GIVING YOU GROOM TO SHINE
Today we have the absolute privilege of chatting to Alan of Ten30, one of the newest and most exciting suppliers on board the Wedding Collective directory. Alan is spearheading a tailoring revolution (VIVA LA RESISTANCE), carving out and defining a new wave of luxury contemporary tailoring. He’s passionate about giving grooms the levels of attention, detail, and quality that brides have enjoyed for so long, a shift he says is coming through thick and fast and one we hope never goes away. Making every piece bespoke from only the finest fabrics, their glorious studio in Ayrshire has it all: a heritage feel in the modern day. We’re all about making the difference, and ten30 certainly do that. Read on, young grasshoppers…
WHO ARE YOU + WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I am Alan, a designer and the director of Ten30 Contemporary Tailoring. My studio is based in Ayr, having moved there just over a year ago.
DESCRIBE YOUR WORKPLACE
The Studio is where we invite clients to design their garments and chat about the look and aesthetic they’re going for on the big day. It’s a private luxury space, with a genuine serenity to it – I want all of our clients to feel relaxed, comfortable and looked after when designing their garments. Our studio is a refurbished Victorian townhouse, tucked away from the highstreet. Care and attention has been taken to how the studio looks, feels, smells and sounds with a pallette of cool greys and whites to a soundtrack of contemporary jazz house and subtly smelling of cut grass, leather, tobacco and vanilla. I like to have a mix of contemporary and antique furniture with each piece telling a story, whilst not detracting from the main purpose of the space; hosting guests.
WHERE/HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I studied textiles at Glasgow School of Art specialising in Embroidery. ten30 started as a womenswear brand experimenting with embroidery and printed textiles, but I soon started to look for freelance design work on the side to expand my portfolio. I was commissioned by one of the Harris tweed mills to design a range of bespoke men’s jackets which were made in Scotland. The range was exciting but wasn’t put into production by the mill, however I was free to do as I wanted with them. I used the jackets for a shoot with Scotland on Sunday and received a 5 page spread using every image from the shoot. From then, the phone started ringing and we started selling these jackets. I wanted to refine the offering and expand our product range so sought a tailoring partner who could meet our high standard, which I found in Yorkshire. Since then we’ve been refining our offering and process and have grown year on year.
FAVOURITE WORK TO DATE?
It’s difficult to chose a favourite piece of work, as every groom that we work with has their own brief, their own story and their own aesthetic. To play such a large part in anyone’s wedding is a huge honour and I love seeing how every suit turns out. That said there are two memories so far that I hope I never forgot; we had a groom last year who brought his mother along with him to every fitting and consultation throughout the whole process. They were a charming pair who clearly had a great relationship and were a joy to work with! On stepping out from the fitting room wearing the completed garments and the full outfit, his mother was literally speechless and started to shed a few tears (I was also reaching for my pocket square!) It was a beautiful moment and one I was immensely proud to have played a part in. The second was a groom who wanted a big bold fabric, we had just received some limited edition fabrics from London that I’d had my eye on for months. The customer picked the brightest and boldest and wanted a three piece. The suit looked fantastic, but what sticks in my memory is that weeks before the wedding, he had unfortunately dislocated his shoulder and was in a sling. On the day the customer wore his big bold bright three piece, accompanied by a sling in matching material!
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I take inspiration from a variety of sources and I think this helps when designing suits and garments. I frequently visit London to see what’s going on around Savile Row and Jermyn St. Even walking around the nearby areas of St James’s and Pall Mall leaves me wholly inspired by the history of the place and how they’ve adapted to contemporary retail, yet remained exactly the same. I take a lot of inspiration from the Royals, and the etiquette as much as the aesthetic. I’m a believer in “good” design practices and try to have a broad range of inspirations from suits and tailoring, to architecture, graphic design, photography, film or product design. I think having a broad range of influences helps to inform a specific subject; often I’ll pair fabric colours after seeing a similar pairing in nature, or take inspiration for a coat from an old film but use a modern fabric.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY
All of our garments are bespoke made to measure and we only work by appointment, so I usually know how my day is going to play out in advance. We split our process into three parts; design, fitting, collection, so on a typical day I can be involved in all three with different customers. The initial design is where I meet the client for the first time, chat about their brief and start to build their garment; we look through the various fabric swatches and discus styles, before the client is measured up. The try on stage is when the client gets the first look at their garments; at this stage the suit is hand stitched together and is a shell, with the purpose of getting the fit perfect on the client. At the final pick up stage, the garments are complete and we get to see the whole outfit come together. Our business is very customer focused and the fact that we meet each client at least three times really helps to build a rapport and makes a lasting impression.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO?
Having moved to Ayrshire recently I still feel like a tourist at times and enjoy exploring the area. The place seems to have its own climate and on a sunny day a walk along the beach with views of Arran and Ailsa Craig is unbeatable. Ayrshire has such a rich history that makes it great for adventures – walking around Alloway or Culzean is a great way to spend a day off. That said, I always enjoy spending time in Glasgow; it’s such an exciting and vibrant city with so much going on and ever changing.
FAVOURITE WEDDING VENUE?
Wedding venues are extremely personal I think, with so many castles, estates, barns and hotels in Scotland we are really spoiled for choice. When it comes to favourites I have to say House For An Art Lover. My wife and I got married there in 2016 and it was perfect. A relaxed and elegant atmosphere coupled with timeless design aesthetic.
TRENDS YOU HOPE TO SEE THIS SEASON?
I’m not really a believer in following trends, especially for weddings. I think a wedding should be timeless and elegant; simple dinner, drinks and dancing shared with loved ones. We’re seeing a lot of couples in the studio who are looking to give the groom a bit more attention in the lead up and to make him look and feel as special as the bride does on the day. Hopefully that trend continues.
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?
The best piece of advice that I was given before my wedding day was to look at each of your guests in the eye as much as you can; take the time to speak to every guest and savour what they have to say, do it as a couple and you wont feel like the day has flown by.