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March 16, 2009
The Golden Shears

Merchant Taylors' Hall, London

The Merchant Taylors' Company, a City Livery Company which traces its origins back to the 14th century, is now well-established as the home of The Golden Shears Competition, which is jointly sponsored by the the Company, Savile Row Bespoke and Capitb Trust, with support from the London College of Fashion and Skillfast-UK.

Designs created by some of Britain's most talented tailoring students and trade apprentices were showcased in the catwalk finals when 26 contestants vied for the coveted Golden Shears awards, with prizes totalling £4,500.

Selected from 60 entrants drawn from across the UK, finalists' work is judged by some of London's top bespoke tailors, who award marks for technical skill - design, cutting and tailoring. At the catwalk show the garments were judged for style by a VIP panel - executive producer David Furnish, fashion expert Caryn Franklin, style writer James Sherwood, Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant, and Aston Martin's director of design Merek Reichmann.

Chairman of the Competition Simon Cundey commented, "The Golden Shears competition shows off the talent and skill of some of the country's most promising tailoring students and apprentices with this prestigious trophy and cash prize. This year the standard of entries was the highest ever. Savile Row is known throughout the world for fine tailoring. Its future lies in the hands of today's talented young tailors."

Rory Duffy won the prestigious Golden Shears tailoring contest for tailoring students and apprentices sponsored by the Merchant Taylors' Company with a frockcoat and kilt in navy and cream window pane check. Rory (25), an apprentice at Savile Row tailors Henry Poole & Co who previously studied at the London College of Fashion, received a cheque for £2,000. He is currently studying coat making.

Silver Shears and £1,500 were awarded to Paulo Nicodemi from Wells for his tweed shooting jacket with pleats and plus twos with a vest-coat. Paulo, who studied at City of Bath College and the University of the West of England prior to joining Savile Row tailors Anderson and Sheppard as an apprentice, is currently working on coat making. "I love Savile Row," he says. "And my particular enthusiasm is working on special occasion wear such as shooting jackets, morning coats and dinner jackets."

Andrea Michelle Nixon from Carlisle won the Rising Star award and £1,000 for a woman's tailored jacket and skirt made with fabric she hand wove and dyed herself. Andrea (22), graduated in November with first class Honours in Contemporary Applied Arts from the University of Cumbria (specialising in weave and embroidery). For the past two years she has been on a work placement with Steed Bespoke Tailors in Carlisle learning about tailoring and helping to finish garments. Andrea says, "I really enjoy making clothes and accessories and I want to gain as much experience as possible."

PR for the Golden Shears by Christine Lea
Photography by Jon Bradley and Guy Hills

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