Lifestyle

Stitching His Own Vocabulary

SO who knew?

Sunday, January 20, 2013    

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Christopher Childs is a tailor at Maurice Sedwell -- Savile Row. Who knew, however, that he has Jamaican roots?

SO shares the deets...

His mother Retinella hails from Westmoreland, dad Arthur is from Portland and his two elder sisters were born in Kingston. Childs credits the influence of his Jamaican upbringing for his never-give-up attitude, strong self-belief and strong religious background.

Childs shares with SO how a move from London to Stevenage in Hertfordshire at the age of five ignited the flame. "I grew up in the fashion melting pot of Stevenage where I was exposed to so many different fashion styles: Mods, Rockers, Skinheads, Goths, New Romantics, Soul heads and Casuals. These interpretations of fashion were an integral part of school. So I was aware of how important dressing was based on the peer group you wished to latch onto."

Years later when the family moved back to London Childs found employment at Mulberry. "Mulberry was a traditionally British label and this was my first contact with British tailoring. The suits were made differently: full canvassed padded lapels, hand-sewn buttons, items with more detail than the average off-the-peg suits." Further apprenticeship would take place at Liberty's of London and Margaret Howell. His career-defining moment, however, would come when he started working for a company called Chester Barrie — address 32 Savile Row. "I was employed as a visiting tailor and would spend time with their tailors and designers each week to learn about pattern cutting, figurations, cloths, fitting and garment construction. Watching from the ground up, as it were, ignited my passion for tailoring."

His time at Chester Barrie would put him in good stead for the positions he'd later hold at both Ede & Ravenscroft, the oldest London tailors, before being head-hunted to run the tailoring department at Burberry in Knightsbridge.

Christopher Childs, who admits to being in a highly competitive field, distinguishes himself by paying close attention to detail. "You have to go the extra mile for your clients. I give a high-quality service." Indeed he does, using bespoke tailoring, the luxury of exquisite fabric — his preferred choice is 100 per cent natural wool — coupled with the hand-sewn suit for a luxurious, beautiful garment.

His clients include English footballer Jermaine DeFoe, EastEnders' actor Chucky Venn and English television, theatre and film actor Idris Elba. His wish for 2013? To make a suit for US President Barack Obama. It's a pretty ambitious wish... let's see, shall we, as we add Savile Row tailor Christopher Childs to our list of Ones To Watch in 2013.

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