Oh how I love a good coincidence. When I was doing my reporter’s stint at London Fashion Week, I happened upon a jazzily outfitted dandy-type outside the mens shows. He let me take his photo and we got chatting. It turns out this tweed-attired fellow was a photographer and our paths had in fact crossed briefly before. He told me he was now dabbling in design and handed me his business card. “Dashing Tweeds?!” I exclaimed (as that was the name of his business), “No way!” My boyfriend D is a big fan of Dashing Tweeds and we’re both regular visitors to the blog, we just didn’t realise who was behind it.
Dashing Tweeds is a brilliantly innovative modern tweed company which was set up by Guy Hills (he of the dandyish attire) and RCA graduate Kirsty McDougall. Hills wanted to do something new and interesting with tweed and discovered textile designer McDougall while visiting the RCA. A keen cyclist, one of Hills’ innovations is a reflective tweed called Lumatwill that means you can cycle to work in a suit without having to grapple with reflective jackets, tabards or sashes. Another is the tweed cycling trouser that has adjustable hems and another is my favourite – the teflon-coated tweed tailored cape, as modelled below by Iris Palmer. Dashing Tweeds is starting to get a lot of recognition but Hills is extremely low key. Despite having created that purple tartan for Henry Holland last autumn and Dashing Tweeds’ suits being sold in Savile Row, there is no hint of ego or arrogance in this affable character.