Swellboy on… pocket squares

Our man bears witness to decorative silk’s new dimensions

Image: Brijesh Patel

As you know, Charvet on the PlaceVendôme is one of my favourite places in the world, along with the Grill at theMarbella Club, Davidoff’s humidor room and a fewother sites of world heritage that for some reason have escaped the notice ofUnesco.

If I had to identify one qualitythat 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 crownjewels. This was not to demonstrate theshape of the different collars, but the weight of the interlining. That, to me, is luxury; bringing not just the size, shape and style butthe weight and texture into consideration.

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Now Charvet has brought a similarlevel 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 proportionedpocket squares created too much bulk in the outbreast.

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

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