This is my first fitting on the bespoke leather jacket being made by Davide Taub of Gieves & Hawkes.
I already have a suit pattern at Gieves, having had a travel blazer made there a couple of years ago, and Davide has since altered that, so he was familiar with my shape. He created this model for the leather jacket using that pattern and his original design, in a waste piece of cloth.
Compared to an off-the-peg jacket, you immediately notice the close fit around the armhole. A regular jacket would never have this – even those few made by hand never cut it close because they need to cope with a variety of sizes.
Design-wise, we decided to keep it very simple. There were a few bells and whistles on Davide’s original design – such as an extended waistband – that we quickly dropped.
If you have never designed a piece like this, it’s incredibly hard to get these things right. How long should the waistband be? How should it fasten? Should it fold back? How will it work in the leather? The only realistic options are either to copy an existing model exactly, or go without. We decided to go without.
The original design also considered adjustors on the waist, but I wanted to forego those to demonstrate that, being bespoke, they were not needed. We also couldn’t quite decide on the placement of the pockets, so left those off. I would never use exterior pockets on a jacket as short as this, and inside there will be exactly the right pockets to hold all my things.
Given this minimal look, we quickly realised the importance of the collar and the seam lines running down the front and across the back. These seams had originally been placed by Davide to run into the seams of the sleeves. We kept this on the back, but decided to run the front seams a little further forward, to create a slimmer look.
The collar had originally been quite long and pointed, taking its cue from a shirt collar. We quickly trimmed that back – you can see it has been folded under and pinned. A shorter and wider collar went with the design better and looked more contemporary.