Archive for the ‘Shop’ Category
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
(three doors, all need painting)
Well I doubt we’d be graced by a visit from Her Majesty but it’s wonderful to see our flag just the same. The sticklers of tradition among you don’t need to worry either. In my spare time, not that I have much I’m also a petty officer in the Sea Cadet Corps so you can be assured the colours are raised morning and taken down at dusk and not flown all night. I haven’t posted a full picture of our new workrooms and offices so I thought I’d let you see how they’re coming along. We’ve been engaged sorting out major alterations inside to make it the perfect environment to make beautiful clothes. We still need a new paint job and sign outside but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a fabulous old building. And if you’re wondering, we do own all three floors and the length of the building you see in the photo. This as you can imagine gives us something that’s very rare in the world of Savile Row tailoring, room and lots of it.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a cosy basement but it makes it so much easier for when you want to train new apprentices for the future as we certainly plan to do. We hope to be looking for two youngsters to start with Paul in the new year. I want this company to preserve our craft and be making beautiful clothes long after I’m gone. I must also apologise as I haven’t been posting much but I like to do this myself and not have ghost writers. It’s been a mad year but don’t forget us as I’ll be writing more regularly .
We’re busy trying to get everything completed for my USA trip next month. Just before we send this lovely coat to the finisher I had to let you see it. This was made by Paul and is a beautiful Lovat tweed sourced by the London Lounge. It’s bold in style but is surprisingly elegant and I’m sure hel’l be able to wear it on lots of occasions. Also, because of our type of make it feels completely weightless to wear but still looks so rich and soft. Of course it needs finished and pressed to really look superb. However, we’ve a saying in the trade “a good one doesn’t need it and a bad ones not worth it” Lets hope we’re making these wonderful garments for years to come.
(my time on the board was never like this)
Another benefit of having an 11 roomed building is that we’ve got room for nice long cutting boards. This as you can see is especially handy when I have to look after my eldest son for a couple of hours. Tom and Jerry and a tin of biscuits and he’s the the happiest Patrick in the world.
(that’s me on the left with the stick. apprentices beware)
As I said I’ve a very busy couple of months ahead visiting both the USA and Japan in December. If you care to meet me in either destinations please get in touch.
Tags: savile row bespoke tailoring
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Thursday, August 9th, 2012
Well I’m sure you’ve all heard we’re having quite a party over here. Team GB has got everyone gripped in Olympic fever. For such a small island nation we’re punching well above weight our as usual.
I’m sorry that I’m gloating a bit but come on, we’re not called Great Britain for nothing
( classic 3 roll to 2 English Cut)
It’s been difficult to take our senses off the Olympics but we’re still hard at it here both tailoring and kitting out our new home. This is a piture of one of our new made to measure range just before we boxed it up to ship to Hong Kong. You’ve all no doubt heard the availability of tailoring out there so we’re delighted that people are interested in getting their hands onto another winning British product.
As you can see it’s got all the hallmarks of our house style and this one has been made for the warmer climes so it’s also buggy lined. What makes me feel good about one of these suits is that I know they’ll feel as good to wear as they look.
(160 years and still going)
Essentially, you could say this blog is about craftsmanship. So people have noted our Granfather clock in the picture. Should you visit you’ll see it standing in our front office and incidentally it was made by local craftsmen, Cairns Bros in our pretty marked town in the 1850′s. It’s still keeping perfect time today, well when we remember to wind it.
Tags: made to measure tailoring, savile row tailors
Posted in people, ready to wear, savile row, Shop | 1 Comment »
Thursday, July 5th, 2012
It never rains but it pours they say. New baby one week then flooded out of our home the next No matter, life throws things at you from time to time and all I can say is thank goodness for home insurance.
Even with the little hiccups that come our way, life here at English Cut is very good indeed. We’re loving our new home and I know a lot of people have been asking to see some pictures of the new place. The good thing about the internet is that I’ll be able to show you exactly what the new place is like with videos and pictures. But as we all tend to be a little house proud I’ll wait till all the paint’s dry and the carpets are down. Then you’ll all be invited both electronically and physically to drop in.
