THE IMPORTANCE OF FITTINGS
As an apprentice Cutter under Mr Hitchcock, I have worked on many facets of cutting and fitting during my 3 and a half years at Anderson and Sheppard. The process of drafting a pattern is challenging. I’ve worked hard to overcome this by obtaining the SRB Cutting Diploma last summer.
The real test, however, is in the fitting room; the one-on-one with the customer. No matter how technically proficient a pattern may be on paper, nothing can compare to seeing the garment worn by the individual. Its here where the lines, proportions and balance can really be seen. As a result of the fittings, a customers pattern will be altered to reflect these changes and tweaks, meaning that going forward less is needed to be done at each fitting.
The fitting process is really interesting. There are two sets of eyes with sometimes different visions of the end result. There’s the client’s vision of how he wants to look. The Cutter, on the other hand, with his trained eye and technical know-how, is focused primarily on how it ‘should’ look, whilst preserving the house style. A Cutter would of also seen many similar body shapes to the person in question and can make an informed decision based on past experience.
Options are discussed. These conversations could sometimes end with both sides having to compromise, bringing Cutter and customer together. This is usually the beginning of a lasting relationship.
HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES’ WARRANT
The work on the window at our bespoke shop is now complete and the gilding was unveiled on Friday.
MY NEW DINNER SUIT
I was pleased to be invited to the BTBA Dinner by Mr Hitchcock but I was missing a dinner suit of my own.
Thankfully, Mr Spencer, Mr Powell and Mr Haynes offered to make one for me using a perfect pattern that Mr Hall cut for me. The suit was made in a little over a week as everyone worked during their lunch hour and after hours. A few minor alterations were made and the dinner suit was ready for me to wear on the 12th February. This was the smartest I’d ever dressed and it felt very good. To my embarrassment, my father even likened me to 007.
Many thanks to the whole team that put in the man hours to allow me to attend the dinner. It was an evening that will not be forgotten.
THE BESPOKE TAILORS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION DINNER
On the evening of Wednesday 12th February, dinner suits were dusted off, bow ties were pressed and shoes were highly polished for the annual Bespoke Tailors Benevolent Association Dinner. Held at the Merchant Taylors Hall in The City, this event is the jewel in the crown of Savile Row’s social calendar and the style stakes were high. As we walked in to the reception, we were greeted with a glass of Champagne and by the Toastmaster who grandly announced each guest’s name. The evening is a great opportunity to mingle and catch up with so many friendly faces from the tailors, cloth merchants and mills. Dinner was served in the great hall and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all from 32 Old Burlington Street and 17 Clifford Street.
The gala dinner helps to raise funds for The Bespoke Tailors Benevolent Association. The association was formed from a merger of the British tailoring industry’s two oldest and most revered charities – the Master Tailors’ Benevolent Association (est. 1887) and the Tailors’ Benevolent Institute (est. 1861) – the Association serves to aid and award grants when necessary to anyone who has worked in British tailoring at any level for a period of ten years or more. The Association’s annual grants currently support over sixty beneficiaries and it has in the region of four hundred members, including tailors, woollen merchants and those from associated trades and suppliers.