KATHRYN SARGENT began her career as an apprentice on London’s Savile Row, the center of bespoke tailoring for almost 200 years. In 2009, she became the first woman in Savile Row history to have the title of head cutter. Four years later she launched her own company. Thanks to a partnership with D.C.’s Jefferson Hotel, Sargent will be bringing her tailoring talent here, beginning this weekend, Feb. 25-Feb. 28.
Lest you be confused about what bespoke means, Sargent sets the record straight. “It is something that is made exclusively for the individual from scratch. It is a working sculpture of the person.” All pieces are hand-cut, handmade, and hand-tailored. Sargent works with a small team of specialists that includes trouser makers, pressers and button makers. The process begins with a one-hour consultation about the client’s lifestyle – where does he or she live, how often do they plan to wear the item? For example, says Sargent, cashmere is beautiful but it’s not for an everyday suit. So, answers determine the type of fabric, stitching and color a client will choose.
Patience is required for perfection. Fitting sessions take place over a period of three months and could go up to a year until there’s a finished product. A typical two-piece suit (for a man or a woman) will set you back about $6,000. But this is not throwaway clothing, says Sargent. It should last 20 years or more. Thank goodness for that.
To schedule an appointment with Sargent, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to hosting general appointments with Sargent, the Jefferson has created a Tailored Weekends suite package. Guests can reserve one of the hotel’s 23 deluxe suites during any of Sargent’s visits and get her personal attention in the comfort of their own room. You’ve missed your opportunity to reserve this coming weekend (rooms must be booked a week in advance), but Sargent will be available for appointments June 17 to June 19, and Nov. 18 to Nov. 20. The nightly rate for the suite is a wallet-crunching $715.
— Janet Kelly