it seemed ideal for an evening suit in the cut I had seen at Heron’s Ghyll at the show. This is how the idea of merging the two companies came about. I put Mark Francis in London in touch with Nathan Hellard. Nathan then sent a sample of the black linen fabric to Mark. After a few days, Mark got in touch. He liked the material very much. The linen was heavier than the fabric they normally use, but it would be easy to work with. So the required quantity was ordered from Maison Hellard. It was necessary to take into account the fact that the buttons are covered with the outer fabric. This is done in London by a small specialist workshop, one of the last of its kind in the British capital.
My idea for the Heron’s Ghlyy black suit came from a photo of a linen tuxedo I saw a few years ago. The tuxedo I had sewn at Tobias Tailors in London in 1999 from relatively heavy wool barathea is quite warm on summer evenings or in heated indoor spaces. That’s why I had been on the lookout for an evening suit that was a little lighter for quite a while. At the same time, I was looking for an alternative to the classic tuxedo, which is not appropriate for all evening occasions. Heron’s Ghyll suits, with their stand-up collar and unstructured finish, seemed like just what I was looking for. Tailored in black linen, the model I liked and fit so well in brown glencheck linen in Florence would offer just the mix of formality and unconventionality I had in mind. Then, at the beginning of August, the black linen suit was delivered. Unfortunately too late for the World Federation of Master Tailors congress in Biella, where I would have loved to wear it.
The fit of the suit, which was made without any alteration in my clothing size, is as expected, so very good. The jacket is unlined and finished with very soft inserts. The pants have no pleats and are held in place by an elastic waistband. So a waist belt is not necessary, so the pants do not have belt loops. Nevertheless, I could also very well imagine a slightly wider trousers with pleats and belt loops to the jacket. However, for Heron’s Ghyll, this would require a different way of working the pants, which may not fit the concept of tailoring. The pants are very comfortable and fit well too, you might consider having suspenders with clips hold them in place. If you stow a heavy set of keys and a wallet in your pockets, such suspenders could be helpful. The look of the suit is somewhere between 1960s James Bond villain and Indian prime minister. The suit is definitely evening appropriate, but would also be usable during the day or for certain business occasions outside of the banking world. A gallery owner could wear such a look, or musicians, architects or photographers.
To set the scene for the suit, we chose the KPM Hotel in Berlin as the location. It is located right next to the world-famous porcelain manufactory, whose owner Jörg Woltmann we have already interviewed. The hotel opened in 2019, the location at the Tiergarten is central and quiet at the same time. The interior is modern and avoids pomp and plush, but it does not lack a certain warmth. The photos were taken in the lobby, in the hallways, in a half-finished suite currently used as an event penthouse, and in the underground parking garage, which is very much worth seeing. I paired the suit with a white tailored shirt in soft oxford fabric by Gino Venturini of Vienna, along with lightweight Moreschi moccasins, fine cotton knee-high socks by Bresciani and a silk scarf by Fumagalli.