The invincible spirit: A special commission with Dobrik & Lawton

When an adventurous customer approached tailoring house Dobrik & Lawton about recreating a suit worn by a nineteenth century mountaineer, founders Joshua Dobrik and Kimberley Lawton knew only one cloth merchant would be up to the challenge. 

Having established their bespoke tailoring house in 2020 with a mission to push the boundaries of London handcraft, Dobrik & Lawton are going from strength to strength. With a love for Art Deco and the avant-garde, their creations have a modern touch combined with echoes of historical elegance. It’s no surprise, then, that this forward thinking duo attract the kinds of exciting commissions Dugdale Bros & Co. loves to get involved in. 

We visited their Walthamstow workshop recently to witness the final stages in the construction of a suit for a customer with a penchant for alpine adventure, and to interview Josh about this very special commission.

DB: Tell us more about this suit and who it’s being made for.

JD: The suit is being made for a customer who, in stark contrast to his very wholesome life in London as a family man and successful businessman, took up alpinism as a hobby many years ago. He often escapes the city on a Saturday evening, landing in Geneva and arriving at his base in Zermatt late that night, sleeping for just a few hours before picking a neighbouring summit to ascend very early the following morning. Once back down from his climb, he boards the earliest flight home in time for work on Monday morning.

He developed a particular fascination for the Matterhorn, a notorious mountain steeped in Alpine history. The first successful ascent was made by a team led by Edward Whymper in 1865. Of the 7 men who attempted the successful ascent, only 3 made it back alive when the inexperienced Douglas Hadow slipped, bringing down 3 others attached to him by a rope.

The garment we are making is a recreation of what Whymper was known for wearing throughout his life, both in public and on ridges: a double breasted 2 show 3 tweed suit.

DB: Fascinating! Can you tell us more about the cloth you’re using for the suit and why you chose Dugdale in particular?

JD: When looking for a cloth that was fit for purpose and historically pertinent, our first port of call was Dugdale.

As tailors we are all aware that Dugdale weave specifically for the bespoke trade, making cloth capable of lasting the test of time and sustaining the harsh conditions we put it under over the course of successive baste fittings. 

Dugdale is unique in today’s market, being the sole merchants to place us handcraft clothiers in front of more lucrative big factory lines. Given the need for resilience and historical accuracy for this project, we sought Dugdale’s extensive knowledge of dyes, weaves and yarn to pick something that Whymper could well have chosen himself back in the day, and landed on the Invincible Game Keepers Tweed, which has proven to be a testament to your ethos of relevant tradition and long wear.

DB: Thank you Josh! We hope your customer is as thrilled with the suit as we are!

A note on Invincible from our chairman, Rob Charnock:

We decided that the “Invincible” Game Keepers Tweed would be the perfect match for this expedition, being exceptionally durable and warm at a weight of 35 ozs. The cloth is constructed from a heavy worsted warp to give incredible tensile strength and a 10 skeins coarse British woollen weft for warmth. Woven in a full sett 5/3 twill with a  waterproof treatment means the clothing will keep out all the challenging Matterhorn elements for our intrepid Alpinist.

Invincible will be available very soon via your Dugdale sales representative. Email us now to enquire.