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Golden Shears 2021

Once described by eminent style writer and author Eric Musgrave as “the Oscars of the tailoring world”, last week saw the return of the prestigious ‘Golden Shears’ awards. This bi-annual event celebrates the next generation of tailors in the UK and is open to entries from the very best fashion students and apprentice tailors from around the country.

British Design

Over 150 applications were received for this year’s awards, with 25 outfits being selected to go through to the final two rounds of judging. The chosen 25 looks were carefully scrutinised by a panel of expert Technical Judges to determine just 18 finalists.

Each entry must consist of two garments to be worn together, the patterns they were cut from and the entrant’s original illustrations. These are then judged anonymously, with marks awarded for the interpretation of design, accuracy of cutting and craft tailoring skills.

Introducing our 'Rising Star'

Then onto the final round of judging by a celebrity style panel and the announcement of the three highly coveted awards on Monday 5th July.

And we're absolutely delighted to announce that Dege & Skinner trainee Jon Pickering has been announced as this year’s ‘Rising Star’ of the Golden Shears 2021.

Congratulations to Jon from the whole team here at Dege & Skinner!

The outfit you created looked brilliantly stunning on the catwalk. The Holland & Sherry cloth you chose certainly stood out and your cutting of the cape in particular gave the whole look great movement on the catwalk in front of the style judges.


Inspired by the cutting prowess and bold, often flamboyant designs of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, Jon’s look consisted of a double-breasted coat with oversized lapels and patch pockets, worn with wide leg trousers with turn-ups, underneath a billowy cloak with an exaggerated velvet collar. All in the same bold check cloth.

``I love Westwood’s billowy fabric, bold check look. And McQueen’s use of fine tailoring mixed with far more outlandish ideas. That was my starting point anyway! I wanted the whole look to create its own block check, without contrast, so you have to sort of figure out what you’re looking at.

Then I found this amazing cloth from Holland and Sherry and immediately fell in love. It’s actually from their ladies wear collection and has a very long pile to it, which I hadn’t seen used in men’s tailoring before.

Apprenticeship Under Emma Martin

As my apprenticeship training here at Dege & Skinner has been focused on learning coat making, it felt like a challenge to design and make the other elements of the suit. But one that I ended up really enjoying! Especially trying out things I’ve never done before in tailoring, like the cloak. The cloak’s collar was particularly satisfying once I’d figured it out; and the baker's boy style cap, which I made with all the scraps at the end so as not to waste any of the cloth so generously donated by Holland & Sherry.”

Following In Their Footsteps

The baker's boy cap Jon made was not shown on the final judging catwalk due to a partnership with hat maker Lock & Co Hatters and Lock Couture, who kindly provided the hats for the Golden Shears 2021 competition.

In Part 2 of this post, we’ll focus on the close working relationship between Jon and his trainer Emma Martin, herself a Golden Shears finalist in 2013.

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