Born and bred in Australia, Patrick Johnson is spreading his sartorial wings and introducing a new kind of cool to the British tailoring scene.
With shops in Sydney, Melbourne, New York and now London, we caught up with Patrick to learn more about his burgeoning business, the rules for social dressing and who he admires.
Let’s start from the beginning. Where did it all begin? What was your first suit like and who made it?
It was a ‘hand me down’ from my step father. A three piece Harris Tweed. It was made by Henry Poole . Not a bad place to start! It was so beautifully made, so it really engaged me as an important object. I understood it.
What sets P Johnson apart from the more traditional, Saville Row tailors?
I would say that we are really something quite different. Our entire approach is different. I love what the top guys on the Row do but that is not us. It can’t be, I am Australian and that is a uniquely British thing, my approach is for a different place and often a different purpose. Our construction is softer, more natural, and our style is more relaxed.
What made you set up a studio in London?
My clients in London. We had been coming to London every 2 months for a few years, showing from Alex Eagle's beautiful shop but it was time to set up a permanent home and look after our clients better.
If you could describe P Johnson in 3 words, what would they be?
GQ Japan described us as ‘coastal, colonial, chic’; I quite liked that.
Is there an inherent difference between Australian style and British?
For sure. We live in a very different way. British style is a thing that has evolved over a long time. Modern Australia is still quite young, we are still finding our style. This is the exciting part because we can really help define beauty in clothing and dressing in our own Australian terms, something that is a direct reaction to our lifestyle but calls on some more European characters. Our colours and our light is different. It needs a different treatment.
Do you think there’s still a demand for the bespoke suit in today’s more relaxed sartorial style?
Yes. Relaxed style doesn’t mean the process of designing and making a suit needs to change. In fact it’s never been more relevant, it’s the least wasteful way to make a garment. When waste in the clothing industry is higher than it's ever been, custom clothing with higher value is only more relevant since it's better considered. It's not just suits, it's the rest of the wardrobe too.
What are your tips for dressing for the festive season?
Always observe the dress code. This is simply good manners.
Finally, who are your style icons and why?
These are flexible and changing and really diverse. I can't even settle on a handful. Tastes are fixed things but an amalgam of so many good styles, so it's too changeable to mention.