Tailors Uncovered: Kathryn Sargent

Having a suit tailored by Kathryn Sargent is the most creative and collaborative process. She is fascinated by the psychology of tailoring, how a suit can become an extension of your personality or a projection of your chosen image. Through discussions and observation on the way you move and walk Kathryn is able to make you anything you could possibly desire, from Edwardian styled frock coats and riding habits to unstructured travel jackets. There is no doubt that she has the skills and training to tailor for men and women at the highest possible Savile Row level.

This comes as no surprise when you learn that before Kathryn ventured out on her own she was the first ever female head cutter in the 200 year history of Savile Row, and not with any small outfit but with the iconic tailors at No1 Savile Row; Gieves and Hawkes.

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Without realising it the road to the row was her destiny. Growing up in Leeds, the centre of Britain’s textile industry, cloth merchants and tailors were an everyday sight and bespoke suits were more of the norm. Kathryn was fascinated at how her father transformed for work by donning tailored suits, she felt an urge to create with textiles.

Being a ‘bit of a mod’ helped as the sharp lines and  slick look of  role models led to a desire for technical knowledge. Enrolling at Epsom Fashion College with the idea of becoming a fashion designer involved work experience at Denham and Goddardjust off Savile Row, the idea appealed not least because of Alexander McQueen’s success following training at Anderson and Sheppard. Arriving on the row Kathryn soon realised that just passing through was not enough; here was a place she never wanted to leave.

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Eager, intelligent and interested Kathryn jumped at the chance when an opening as a trimmer at G&H under Peter O’Neill became available. At the time fifth generation Robert Gieves was still in the house and Kathryn marvelled at the way he related to customers, finding out exactly what they were looking for. The step up from trimming to striking out cloth, enabled Kathryn to start her journey through the ranks and to cut the story short by 2011 she was the head cutter of Gieves and Hawkes.

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Always keen on learning more and relishing tailoring for even the most challanging body shapes Kathryn made the brave move to venture out on her own, taking a spare table at the classic tailoring house of Meyer and Mortimerin Sackville street. Here some of the most skilled of them all reside including the famously skilled Malcom Plews who was always happy to dispense his words of wisdom should pattern conundrums arise.

Coming from Leeds, Kathryn is always keen to champion British cloth, often steering her clients away from super soft expensive fabrics which are design with softness rather than longevity in mind. She is a great fan of our cloths, loving the “intelligent designs, innovative use of yarns and Britishness”. When I was last round several Dashing pieces were going through her workshop, one in our reflective raver for a lady who loves to cycle in town as well as dance the night away.