California Tailor makes me feel dirty. Like, physically unclean.
This is a line of button downs started by a Londoner in Los Angeles who somehow found a way to marry crisp, tailored London with sunny, bright Los Angeles.
It's beautiful, well made, lovely. And it all just feels so clean in the best way. I mean that as the highest compliment – I don't know about you guys, but I forever feel disheveled and covered in lint. All of my coffee mugs seem to have that little drip running down the side. So when I find a brand, like California Tailor, that's lint free and exudes freshness? That's my be-all and end-all.
In honor of last night's launch of the Spring 2015 collection, owner Gill McLean takes us Behind The Scenes for a look at the new collection, her sunny California studio – and offers a very special, very big discount below:
California Tailor's spring collection is its second ever. After all, the line just launched last year – a decision inspired by Gill's move from the UK to the wild west that is California:
"When I moved things just started to fall into place. I knew if I could take everything I was experiencing here in Los Angeles and combine it with everything I love about London, I could create something special."
And she did.
The woven shirts and dresses are classic, American, California in their easy-ness. But they do have that air of sophistication. Something that says polished, clean, tailored – London.
"California Tailor brings the traditions of London tailoring then adds some California sunshine to create the perfect laid-back button down."
Not to overstate, but California Tailor shirts really are special in their fit and fabrication. This was part of Gill's master plan when she launched the brand, and she spent some real time sourcing the fabrics and focusing on fit:
"I tracked down small fabric mills around the world that have the right machinery that allow us to achieve the loose weaves and special finishes that make California Tailor fabrics unique. Many of the machines are only found in certain parts of the world making the fabric unique to that region and a million miles from the mass manufactured fabrics used by so many high street brands.
I knew that fit was so important. I wanted to make sure I created that tailor inspired, laid-back fit that would set us apart and create the foundation of California Tailor. It took over a year and many, many prototypes to finally create the perfect fit for Shirt No. 1.
This was the starting point. Quality, craftsmanship, and the perfect fit."
On the design process:
"The amazing thing with making clothes is how many people are involved in the process. Everyone has to have a clear understanding of what you want and what the vision is to ensure the process runs smoothly. The starting point is so important because your initial inspiration and vision will run through the whole process. Once the designs are complete a whole army of pattern cutters, sample makers, sample coordinators, wash specialists, and fabric specialists make it all come together."
On her love for London and LA:
"London and Los Angeles have to be my two favorite cities. They are so different but when you bring whatʼs great about each city together, it works. I feel so lucky to have both cities in my life and I constantly draw inspiration from my London and Los Angeles experiences and adventures. "
Just for fun:
Perfect days in both LA and London?
"In Los Angeles I might wake up early and hit the historic flower market followed by a cup of coffee at Blacktop, in the arts district. Then, I'd hit a few stores in West Hollywood – I love Nickey Kehoe on Beverly Boulevard. Then, finish up with a late lunch at Little Flower bakery, which is just at the end of my street!
What's one book everyone should read?
"I love the Jane and Serge book that came out this year. It's a collection of photos taken by Jane's brother during the sixties and seventies picturing the everyday life of Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg, and their family. I'm a huge Jane fan (who isn't!) and would have just loved to be around during that time.
THE GOOD STUFF:
Gill has offered Second Floor Flat followers and fan girls
40% off all California Tailor when you use code LONDONCALLING
through Friday, Feb. 20th at 11:59 PM London time (figure out what time that is for you here)
Product was gifted from California Tailor in exchange for this post – and for some Cadbury. However California Tailor is a business I truly believe in and plan to support on my own time, thankyouverymuch.
Thank you for supporting the businesses that support Second Floor Flat. Have questions? Don't like this? Let me know!