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Swellboy on… pocket squares

Our man bears witness to decorative silk’s new dimensions

Swellboy on… pocket squares

Image: Brijesh Patel

February 20 2013
Nick Foulkes

As you know, Charvet on the Place Vendôme is one of my favourite places in the world, along with the Grill at the Marbella Club, Davidoff’s humidor room and a few other sites of world heritage that for some reason have escaped the notice of Unesco.

If I had to identify one quality that really sets Charvet apart, it would be the attention to detail. I remember once discussing collars with co-owner Anne-Marie Colban, and at one point in our conversation she called for a tray of them, which was brought over much as though it contained a set of crown jewels. This was not to demonstrate the shape of the different collars, but the weight of the interlining. That, to me, is luxury; bringing not just the size, shape and style but the weight and texture into consideration.

Now Charvet has brought a similar level of care and finesse to the pocket square. On a recent visit I noticed that the stacks of brightly coloured silk now included those of different dimensions. This was, said Anne-Marie, in response to those customers who felt that generously proportioned pocket squares created too much bulk in the outbreast.

As there is a tendency for suits today to be much closer fitting (a tendency with which I am not sure I concur), there is less room for decorative silk, and so it is reassuring to know that Charvet has been conducting the necessary R&D to create the correctly proportioned pochette. I feel rather privileged at having seen this, and can imagine what someone such as Carmel Snow, Harper’s Bazaar editor from 1934 to 1958, felt when she attended the fashion show that would give birth to Dior’s New Look.