H untsman has come a long way since it held the royal warrant of Leather Breeches Maker to Queen Victoria’s son, later Edward VII. But its connections with the outdoor life are still strong. Known more for the slim, structured silhouette of its bespoke suits, these are often made in signature tweeds that adapt to the demands of town and country. As chairman, Pierre Lagrange notes, “The versatility of the tweed shows how Huntsman is about more than the clothes, it’s about a lifestyle.”
THE VINTAGE HUNTSMAN AIRSTREAM IN HAMPSHIRE
For Lagrange, a keen sportsman, that includes time spent hosting shooting parties at his home in Hampshire. And it was when he was looking to create more room for guests that an idea came to him that would pay tribute to Huntsman’s heritage, and give it a modern twist.
He knew he wouldn’t get permission to extend the house, living in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. So he decided to take the indoors outside – to the orchard in fact, where two vintage Airstreams glimmer and glint in the sun.
WOOD, METAL AND FABRIC HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY CHOSEN TO COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER
Lagrange has long been drawn to these iconic trailers, having experienced their charms on a road trip through California, camping at Big Sur and in Yosemite. “They’re a little like log cabins on wheels,” he says. A couple were found for sale, dating back to the 1960s and in bad condition. Working with professional restorers, Lagrange had the trailers stripped of their original fittings then recreated using a wealth of natural materials to evoke the sensations of the shoot.
REFLECTOINS CURL ACROSS THE POLISHED ALUMINIUM CEILING
At the heart of each Land Yacht, as they’re affectionately known, is a Huntsman tweed. “For one we chose a purple check to suggest the heather moorlands of Scotland. And the other is a more sandy hue to match the earth of the local partridge fields.” Tweed lines the walls and is enhanced by richly grained woods, antlers, copper and iron. The colours are earthy and warm, the textures sensual and rewarding. Some of the original aluminium has also been kept and polished to a high sheen, rippling with the light that streams in through the windows.
THE DESIGN INCLUDES RICHLY GRAINED WOODS, ANTLERS, COPPER AND IRON
Lagrange did wonder whether his guests would want to stay in these unusual surroundings: few had ever slept in a trailer before. Instead he finds it’s the most popular option. “All my guests love it. It’s so cosy and enclosed, it’s like a womb.”
Following on from this success, Lagrange has had his vintage Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake covered in tweed too – a stony grey check to match the silver exterior. Driving to Scotland, Devon or Yorkshire he has found the old adage to be true: “You never get too warm or too cold in a tweed”.
Watch Treasures from Chatsworth, Presented by Huntsman at www.sothebys.com/Chatsworth
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