My cutting room has stone flagged floor and a wonderful old fire range in it. It’ll be a a bit too much of an effort to make a cup of tea on this but just knowing how many brews it’s made over its two hundred year old history will be comforting enough. It looks a bit rough at the moment but wouldn’t we all if we’d been covered up up for about sixty years.
(a bit of tlc ?)
(and it could be like this)
It was interesting that earlier that I spoke of the the lovely fabrics that are available for the summer months. I thought I’d show you these striking cottons from Holland & Sherry. As you can see they’re refreshingly different with such a bold stripe in them. Of course you’ll all be aware that we’re not the fastest tailors in the world and you’re probably wondering how will this fellow get these in time for an English Summer? Fortunately for him he enjoys the year round sunshine of California. So whenever they’re ready it’ll always be in time for summer
(cotton in the boardroom)
Tags: savile row tailors
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
Here’s an interesting bit of news. My old company Anderson and Sheppard is opening a retail store in Clifford Street just around the corner from their shop.
Anderson’s is a very successful company which wont see standing still as a very good business model. Therefore they’re opening a new retail store and it looks like they’ll be supplying a fairly wide range of products that’ll appeal to many.
I know they themselves and many people said they’d never change but change is inevitable. Of course changing and expanding can be good if done properley. Well, I had to say that, didnt I:) I’m also sure they’ll have protected their bespoke future for people to enjoy for many years to come. So good luck to them.
(my mentor D S Hallbery, head cutter A&S)
I’m pleased for their new venture and wish them every success.
Tags: savile row tailors
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Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
tailors in England produce arguably the finest tailoring in the world and of course I would argue that;) But in all seriousness we’re all suffering from the same problem, a lack of skilled tailors and very high manufacturing costs
. We’re particularly fortunate at English Cut as we are a small company with our own home grown skilled artisans
If you walk into many of the larger Savile Row workshops your going to notice many different nationalities working on your clothes. Don’t get me wrong this is not a criticism
but simply a fact of life. If I wanted to double our bespoke business we’d have to look to these people for their skills also. I know lots of young people want to be tailors because we’re now caught up in the fashion
world. They see bespoke tailoring as a vibrant and cool business to be in, which it is but I wish people realised this ten years ago then we’d have the necessary skills now. Never mind, better late than never. On hindsight we should have started English Cut five years earlier then we’d of encouraged more young people to take an interest in our trade.
As I said whilst having my ten o’clock cuppa
, we feel we’re doing something new with our made to measure and eventual ready to wear collection. I certainly feel it will revolutionize our expectations on what we should accept in standards of comfort, style and craftmanship in our clothing. Here are the facts and you can decide if what we’re trying to achieve will be worth while.
is expensive which is a real and controlling fact. We want to get people wearing and enjoying real clothes that have been made with passion and not drilled out on some distant production line. We want to bring the cost down to a more attainable level
, basically about half the cost of an English hand make. We are still looking at a substantial cost to commission a suit but it will give many more people the opportunity to raise their sartorial bar. Ultimately to create this standard of tailoring at a more attainable cost we’ll have to make them outside of the UK. We’ve looked at many manufactures around the globe and the only people that passed our tests for quality, craftsmanship and more importantly were willing to make our way and to our standards were in a bespoke workshop and training school in Chennai
At the time of our research about eighteen months ago I was introduced to a gentleman and his brother who told me how they had set up a workshop and training school for the local people in their home town. They have a selection of older, highly experienced artisans teaching a new generation of tailors. Their eagerness and passion is absolutely infectious. Anything that could possibly bear the English Cut name had to be thoroughly scrutinized but we were fascinated by their vision for the continuation of true bespoke tailoring . On our initial visit Paul
and I were astonished with what we found. In an immaculate, bright and cheery workshop where we found 20-30 young skilled people enthusiastically competing with each other to be the very best in our craft. This was how the trade was when we fell love in love with it nearly thirty years ago. The conditions, pay and atmosphere in this workshop is far superior than many found in London. These youngsters would not normally have had the opportunity to learn such a craft. In fact many were orphaned from the boxing day tsunami of 2004
which left so many without a future at all. In our workshop environment they enjoy learning and are rewarded for their hard work and attention to detail. They are paid well whether they have to do something once or five times to get it perfect.
