Photo by Mark Cho / Text by Mark Cho / Kathryn Sargent
When it comes to tailors, I strongly believe the relationship should be more than businesslike. Commissioning bespoke orders are a dialogue between tailor and customer and the process benefits from care and understanding from both parties to achieve great results.
I've been making clothes with Kathryn for around three years now. Having grown up in London, I've always felt a strong need to keep a section of my wardrobe very British. Coming from the Gieves & Hawkes tradition, I think Kathryn has a strong understanding of more constructed British tailoring but she is also flexible, willing to create softer garments as well.
1. What are you wearing?
- Nackymade glasses
- Alain Figaret blouse
- Kathryn Sargent bespoke suit, dinner suit style
- Dior pearl earrings
- Church’s brogue pumps
2. Tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what made you want to start in the industry, how long have you been in it?
I am originally from Leeds, a city in Yorkshire in the north of England, and moved to London to study fashion and have been here ever since.
During my time studying for my degree, my passion for menswear really developed.
I chanced upon some old Tailor & Cutter books and started to explore the craft of drafting patterns from scratch, which led me to Savile Row where I started a work experience placement during my final year studying at the tailors Denman & Goddard.
In 1996 I graduated college and started my apprenticeship working at Gieves and Hawkes, No.1 Savile Row.
I trained in their bespoke department and became a cutter, and in 2009 I was promoted to Head Cutter, the first woman to hold this position in the history of Savile Row.
I have been in the industry for 20 years and I love it, I launched my own business, Kathryn Sargent, in 2012 which is based on the true values of bespoke tailoring.
Located in the heart of London’s Mayfair at No.6 Brook Street I offer a luxury bespoke service for both men and women.
3. Who are your influences when it comes to clothing?
In my own life I have been influenced by my father who was an extremely smart and stylish man, he always wore suits and beautiful coats.
In my business I am influenced by my clients, their personality and accomplishments often gives me ideas on how best to create something special for them.
Kathryn Sargent offers a traditionally inspired, yet fresh approach to bespoke tailoring as in order to deliver truly personal bespoke garments there is no house style, each garment is created in collaboration with the client so that it truly reflects the personality of the wearer.
4. Any cloths you particularly like to work with? Which for summer, which for winter?
I like working with most wools for different reasons, I love the drape and look of a winter weight wool flannel and the colours which can be found in an hand woven Harris Tweed along with the handle of it, and luxurious overcoatings.
For summer the sharpness of a lightweight wool and mohair blend suiting, cool wools which are durable and crease resistant, are my preferred choices to work with.
5. You cut a lot of traditional, historic garments such as uniforms and ceremonial clothing, any in particular you like?
I enjoy both the cutting, and the style of a traditional morning suit which really is beautiful.
I have a vast experience of cutting uniforms and have been challenged with various styles.
I like the traditional overcoats such as naval great coats, watch coats, pea coats and the army British warm style.
I create contemporary versions which are traditionally inspired for my clients.
6. As a member of the opposite sex cutting for men, do you think you might see men differently from a male cutter? i.e. You notice certain aspects of fit differently or you recommend cloth differently?
Clearly I have a woman’s eye, and my own eye for style which was refined by four years at fashion and art school but I have been trained traditionally in Savile Row in one of the most historical and prestigious houses, in the same way as any man would be.
I am a women making clothes for men and advising them on cloth and styles which would flatter them and that is a culmination of my training and my eye – knowing what would look good on the individual.
7. How does it feel being independent as opposed to working with an established Savile Row house?
I have the freedom to be creative, offer a luxury customer service and not be governed by a house style.