- Photography by Mr Chris Brooks
- Styling by Mr Dan May, Style Director, MR PORTER
- Words by Mr Mansel Fletcher, Features Editor, MR PORTER
Great Britain can look at its sartorial heritage with unalloyed pride: the suit was invented in the UK as a result of the unique emphasis that the British place on country living; Mr George "Beau" Brummell established a mode of restrained elegance that continues to define good taste 200 years after he left London society for a penurious exile in France; and, in the first half of the 20th century, the Duke of Windsor, with the help of his (Dutch) tailor Mr Frederick Scholte, dressed in an ostensibly formal (but actually rather relaxed) manner that retains the capacity to inspire men around the world.
However, innovation is an essential part of that small island's sartorial history, and British designers resist the temptation to bathe in the satisfaction offered by looking back. Instead, the sense that they make of this wonderful heritage is best summed up by the words of the 19th-century Austrian composer Mr Gustav Mahler, who once said, "Tradition is the handing down of the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes." It's in that spirit that MR PORTER presents a contemporary vision of British style, above.