Menswear Style Podcast

Guy Hills, Founder of Dashing Tweeds / Fabrics and Tailoring Brand

March 27, 2023 Menswear Style Episode 197
Guy Hills, Founder of Dashing Tweeds / Fabrics and Tailoring Brand
Menswear Style Podcast
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Menswear Style Podcast
Guy Hills, Founder of Dashing Tweeds / Fabrics and Tailoring Brand
Mar 27, 2023 Episode 197
Menswear Style

Join us on the captivating episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast as we dive into the world of Dashing Tweeds, the British brand that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity in the realm of woven textiles. Founded in 2006 by fashion photographer Guy Hills and woven textiles designer Kirsty McDougall, Dashing Tweeds was born out of Guy's vision to create high-quality tweed that could be worn in urban environments. Combining his passion for traditional sportswear with innovative designs and technical yarns, Guy and Kirsty established their weave design studio in East London, collaborating with the finest mills in the country to weave their luxurious designs.

The instant success of their cloths among Savile Row tailors propelled Dashing Tweeds to open its flagship store in Mayfair in 2014, followed by a relocation to Marylebone in 2018. With a focus on modernizing tweed by incorporating technical yarns alongside wools, Dashing Tweeds brings the essence of tweed to the city. By merging contemporary sportswear with the traditional, they introduce a novel concept in tailored wear, captivating a wider audience residing in urban settings.

Delve into the insightful interview between Peter Brooker and Guy Hills, the Founder of Dashing Tweeds, as they unravel his background in fashion photography and the brand's remarkable founding story. Explore the origins of tweed, the urban and fashion-oriented approach adopted by Dashing Tweeds, the diverse methods of manufacturing tweed, exciting collaborations with notable brands like Converse, the evolution of tailoring throughout the decades, the importance of educating men on style, and their fruitful partnerships with costume designers.

Don't miss this engaging episode where we explore the intersection of fabrics, tailoring, and innovative design with the visionary behind Dashing Tweeds. Gain a deeper understanding of their commitment to bridging the gap between tradition and contemporary fashion, while pushing the boundaries of what tweed can be.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join us on the captivating episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast as we dive into the world of Dashing Tweeds, the British brand that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity in the realm of woven textiles. Founded in 2006 by fashion photographer Guy Hills and woven textiles designer Kirsty McDougall, Dashing Tweeds was born out of Guy's vision to create high-quality tweed that could be worn in urban environments. Combining his passion for traditional sportswear with innovative designs and technical yarns, Guy and Kirsty established their weave design studio in East London, collaborating with the finest mills in the country to weave their luxurious designs.

The instant success of their cloths among Savile Row tailors propelled Dashing Tweeds to open its flagship store in Mayfair in 2014, followed by a relocation to Marylebone in 2018. With a focus on modernizing tweed by incorporating technical yarns alongside wools, Dashing Tweeds brings the essence of tweed to the city. By merging contemporary sportswear with the traditional, they introduce a novel concept in tailored wear, captivating a wider audience residing in urban settings.

Delve into the insightful interview between Peter Brooker and Guy Hills, the Founder of Dashing Tweeds, as they unravel his background in fashion photography and the brand's remarkable founding story. Explore the origins of tweed, the urban and fashion-oriented approach adopted by Dashing Tweeds, the diverse methods of manufacturing tweed, exciting collaborations with notable brands like Converse, the evolution of tailoring throughout the decades, the importance of educating men on style, and their fruitful partnerships with costume designers.

Don't miss this engaging episode where we explore the intersection of fabrics, tailoring, and innovative design with the visionary behind Dashing Tweeds. Gain a deeper understanding of their commitment to bridging the gap between tradition and contemporary fashion, while pushing the boundaries of what tweed can be.

Moving + Packing Tips and Hacks, Real Estate & Life
Listen to 'Life Beyond Boxes Podcast' – the art of moving with ease and confidence!
