Tailors in Doha
A fit-like-a-glove suit is a men’s wardrobe staple. Claire Carruthers talks to a top tailor and trawls Doha for made-to-measure marvels Discuss this article
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Every man of any note, from Charles Dickens to Charles de Gaulle, has had a suit made to measure. Bespoke tailors in cluttered workshops on London’s famous Savile Row have been handsewing suits for royals, statesmen, films stars and men of distinction and style for almost two centuries. Thankfully, Qatar offers everything, from high-end to middle and modest; from bespoke, made to measure, designer and off-the-peg.
And there are any number of local tailors, in the side streets of Doha around Souk Waqif, who will copy one of your existing suits (or a design of your choice) and have you fully kitted out in their own materials and unique brand of cut-price couture in just a few days. Designer Oscar Udeshi is the youngest ever chairman of the British Menswear Guild; he creates unique bespoke suits of the ‘super-luxe’ variety. With orders from overseas still on the rise, the designer now plans to open various outlets across the Middle East.
Have you always been interested in tailoring?
I initially wanted to be an architect or automotive designer. While at university in London I developed my interest in men’s tailoring and fashion, which pretty soon became an obsession.
How has tailoring evolved over the years, and what characterises the modern gent?
Tailoring has become softer, less strict. The previous rules have definitely been bent. The modern gent no longer necessarily wears a three-piece suit and tie, but still has respect for his outward appearance.
Who in your opinion has a great sense of style?
Nowadays, with endorsement deals, an army of stylists and a general level of apathy, very few celebrities have any true style or even a sense of what style is. One would have to go back to the likes of Noel Coward, Fred Astaire, Grace Kelly, Sir Terence Young (first director of the James Bond films) to see what style really is.
For your ready-to-wear range, do you find inspiration on the catwalk?
I used to at the beginning when I was finding my path. Now I just look at them occasionally to see if my perception of the zeitgeist is in line with the general consensus.
Tell us about your new signature pieces collection – what was the inspiration behind it?
Celebrating 10 years in tailoring, there were pieces that people kept asking for again and again. Some might call them iconic – they are definitely distinctive. This collection is a kind of ‘best of’, which best demonstrates our ethos.
Your designs are especially popular with men in the Middle East – why do you think that is?
We straddle the world of tailoring and fashion. A fashion piece is too trendy and gimmicky, and something which may not be taken seriously, whereas a traditional suit can come across as too conservative. Our (ready to wear) designs are discrete and subtle, but one knows there is something special about them and they are different for the right reasons.
What are your plans for the future of the brand?
To expand the ready-to-wear collections and introduce bags, as they are an even greater indication of style and something I’ve always wanted to do.
Mail order is currently available from www.oscarudeshi.co.uk.
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