If you want the best in bespoke suits, then Savile Row is the street to visit. For those who can’t manage a trip to London, Paul Jheeta, a bespoke master cutter from Savile Row will now come to your doorstep. Jheeta travels across the world to meet his clients and then flies back to London to create the suits with select fabrics at his Savile Row store. An alumnus of the Central School of Design, London, Jheeta worked with some of the most established bespoke houses at Savile Row before launching his own label.
The Paul Jheeta brand will reach out locally through a tie-up with Mumbai’s fashion store, Kachins. Jheeta will visit Mumbai periodically and meet clients by prior appointment for measurements and fittings at Kachins. Edited excerpts:
How you decide you wanted to make suits as a profession?
I worked at Kachins in Mumbai for a few months as a designer. Then I left for London for further studies in fashion. I did my apprenticeship at Savile Row. Now I see myself as a craftsman and making suits is a craft that I enjoy working on.
It’s important to know the person you’ll be making the suit for. I chat with the person and then find out what occasion they want the suit for, which helps me understand the gentleman’s personality. Later we talk fabric and what sort of trimmings can be done. We don’t even have to start the process of stitching there. I want them to be comfortable with the idea and come back to me after thinking it over. We go through the fabrics, then take measurements, decide the first patterns, do the first fitting, then cut the garment and do the first baste, which is just a raw shell, a mould. Then we give them the second baste, a third fitting and by then we have chosen the trimmings and linings to go with it. Then the final fitting where any nips and tucks are taken care of. It’s all hand-made so the minimum time required is about 14 weeks. From start to finish it takes about 90 hours to make one suit.
At what stages are you personally involved?
I make traditional suits and hand stitch them. I cut and stitch with my own hands; I’ve even punctured my fingers. It’s just me on my team, so the gentlemen can get one on one attention.
What sort of quirky requests do people come to you with?
I usually work with very classic styles, but we do play around with funky linings—bright colours, prints etc., but it depends on the personality of the person. I had a football lover come to me who wanted wanted his Manchester United T-shirt as the lining on his jacket. The whole purpose of a lining is so that you can slip on the jacket, so you can’t do that with a T-shirt. But you can’t say it’s not possible. So I got the T-shirt print on lining fabric. We do these things but it also has to reflect our style. An interesting thing I made was a coat for Alexander McQueen. It was a 3/4th black coat in cashmere with a peacock embroidered in black sequins on the right side.
What the difference between ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and bespoke?
Our body is not symmetrical—everyone has one shoulder lower than the other, the arms are of different lengths. Ready-to-wear is made to look symmetric. So all suits are identical and are going to have flaws.
Made to measure is one step higher whereby your measurements are taken and sent to those people who do the ready-to-wear suits. So adjustments or alterations are made, but the whole process doesn’t change.
Bespoke is when everything is done from scratch and your dimensions are taken into consideration. We have worked on the body and not on a flat surface. It’s moulded and hand-stitched and made bearing in mind your emotions and personality.
How can work and play suits be different?
The fit and cut remains the same, but the combination of fabric, the colour and the lining together is what makes it different. For a corporate look you could go with something darker and with stripes. But there are men who want to have flashy, colourful lining even in the corporate world. In the evening you can wear a jacket with jeans. In winter, blended wool or cashmere would be prefect for evening.
What is the best style of trousers according to you?
I’m promoting flat fronts and single pleat. Single pleat goes well with the corporate look. You’re working all day so you need that extra bit of comfort there. In the evening you can carry off flat front trousers.
How should one care for suits?
Suits should not be drycleaned very often as it kills the natural oils of the fabric. The right way of steaming and ironing is also very important to mould it back into the same shape.
The suits are priced at Rs2 lakhs onwards. To make appointments and for fittings visit Kachins, Near AC market, Tardeo, Mumbai. Call 022-2351 0019