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Hello, welcome back to another episode of the menswear style podcast. I'm your host Pete Brooker. Today on the show I am talking to the founder of dashing tweeds guy hills and dashing tweeds create modern urban tweets for the creative confident man designing made to measure and ready to wear menswear as well as selling their cloth. Okay, so let's get to the interview. Now here is guy hills, founder of dashing tweeds when is the kind of passion really but my, my beginning of fashion was falling in love with photography. So I became a fashion photographer for sort of worked my way up through the magazines, became an assistant after university science degree, and then followed my passion. I got a camera on about 50 but then thought I can make a career of it and had a really successful career eventually, in main mainstream women's fashion, which was good, but then I got married and, and hanging out with beautiful models and going off for three weeks to Brazil doesn't go down very well with with with a new wife. So I kind of then had a studio in London, I was looking for some work to do in London, and I always love clothes, and I was asked to be a photographer for Savile Row, which is the new world or the main tailors are actually photographing the editorial job in Savile Row for a magazine and then bumped into a friend who said that one of the organisers of the tailors, and a Roland from Madison and shepherd, she was, it was quite an interesting time because Savile Row was really struggling because tailoring wasn't a big a big thing. This was about 15 years ago, and the rents were going up and they really wanted to get a brand Savile Row and Savile Row tailors didn't have any websites or anything. So they they needed a image Baker to document everything. And I met Andrew Bolton who actually created the Metropolitan Museum. Now the fashion department bumped into him on Savile Row. And he was a friend of a friend. So I kind of knew him. And then he bumped into Andrew Rowland. And she said, you know, photographer said he had just met one up the street and one of those kind of amazing moments and just got a call and he said you want to come into the shop and then I said what you want me to do? What do you want to do? So but we just need shots at every single Savile Row tailors and all behind the scenes and I couldn't believe it is like my dream job. And they said we haven't got much money, but we can pay you in tailoring. So it's kind of like my eyes then. Even more exciting thinking I can get Savile Row seats. And I've just gone digital at that point. So actually didn't cost me cash to be a photographer. It was just a time thing. So yeah, so it was it was perfect timing where I could work in London, to starting a young family. And then I had access to a whole of Savile Row tailors opened their doors to me my job was to walk into all of them and go through their archives. And I got paid and tailoring. So it was yeah, it was kind of it was like a dream life changing moment. Nice. You still got some of the suits. And yeah, all of them. Yeah, well, wearing one now behind me is a whole wardrobe. Full of full of them. And so that was the beginning and then I fell in love with both didn't get all the archives all the materials in the tailors and does bit scared as I've been intimidated good with Savile Row tailor because he's so smart and royal connections and everything. And they were a bit kind of the face of them as all businesses grey and grey and blue and everything but I knew they had something amazing in their archives, so refer to the archives and they had these books which I was photographing, which went back 200 years, and Henry poolside 20 years ago. And then it's suddenly look at fabric swatches little kind of bits from the 1860s and I suddenly thought, wow, these are kind of really wild, wild fabrics, wild colours. They sort of seem more like the stuff that Vivienne Westwood was using who I sort of loved, loved westward at the time, and I couldn't believe that kind of the Savile Row tailors had this kind of really cool colourful off the wall fabrics which they've had hidden in their basement. How do they preserve them then? They were literally they're literally these leather ledges like huge great big ones with kind of the years on them or really dusty just you know, I can imagine just seeing that kind of film where you go to the basement and below there's a Goonies map right next to it. Yeah. And you open them up and then it'll swatches the fabrics which they got from customers orders. And yeah, just blew me away. That's how much colour and choice and then how much fun men were used to have with with tailor clothes. So I was getting paid to photograph all this and document it and I was photographing in a really fashion the way because other people may be tempted to sort of relish the the old school settled Low idea and do like rate like and make it look old school, but I was shooting with ring flash really more than like really poppy fashion which was my fashion style. So I was making it look really fresh and and then I thought how can I get hold of these cloths I said to the tailors, you know, where are these fabrics? And they said, Well, they didn't really exist any more than most the mills have gone bust and there's not a demand for them and high street fashion has has taken over. And so they don't really exist anymore. So my sort of head was whirling asking how can I get hold of these amazing colourful fabrics. And the nearest I'd saw were designers like some early Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood, some other high fashion people who were kind of cleverly using actually tweed and wool in colourful ways for their for their purposes. But these ones are Savile Row even more exciting than like the hippest fashion designers. Anyway, I was looking around, I had a photographic studio in London as well. I was trying to do some sort of styling work