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A century of fine tailoring revealed at Nelson Library book launch

By Contributor
November 22nd, 2017

The customers served by Beauchamp & How Tailors over the last 110 years are a Canadian who’s who that includes judges, generals, and prime ministers. They have also been regular people who needed a good, expertly fitted suit. The history of this iconic menswear mecca is revealed in a new coffee table book by third-generation owner, Walter’s grandson, Terry Beauchamp.

The Nelson launch of Walter Beauchamp: A Tailored History of Toronto includes a live interview with the author accompanied by a slide show on Thursday, November 30 at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Public Library.

Co-authored with style expert Pedro Mendes, the book describes not only the history of Beauchamp Tailors (pronounced Beechum) and Toronto, but of Canada—stitch by stitch. A civilian and military tailor, Beauchamp saw to the attire of men and women on the homefront and battlefront through two world wars and massive changes in sensibility and style over the decades.

The store survived the Great Depression in the 1930s and, faced with a throw-away society, the wrecking ball. And yet, style and quality persisted.

Some of the Beauchamp’s quirkier projects include the white flannel, double-breasted suits of Harland Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken), a pirate suit for a swashbuckling groom, and a suit fashioned on the uniform of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. Archival photographs in the book reveal Canadian society through the decades, from the Edwardian Single-Breasted Sacque Suit to the custom-tailored waistcoats Gordon Lightfoot wore on tour. Lightfoot, impressed and grateful, wrote an introduction to the book.

Terry Beauchamp’s love for the business is evident in the book, which will be available for sale. The presentation promises to be fascinating, and is free to the public. Casual attire is welcome.

Photo Caption: Terry Beauchamp, part of a 110-year Canadian tailoring tradition, is the author of a new book launching November 30, 7pm at the Nelson Public Library. — Submitted photo


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