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Off the record: July 22, 2015

The Serpentine Gallery, Christmas cocktails and a Leeds tailoring masterclass.

The Cos party at the Serpentine Gallery

Martin Andeon (Cos head of menswear), Marie Honda (Cos managing director) and Karin Gustafsson (Cos head of womenswear design) with Serpentine Galleries’ Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones.

Come rain or shine

An umbrella was the prized accessory at the annual Cos Park Nights party at the Serpentine Galleries Pavilion in London’s Hyde Park. In the summer drizzle, Drapers snapped Martin Andeon (head of menswear design), Marie Honda (managing director) and Karin Gustafsson (head of womenswear design), flanked by Serpentine Galleries’ Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones.

The Rayne: Shoes for Stars book

Shoemaker Nick Rayne (right), book author Michael Pick (centre) and furniture designer Thomas Messel (left).

In Rayne’s regal footsteps

A roof terrace at The Dorchester was the suitably swanky venue for the launch of Rayne: Shoes for Stars, a history of the English footwear brand written by Michael Pick (centre). Reminiscing about the days of royal warrants were fourth-generation shoemaker Nick Rayne (right) and furniture designer Thomas Messel. In 1960 the stage designer Oliver Messel, Thomas’ uncle, created the innovative Delman shoe store in Old Bond Street for Nick’s father, Edward Rayne.

Leeds-born Savile Row cutter Kathryn Sargent

Leeds-born Savile Row cutter Kathryn Sargent

Celebrating the suit capital of the world

An appreciation of British tailoring is running at Leeds City Museum until 3 January 2016. Tailored: A Very British Fashion includes exhibits dating back to the 18th century, with the most modern being a bespoke suit created for the show by Leeds-born Savile Row cutter Kathryn Sargent. Leeds was the “suit capital of the world” until the 1970s, boasting dozens of factories from the likes of Montague Burton, Joseph Hepworth & Son, Sumrie and Berwin & Berwin.

Father Christmas with show founder John Kelley.

Father Christmas with The London Textile Show founder John Kelley

Deck the halls

Snow fell, elves served mince pies and a gospel choir serenaded exhibitors and visitors on the first day of The London Textile Fair at Islington’s Business Design Centre (July 15). The theme of this year’s party was – you guessed it – Christmas! And no festive celebration would be complete without Father Christmas, who sat in his grotto giving out presents with a cheeky bottle of Asahi at the ready.

Hotter owner Stewart Houlgrave recieves The Queen’s Award for International Trade from the Queen.

Hotter owner Stewart Houlgrave recieves the Queen’s Award for International Trade from the Queen

Too hot to handle

Owner of Hotter shoes Stewart Houlgrave picked up the Queen’s Award for International Trade this week from Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace. Houlgrave, whose parents established the label in 1959, runs one of the UK’s biggest shoemakers, which manufactures 1.7 million pairs of shoes per year – that’s one pair every 20 seconds.

Christmas at River Island

Christmas at River Island

Jingle all the way

River Island gave the Drapers team a festive feeling last week with its annual Christmas in July press show. Guests were treated to cocktails served in Christmas tree baubles and ice cream sandwiches as they had a sneak peek of what the high street chain has in store for shoppers this December.

Retail leaders join forces and pledge to create 2,000 jobs for Londoners if Sunday trading hours are extended.

Retail leaders join forces and pledge to create 2,000 jobs for Londoners if Sunday trading hours are extended

Sunday service

Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green, Selfridges group managing director Paul Kelly, Fenwick chairman Mark Fenwick, Harvey Nichols chief executive Stacey Cartwright and Harrods managing director Michael Ward joined London mayor Boris Johnson and New West End Company chief executive Richard Dickinson in a pledge to create 2,000 jobs for Londoners if Sunday trading hours are extended. “There are a few egos in that picture,” observed one bystander, but the PR executive in charge of shepherding the retail magnates into a picture outside Fenwick on New Bond Street insisted they were all quite well behaved.

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