and I thought if I go to the the fashion colleges, I may meet some like minded people. Because being a photographer, the thing I liked about it was it's a collaborative process. And when I was on shoots, a bus would turn up and it'd be full of models and the stylists and you need to work together as a team to create magazine images. So I wanted to kind of create my own my own team. And I went to the Royal College of Art to the degree show. And I saw this, it was a fridge with a door open and colourful fabrics coming out and it was all a bit kind of bit crazy and colourful. And the girl who's just show it was was called Kirsty McDougal and she was a weaver. And I said, Well, I love these fabrics. And I love your style. Can we work together? And it she said, Yeah, sure what you want to do and say I want to style some shoots and things. And what else can you do? And I said, she had a bit of fabric, so can you make me a bit of fabric? And she said, Well, I've just left the college but I can ask the Royal College if I can use their looms for a bit and do a bit of weaving. And one of these ones had Chevron so it's a bit like bicycle tires had had gone over it. And it's like a herringbone or Yeah, it's like a herring because it's like a bit like a herringbone actually. Yeah. I've got only one guys just going into his wardrobe then. All of the several Savile Row suits are spilling out. Yeah, I can. Look at that. That is a thing of beauty. Love that. Wow, Higgledy Piggledy, but it's, it's a lot of seats in there. Actually, this is the, this is not pre arranged. So otherwise, I would have had it to hand. But this is one of the very earliest fabrics that I see. Yes, it's quite interesting, isn't it going over, but it's just a really fresh, fresh design. So this was something that Kirsty had woven for her degree show at the Royal College and actually reminded me of things I'd seen in Savile Row archive from sort of the 1860s when things so there was a whole, a whole kind of synergy of all this stuff coming together. And I was thinking, I need to have some for myself. I said, Kirsty how can how can you make How can you make something? She said, well do some research, we found a commission weaving mill up in Scotland and said, Can you leave a small, small amount and they said, well, they can weave a piece. So a piece is typically 60 metres, a woven piece. So I thought, well, how much the piece costs a few 1000 quid I thought, well, actually, I've got a great idea, as the beginning of beginning of you know how business business plans start off, when you're just so obsessed, you want something yourself, I'll get 60 metres, I'll keep six for myself for Su and I'll sell the rest. So you know, you can't go wrong, our finance my addiction, and I'll get these, my suits made up in the tailors and Savile Row because they were paying me through my photography. So it's kind of all around bartering. So I kind of had this kind of epiphany where I thought, here's a whole a whole way where I can get, I can get fabulous suits myself and maybe make money. But that was right. I mean, you know about starting a business, you start off with a kind of real passionate idea. And then then the reality is a lot harder. Guy. I think people hear the word tweet and imagine it or they can see it in their mind's eye. But maybe you could just describe it and give it that kind of Google snippet so that we know for sure, I try to be brief, I do random. So actually, the fastest jacket I was talking about the one that kind of were really loved was actually a Harris tweed jacket and that kind of brown, brown Chevron which I've borrowed from my dad's wardrobe and pretty much wore throughout my whole time at Bristol University, which is always raining and protected me so so Tweed is woven wool, and the actual national word Tweed is as a romanticism invented by the Victorians because there's a famous river tweed, and the will, their will, which was being sold sold was called twill. And the twill is may not be able to see but you can see there's a diagonal and not the check, but there's a diagonal here and that's called a twill a twilled structure. So the so obviously will was what made Britain one of the most it was the it was the oil of the of the early middle middle late Middle Ages, I guess. So. You know, we just built a whole fortune. Norwich was the second richest city after London built entirely on on whoo All and Western, which is a form of spinning was a place in Norfolk. But then then the mills famously, were all situated by rivers because it was all water powered. So these are pre when the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. So, so the Victorians Reagan making up stories making romanticism so there was this whole river tweed everyone was getting obsessed with Victoria had bought, we had Balmoral built, and there was a whole love of Scotland and genuine British sort of woollen clothes. And so they people selling it, instead of some one salesman apparent instead of calling it a twill. Wool said it was tweet, and then there was a whole idea of the English aristocracy, were moving up to Scotland, and they were creating a state tweet. So they were as soon as you do any weaving, and you have a warp and a weft, so the one goes up one goes that way, when it was the kind of check and and then you change the assets, that's quite a complicated I'm just pulling up a fabric that was on the Instagram just for anyone, I'm sorry. And it seems to change the colours of the walk in the West, you get a check. And so you end up with these fabrics, wooden fabrics with the twill in number 12 structure which has to do with the weaving process. And get some got known as tweed because of the romanticism of the river Tweed. And then the function of tweed, it had lots of functions that sort of people didn't didn't really realise was actually camouflage set to begin with. So was kind of dyed the colours of the countryside. So browns and greens, a famous Lord love it, he