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LONDON Patrick Grant has spent nearly all of his life on Savile Row, the street long synonymous with custom tailoring.

He’s peeking behind the thick curtains of men’s tailoring in a new book, “The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring,” with publisher Gestalten chronicling the history of Savile Row; the making of trousers, a shirt, a waistcoat, a coat, and an introduction to the artisans on the storied street. 

“I’ve had in my mind, for a long time, the idea of doing a book about how Savile Row works behind the scenes. It’s almost unbelievable that nobody has ever fully documented the process of hand tailoring and all the things that we do,” said Grant, who is the director of bespoke tailors Norton & Sons and E. Tautz & Sons, as well as the founder of Community Clothing.

There’s a manual that was created by the magazine Tailor & Cutter in the 1920s, but the complex steps of creating custom garments can only realized by a trained Savile Row tailor.

The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring

“The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring”

Courtesy of Gestalten

Grant originally envisioned the book could be published for Norton & Sons’ 200th anniversary in 2021, but when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the idea was wiped off the table as the survival of Savile Row came into question.

Grant’s book is both for professionals and appreciators of the craft of tailoring. The book cover is made out of linen and features an illustration of the tailor-cum-author, with his signature mustache, sitting handsomely in a gray suit.

The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring

“The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring”

Courtesy of Gestalten

All of the images in the book have been illustrated — nodding to the idea of craft.

“We are a business that is about hand making things, and illustrating things by hand just feels appropriate to that world. Illustrations allow for taking out some bits in the background — it’s photoshopping in the old school kind of way,” Grant said with a chuckle. 

Grant, who also serves as a judge on BBC’s reality show “The Great British Sewing Bee,” said he’s often asked for his recommendation on great tailoring books.

The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring

Courtesy of Gestalten

“I’ve worked at Norton & Sons for almost 20 years and it felt like a nice time to look back and reflect, partly before I forget, and it’s a good time to be having a conversation about the value of craftsmanship and the things that are going to last a really long time that have a very low environmental footprint,” said Grant.

“One of the great things about the way we do things on Savile Row is that we allow all of the craftspeople who work there, all the room and time they need to make their clothes in the very best way that it’s possible to make,” he added.

Grant explains that every time a new customer comes onto Savile Row and orders a suit, they’re always intrigued by what’s happening in the workshops and often peek through the door.

The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring

“The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring”

Courtesy of Gestalten

What he loves most about the street is that everyone is aware they’re competing with each other, but they also understand that they can’t thrive and survive without leaning on each other.

“If there wasn’t a community of tailors there, then the cloth houses that deliver cloth by hand every day wouldn’t exist nor would the canvas makers and all the things that we use,” said Grant.

“It feels like a village because everybody knows everybody’s business. If I haven’t got the right cloth bunch, I’ll pop next door and they’ll lend me one and vice versa. It feels very convivial,” he added.

The Savile Row Suit: The Art of Bespoke Tailoring

Courtesy of Gestalten

The suit has remained a fixture in Grant’s life since he was a child. He recalled how the first suit he had to wear was at the age of 14 to chapel every Sunday at his boarding school. He’s been wearing suits for nearly four decades and has kept pieces from the early ‘90s and every suit he ever made had been made for him at Norton & Sons.

“Even though I worked on Savile Row, I wanted to make sure that the clothes I wore were chosen with great care and that I was going to get a lot of wear out of them. I still wear the first suit I had made and  it still fits and looks great,” said Grant.



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