In The Magazine


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MEN! MEN! HUNTSMAN! I can’t remember the last time I was at a dinner where men outnumbered women three to one. But such was the clubby, cult dinner for the opening of the revered Huntsman bespoke tailor on 57th Street in New York—the first Savile Row tailor in the United States. (And well they should be, as 60 percent of their lucky clients are Americans.) In a madly elevated version of its Trump-esque/Remington Shavers tagline (“I liked it so much, I bought the company”), the uber elegant hedge fund manager Pierre Lagrange did just that. “I’m proud to be the custodian of Huntsman and to back the craft of bespoke garment making so relevant to our modern life. It is similar to when I first experimented with bespoke Holland & Holland guns and a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle, before I became the owner of Huntsman!”

Pierre, Jay McInerney and Tony Peck hosted the opening dinner with the Huntsman team—Campbell Carey, Dario Carnera and Michael Anderson—in Le Bernardin’s private dining room, with silk pocket scarves (I am sewing a pocket on my sheath) commemorating the evening. The tables were named for legendary clients: Gregory Peck (whose clothes hung, still in perfect condition, in a nearby antique wardrobe, 57th Street bound, complete with a checklist of what a gentleman would need for a six-week sail), John Warner (where Jay McInerney was seated, and who commented to me, “Really! You get Gregory Peck, and I get John Warner!” The senator does have his fans.), Gianni Agnelli, Rex Harrison, Lucian Freud, Benny Goodman, Henry Kissinger, Stewart Granger and Katharine Hepburn! I was happily ensconced at the Peck table—both Gregory’s in spirit and that of his son, Tony, who was wearing one of his father’s 55-year-old, still perfect Huntsman suits. He told me, “Wearing my father’s clothes is both an honor and a pleasure: the honor of inhabiting his garments and the pleasure of wearing these garments of perfect craftsmanship.” Honor abounded—the centerpieces had ceramic poppies within, from the Tower of London’s tribute to the 100th anniversary of World War I and to all the soldiers who perished during that long-ago conflict. (Huntsman bought a poppy for each of their 362 clients from among that brave group.) And because having the most expensive, most cherished clothes isn’t quite enough, Huntsman has collaborated with James de Givenchy for cufflinks and with Emma Willis (the darling “top shirt maker in London”) for . . . shirts! In spite of my perfectly nice Ferretti suit (which Hamish Bowles liked—the ultimate endorsement), I felt utterly sartorially dwarfed by these beautifully bespoke gents, but it was a delightful switch. In the elegant mix: John Paulson, Diana Widmaier-Picasso, Paula Peck, Peter Soros and Electra Toub, Alexander Gilkes, George Farias, Eric Ripert (who also oversaw the splendid dinner), Waris Ahluwalia, Nicky (pregnant and glowing) and James Rothschild, Eddie Hayes (wearing another of Gregory Peck’s suits, gifted from Tony—although admittedly, taken up and out), John Richardson, Zack Peck (yes, a grandson: the third generation to be clad in Huntsman) with fiancée Alex Redcliff, Misha Nonoo, Hugo Guinness, Nicolas Niarchos, Billy Macklowe, Charles Fagan, Clay Tompkins, Stuart Parr and Robert Couturier.


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by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Griffin Lipson and Hunter Abrams/