LCF x LCW: Exploring the future of tailoring with Tak Chigaduro
London College of Fashion, UAL is hosting LCF x LCW, an exhibition of footwear, accessories, jewellery, tailoring and fashion artefacts, in Fashion Space Gallery as part of London Craft Week’s 2022 programme of events. We're delving deeper into the craft of each exhibiting course, starting with BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring, LCF x LCW will take place at Fashion Space Gallery between 9-31 May.
We previously spoke with BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring Course Leader, Daniel Poulson and LCF Technician, Poppy Graham to get a 360 perspective on the infamous British heritage that is tailoring. Now we're chatting with BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring alumna, Tak Chigaduro, about what craft means to them.
Tell us your story – you’ve come a long way since graduation and are now a resident tailor in Carnaby!
My name is Takudzwa Chigaduro and I launched my brand in August 2021 after winning the 2021 Tailoring Bursary awarded by Shaftesbury in collaboration with London College of Fashion. A lot of my work is inspired by traditional men's tailoring and workwear e.g boiler suits and dungarees etc which allow me to use traditional bespoke tailoring techniques when producing garments.
Which key craft and design concepts have translated from the BA Bespoke Tailoring course to your everyday work?
Graduating from BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring gave a me a great understanding of what makes a great suit and working at a made to measure company helped me understand fit and style for different body shapes. As a bespoke tailor and fashion designer, I think beyond the traditional jacket and trousers and how I can use bespoke tailoring techniques to add the same feeling of luxury and longevity, even if it is just a pair of dungarees.
What themes and ideas have you explored through your work, and what inspired these decisions?
Fashion and style are second nature to me. I have always been very head strong about what I wanted to wear and how I wanted to wear it, so I try to make sure that this is translated when I am designing something new. In terms of personal style, my style has evolved and keeps evolving but androgyny is a common theme. I love to see people who dress outside of the norm, people who make strangers stop and stare. It is individuals who aren’t afraid to stand out in a crowd, who inspire my design process.
Who are your favourite designers and/or makers?
The brand Alexander McQueen has a special place in my heart. I especially love the tailoring, the shape is always so recognisable as unique to McQueen and that is something that I aspire to have in my own brand. Alongside McQueen, Thebe Magugu is another one of my favourites. The fact that the brand was born in South Africa, a neighbouring country to where I was born, makes me feel more connected to the story telling that accompanies each collection released. From the use of colour and print to the locations for the photoshoots, its very easy to understand what the influence was and how you’re supposed to feel.
What does ‘craft’ mean to you?
As a bespoke tailor, I feel the word ‘craft’ means 'me'; it means everyone who practices bespoke tailoring as trade. It means every artist, maker, baker etc who wakes up everyday and decides to make something that will make someone happy.