When it comes to menswear things can get a little tricky, sure it looks simple enough for a fashionista looking in but when it comes to dressing men, silhouette is key as everything is loosely based on one main aesthetic – a trouser paired with a top.
With the emergence of more and more menswear design talent through LC:M and NYFW Mens, the options for male dressing are widening however these groundbreaking shows are more about pushing boundaries than setting seasonal trends. As much as Men’s Fashion Month is an major event in the fashion calendar, it mostly gives me inspo for my own wardrobe.
We all know that Fashionista’s move in tribes. The key difference is that men often aren’t aware of the theory of fashion tribes, or of which tribe they fall into; whether they’re a Classic Aesthetic (jeans and tee), Sports Luxe (relaxed fit jeans / sweatpants, sports tee & sneakers), Wide Boy (skinny sweats & vest) or Urban Gentleman (tailoring with all the trimmings), it’s not usually a conscious decision. Whether aware of it are not, men are unwittingly influenced by fashion.
You’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada, you know the theory behind the cerulean blue sweater – in a nutshell, every purchase you make on the highstreet, every throwaway notion or bargain bin selection, is directly influenced by the elite runway shows at the top of the chain. Fashion is everywhere and influences most of your day to day decisions around clothing, makeup, accessories and shoes, right through to the way you style your home.
If you’re a guy who naturally favours suiting and consider a pocket square to be the ultimate accessory, then congratulations! You fall into the Urban Gentleman tribe, (and there are definitely a few of you out there who follow me), it’s likely that you already know that tailoring is your best friend. The high street can work with tailoring to a certain extent but the clue is in the name people, tailoring only achieves its MO if it’s made to fit. Yes, I get that budget is a huge factor and can recommend some off the rack retailers for tailoring but trust me, going made to measure will change your life.
Step forward Duke Ata Bespoke. Duke’s self titled label focuses on luxury, made to fit, with all the trappings of a modern, urban gentleman. Everything Duke produces has flair, from the signature wide lapels and polka dots to the wide shouldered cut of his jackets, a Duke Ata Bespoke piece is recognisable by its artistry.
With a background in Blogging, Duke’s knowledge of menswear in particular led him on an eerily similar journey to mine. Styling wedding guests and curating wardrobe overhauls for years gave him a clear idea of pieces that would work for clients. It wasn’t long before Duke turned his hand to design himself, and ultimately, tailoring. Inspired by classic elegance, the gentleman’s silhouette and the craftsmanship of Savile Row, Duke has developed a peculiar and recognisable style which has been forged into the Duke Ata brand.
His first collection – Vol.1 – sees classic tailoring married with an urban twist. Duke has a penchant for unusual fabrics and is super particular about the quality, threadcount and finish – I can say that, we’re friends – basically, if it’s not perfect, it’s not Duke Ata.
The fitting service offered by Duke Ata Bespoke is a step above tailoring. A tailor will take an existing suit model and make it fit the client (think Tim Gunn in How I Met Your Mother), with a bespoke service fabric selection, shape, cut and fit are all handcrafted to the needs and expectations of the client. It’s a different ball game. The cost is high, but then that’s not news. For anyone considering something bespoke there’s a price to pay, but business is booming.
Duke’s clients tell me that there’s nothing like the feeling of putting on a Duke Ata Bespoke suit, it’s like The Emporer’s New Clothes, they fit so well that you feel like you’re wearing nothing, but you just know you look awesome.
You’ll recognise his aesthetic too, Duke recently dressed footballer Jamie O’Hara for his Celebrity Big Brother 2017 entrance, and Body Fixers Dr Esho only wears Duke Ata Bespoke. Natty credentials indeed. Duke doesn’t shout from the rooftops about his brand, he’s quietly confident. Charismatic and charming, it’s no wonder his clients are fiercely loyal.
With a series of low key, invite only events around his home town of Newcastle, he let’s the pieces he creates do the talking and is quietly building momentum in both the North and in London where he takes regular fitting appointments. When we discuss the theory of fashion tribes he agrees with me saying “I know my tribe, I stay in my lane. I don’t try to force tailoring on to people it won’t work for, I’m particular about my clients.” With bespoke tailoring on the rise and Tom Ford recently stating “My suit is my uniform, I feel weak in trainers”, it’s an aesthetic that more and more men (and women) are aspiring to. Well Voyeurs, it just got a little more accessible to the Urban Gentlemen of the North East – you know who you are.
For appointments email email@example.com