It’s that time of year again.
Hornets 36 Ken Church Street is full of Morning Wear for Ascot, weddings, Garden Parties ect. and our famous new top hats in black with three heights and in grey in the standard height, as always are offering style and value Vintage Morning coats(from £79) and our new Hornets Merino Wool Morning coats (the best deal in town, no, in the country at £239) with striped trousers, and a selection of waist coats.
Vintage Dinner Suits (black tie) and single dinner jackets and trousers with some amazing silk evening waistcoats. With white Tux we have everything for the formal dinner or to party in.
Then Hornets Tails (white tie) are in our Kensington Church Walk suit shop with white waist coats and shirts.
All in all a wide choice in dress wear.
We come back to Sherlock Holmes from time to time here on The Hornet. We were impressed with Guy Ritchie’s movie, and also with the modernised TV show with young Benedict Cumberbatch as the millennial version of the great detective.
Not everybody’s cup of tea, of course, the new chaps. They don’t fit with the perceived “classic” Holmes look. Yet flicking through the pages of A Study in Scarlet the other evening, it dawned on The Man from the Hornet that ACD gives us precious little description of our hero save that he is tall with blue eyes and has a chin that “marks the man of determination”.
He certainly never puts pen to paper to inform us: “The great detective, casting violin, pipe and syringe aside, made for the door, pausing only to don his deerstalker hat and Ulsterman cape.”
The look that we have grown to love – essentially a country look in its day – is brought into the picture by the great Sidney Paget, illustrator of the Holmes stories for The Strand magazine.
That the characters of Holmes and Watson continue to be so beloved some 124 years after their creation, is a testimony to the power of ACD’s skill and imagination.
The look associated with popular fiction’s most-filmed character inspires such devotion that devoted Sherlockians become most overheated if new versions deviate from it in even the smallest detail. That is thanks in part to Mr Paget and his illustrations (such as that above).
But it also suggest that the look is an enduring one: by turns individualistic, practical, eccentric, even fun – but always stylish. And quintessentially English. A look very much of the moment with the current proliferation of the country look in town.
The other night I went to dinner with two of my greatest friends Steve and Marina, they are Denton Hats, the best hatters in the country. Steve was Mr Christys’, for well over twenty years he did everything there and now makes his own hats which are the best. Marina designs the most beautiful ladies hats.
We of course went to Ramano’s another dear friend, he fussed Marina with Champagne cocktails, a fabulous dinner wines and liqueurs, he joined us for a drink and a chat. It was a splendid evening.
What stood out from the evening is what Steve said about Marina.
I met a girl,
I married a lady,
I now live with a women.
That sums them up, they are a team, they are as one and complement each other wonderfully.
They have a grown up family of beautiful and clever twin girls and a handsome and clever boy who is in the business.
They have achieved a great deal and are young enough to achieve a great deal more . Steve has already achieved a dream he had as a young man to bring hatting back to Denton, that local boy has done it and he’s going to do more, a lot more.
Good luck my friends, you know I will always be there for you as you were there for me. As Dan the son said to me “us Manchester people stick by our friends, Bill”. Indeed they do.
Oh, Steve started at Christy’s’ when he was sixteen, he did a seven year apprenticeship and as the Evening Standard wrote about him that’s how long it takes to become a doctor. Steve’s the last working hatting apprentice in the UK and there’s nothing he doesn’t know about making a hat. I call him “The Hands On Hatter” he’s not one for sitting in the office, he’d rather be down and at it, making hats.
Incidentally Denton is the home of hats, they started making hats there in 1702. How about that!