Celebrating centuries of British tailoring

Acclaimed tailor Kathryn Sargent was the first woman to run her own Savile Row tailoring house.
Acclaimed tailor Kathryn Sargent was the first woman to run her own Savile Row tailoring house.
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A new Leeds City Museum exhibition celebrating the history of British tailoring is to open next month.

Tailored: A Very British Fashion will celebrate tailoring from the 18th century to today. It brings together a wide range of examples of British tailoring, and explores its development as a renowned British skill from Savile Row in London to the Leeds tailoring industry.

The exhibition will include a major loan from London’s V&A of Ringo Starr’s jacket, made by Leeds-trained tailor to the stars Dougie Millings, and a bespoke suit commissioned as part of the exhibition by acclaimed tailor Kathryn Sargent.

Leeds-born Sargent was the first woman in the history of Savile Row to hold the position of head cutter, and is now the first woman to run her own Savile Row tailoring house. The suit is made from handwoven wool cloth and was finished in a Yorkshire mill. The bespoke garment is complimented with work by contemporary fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Roger Saul for Mulberry. The exhibition also draws on the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection, which includes many of the big names of Leeds tailoring such as Montague, Burton and Hepworths.

Ruth Leach, curator at Leeds City Museum, said: “We worked hard to ensure this exhibition has a nationally historical context within which Leeds plays a major hand. With the combination of items from our own collection and the loan from the V&A, we are yet again staging a unique exhibition at Leeds City Museum that showcases the best of British history, throughout which Yorkshire’s legacy is woven.”

The free expo runs from 17 July to January 3, 2016.

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