Lachasse’s Peter Lewis-Crown, OBE and the Hunt for Elegance

(Image via Delancey Press and used without permission. Let me know and I’ll take it down.)

A bit of an interview with Peter Lewis-Crown, OBE of the house of Lachasse via The Montebury Magazine. Mr. Lewis-Crown has just published his memoirs, House of Lachasse: The Story of a Very English Gentleman, and I have ordered the book. He seems to reinforce my idea that people have given up, that they no longer bother to try.

PETER LEWIS-CROWN OBE — I think people buy on the run now. They buy garments and bits and pieces and put it all together but they don’t buy a complete look. They seem to be afraid to stand out, elegantly dressed and soigné. In the old days, they wanted to be looked at. They would go to Claridges and have paradise feathers in their hair and they wanted people to see that they were wealthy. Now, they run about in baggy-looking clothes that don’t fit and jumpers all over the place, a bit like Worzel Gummidge. It was a joy to see them and the women would aim to look like the model girls. They would take advice on their underwear, their corsetry, everything. Now it’s all too casual.

THE MONTEBURY — What about the future of couture?

PETER LEWIS-CROWN OBE — It is very difficult. I think anybody would be very foolish to predict what is going to happen. First of all, we have to get the finance of the world and country right before people have the money to splurge out on things. I don’t think they will ever go back to the beautiful, elegance we had. What I find desperately sad is that these young girls are making themselves look so tatty and scraggy and that beautiful period in their life where they have beautiful skin only happens once. I think that the sixties and seventies saw the end of that. People seem to be spending more money on clothes, and I finished Lachasse on a very high note, but I think I got out at the right time. I don’t like shoddy goods and people with open neck shirts shuffling into parties like they have just cleaned the drains out or taken the dustbins down the yard.

THE MONTEBURY — Is this change due to the change in education?

PETER LEWIS-CROWN OBE — I think a lot of it has to do with the schools that are not teaching people to sew. They are losing skills. In England, we are losing the trade and the beautiful tailor-made suits are disappearing. The occasions are also not there to wear these beautiful clothes. I am appalled when I go to The Ritz for lunch or dinner to see how some of these people look. I was taken to a very smart restaurant the other day and I was appalled at the tacky women, no ties and the hair – don’t mention it! I once saw Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll at a birthday part that was given for me. All the guests had arrived but it was her trick to arrive late. She came in with a black chiffon dress with floating panels and a triple row of pearls. She looked absolutely magnificent and everybody stopped talking and just looked at her. There was nothing in it but she looked absolutely statuesque.


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11 Responses to Lachasse’s Peter Lewis-Crown, OBE and the Hunt for Elegance

  1. Trey says:

    Along these lines, there is what appears to be a good series (I have watched the first of three episodes) on the Sundance Channel on demand about Savile Row and and Abercrombie and Finch store that opened there.

    Trey

  2. I am going to order this book too! Thanks for the heads up on this.

  3. Trey, it’s online too. I’ve seen it a couple of times. Thanks for the head’s up though.

    Aesthete, I’m glad I could send something interesting your way for a change!

  4. Ami says:

    Wonderful…
    I’ll have to have that book.
    I’m going to have to post that bit, too…

  5. Ami, isn’t it though? Have at it. Spread the gospel.

  6. Square with Flair says:

    How nice that some people still care. Thanks for drawing this to our attention. I note that at parties people still admire the ones who dress up. Isn’t it the most wonderful compliment to the hostess/ host when guests care enough to dress with care?
    Square with Flair

  7. pve says:

    When I was in high school, I had a black dress with illusion panels, and pearls and black heals…I think dressing well is part of being grown up at any age.
    It does indeed involve “care” along with having high standards.
    pve

  8. SwF, I couldn’t agree more.

    Mrs. PvE, I bet you could wear it today.

  9. Jacquie says:

    I agree, what has happened to being elegant? Can someone please bring it back.

  10. Hello Jacquie, welcome. This small community is doing its level best. In the meantime, lead by example and keep fighting the good fight.

  11. Hello All,
    JG is interested in the designs of British designers Digby Mortan, Hardy Amies and Michael Donellan. Preferably sketches or photos. Does anyone have a resource?

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