Double-pleated woollen trousers.
They’re extremely versatile. A slim-legged dark pair can be worn with a matching suit or with a plain T-shirt and trainers. I’ve also made pairs that I have cut with a much wider leg, and again they can look smart or casual depending on what you wear them with. I also find the look of the two pleats at the front of the trouser very elegant. The front pleat runs into the crease and the second is there to bear the weight of the first so it hangs straight.
My affinity for the double-pleated trouser comes from my interest in how clothing and fashion have changed over time. It is such a staple piece and comes up time and time again in different cuts, lengths and styles. I used to think that they looked a bit old fashioned, but after making a pair for myself and seeing the silhouette they create I was quickly won over and have made several since.
All my clothes feel personal to me as I’ve made a lot of them by hand and there’s a lot of labour that has gone into each item. I’m not too fussed with what other people wear but if the whole world dressed like me, it would be a very boring place.
London is a big influence on how I dress. It’s a city with such a rich history of dressing and so many different groups of Londoners have expressed themselves through the way they dressed. I think growing up here you are very aware of this and it has a massive impact on you: Mods, Teddy Boys, football casuals, East End dockers, ’60s West End peacocks. When I was growing up, the garage and grime scene in London was in its prime and highly influential in the way that I thought about dressing and clothes. You needed the right tracksuit (AKADEMIKS, ECKO UNLIMITED or a marl grey baggy NIKE tracksuit), the right NEW ERA hat (I had a LA Lakers one) and NIKE bag (the small ‘Just Do It’ bags). It even came down to having the correct mobile phone (a MOTOROLA RAZR or the square NOKIA 7600). I feel like I take inspiration and little bits from all of these groups as influence on how I dress. I also think designers like CRAIG GREEN, GRACE WALES BONNER and the late RICHARD NICOLL are really interesting. And because I make a lot of my own clothes I like to look more broadly at what people wear and used to wear rather than what is trendy and in the shops. JOHN BULMER’s ‘The North’ is great for looking at how people dressed in England in the ’50s and ’60s and DANNY LYON’s ‘The Bikeriders’ is a book about Hell’s Angels which has some fantastic images in it. I also love the work of VIVIANE SASSEN. I wouldn’t say I look at her work as inspiration for how to dress, but how to use colour. I really like her use of colour.
My room is a mess. It’s just piles of clothes. However, I’m good with an iron so it’s no problem.
One of the first pairs of trousers I made for myself was a pair of silver-grey mohair trousers with a very faint blue stripe. One pleat. They are a very unusual cloth and I found them very difficult to wear them with anything as they are really a suiting cloth. However I found that they looked great with a white T-shirt and CONVERSE and I wear them all the time now. Also mohair is a cloth that once pressed looks really sharp, it holds its crease really well. I like the contrast between this and the more casual elements like CONVERSE or a grey hoodie.
I’ve always found that idea incredibly boring. I find dressing and wearing different clothes too much fun.
As a bespoke tailor, I wear my handmade suits to work. I like suits that really highlight the possibilities of tailoring: strong sculpted shoulder lines, sculpting the chest with hand padded canvas so that you can show off a smaller waist. I prefer a high-waisted trouser as they create a long, slim leg. When not at work I am a lot more casual but still wear double-pleated trousers. I have pairs I have cut wider and wear with sportier clothing like a STONE ISLAND jumper or military style anorak from JIL SANDER. I like to mix styles and pair things that conventionally people think probably wouldn’t go together.
I don’t think I have ever consciously worn anything because I thought someone would find it attractive. I just wear what I like and feel confident in.
Depends on the event. During the week at work, I will usually know the day before, iron and organise it all. Sometimes on the weekends I will have a massive urge to wear a certain item of clothing that would have been building all week at work. I find this desire has as much to do with what wearing a garment feels like as it is about what a particular garment looks like. The feeling of wearing a pair of high-waisted baggy trousers is different to wearing a pair of jeans. It’s not that one is more enjoyable than the other, they just make you feel different. It’s like having an urge to listen to a certain song or watch a certain film, and then the feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment you get out of doing that.
I try to wash my clothes as little as possible (underwear aside of course). Washing damages the cloth and fades the colours, especially on the finer fabrics I make many of my clothes from. Hanging items and letting them air would be my best tip.
Clothing that’s quite classic or symbolic – from the suits that I wear to work and the penny loafers I wear with them or raw denim jeans with REEBOK classics and a trench coat to go to the pub. They all feel like staple items of clothing. I don’t like to wear clothes that are heavily branded.