Why it's important to make clothes well

8/9/12

This is my dad’s jacket.

It’s over 30 years old, I know that because I can remember him wearing it when I was a kid. I found it in the back of his wardrobe when I was first thinking about making clothes and looking for inspiration. When I got it out I found a comb in the breast pocket and an opened packet of extra strong mints. They’d been there so long they’d completely lost their smell.

It was this jacket that got me thinking about how I should style and make Blake blazers. It has beautiful rolled lapels and is made from Harris Tweed. The tweed is at least 18oz and incredibly warm but it has amazing drape. I’ve exactly copied the shape of the pocket flaps in the block for my jackets. If you look at the Harris Tweed blazer you’ll notice that the fabric is very similar to my Dad’s jacket.

It’s not a coincidence.

A few years ago my dad was diagnosed with Dementia and it’s been getting steadily worse. The main casualty of his condition is his (once prodigious) memory. Now, on a bad day he doesn’t remember I’m his son, or thinks my son is me. But on a good day, he’s still my father.


Dad on Chowpatty Beach, Mumbai aged 19

My dad always dressed well. He was a nightclub manager so as a kid I always remember him as having a super-sharp black tie collection for work and a beautifully co-ordinated off-duty wardrobe. As a rebellious teenager, discovering my own style I used to laugh at his well-pressed clothes and the attention-to-detail with which he dressed. He was never rich but he always looked good.

The clothes you come to love start out being made of fabric but they end up being made out of memories.

Nowadays most clothes are like ice creams - temporarily attractive but gone in a moment and instantly forgotten. I don’t want to make those.

I want to make future memories.