STORIES FOUNDER, TONYA KIDD-BEGGS CAUGHT UP WITH PATRICIA GROGAN, THE FOUNDER OF THE CUT TO CHAT ABOUT FASHION, FABRICS AND FRAGRANCE
What are your top tips for females who would like to be a tailor?
My first tip would be, do not be afraid to excel in a predominantly male domain. Secondly, learn your craft well. Ask questions always and be willing to adapt.
How does one become Savile Row trained?
I was very lucky to be taught by a wonderful old school Savile row tailor. There is still thankfully a Savile row academy that offer a variety of courses.
What are your top three fashion pieces that are worth the investment?
- A well-cut classic cashmere coat will last a lifetime.
- A well fitted crisp white shirt (hard to find if you are a woman)
- A beautiful handbag. Not necessarily an IT bag. Something timeless that will age with its owner.
Have you got a favourite fabric to work with?
I don’t think I have a favourite fabric to work with, but I am definitely a cloth snob. When you work with anything of a high quality you can very quickly spot something that is inferior.
What is your most favourite piece that you’ve created/most proud of?
My last piece is always my most favourite, because when you make a person feel fabulous in a piece of clothing you have helped to create it is a wonderful thing. But if I really had to choose it would be when I was asked by the Ulster Museum to provide a piece for their permanent collection.
We know that you have had celebrity clientele, is there anyone specific you can share that you have tailored for?
One I can mention is a very fast turnaround tuxedo I made for Robert Edgars for the Oscars when he was over in Ireland directing a movie starring Nicole Kidman. We even went as far as a gothic twist on the bow tie.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my style as street tailoring. I love pairing a classic cut double breasted suit with a cool pair of trainers. I equally enjoy wearing a 3 piece suit with a shirt and bow tie as much for my own amusement as for the raised eyebrows it sometimes causes.
Who gives you inspiration in the world of fashion?
I love how Alexander McQueen deconstructs a suit for both men and women. Victoria Beckham for her classic elegance and Edward Sexton for the history and the purity of their tailoring.
Has there been anybody in your life that’s had an impact on how you design?
My mum is my inspiration and set me on the path to where I am today. She bought me my first sewing machine and we always had a Vogue magazine on the coffee table. She was one funky lady.
Do you have a special scent memory? As we know, fragrance has the power to emerge us in an instant, and our sense of smell is the most powerful of all our senses, closely linked to memory and mood. Is there a special scent that connects you to a place or to a person?
I love the smell of fresh lilies. I would never fail to buy my mum a bunch every weekend. The memory makes me smile.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I suppose no one knows where they will be, and I believe in living in the moment. However, I hope to still be doing what I love and making my customers smile and walk that little bit taller (hopefully with a swagger)
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