|Title||The Cut Must Suit the Making: Masculinity, Mass Production and Design in British Menswear Tailoring, 1945-1970|
This paper will focus on the material culture of the Leeds tailoring industry to argue that the process of production and design in the hugely successful menswear industry was both explicitly technical and gendered, constructing a particular form of masculinity in which the tailoring process, continuity and individual male choice were to the fore. The role of the menswear designer in the industry created a model for mass production in which ‘the cut must suit the making’. The Leeds multiple tailors had built up their businesses before the Second World War based on this gendered model of made-to-measure which continued after the war and remained crucial until the late 1960s despite the rise of ready-to-wear. The close association of women’s clothing with ideas of fashion change and variety and men’s outerwear and tailoring with more gradual shifts in style meant that design was seen differently depending on who the garments were made for (men or women as well as high end or high street), and their production process. Therefore, while design for women’s wear was gendered as fashionable and feminine, design within the Leeds multiple tailors was gendered as productive masculinity.
|Keywords||Tailoring, masculinity, menswear, multiple tailors, Leeds tailoring industry, Burton, Hepworth|
|Conference||Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear Symposium|
|Web address (URL) of conference proceedings||https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/dODQ5Abe7J/fashioning-masculinities-symposium-oct-2022|