'People come in from around the world and say they want the Fred Astaire or Cary Grant suit,’ says John Hitchcock, the managing director and one of two in-house coat cutters. He has worked for the firm for 46 years, having joined as an apprentice aged 16. ('Lots of other cutters in the trade are called mongrels because they move around,’ he tells me. 'We are all thoroughbreds.’) He trained under Mr Bright, who trained under Mr Sheppard, who was responsible with Mr Anderson for evolving the firm’s trademark cut: a sloped, natural shoulder on the jacket, with a small, high armhole and loose upper sleeve that ensure the collar stays close to the neck. (Fred Astaire was known to dance about his fitting-room with one eye to the mirror to check that his collar didn’t move.)
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