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Tailor-made for indies

Chatting with a forthright independent retailer at the very top end of the market this week, I was amused to hear her long for the return of the tailored jacket.
She was, she said, sick to death of dresses and cardigans and confessed that she couldn’t wait to see a return to structure in spring’s 08’s offer.

Great tailoring, she propounded, oozes class – the kind of class that the high street doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of copying. When it comes to tailoring, she said, the problem with the high street is that it cuts corners and can never build any art into its homogenous one-size-fits-all block.

This retailer was looking for collections that could not be mimicked by the high street, and cited the likes of Vivienne Westwood as a designer whose pieces are uncopyable because of the work that goes into their construction.

The question is: are women ready for the tailored jacket again after many seasons of managing to avoid it? The last time proper tailoring was offered to the masses – the ‘sexy librarian’ look of autumn 04 – it bombed. Even this autumn’s ladylike look is anchored by the pencil skirt, teamed not with a jacket, but with a silk bow-tie blouse or sweater.

It’s not just whether a tailored trend takes off, it’s whether the tailored jacket still has any relevance within that. Some would say it now only performs a service for women who demand a “uniform” look of some sort, such as lawyers or those who work in the City.

So what do you all think – is the tailored jacket a goer, or is it heading towards being one of fashion’s anachronisms?

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