used to dye his tweed and get his Gillies to walk up the top of a mountain and hold them up at the top and see which one disappeared with all the haver. It's quite interesting and has all different bright colours. So some of those ones which are camouflage for the country, they weren't just all green colours, they had like bits of purpley Heather in and so it became a kind of colourful fabric. So it's kind of camouflage it was it was sportswear, so if you think of all the early hunting, shooting and fishing, and then later on like cycling and motoring, it was all done in, in, in Tweed. And then it was also the way men wore it was sportswear and terms of like how we think of modern sportswear, it's colourful, it was relaxing to wear. And it was the way men traditionally wore colour. So it had it's got so much going for it. And apart from that wool is just pretty much the most amazing fabric there is. I mean I can I can go on for ages about the properties of wool but but briefly, it absorbs more moisture than almost any other cotton without feeling wet. So I think it's like even But 20% of water into a wool and it can be next to your skin. It doesn't feel wet. Where's that horrible feeling honey clammy, wet jeans on your skin? They get? Oh, yeah, no, I knew it today digging ditches out in the rain. I'm very, I'm very familiar with it. You weren't wearing you should be wearing Tweed. I never get any decent tweed wet or ruined or muddied. So I was just wearing my, my work gear, shall we say? Actually, that's that's a really great thing. But having a kind of a wardrobe building up a wardrobe. If you build up like a tailored wardrobe, then you get to a point after I've been to toes last so long when they're tailors you know, but you get to a point like after 10 years, that that you've kind of sort of retiring one of your smart suits, and you just wear it for gardening, and then it becomes better. And then you don't really care about it and you play football with the kids in it and you just get it covered in mud. And and yeah, then it becomes even even more enjoyable. Well, that's what Lucien Freud the famous painter, he was he had his suits Ben Savile Row, and then he just painted them and got them covered in. I mean, that's how you should where you should wear, you should wear tailoring, you should just sort of, it's the whole idea that it's you get like constricts you, or makes you feel that you're have to have to act in a certain way is by just a bit of time, obviously just to get totally relaxed if you're not used to wearing a tailored jacket because people may not enjoy it. But once you actually have something that's properly fitted with a high armhole, fixed dose to your body, it's just the most comfortable thing and then you realise you can just do absolutely anything, anything in it. So yeah, that's the aim of I think all tailoring and and tweed and wool. Guide tell me about when tweed became commercial for city use. I mean, we talked about the origins and when you can use it as sport where in the country, but when did it come so kind of ubiquitous that people could wear this in the sea? I found that when I was researching this a long time ago so my facts maybe not entirely right. But there was a London Scottish regiment run by Lord Elko. I can't remember the exact date but it's Victorian times and he invented a fabric, a tweed which was called a hot and grey, which was a kind of urban grey colour. So it was designed to fit in, you know, it's talking about tweed being covered launch with the country. It was actually designed to sort of work in, in the London environment. So that was sort of the first when I was doing my research, that first idea that there was Tweed is a more robust fabric compared to in the, in this times in the Victorian times in the city people be wearing finder. So woodland sees what kind of boosted suits and they'll typically be very smart and black and black and white. Yeah, that's a great one. That's a just flashed up a picture of one of our grade peaks, which almost has the kind of urban so that's, that's our, the evolution of dashing tweeds has been all about creating tweets for a more urban market and a more fashion orientated market. So yeah, that was the Lord elcas London Scottish regiment with the invention of Haagen grey. Yeah, I was in Victorian times was the beginning. But then the fabrics get lighter, so they become easier to wear, does that play a factor? I mean, traditional tweed for the for the country, that really thick foam proof stuff you get, which is sort of very tightly woven, and is sort of 20 ounce plus, yeah, that you wear it indoors if you're not gonna wear that kind of stuff in an office job. Right. So yeah, there is the whole idea of then people thinking that will is too hot to wear in, in summer or in offices or in town. But jabbered sort of nonsense really just said, Well, you're not wanting it, you just need 20 out tweets, it's gonna be too hot, but you just need to make finer finer weights, I guess is your, your point. So you end up with was when people come to my shop, I explain the two different types of, of wool, suiting products there are there's tweed, which is made of a woollen yarn, which is So it all starts off with obviously the sheep is sheared. And then they, they what's called card the wool so they have this big drum with these spikes, and it makes the wool have put air into it, but the the actual wool fibres are going in all different directions. But whereas boosted yarn, they comb it so it all goes very, very, very slick. And then a twist it very, very highly in the spinning process. So you end up with what's called a twisted yarn. And that's what pretty much all businesses are made out of. And then a woollen yarn is the wool their hair, typically thicker, hairier, wool, and you end up with a tweed, which is scratchy basically. Do you make a bespoke in dashing tweeds? Or do you put or do you give that to the Savile Row cutters to make How does it