(told you our workshops are messy)
We’ve set what we believe are the highest standards and more’s the point we’ve re-written the book on how clothes should be tailored. Our bespoke clients know how important this is, as it’s the way our clothes feel that have kept our order books full throughout this miserable recession. After a lot of hard work, re -drafting and continual re-making I feel we’ve created something that’s worthy of an English Cut label.
As from July you’ll initially be able to make an appointment with myself where you can choose your cloth, style details and then be measured. We’ll also have our full rage of sample garments in the basic sizes. To compliment your full set of measurements we can try the clothes on you so we can both see the type of look we’re aiming for. After this stage we’ll meet again with a completed suit which we can fine tune as necessary. The entire process will take about six weeks from start to finish and the cost will be approximately £1400.00 for a two piece. Before you receive your suit everything will be finalized and checked here at the hall
, the home of English Cut.
In simple terms you’ll own a hand made garment that’s been made by craftsmen who love their work. The style will be soft and natural, exactly as we make here in our own workshop, Paul and I will make sure of this. They’ll be cut using patterns designed by yours truly and quite simply there will be nothing to compare in made to measure tailoring. Remember, this is unique, we’re not using one of the three factories that everyone else uses to machine produce soulless garments that all look the same. These have been redesigned from the paper pattern right through to the final pressing technique.
Ultimately the proof is in the pudding and as they say “the truth will out in the end”. We have a lovely business which will continue unchanged. However, people will talk and when we have a new range of clients and they’ll talk for us so we’ll all know if these are truly something special.
As with everything associated with English Cut we leave the door open to anyone who wants to drop in, ask questions and learn about what we do, there are no secrets here. This invitation is also open for people who want to learn of our new service. If you want to make a trip to India, which I can highly recommend, you’ll be made very welcome by our craftsmen. You’ll find them very eager to show off their skills and you’ll witness first hand the pride they take in their work. Many companies quietly sneak their production off shore and hope you’ll not notice. We don’t like to do business that way. At English Cut you’ll know what your getting and if people criticize us for what we’re doing we certainly don’t care.
If you’re wondering what we’re all laughing about at the end of the movie , we were simply enjoying ourselves and Paul was trying his best to understand the famous Indian head wobble
Well I’ll have to get on but hope you’ve enjoyed our little movie which will hopefully give you more of an insight into how we do business. I’d also like to thank Claire
my wife and my son Patrick for sleeping long enough so that Claire could make this for us with lot of help from her clever little Mac
(you have asked to see, so here’s our son Patrick as usual, very awake)
Tags: made to measure suits, Savile Row tailoring
Posted in people, ready to wear, savile row, Shop, traveling | 8 Comments »
Friday, January 28th, 2011
(that’s soft tailoring)
I’m sorry I’ve not been posting but we’ve been extremely busy. As you know we’re developing a made to measure and ready to wear range. I’ll tell you all about it soon but here’s a couple of snaps of one of our prototypes. They’re entirely hand made and we’re still tweaking the block pattern that I’ve designed but we’re pleased how they’re coming along. Let me know what you think.
I have to commend you on how shrewd your comments have been regarding the shoulder line. As you can imagine a soft natural shoulder is my priority. The reason why it looks sharp is that the shoulder wadding is so light that it’s showing the line of the mannequin that it’s on.
I promise that shoulder is as soft as possible:)
Posted in Media, ready to wear, savile row, Shop | 9 Comments »
Friday, December 31st, 2010
I hope you’ve all enjoyed Christmas as much as I have. All the rushing around and preparation for something that’s over in a couple of days:( I’m in the workshop on my today enjoying splendid solitude and trying to get everything squared away so I can start a fresh after the celebrations.
I’m looking forward to next year as I’ll not only be busy with my bespoke tailoring but I’ve also set aside some time to offer other services we’ve promised you. I have been working with Smyth & Gibson
, a superb shirt maker for the last couple of years who manufacture here in the UK. I hope to start our shirt making service and our ready to wear collection very soon. This of course will be useful for our friends who can’t get to meet us personally. To compliment this we’ll also be offering some fabulous cuff links
made especially for English Cut
(nice use of the spitfire wing silhouette)
Also in 2011 we will offer something that’s very special to me and something I’m always being quizzed about. As you know I’ve always been as honest and straight talking
as I can be about the various types of ready to wear and made to measure suits that are available. I’m continually asked by people who cannot afford bespoke, “What is the best made to measure or ready to wear
?” The reason for this common question is that like everyone, we want to look and feel our best. Unfortunately the reality is that most of us can’t always afford the luxury of a Savile Row
tailored garment costing as much as £ 3-4000, well perhaps not at the moment.
