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The Grey Fox Photoshoot
There is an understandable mutual appreciation society that exists between David Evans AKA Grey Fox, Britain’s best known sartorial blogger specialising in style for the over forties, and the three British brands Cordings, Loake and Tusting. A vocal advocate of style over fashion and British made quality products, David has been a supporter of the labels for several years. On a surprisingly balmy spring day in March we gathered on the first floor of Cordings Piccadilly store, the mission was for David to style the three brands his way, adding his own clothing into the mix to create his take on British fashion. Tusting and Loake had supplied collections from their ranges, and the first floor in Cordings was filled with the evocative smell of leather and mouth-watering styles. David in his usual inspired manner wasted no time in putting together the following looks which we then took to the streets around Piccadilly to shoot.
In combining The Shawbost Harris tweed jacket with denim, a backpack, and trainers, David created an effortless, relaxed tweed look, with a contemporary twist. Loake Foster premium trainer, with a cemented rubber sole, in a rich navy suede. Tusting Millbrook leather backpack with bridle trims.
We started the day by visiting our favourite haunts by the Royal Academy of Arts before they became too busy. David reminded us of the ease at which one outfit could become another by the simple changing of a jumper, adding a jacket or style of footwear. A perfect seasonal ensemble, the bright fern green lambswool jumper is an easy layering piece that is perfect for spring, the Bloomsbury Prince of Wales jacket adds a casual elegance and the timeless suede Chukka boot complements the selvedge edge denim jeans perfectly.
David showcased two more stars of the Tusting luggage collection: the leather Weekender bag, with antique brass fittings and the Explorer bag crafted in a Scottish woven canvas. He matched these with the Loake Rivington premium Chukka boot with Goodyear welted crepe sole, handmade in Northamptonshire.
As the sun warmed up so did we and it was on to a more formal outfit: The City Suit. David clearly meant business! Yet even when dealing with serious matters, he reminds us that individuality is important – by adding the green holt gingham shirt with the navy duck woven tie, the suit took on a crisp, fun look, smart yet characterful. The Tusting Westminster – a clever hybrid of Folio case and Briefcase was a natural choice for the outfit and The Loake collection of city shoes was pondered by David, his choice of footwear for the outfit was the Brighton Classic Slip On Loafer with Goodyear welted leather sole handmade in Northamptonshire
The Duncan mackintosh sits perfectly with this outfit, with its crisp clean lines and pop of colour in the lining to pull in the colour of the tie. It is also supremely practical – waterproof and robust it will ensure the suit stays dry even during the inevitable April shower. David chose the timeless Loake Withington Satchel for these shots which teamed perfectly with the Mackintosh.
Tusting cater for town and country in their collection and for the next shots David chose a smart wallet to compliment the suit with The Mortimer an elegant laptop case, crafted in a rich full grain leather. This was teamed with its matching, exquisitely detailed Mortimer leather wallet.
At Cordings we show the best-selling House Check suit with a traditional tattersall shirt and tie, David styled it instead with a denim shirt and gossamer thin wool scarf, creating a less formal and more contemporary look.
The denim cleverly brings out the blue check of the tweed suit and the hank adds interest and again draws out the overcheck. The Loake Buckingham Brogue and Tusting Weekender bags in both sizes add to the unmistakably British country feel of the outfit.
After being revived by a spot of lunch, outfit 4 was a joy to shoot. David chose a colourful yet subtle, and exceedingly easy to wear ensemble. The Cordings moleskin Wayfarer Jacket in a rich forest green was teamed with a vintage look Shetland jumper in a rust, two complimentary colours which positively glowed.
The Loake Country Brogues and Tusting Millbrook backpack that David had selected looked perfectly at home on the steps of Pall Mall. The rich leather of the bag trims and the Loake brogue echoed the nubuck leather trims of the Wayfarer jacket perfectly. The result was an off duty look to be coveted.
The shoes and bag for this outfit are the Loake Chester country waxy leather brogue with Dainite rubber studded sole, made in Northamptonshire, and Tusting Millbrook leather backpack with bridle trims.
Following the broad steps down into the sunlit St James we ventured into the quieter expanse of the St James Park. The bold rust-coloured Shetland jumper proved itself the perfect match for tan leather accessories that David had selected. An excellent transitional garment with a wonderful textured look David styled it with a tartan paisley stag scarf and Tusting green canvas backpack (a sneak preview of a prototype Autumn style!) and canvas Weekender bag created an effortless casual look rich in colours and textures.
Our final shots were taken as we sauntered back to Piccadilly through the daffodils in the park, David donned the new olive coloured Grenfell golfer, a classic British jacket first sold by Grenfell in the 1930’s and beloved by such style icons as Steve McQueen. With the Tusting canvas Clipper slung casually over his shoulder David exuded relaxed, timeless style.
It was an idyllic end to the day’s shoot and the perfect moment to reflect on how well we all worked as a team. There were many people to thank, including Will Peachy our photographer who masterfully swapped between two cameras, one film and one digital, and the Tusting team of Gillian and Alice with their excellent ideas and keen eye for detail. Finally, of course, there was David who bore all our suggestions and instructions with the utmost patience and good humour.
A reflection on British craftmanship and style
The photoshoot came at the perfect time to show appreciation for these 3 brand’s British heritage. Indeed, in our run up to the celebrations of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee it feels apt to reflect on what British craftmanship and design offer us when it comes to quality and style. When you look at the thought and attention to detail that has gone into the creation of Tustings’ sumptuous bags and Loakes’ stellar shoes, not to mention Cordings tailoring and fabrics, it is no wonder that these brands have stood the test of time so well. They achieve the perfect balance of offering everything you want and more, with nothing in excess. Especially when styled by Grey Fox, each item lends itself to a look that is both aspirational and wearable, not to mention bursting with character.