Maybe I'm adding a little too much drama and romance to this but hey, I am talking about something very special. A long time ago in a workshop far, far away a certain Swedish gentleman obtained a pair of cutting shears. A pair of shears that would cut through traditional concepts of how classical bespoke tailoring was envisaged. He was inspired by his Dutch mentor Frederick Sholte and ironically between them, these two foreign gentlemen created what became a classic English Cut (sure I've heard that name before). Stiff and heavily uniformed construction was out and elegant drape with soft comfort was in. If you're reading this blog them I'm sure you've heard all about Per Anderson of Anderson and Sheppard, my old Alma Mater. Now I'm certainly not famous but to my mind these shears are. The very shears that Mr Anderson used were handed down through the generations of head cutters to eventually came into the hands of another native of Sweden, my old boss Denis Hallbery (Hallberg). Mr Hallbery sadly passed away a few years ago but we spoke regularly on the phone over the years and he continued to encourage and inspire me as he did when I worked with him all those years ago.
When I worked at Anderson's there were a number of cutters both senior and equal in age to myself. However, when Mr Hallbery retired he chose to give Mr Anderson's shears to me along with the top job. So holding those shears involved cutting for HRH the Prince of Wales and many more of the companies high profile clients.
Here's a short video of me mid flow in cutting a bespoke pattern with the famous shears. If those blades could talk....
(Excalibur, cutting a bespoke pattern)
Now, I don't mind saying I felt very honoured, especially as I was the youngest cutter at the company and people further up the experience ladder were overlooked. Although I may be a little biased, I thought of Mr Hallbery as one of the greatest bespoke cutters of all time, and it looks like London's Victoria and Albert Museum agrees with me. But as they say there's no such thing as a free lunch and everything in life has to be earned and learnt, and boy have I done that. Because of these shears vintage they don't get to run out on cloth any more but their blades are just perfect for cutting my bespoke patterns. So as a Cutter I'm very honoured to hold these shears that arguably changed the world of tailoring (I hope maybe twice ;). If you are one of my bespoke clients you now know your bespoke pattern was cut using my experience and a very, very special set of blades. I hope it adds a little more magic to your bespoke experience.
Tom has been involved at the highest level in the tailoring industry for over 37 years. He has also been blogging and furthering knowledge of the craft for over 15 years. He is married to Claire and has three children.