Bespoke tailoring is an art form. Creating a garment is a skill that people spend a lifetime perfecting.
I grew up with a love of clothes because of my father, who was a trouser-maker. He came over from the West Indies in the early 1960s, but found that his job didn't feed the family. He used to make my school trousers, so there was always a sewing machine in the house.
Being at school in the late-1960s/early 1970s formed my love for mod culture. I would alter my school jacket to place the vents where it was fashionable and there were shoes we had to have, such as winkle-pickers.
I was lucky to get an apprenticeship. I worked on Fleet Street, starting at the bottom; on my first day I was given a broom and a kettle. Eventually, I was shown the needle and tape measure and learnt how City gents liked their suits.
Each area of London I worked in had a particular stance on mod fashion. In Brixton, lads liked to have side vents in their jackets; while the Peckham boys had centre vents. The look of the Krays and the Richardsons was still influential back then .All youngsters dress the same today.
It can take five to six weeks to make a suit. You have to outsource work to a jacket-maker, a trouser-maker and the alterations people, but when it comes to design, the buck stops with me.
The oddest piece of tailoring I've done was when a guy came in with a set of green curtains and asked me to make him a suit. We called him Curtain George!
This profession has changed and I won't be getting an apprentice. Young people say you're disrespecting them if you make them start at the bottom; those who come into this trade want to be fashion designers straight away.
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