The First Commission

By February 23, 2015Journal, Thoughts

By Aleksandar Cvetkovic

An Edward Sexton suit is iconic, everyone knows this – so even for a passionate and committed bespoke tailoring enthusiast, who’s had clothes made by a number of tailors – it takes some courage to book an appointment and walk through the doors of the Sexton studio for the first time.

This is no bad thing, a touch of anticipation acts as a reminder that the house’s work is truly special – and worth caring about as a customer. I distinctly remember the process of commissioning my first suit, principally because the process that Edward Sexton gently guides all its customers through feels fundamentally more caring and reassuring than any other bespoke process I’ve experienced. Under the watchful eye of Edward and Dominic, the house’s workshop is filled with highly talented craftsmen, offering customers the opportunity to actually meet with the artisans producing Sexton’s clothes and watch the clothes being made in front of their very eyes.

I remember stepping into the workroom and being greeted with an overwhelming sense of industriousness. The house’s tailors were lining the workshop’s long oaken benches, sitting on the worktops (traditionally Savile Row tailors are not allowed to sit on chairs when at work) and cutting, stitching, basting, easing, finishing or pressing a wealth of different and equally beautiful garments at different stages of the construction process. The sense of both enjoyment and concentration is infectious and one can’t help but get the sense that this comes from Edward himself – all the tailors at Edward Sexton take an exceptional pride in what they do, and Edward’s focus when fitting customers seems to dictate the focus of the entire workshop.

Indeed, meeting Edward for the first time was a truly surreal experience; he is every bit as cool in the flesh as his reputation suggests. A small, slight man in a punchy suit with a shock of silver hair, he bears an irrepressible twinkle in his eye, a husky voice and a serious charisma about him. This charisma seems to bleed into the walls of the studio itself – you can sense an atmosphere of retro coolness as soon as you enter. What follows is a welcoming “hello son, how you doing?” and a surprisingly firm shake of the hand with the cool eyes already whizzing over the shoulders and lines of my suit – sizing me up in the way that a master tailor will. With Edward working alongside his coat makers in the studio’s workrooms next door, Dominic handles the appointment. Charming, polished and genteel, he’s the perfect foil to Edward’s focus, and every part the expert.

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It is Dominic’s advice that guides each and every Sexton client through the ‘design consultation’ – a unique service offered only by Edward Sexton – whereby the house takes time to “get to understand” the customer; his lifestyle, preferences and most importantly the precise vision that the customer has for his clothes. In this way, the house almost becomes a couturier or design consultancy, advising gently on style, cut, proportions and cloth choices to ensure that the garment is appropriate for purpose and makes for a wise investment. This part of the service also ensures that the iconic standard and aesthetic of Edward Sexton’s work is retained – nothing is allowed to leave the workroom if Edward and Dominic don’t feel its right.

The suit that came about as a result of this initial commission is a beautiful charcoal merino flannel three piece, of very superior quality. The sensation of wearing something that you know has been built around you and designed for you – to the very highest standard that bespoke tailoring allows – is exquisite. I love this suit, it feels sophisticated, impressive and wonderfully form fitting. With the finishing of this first commission, I can attest personally to the unique nature of working with Edward Sexton, and the satisfaction that can be gained from working with a tailor that combines an effortless technical mastery with the desire to create clothes that exceed even the fussiest customer’s requirements.