In conversation with: Rory Hutton

Rory Hutton | Linen bow ties and silk pocket squares


Rory Hutton

Est. 2013 - London/Glasgow, UK

"I am drawn to people with very strong characters. All have an individual sense of style and the bravery to be themselves. [...] Style is all about confidence and movement. If you are comfortable with your clothes then you will look good."
- Rory Hutton



Rory Hutton | Portrait

Rory Hutton talks to Jeya Narrative about his eponymous label, his love for drawing and strong personalities, and the importance of UK manufacturing. He also shares a few pages from his sketchbook and his tips for self-confidence.


Jeya Narrative: You started your eponymous label 4 years ago. What brought you to start your own business, how did it begin and how has it evolved since?

Rory Hutton: I love the freedom that comes with running your own business and it’s really exciting to see how a business works from all angles, not just from a designer’s perspective.

 

You studied Fashion Design and Design History. What drew you to the fashion industry from a young age?

I went to art school to become a painter and emerged as a fashion designer. I really like the pace and discipline of fashion, its also thrilling to see people wearing and loving something you have created!

Linen bow ties handmade in the UK

Who has been your biggest influence in terms of your work?

I am drawn to people with very strong characters. Oscar Wilde has been my biggest influence since childhood. Then people like Cecil Beaton, Noel Coward, Vivienne Westwood and Barbara Cartland. All have an individual sense of style and the bravery to be themselves.

 

Describe your workshop and the environment you work in. 

I have a studio in the centre of Glasgow, which I share with a couple of other designers. Its in a Victorian warehouse with high ceilings and big windows, its useful when I want lots of space to manufacture small runs or sample a new idea. I do most of my drawing at home where I feel most creative. My desk is a Regency breakfast table and I drink tea all day!

Rory Hutton | lifestyle

One of your passions is drawing and indeed, all of your designs are hand-drawn. Would you mind sharing a page or two from your sketchbook?

I always carry a pocket sized sketchbook when I’m out and about but in the studio I don’t tend to keep sketchbooks as I find them too restrictive; I keep folders of loose pages instead. This way when I start a new project I can begin by going through a folder and pulling out any drawings that may be relevant to the project.

 

You’re almost considered an artist with your bow ties and pocket squares being works of art. Is that wishful thinking?

I think of my pocket squares as little pictures, they are artworks in your pocket. I have never understood the divide that exists between fine art and design. But I am more than happy to be thought of as a designer!

Rory Hutton sketchbook
Rory Hutton Sketchbook

 

Your bow ties are mostly manufactured in the UK, with Irish linen. How important is it for you to use and promote local manufacturing skills and what made Irish linen so appealing to you?

I think it’s important to use local talent where possible, I like that I can visit the factories and easily build relationships with the people who make the product. I still make most of the Irish linen bow ties, I really enjoy working with my hands and I hope I will always make some elements of the collection. Irish linen is a beautiful crisp fabric and is a fresh alternative to the more traditional silk. Irish linen also reflects my heritage! [Rory grew up in Ireland]

Rory Hutton

The decor of your Instagram photos are always intricate and vintage with ornate china, Victorian-style furniture, antique novels and intricate tapestry on the walls. Is this your home? Could you tell us a little bit more about it and the various influences and a few key objects you have.

Yes, most of the photographs are taken in my house. I used to work as an antique dealer and I did a brief stint at an auction house. The tapestry is Flemish and was made at the end of the nineteenth century; it’s based on a Rubens painting ‘The Garden of Love’. I have a Sevres coffee set, which makes occasional appearances on Instagram, Sevres was the subject of my MA research and I bought the set to mark the end of my studies. It was made in 1861.

 

How would you describe your personal style? And who has had the biggest influence on your style?

Eclectic, I love stories and mixing cultural references, this is what draws me to antiques, and they are direct links to other worlds.
My style varies, sometimes flamboyant, sometimes quiet; it’s all about mood!

 

What does the concept ‘individuality’ mean to you?

The bravery to be yourself.

Rory Hutton Sketchbook
Rory Hutton sketchbook 
What advice would you give a man who tries to be discerning in his style?

Style is all about confidence and movement. If you are comfortable with your clothes then you will look good. 

 

What are the golden rules to a man’s etiquette (in your opinion)?

Smile!

  

If you had to draw the discerning man, what would he look like?

Well, he would certainly be wearing a bow tie and shiny shoes. I adore patent shoes.
I once had lunch with a chap wearing a bicorn hat and I thought that looked rather dashing so maybe I will give him one of those, but again it all depends whose wearing it and how comfortable they are!

  

Lastly…

Place you call home: London, Glasgow, Dublin
A colour: Navy
A movie or book: Blue Jasmine, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A sound: Church bells
A place: Victoria & Albert Museum [in London]
Style icon: Oscar Wilde
Go-to accessory to dress to impress: Bow tie
Most coveted item in your wardrobe: Dior winter coat
Favourite tool to work with: Pencil
Favourite inspirational quote, or best piece of advice anybody ever gave you: No Matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up!
Why Jeya Narrative? I love working with interesting people, it’s the best element of my job; I like what Jeya Narrative is all about.



Manchuria red silk bow tie
Burma blue linen bow tie

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