work? Oh, yeah, it was just a backtrack a tiny bit. So then I started making the fabric piece of fabric for myself. And then I spoke to some friends and thinking, I got to try and sell because, you know, I had the 60 metres woven, and that I needed six metres for myself and I thought, well, how do I how do I sell the remaining metres? So I was working as a fashion photographer and I had some quite good connections. So I spoke to this friend of mine, Kinvara Balfour. She was styling for a magazine I was working for. And she had a very early website called Daily candy she was writing on and she wrote an article about me. And then about the dashing tweets, I just had to set up with Kirsty I said, Let's just set up a brand name for this company, which at the moment was just so only had one customer, which was me, so leaving this little cloth, and then anyway, she wrote about it. And Converse read about they love the idea that we were modernising tweed, we haven't really stepped on that bit yet. But my idea of the tweet was obviously, to take it into an urban environment and make it urban colours, and not traditional country Tweed. And I had this other idea, because I was always cycling around everywhere to incorporate a reflective thread into the tweet to add to the modern sportswear element of it. Anyway, so I was writing she wrote about that, and converse rang up from Boston and said, We love your idea. Can we collaborate and and cut long story short, they made 30,000 pairs of CO branded shoes. Wow, got one here to show you. Very cool. Jack Purcell converse, covered in one of our colourful tweets and CO branded with Randy, get that to the camera guy, please. So we'll have a closer look at that. That's genius. Yeah, so that was that that was you know, the kind of in terms of entrepreneurs and I didn't really think of myself as an entrepreneur, but I think of myself as a sort of passionate tweed lover. And then I had a stroke of luck with this person with Converse, doing a very early collaboration with us. Fantastic. And that led to me then I opened the shop. So then to cut to what you were, you were saying. Now in the shop, we design all different ranges of fabrics. And we design a whole range of tweeds for the winter and then sort of summer tweeds, which are mostly boosted. And the people come to our shop and we work with a whole range of tailors. So we've got some several rotators we can if they've got deep pockets, we've got a made to measure tailor. We've got a seamstress downstairs who does sort of soft tailoring, and we've got some city tailors who we recommend as well. So so it's all about people coming to us being inspired by the fabric and then working out what they can afford or what they want to have made in, in the fabric. Fascinating? And do you get approached for a lot of collaborations because I imagine you're kind of spearheading this flamboyant weed wearing. So, I mean, trainers is one thing that's a great idea but like interiors, car seats, you know, kind of like endless. Yeah. It's well, it's such a fantastic material. So it is great for me just as we did some bags with Fred Perry, which was quite good. And then my brother's got a company called retrouvez, which is an architectural salvage company, we've worked with them designing special fabrics and covering furniture and chairs and some bespoke projects with them. We've worked with the film industry a lot now, but I can't I have to sign an NDA, so I can't talk about it. But basically design fabrics for for major major films, which is, which is really exciting. And then, when I get passionate about mostly it's people like today, so people came into the shop, and they wanted to buy something, they heard about them, but they weren't quite sure. And I was showing them all the fabrics and, and this lady brought in her husband and the husband said, I've only got a blue shield, he likes to take the jacket, but everything I've got is dark blue, I want something different. And then you can start explaining how we designed all these more colourful things and how much choice men used to have. Because most men are terrified of colour. That's the and actually, the funny thing is I was born in the 60s. So I kind of when I was in my formative sort of younger years in the 70s. You I find it quite amusing. We look on television, and then the newsreaders had to fit in with what people were wearing. So they were wearing bright yellow Kipper ties and things like that they were kind of really conservative people, all they wanted to do would be the kind of men who would just sort of slip into the background of the party. But in order to slip into the background of the 70s, you're going to have to wear a, you know, a bright yellow Cooper tie and purple shirt and stuff. So that was kind of what I was familiar with. And then actually later in life, the rave scene kicked off, which I thought was really good fun, and participate in lots. So I've kind of had love colour in my growing up. And I think a lot of men haven't had that like if the product grew up in the 90s, for example, and absolutely petrified of colour. So that's a big act big aspect to to dashing tweets as well. Well, you hit upon something quite interesting there because when I was going through your Instagram page, and there's there's a picture of guy modelling in the store, I presume, are wearing a green check suit with a pink shirt and yeah, acrobatic bicycle chains on it. But I did get the feeling that there was a 70s vibe, or a sub current going through the brand, just because of the fullness of the cut. I mean, I kept thinking, like, perhaps told me no other day something flamboyant that he would wear. So would you say like there is a house signature or my way off? No, no, no, you're not way off. But the funny thing is, is because I've been so lucky to have all this research for studying all the archives of Savile Row, I can go back to referencing sort of about two or 300 years of men's style. So so you're