The connoisseur: Kathryn Sargent
Savile Row’s first female master tailor loves nothing more than travelling the world creating expertly crafted garments for men and women. Here, she chats to High Life about her dream cities, how to switch off on holiday and the one thing she won’t travel without
I can’t wait to go back to Paris. The city has a very special place in my heart. It was the first destination I travelled to out of the UK with my family when I was a teenager. I remember being struck by how stylish Parisians were, all dressed up in their amazing suits and carrying handbags. I’ve had a lot of pleasure travelling to Paris over the years and it ticks all the right boxes for me. I’ve enjoyed many romantic breaks there, visiting all the galleries and bistros. My favourite is Gaspard de la Nuit – the food there is fantastic. It’s so special (not fancy) but very French and so Parisian. It’s things like that I miss and want to revisit.
The best hotel I’ve stayed at is The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. It’s a small boutique hotel but they always make me feel so at home. The staff have got to know me well – so much so that they know I have a weakness for chocolate-covered raisins. I mentioned it once, and now every time I visit there’s a bowl of them waiting in my room on arrival. It’s very intimate and it’s in a lovely location near The White House. There’s something about that feeling of getting a warm hug from a hotel when you’re away from home – it’s beautiful.
I had my most memorable meal at Mama’s Fish House in Maui, Hawaii. My partner proposed to me there while we were having a fantastic dinner on the beachfront. We had sashimi, fresh tuna and house dishes with sauce which were just insane. My partner was born in California then moved to London, so he used to travel to Hawaii a lot. The restaurant was the one place he wanted to take me while we were on holiday there because it was so special to him.
The key to switching off on holiday is to pick a destination that’s going to enforce relaxation. It often takes me a few days to unwind on holiday, but I believe that if you can surround yourself with nature and lots of fresh air, it’s a lot easier to relax. Take yourself somewhere that offers a totally different setting to your day to day – and, of course, a nice rum cocktail helps too!
The best souvenir I’ve ever brought home is a set of tailoring tools from Istanbul. I went there a few years ago and stumbled across some amazing fabric shops that sold tailoring tools like snips and rulers. I’d never seen anything like that in the UK before, so they’re unique. It was wonderful to find this treasure trove in the middle of the vibrant city.
My greatest travel companion is my thimble. As a tailor, I carry a thimble with me everywhere I go as you never know where your tailoring skills may be required! I also always take my Globe-Trotter suitcases. A few years ago, I collaborated with the brand to create bespoke travel trunks. I travel a lot for business so they’re great for carrying around all my fabric swatches for fittings with clients. They come along with me everywhere now – even on holiday! I have a burgundy one and it’s lined with the sleeve lining I use inside my suits and waistbands.
The place I go to feel inspired is Italy. When I was younger, I spent nearly a whole summer travelling from Venice to Tuscany, and Rome to the Amalfi coast, then Florence. I immersed myself in the culture, the art and the food. I think it’s a phenomenal place to visit and visually it’s a country that’s so rich in terms of its style and fashion.
The thing I miss the most when I’m away is my atelier in London. When I was designing the space, I took inspiration from a luxury hotel suite. It’s situated in a Georgian townhouse in Mayfair on the first floor and has big sash windows with lots of light – it’s a really energising space. Whenever clients come for fittings, I want them to feel welcome and at home, but I also wanted a nice place for me to enjoy working in. It’s where I feel most calm, and I miss it if I’m not there.
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