Why did you choose to specialise in luxury shirts, Emma?
I started my business with a small bespoke shirt-making workroom in New Cross, where they produced the most beautiful, traditionally made shirts. I matched their fine craftsmanship with luxurious cottons and that remains the essence of what we do and what we are known for. For the fabrics, I had come across the Swiss mill Alumo while working for another designer and loved the quality, the smoothness of their cottons and the subtlety of their dyes.
What do you think a ‘proper’ shirt says about the wearer?
That he or she enjoys buying and wearing well-made clothing – and appreciates how good quality fabrics not only look but feel.
Let’s get down to business. Talk to us about collars...
A good shirt is an investment, so I always think you want the collar that gives the most flexibility. All of our collars are relatively structured, with collar bones, a good lining to hold the collar well (open or closed) and a quarter-inch edge stitch. The points I prefer at a maximum of three inches with a depth of 1.5 inches to create a strong look.
If you’re wearing a tie, I recommend a medium cutaway collar as it creates a good tie gap and doesn’t fight with the lines of the coat lapel, and also looks good open. If a collar is too cutaway, it can fly open too much, so is less flexible. I’m personally not a fan of button-down collars but I know some people love them and we certainly make many.
For linen, a softer lining is good but if it’s too unstructured the collar collapses and only looks right on the beach.