totally right, that those Jazz's look 70s. But then I was sort of referencing more like Oxford bags from the 20s in terms of that particular cut. And then I've got this book, which, if a tailor sees be carrying this book they get, they kind of start quaking and going, Oh my God, what's happening. So it's quite hard finding tailors who are really creative, but there was one city Taylor, who I was using at the time, Russell, his call that Graham Brown, and he was just happy to do anything I wanted. And I brought his book along. And it was a historical book written by John peacock. It's a it's basically a history kind of textbook, and it has historically accurate, accurate drawings going back to sort of 1600s and it's just got so much innovation and then that that really is something I learned about tailoring is men's tailoring is all about form and function, every single aspect, the buttonhole on the lapel, you know, used to go to a button here, so you could do things, every single aspect of of a tailored suit has a purpose. And some of the several rotators still have little horses, like you know, wouldn't gym horses, for people to get their britches fitting just right. And the kind of britches for example, that they've got a special twisted seam which Levi's used for their twisted jeans but it was just something that's been around for 150 years to make it more comfortable to sit on a horse. So there so the form and function of tailoring are fascinated by so yeah, so you can see different themes like I told me that it was I think to me that it was going to last person when several work in several roads really bring high fashion and all have tailoring together and become incredibly kind of influential to pop stars of the day the Beatles and every all the young stars at the time there was also Mr. Fish, but it was people were still heading towards Savile Row was the place to buy clothes, but and then those people brought the high fashion to it. But after that the My fashion basically went off into the high street and left Savile Row behind. And that was my that was my purpose for working. When Savile Row asked me as an image maker to photographer, they wanted to sort of bring people back to Savile Row, and encouraged them to go back to tailors tailoring. And that's kind of almost what I'd like to do in my in my shop is really, it's a real education, you got to say to people, that tailoring is not about getting a stuffy business suit is basically about anything, anything you want. And there's something really quite passionate about is you've got to educate people to once they understand what tailoring could do for them. They could be their own fashion designer, because a lot of people think fashion is something out there. It's it's dictated by someone else, they dictate to you what you should wear. Whereas the whole idea of tailoring and the empowerment of of, you know, men, making the designing their own suits is that you are the fashion designer, you can tell the tailors what to do. And the really interesting thing I tell people about bespoke tailoring is all you ever hear is bespoke bespoke this bespoke that what you never hear anyone's say is I'm speaking a suit to my tailor, I'm the person who is speaking what I want. And you say you hear from the tailors thing, this is a bespoke suit. But you don't often hear someone say I'm gonna speak this particular to my tailor because it was spoken for that's yeah, it's bespoke for Exactly, yeah. So that changing that dialogue, where it was where the customer is in charge, and, and they can speak whatever they want is what I'm passionate about. So I kind of try and educate people to come to my shop, and obviously chatting to you now to say that once you've got enough ideas, and you've actually read some history, and these could be these brilliant books like Taylor and cutter, they used to tell the customer, all the different types of cuts available. And so that gives you some armour, ammunition rather, for going to your tailor and saying this is in fashion. This is the latest cut, and interesting got the books that also actually have little patterns. So the tailors could actually make what what you wanted. So yeah, that's that's the that's the it's the i My idea is, is it's the most sustainable way of of getting clothes, and most enjoyable for everyone. Yeah, well, I mean, you mentioned fashion design as well, you must be like part salesman, part stylist as well, because your suits and your fabrics are so different. And you have to kind of coordinate some of the colours that might be going on with the check, for example, that's got to match the Corvette or the shirt. So you find that when people come into the shop, you have to almost nudge them slightly into where they should be thing more than nudge them. I literally just throw bolts of fabric over them and say, Look, this is great. And oh my god, I'm terrified. It's not navy blue. And, and then you actually sort of Lego actually, it's quite cool. Then you sell it, it goes with your eyes, and then you can accessorise it with this colour and you can go on a personal colour journey. Although she's discovered loads of people of colour blind, several people come to my shop and say I just really liked what you do. But I'm actually colorblind and I take the swatches home and show my wife, but it's quite interesting. I meet people Sorry to cut you off, I think people were a lot of the time no matter how much they know about suits and fabrics and fashion, they, they almost want to be guilted into something because it's something new that they're going to get from the shop, there's something new that they're going to be taught, I mean, there might have a base knowledge of what goes with what, but then if you're going to say look, I've got this over here, you've not seen this before, it can go with this over here, and then you compare it and you can match it with your eye colour and you can do all that with your skin tone, and then