On 30th November, Bonhams in New York will be auctioning a safari suit made by tailors Dege & Skinner of Savile Row for Rudolph Valentino, the Italian-born American actor and star of silent films, who became a sex symbol of the 1920s, before his untimely death in 1926, aged just 31. The suit will be auctioned in a movie memorabilia sale.
Dege & Skinner tell me that they were asked to verify the suit as genuine. They were able to do this as they had sewed (as they still do) a label into the suit recording the customer's name and date of despatch to them. The label records that it was made in 1923, the coat was cut by Dege & Skinner's current chairman’s father, Tim Skinner in their workshop, then located on Conduit Street. The riding breeches would have been made by the celebrated A.J. Hosford.
Dege & Skinner are, of course, one of only a couple of family-owned tailors left in Savile Row. They are Royal Warrant holders and continue to dress Hollywood stars and leading actors with timeless style and supreme elegance. Readers may recall that they recently made me a suit from cloth which I designed with Johnstons of Elgin (click here for the story).