One year ago I started considering doing the Savile Row Cutting Diploma. It is a qualification that I knew would not only be a great experience but particularly worthwhile knowing it was to be judged by Head Cutters from the Row, and therefore a big test for me.
Over the last 12 months or so I’ve picked up a few of my own customers. All of them young with a slimmer figure, giving me a great opportunity and the experience to guide customers through the whole bespoke process. I have also cut for several members of staff with different figures, again another challenge, and I’m pleased with the results.
As many will know, an Anderson & Sheppard client always has a coat cutter and a trouser cutter. Originally, ‘Anderson’ was the coat cutter and ‘Sheppard’ the trouser cutter, and this way of doing things has been maintained from the beginning. For the Diploma I wanted to demonstrate my skills in all three categories (Coat, vest and trousers).
I felt the pressure from the very beginning, knowing only too well that I was being marked and graded at every point by an outside head cutter who cuts and makes differently to Anderson & Sheppard. However from the moment I measured him, I enjoyed building the cutter /client relationship and soon forgot that I was being assessed.
While the diploma was based around drafting, cutting and fitting, there was also a substantial written element in the form of a portfolio. This took me time to put together and went into great detail about the processes throughout the project along with illustrations and diagrams.
Handing the garments in, Sunna and I dressed our mannequins at Henry Poole ready for the assessment. Over the course of the day, three Savile Row head cutters poured over them, and back at Anderson & Sheppard the waiting was agony! We all headed over to Henry Poole for the verdict that afternoon…. I had passed!
A complete relief, it took several days before it sunk in. I was so happy, particularly as it was recognition that I had reached a certain standard as acknowledged by Savile Row itself. I certainly still have much to learn, but in achieving the Cutting Diploma it has made me even more determined to achieve even more. It’s nice to know that I’m on the right path to becoming a cutter and with the progress I’ve made during my first three years at Anderson & Sheppard, I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.