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Breadlines and Raincoats

Recreating "The Breadline" with William Gilchrist
and the Ventile Raincoat

Several years ago we held an exhibition, curated by Richard Anderson and Alice Cicolini; we called it the Art of Tailoring, a collection of artworks inspired by our craft, by notable artists including Vic Reeves, Colin Self and the late Barry Kamen. The collection received critical acclaim, but more importantly, our customers loved it and it furthered the careers of several young artists, who received commissions.

Working with stylist William Gilchrist, Richard’s latest creative work takes the famous George Segal sculpture The Breadline, and reimagines it as a photograph, with one model, dressed in Richard Anderson clothes and our Ventile raincoats.

Segal first presented The Breadline in Washington in 1997 after initially conceptualising it in 1991. Made from plaster, wood, metal and acrylic paint; the memorial, was created in honour of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose economic policies are widely recognised as being what lifted middle America out of poverty following the Great Depression. The Breadline is one part of a set of three artworks, the other two are Fireside Chat and Appalachian Farm Couple

Richard says: “I have many ideas how we can incorporate art and style, some ideas can be created quite simply, others need to be more incidental or even in accidental circumstances to become a new piece of art in of itself, this is one of those ideas.

I first saw “The Breadline” sculpture by George Segal about seven years ago, I found it incredibly striking to have something made of such strong, sharp and crude materials representing a shadow in America’s history – and then to have it dedicated to someone who brought light to that darkness.

The story of “The Breadline” describes the squalid conditions that many had to live in during and following the great depression; this work juxtaposes this squalor against the comparative lifestyle of the American population before the crash.

So many suffered through that time, and this sculpture represents that hopelessness exquisitely, the rained-out caps, folded arms and arms in pockets, the men’s faces frowning and tired. All waiting for the slim opportunity of a piece of bread, outside a door that might not open at all.

Brian and I have always had a special relationship with the United States, many of our oldest customers reside there and we have travelled coast to coast now countless times. (especially Brian…) Despite the perception of it being a land of endless opportunity and abundance, even America has its scars to bear. Our homage to “The Breadline” features our Ventile raincoats, which come with their own inspiration and history, posed by our model in a set of photos in composition near our home in Savile Row; we wanted to pay homage to the United States, Segal’s “The Breadline” and the style of hats and long coats of days gone by.”