The pursuit of elegance inevitably leads a gentleman to London’s historic West End. Since 1666 Mayfair, Piccadilly and St. James’s have been colonized by hatters, shoemakers, jewellers, shirtmakers, perfumers and hosiers.Today, this enclave of excellence has the highest concentration of firms trading in luxury goods for the well-appointed male. Here the modern gentleman who values quality and craftsmanship can still walk in the footsteps of such as Beau Brummell, Edward VII, Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill, the Duke of Windsor, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Prince Charles and, latterly, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
James Sherwood has been given access to private archives and unpublished material, and has commissioned new photography to provide a rich insight into the companies and their crafts today. The London gentleman’s social world, from shopping arcades and hotels to members’ clubs and dining rooms, is brought to life through vivid texts, intimate portraits and lavish images. The Perfect Gentleman showcases the historic houses and the great patrons who have upheld the highest standards for hundreds of years alongside a new generation of craftsmen and -women who are keepers of the flame.