The way a coat gracefully yet powerfully hangs on your man's shoulder—or yours, if you're sartorially androgynous—owes to its construction. Naturally, a suit that was custom-designed and took tens of hours to make will look much better than one that was bought off the rack. It's no surpise: Menswear works the same way that womenswear does—couture will always fit better than prêt-à-porter.
Locally, menswear tailoring gets a boost from British originators through a new program offered by Slim's Fashion and Arts School. Developed in collaboration with London's Newham College—attended by none other than Alexander McQueen—and the British Council, Slim's British Bespoke Tailoring: The Newham Method seeks to teach fashion design students traditional British tailoring techniques. Cutter Victoria Townsend, from Savile Row tailor Richard James, implemented the pilot course, and starting this January, students can apply for the 10-month long program, with classes held twice a week.
Master cutter Victoria Townsend
"The ultimate goal is to uphold tailoring traditions by imparting knowledge to the younger generation," says Slim's co-director Mark Higgins. "Whether it's with the traditional dinner jacket or the barong, it's very important that we uphold the tradition and techniques, otherwise proper tailoring might become a lost art." Scroll down to get a peek inside the classroom.
A student works on her basting.
Tools of the trade
Victoria discusses techniques with the students...
...and shows them how to do it, too.
A "cheat sheet" on the board
A student lets Victoria check what the former so far has accomplished.
Can you guess which part of the suit these pieces belong to?
Victoria imparts knowledge on the traditional tailoring.
For inquiries, please call tel. no. 887 3390 or visit slimsfashion.com