they've got a ground knowledge, but they've got something new from you, if that makes sense. Yeah, and you've hit on to two great things. One is the ground knowledge so that people sort of having a little bit idea of what they want. And then the other thing is, is is actually offering people more choice because you're going to other shops. I mean the whole point of dashing tweezers were totally at the end of the spectrum you got all the other shops and dashing just fills this I like to think we fill holes in in right in the extremes of things people have got everything and then they come to dashing kazoo yes doing extremely interesting colourful things. Yeah, so it so it is it is it is a journey for people and when they start the journey, it may stick it somewhere else and they may end up liking the sort of an addiction getting stronger and stronger doses of of sort of colour and interesting textures and things. But then Then again, if people knew more of the history, they'd realise that they've just been fed as sort of by the High Street and by main fashion has been spared a diet of white bread and butter for years and all the colourful salads and vegetables and all the flavours have just been just been missing because it doesn't make economic sense for the big companies to do in even dying certain colours is expensive. that's another aspect actually that people have forgotten about in terms of colour that there used to be a whole etiquette of how expensive certain colours were. And Black was the most expensive colour so people people don't really realise that so so then the people were wearing black because it was so expensive. And then also, Queen Victoria was in was in mourning and wearing black so people were wearing black fur because there was so much colour around so Bo Bramble, which is obviously a very famous menswear influence as one of the first and most legendary ones he was fighting gets a very colourful background, and that Georgian times, where they're all bombarded by colourful silks from Jacquard woven silks from France and Italian fabrics. And so it was a barrage of colour. And then he had this purity of black and white, which is, which is when was around 200 to 200 years ago. And that's kind of that's gone all the way through and people that then just lost all the idea of the colour, which other people would have been aware of. So, so it is that whole re education of, of how much fun how much joy colour gives you when the customers come to the shop, and they get a suit, a colourful one, and then they go to a party people come up to them instantly go wow, you look amazing. And they say, right, yeah. Well, I mean, so I when I was younger, I read this book about what you should have when you go to parties, it was kind of like one of these really horrible, bullshit books about how to get everyone to like you or something. Yeah. And you had to have something like it, it was called or WhatsApp. Now it could be a badge, or it could be a headband, or it could be something that would someone would come up to you and go, where did you get that? Yeah, and I'm just thinking anyone wearing one of your suits is, is not going to kind of stand out for any of the wrong reasons, but people are going to want to gravitate to you by just going well, I need to know where you got that suit for. Oh, absolutely happens. I mean, that is kind of a whole suit. If you're if you're starting off with a whatsit, which is a badge and then going through a whole series, a big a big jump for the person in the corner. So then maybe the opposite happens in my shop, people come in, they get they get hat, so they're wearing what they could have grey and black clothes, and they get a colourful hat. And then that starts the whole spare kind of little, little thing, and then they come back for a bigger dose, and then they'd go are gonna get always get, I'm gonna get a jacket. But you are right now, once you once you come full dashing, and then then you're in a party, the doors open, then my guys, oh, wow, the party is here, you've arrived. And that's, that's definitely happens. Well, because I think also, when guys have typically bought suits that aren't familiar or have never really wanted to buy suits before, they'd have to buy it for an occasion which might be a job interview, or a suit for a wedding or a funeral, or a black tie event. But they don't really get shown how to wear suits for fun or shape of a wardrobe. So once they now have a kind of like, we're going back to the baseline of what they like in their wardrobe, you guys are the kind of that funky door that you can go through and find a new Wonderland behind it. Yeah, that means that you've hit on a really important point is people think of suits for the right reasons of looking really smart for interviews, and formal occasions. So that's kind of baseline of how you just have to move becoming less now. But you had to get a suit of thought for the job. Yeah, so then the idea of wearing one for pleasure, with a colour wasn't kind of the thing, especially if you do it, you were kind of rock and roll era and get started in the 50s 50s and standard wear suits. But then they started wearing leather jackets, and then it was all about not wearing the suit and not being with the establishment and everything. But I find that you know, it's, it's quite now the establishment, you don't go to the city. Now you don't see people in beautiful pinstripe suits anymore, the establishment sort of disappeared. So it's actually more more rebellious to be wearing a colourful suit for pleasure, which is definitely a good point where dashing comes in, but then the people start off wearing a suit for work. And then it's a bit it is a bit of a mind jump to thinking I'm going to actually spend my hard earned cash on getting a tailored suit just for the whole enjoyment for wearing because our stuff is not in stock for not for going to work particularly when it's very fast. And one of our customers is the