As I said earlier “you get what you pay for
” which means exactly that. What it does not mean is that you should pay for an unremarkable garment that is embellished with a designer label. If you know me you’ll understand my dismay at the abuse of terms as ”bespoke” and “hand made”. These statements are applied to most garments in the mid to upper price range. At best, most “bespoke suits” are generic stock specials made in a factory that produces for umpteen other houses. “Hand made” can be applied simply because of a token bit of hand work.
Irrespective of what manufactures say or promise the reality is far clearer than that. This is not only obvious to me but also to you, I know this because you’ve told me. To put it simply, they all look and feel the same. Flat and characterless, all cut from a safe universal pattern that feel all strangely similar. I suppose they’re OK, if you stand and do nothing that is. Sadly, as soon as you try to live in your clothes they’re all as uncomfortable as each other. This is what stirs so many conversations about who and what makes the best ready to wear or made to measure suits. Yes, you can argue that some are better than others, simply because they may have something that works for you but in reality, cheap or expensive they’re all kindred to each other.
(amazing what you can do with small armholes)
A couple of years ago I discovered this when I was asked to design a new range of school blazers
by Sportswear international
. The founder of the company, Kirk Robertson asked for our help as he realised that out of all the ranges available they were all the same, poor. So we simply went back to basics and redesigned them from a scratch paper pattern and totally changed what people expected. The result was that they couldn’t keep up with demand and they were a huge success. Simply because we didn’t do what everyone else was doing by just sticking on a new label. We changed expectations. Have a look at the picture above and ask if you could do that in your blazer?
This year English Cut will change expectations again. We believe we can make a true made to measure and ready to wear alternative. I know some people will say they’ve heard this before and quite frankly I don’t blame them, because so have I.
All I ask is that you trust me. It’s your opinion that matters so let me first give you the basic facts and an outline of what our new range will achieve. If you have opinions or would ultimately like to try our collection please let me know and we’ll get some of you wearing our clothes. This will of course be the real test of our workmanship. Here’s my simplified manifesto on what you should expect of our English Cut clothes.
Myself and Paul Griffiths
(our head coatmaker) have worked personally over the last year on designing the pattern, cut and construction.
Everything is made exclusively for English Cut and no other houses.
Hand made, as our bespoke, fully canvassed with hand buttonholes etc.
English fabrics and the best trimmings available.Most importantly, they’re to be as close as possible to our bespoke. Capturing the natural look and feel which is of no comparison to what’s currently available.
My last statement regarding the feel is arguably the most important factor. It’s certainly how our clothes feel that have kept us full to capacity throughout this miserable depression that’s seen so many tailors struggling. I know our new range have this quality as my existing clients have told me so. Of course this had to be my first stop to get an honest opinion. I can promise you that my clients of several years thought they were trying on one of our own jackets made here in our workshops.
In the end you want to know the cost of these, well here you are. A made to measure will be around £1400 ($2200) and ready to wear at £1100 ($1700). Initially I’ll be measuring for these in the UK and USA. We’ll also be providing a ready to wear selection at smaller specialised men’s outfitters, again here in the UK and also in the US (if that may be you, please let me know).
Before you ask I will continue as we are and why not, this is what we love to do. I do hope however that our hard work will make life a little more pleasant and affordable for you. We have no intentions of marketing these clothes on a huge budget with models, magazines and other trendy media. We wont need to. As we’ve always done, we’ll let the clothes do the talking for us.
I’ll give you the full details soon but I must dash. The local
is open for a quick beer then home to see in the new year. May I wish you all a wonderful and exciting new year and thank you all for all your help and encouragement.
God bless and enjoy 2011:)
Tags: made to measure suits, savile row tailors
Posted in people, savile row, Shop | 12 Comments »