Blazing a Trail: Asymmetric Tailoring

27 Aug 2019 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Anna Prendergast

This season's back-to-work uniform for your nine to five (and then some)

In 1968, socialite Nan Kempner was turned away from Le Côte Basque in New York while wearing a YSL tuxedo. In defiance of the antiquated dress code, she removed the jacket and turned it into a skirt. Fifty years on, defiance is the attitude in tailoring once again, and designers are disregarding the rulebook. Or certain pages of it, anyway – fit, structure and cut are all prioritised, moderated by the same elegance demonstrated by Kempner that evening.

The asymmetric new cut seen at the AW19 shows of Dior, Brunello Cucinelli and Jacquemus will elicit double takes for its subtle transgression of traditional styles, with its single-breasted closure on a double-breasted construction. Block colours go big – see House of Holland’s fruity orange belted jacket and high-impact fuschia at Attico and Jacquemus – while checks are oversized to balance generous lapels.

The Row’s take is a slim-cut, understated staple, and while we like the extra length in the torso of Anna Quan’s Sienna jacket (a street style highlight at Copenhagen Fashion Week in August), we recommend having the sleeves shortened by your tailor for the perfect fit. As with the best tailoring, the trend is unisex – Naomi Campbell wore Kim Jones’ interpretation at the Dior Homme SS19 show in Paris, where male models wore it down the catwalk with plimsolls.

Embellished checked woven blazer, Tibi, £895,

Ciel wool-blend crepe blazer, The Row, £2,260,

Sienna jacket, Anna Quan, £365,

Orange wool-blend belted jacket, £550,

Checked wool blazer, Brunello Cucinelli, £3,650,

Crepe silk blazer with detachable sequin cuffs, £3,460,

Fuschia wool-blend gabardine blazer, Attico, £840,

Sienna jacket, Anna Quan, £365,

Grey blazer, £850, Acne,