We were very intrigued by Nick Curtis’s piece in last week’s Evening Standard about “The World War One Look” – the current London vogue for all things early 20th Century, inspired by such TV shows as Downton Abbey.
Indeed Downton Abbey, a great favourite of Mrs Man From The Hornet, is an excellent way to take notes on style history. Notes such as this one from an episode we saw over Christmas…
The Earl of Grantham – played by Hugh Bonneville (above) – was off out, dressed in a most unusual garment: a jacket with no tail and silk lapels.
“All the chaps are wearing them!” he laughed, plainly delighted to be in the vanguard of style.
The dinner jacket, or Tuxedo in American parlance, in which he was dressed, raises no eyebrows today. But during the early years of the 20th Century, such things were modish indeed.
The original “dinner jacket” had been commissioned by King Edward VII when Prince of Wales from the fabled Henry Poole of Savile Row as a coat comfortable enough in which to dine and smoke – two of Edward’s three favourite activities (ahem).
James Potter, an American guest of the Prince’s at Sandringham greatly admired HRH’s new smoking jacket and went off to Poole’s to have one made all his own. Back home in NY state, he showed off his new garment at his country club – the Tuxedo Park Club. The rest is history.
See the Downton Abbey website HERE.