Embroidered adornment for men: a Rake’s Progress

E tautz at London Fashion week 2014

The E Tautz catwalk at the 2014 London Men’s Fashion week showcased embroidered embellishments by students at the Royal school of Needlework. Following the theme of the ‘Rake’s Progress’, embroidered motifs were left unfinished and distressed, to give the impression of precious garments that were relics of former prosperity. A real-life ‘Rake’s Progress’ can be traced in Henry Cyril Paget (1875- 1905), the 5th Marquess of Anglesey. His love of extravagant entertainments bankrupted him in 1904, with debts of half a million pounds – only five years of his income, at a time when many families were living on £100 a year. Paget’s possessions were sold to pay his creditors – some of his suits were purchased by Vesta Tilley, a music-hall male impersonator who appeared as ‘Burlington Bertie’. An Art Nouveau embroidered waistcoat, probably designed especially for Paget, was bought by his friend Miss Emilie Grigsby and later presented to the V&A.

Creed waistcoat for henry Paget, c1900 V&A t.177-1967

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2 Responses to Embroidered adornment for men: a Rake’s Progress

  1. Tamar says:

    I am very concerned about embroidered adornment for men. Really good job on the site, Keep up the good work!

    • Clare says:

      Thank you Tamar – afraid I’ve not been putting up much about men’s fashion recently but I will look out for opportunities to do so. Best wishes – Clare

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