Behind the scenes at Harris and Howard bespoke tailors, Alderley Edge
- Credit: Archant
Number 8 George Street in Alderley Edge looks like an elegant townhouse but step inside and it is revealed as the showroom of bespoke tailors Harris and Howard who can boast clients from high court judges to England footballers. While very much a workplace for owner brothers Carl and Wesley Emery and their staff, it is designed as a gentlemen’s club. They have four customer rooms, a fitting room and a dining area where they can hold networking events
1 The drapes are purple and in a hessian type fabric. They are quite heavy. We made all the drapes ourselves and get lots of comments about the ties at the top, which are silk. These fit in with the purple and grey colour scheme of the room.
2 The shoes we offer at the moment are Barker, although the ones on the top shelf are actually a custom-made shoe. This is one area we would quite like to get into and in the same way as we do bespoke suits make shoes and also bespoke jeans as there is nobody doing that in Cheshire at the moment.
3 Our three mannequins display the types of tailoring we do. For example there’s a dinner suit in the middle, on the right a lounge suit and on the left a less formal jacket and waistcoat in grey flannel with purple suede collar and elbow detail. Gary Barlow has been wearing a lot of these waistcoat and jacket combinations and they have been very popular with our clients who are the great and the good of Cheshire. While some people like to dress up, casual wear is definitely becoming more popular.
4 We have six of these chandeliers, so the whole look of the place is leather, wood and sparkly things. We’ve also got huge mirrors which add to the idea of luxury.
5 On the table is an L-shaped device that measures the height of trousers and a spirit level that’s an incline device to measure the posture of a client and whether they stoop or stand erect. The way we stand affects the way we wear a garment more than anything else. Most people want to look taller, thinner, younger and more intelligent and if we can do that with our clothes it means our clients get a lot of compliments and we get repeat business.
6 The black Chesterfield style chair is one of 15 Chesterfield style pieces we had made for us at a company in Oldham. With the stripped floors, drapes and furniture we wanted to create the impression we have been here for 100 years. We haven’t. We opened in September 2011.
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7 Next to the chair is a jacket where you can see the exposed canvassing. This shows the level of construction in the garment. Ready-to-wear is usually bonded together but canvas construction is the highest level of tailoring.
8 There’s a wine bottle here for those who want to come into the showroom. We have high profile clients like footballers Wayne Rooney, Andy Carroll, Alan McInally and Peter Reid, racing trainers Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls and the snooker player Shaun Murphy. We are doing three footballers’ weddings at the moment. Not everyone comes to see us. Some prefer that we visit them at home but we want to make them feel as relaxed as possible.
9 In the cabinets next to the chair are a selection of swatch books. We’ve got about 8,000 individual pieces of material to make into jackets, suits and overcoats including brand names Zegna and Loro Piana from Italy and Holland and Sherry and Dormeuil, which are English.
10 The mural depicts tailor’s scissors which are the tools of the trade.
11 The suit behind the Queen Anne chair is a style with a Nehru collar, worn at Asian weddings. We haven’t managed to get into that market yet but it is something we are aiming to do in the future.