Mark Powell: An artist with a needle and thread
Renowned for his classically inspired tailoring, Mark Powell’s clothes have attained iconic status via a successful combination of bold, experimental cuts and historically-informed styling.
Established in 1985, Powell is now one of London’s most influential bespoke tailors and a one-off in the world of international haute couture. He’s a man who has maintained an independent, unique vision for more than three decades, a sartorial vision that remains focused on the marriage of street style and flare to the traditions of Savile Row.
His is a high style and, to borrow a quote from American man of letters Gay Talese, Powell is an “artist with a needle and thread”. It’s the sharp end of menswear, realised with old world panache.
And if style is the perfection of a point of view, then Powell’s continues to be sought as players from the worlds of film, television, music and sport come knocking, including George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Mick and Bianca Jagger, David Bowie, George Michael, Bryan Ferry, Naomi Campbell, Tom Jones, Jonathan Ross, Vic Reeves, Usher, Frank Lampard, Goldie, Morrissey, Kevin Rowland, Keith Flint from The Prodigy, The Killers, film director Joe Wright, Keira Knightley, Phil Daniels, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sean Bean and, more recently, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Martin Freeman and Paul Weller.
Magazines and journals such as Esquire, Arena, GQ, L’Uomo Vogue and The Huffington Post and books such as The Look, The New English Dandy and Savile Row: The Master Tailors of British Bespoke by James Sherwood and Tom Ford have documented Powell’s rise to the position of pre-eminent London stylist, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then it’s a fact of which Powell is only too aware.
“There are others who try to copy what I do,” he says, “but they don’t know how to get the right balance between exaggeration, subtlety and styles. It all comes down to detailing, while keeping a dandy edge. I’m firstly about style, and then I’m about the craft of tailoring.”
As an uncompromising stylist, modernist and educator, he’s a man to whom details will always matter.