You took a route into tailoring that few British tailors do, training in Florence under the auspices of the godfather of Florentine tailoring, Antonio Liverano. How did that happen?
I met a Florentine tailor while at art school in the city. I met him in a square wearing a suit he’d made as an apprentice. At that age the whole idea of living in the things you’d made, and having that skill and passion, was very compelling. It all went from there.
What are the characteristics of Italian tailoring that really define it? And what do those things say about Italian tailoring, in your eyes?
All tailoring flows from the character of places and people. In the case of where I trained - Florence - there is a slow, relaxed pace of life, and that defines the tailoring, which is a single-dart block that is about comfort, and being able to wear something without really noticing or thinking about it.
Then there is the soul of Florence as a maker’s city, where a lot of care is given to what you do, and that defines the style too - more is put into making in Florence that any other tailoring tradition. Anything that comes on top of that is really the personality of the tailor. There are a lot of tailors trained in Florence, and they each interpret the tradition slightly differently.
You were wearing a very special jacket for our photoshoot? Can you tell us a bit more about it?
That was a sports jacket made at the original L. Speciale. It is unlined, with a nearly exposed canvas, and in some ways is quite raw vs. modern tailoring, which disguises the maker’s hand a bit more. These elements though make it amazingly expressive. It’s very tough, with bits of handwork that show a very romantic mentality in terms of trying to make a jacket that is going to see the client through his whole life. It’s pieces like these that inspire what I do, and pressure me somewhat to do everything properly!
What is your creative process behind the tracks you make? Do you have any consistent sources of inspiration?
Usually I start with a feeling or a concept. Something complicated and tricky that’s taken years to come into being and is informed by so many different things. I take that and try to simplify it until it fits into a song.
I’m inspired by lots of things but films are a constant source of inspiration. I think cinema is the ultimate art form because it combines so many artistic skills to create.