hairdresser and he's just obsessed by our fabrics. He's such a great chap, Rob Walton, and he wears his obviously suits for work because he has he's the talking point of his shop and yeah, he is front and centre. Yeah, front and centre. So that so that's obviously you know that our business suit, but yeah, that's the that is a kind of, I guess it's the kind of path people have to cross to get into the idea that they're they're getting a tailored suit for occasions that you don't have to have one for just for the sheer pleasure for tailoring and the joy of it. Guy. I've got a question for you before we head off because I appreciate it's a Friday night and you got a life to get on with. Yeah, you You mentioned films that you did fabrics for. Now, I know there's NDAs and you can't talk about specific films, but it's the relationship with like the filmmakers, they'll come to you and say, Can you make a fabric for such and such a tailor, they will make it and they will have their name on the credits is that kind of the gubbins a bit. Now, it's mainly it's mainly costume designers who know about fabrics and and the great thing about what we do is we're working with these fabulous mills in Scotland and using the best quality wool and fabulous weaving and finishing off suits hang and look amazing on screen. So the costume designer is just looking for fabric, which just tailors fabulously and they quite often just make them in their own tailoring. And they have this set up. I haven't actually been to visit to mediaeval zoo, quite secretive, but they have whole tailoring studios in in Leavesden and Pinewood and everywhere but they make stuff up so the costume designer is searching I guess they said they they know everything search the whole world for interesting fabrics, especially for sci fi movies with about fabrics. No one's seen before, because obviously can't have you can't have naked sci fi stars. So they still have to wear clothes. And we'll, we'll just look so good on on camera, and it just hangs and everything. So they come to us because of the quality of the fabrics. And it's designed people haven't seen before. So yeah, so that's, that's what happened. So we have very little to do with I'd like to say that we work closely with people and they think of you tailor some suits for us. But it's their point of view just sourcing something which is just fabulous. And then we can't talk about it because otherwise it'd be so much noise for that for their films. But yes, it's one aspect of what we're doing. We've got we've got an agent in Tokyo and they've got 100 tailors who have bunches. We've got bunches in about 50 tailors in Europe. And then they're constantly adding twice a year we do new designs, which we send out swatches to the tailors. People just come to our shop or they email me and I send out fabric swatches to them. So everything is about us constantly making really interesting fabrics. That's interesting. Yeah, so it's whether it's film designers or individual tailors or just sort of people coming off the street and has tweed come back into vogue thanks to perhaps period piece films or drama series. Peaky Blinders is an obvious one that I'm thinking of has that kind of had a ripple effect down to you guys well it's funny because like literally every single year they go you read an article saying tweets back in fashion Yeah, it just it just it never it's never gone out of fashion thing that happens is Peaky Blinders have the day there's eight piece hats and things and then that just that's a style thing. But people are always picking up on on some aspect of of, of tweed or colour and then I am very not influenced by fashion but I like to think that have by heads are always looking around and influenced by the zeitgeist. So we're always responding to the zeitgeist by weaving fabrics in new colours and everything like that. So so there is constantly like an evolution of our of our, of our fabrics, which then that which are tweed, and will, depending on sort of fashion and styles. So So yeah, so it's never ever ever gone out of fashion, basically. Well, I'm a fan. I love it. I love the shop. I love the brand. The suits look terrific. Well done guy you've you've really made something there over him. And I think maybe Baker Street for people that are Yeah, we're on the closed corner of Dorset Street and children Street. Yeah, yeah. Flagship store with that. We've got 5000 pieces of fabric downstairs. We've got loads of tailoring suits you can try on and then we can have a lot of fun talking about more in more depth, everything I've touched upon. Great. Fantastic. Well, in the meantime, you can check out guy over at dashing tweeds on Instagram and dashing tweets.co.uk I believe is the place people couldn't hang out as well. If you delve into my Instagram quite far back to lockdown. I did these crazy videos in this very room in my wardrobe, pulling everything out and trying Oh, the history of menswear you have to go quite back to like literally beginning of the pandemic, but they're on the Instagram somewhere. They're very amusing. Love it. Love it. So how much wardrobe space Have you got versus ward? My wife? Yeah. I can't really move the camera around but this entire all Oh, she's got a wicker basket in the corner. My side. I watched the other side but it's there's a door in the way so it's literally, I'd say about a quart. Guy. Thanks so much for jumping on. I really enjoyed talking to you. Yes, pop by the shop for a cup of tea. It's next time you're around. You've been listening to the menswear style podcast be sure to head over to menswear style.co.uk For more menswear content and email info at menswear style.co.uk If you'd like to be a future guest on the show. Finally, please help support the show by leaving a review on iTunes or wherever you're listening to this podcast. Until next time

(Cont.) Guy Hills, Founder of Dashing Tweeds / Fabrics and Tailoring Brand

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