Published on 29th June 2018
Guest Blog by Geoff Stoker
For the last 8 years I have been exclusively designing and making Men’s accessories. Then, two years ago my wife and I went on a long-awaited trip to Japan. We spent some time in Kanazawa which is the home of Kaga Yuzen fabric dyeing, a technique that is more than 500 years old. While there we saw some magnificent painted silk kimonos, and this planted a seed for me. I returned home determined to a make a full kimono collection. But after calming down a bit I realised that without being Japanese I could only ever make a pastiche of the real thing that was ‘kimono-style’. So instead, I translated the idea into Western culture and decided to make a Gentleman’s Silk Dressing Gown. The origins of which go back nearly 300 years.
Starting from a downloaded sewing pattern and with the help of a local dressmaker, I made the first few prototypes. With further research I found factories in the UK that could make the gowns at a more competitive price and to a higher standard with a number of customised alterations made to the original pattern.
The next 9 months were spent designing and testing until I had a 4-piece collection that was ready to be launched in October 2017.
This Autumn will see the launch of a second colourway for each of the 4 designs and next year 4 new designs will be added to the range.
This is the first garment that I have developed, and it’s been a challenging and steep learning curve. But I have gained a much greater understanding of the properties of silk and how insulating and luxurious it can feel when you are enveloped by it. Many men and also women have worn them now and can attest to that.