A tailor's work station

 

Sarah Hollebon graduated few months ago from London College of Fashion in Bespoke Tailoring. She talked with me about her business, mental health collection, and advantages of bespoke tailoring over fast and high fashion.

Everybody’s experience of illness is different

With her collection about mental health she won a competition and got her own studio and a scholarship. Each suit represents different illness, like schizophrenia, depression, anorexia, PTSD. Every element – spikes, asymmetry – is symbolic of the perceptions of affected people. In the process of creating her garments Sarah interviewed many people with mental health, and told me that no two people experience their state in the same way.

Even though I was asking the same questions, I never got two similar answers. Everybody’s experience of mental illness is unique.”

 

Sustainable luxury

But what made her make an old school branch of fashion industry her business? Prices start from a few hundred pounds per piece, why choose her studio instead of a well known brand? ”Bespoke tailoring is much more durable than mass production, including high fashion. You won’t find something of that quality on a high street. Most of the stitches in my work is done by hand, with no shortcuts like fusing with glue – which cuts on time and cost, but also quality. Even respected brands do that. I don’t buy materials  in bulk, but individually for each project, which makes it sustainable.”

Bespoke tailoring slow fashion
Most of the work is done by hand. Source: Emine Aksu, Pinterest

A tailored suit works like an Instagram filter

What else could convince potential customers? Bespoke suits have additional layer of canvassing, that ‘sculpts’ around the customer’s body. It can cover imperfections like slouched posture or a slight belly. Just like Instagram filter. Individual shape and stitching also helps when you gain some weight – you can change the size without loss of the form. Handmade suits have longer life than their owners. Sarah tells me how sometimes people are bringing their grandfather’s suits to remake because of their quality. Sarah needs few weeks’ work for each project, and a few fittings. But it seems like it is worth the wait.

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