coworth park wedding in meadow
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Made to measure: Inside the wonderful world of tailoring

March 18, 2022

Spring has sprung and with the social season about to take flight we discover why this is the busiest time of year for Kiki Kyriacou, founder of Kiki Master Tailor based near Ascot.
Kiki Master tailor
Courtesy of Zack Donnelly

Master tailor

Kiki was brought up in London’s East End, the epicentre of the UK’s silk weaving industry between the 1600s and 1800s. “I’ve always loved clothes,” says Kiki. “When I wore a new outfit in my teens, a few weeks later my friends would copy my style. I’ve always admired tailors, especially the quality of Huntsman and Scabal on London’s Savile Row.” Honing his craft since the age of 17, Kiki founded his tailoring business in 1984, and has since dressed politicians and sporting personalities, measuring VIP clients in the privacy of their homes or hotels.

British tailoring

Deriving from the French word tailler, ‘to cut’, tailoring originated in Europe during medieval times, when soldiers’ armour was lined with tunics, and developed into a skilled artform during the Renaissance. One of the UK’s earliest tailors, Gieves & Hawkes, was founded in 1771 in a former lord’s townhouse on Savile Row in Mayfair. While it originally designed military uniforms including for Admiral Lord Nelson later clients included Winston Churchill and Charlie Chaplin, and today Gieves & Hawkes holds a Royal Warrant for dressing the royal household. By the 1800s, Savile Row was the tailoring capital of the world.

Gieves & Hawkes exterior
Courtesy of Gieves Hawkes
Newly wed couple smiling and walking in meadow at Coworth Park, Ascot
Courtesy of Fiona Kelly

Brides and grooms

In addition to suiting the who’s who of Ascot, the wedding season is one of Kiki’s busiest times of the year, with wedding dresses taking over a week to complete. “The most memorable gown I’ve ever made was a silk wedding dress with a pink trim,” says Kiki. “The groom’s suit was grey with subtle pink button holes and a pink shirt. My client told me later that there wasn’t a person in the room that didn’t ask where he had his suit made.” With many of Kiki’s clients attending weddings at Coworth Park, a well-tailored gathering is assured.

A royal gathering

Spring heralds the start of the racing season, with Royal Ascot and Henley Royal Regatta in Berkshire leading the way in the UK’s social calendar. Both events have a strict dress code, with morning dress mandatory in the royal enclosure at Royal Ascot. “Traditionally, the lining should match the jacket, so a grey suit tends to have a grey lining,” Kiki explains. “However, you can always recognise my suits at Ascot as their lining is bright red, yellow or patterned – one client requested something outrageous and thought my lining featuring female models was fantastic.”

Royal Ascot - Royal Enclosure Racegoers
golf ball with put
Courtesy of ESB Professional

Kiki’s favourite spots in Ascot

Royal Ascot Golf Club, which Kiki visits with clients, is at the top of his recommendations. Founded by Queen Victoria in 1887, the 18-hole course is an 11-minute drive from Coworth Park. The club’s general manager, Stephen Nicholson, welcomes guests for a one-off round or for lunch. Kiki also recommends Englemere Pond Nature Reserve nearby, which is part of a former royal hunting ground. The 68-acre sanctuary has a viewing platform over a lake and walking trails that loop around reed beds and through a forest of oak, willow and silver birch, which come spring flourishes with heather.

Berkshire is beautiful in spring, and staying at Coworth Park is a great way to discover the county, its social season and many outdoor activities.

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Coworth Park

The scenic route to five-star bliss. Coworth Park offers idyllic relaxation in many guises, from a rural detox to an indulgent, romantic escape. Here you’ll find an experience to refresh every sense within our welcoming oasis of calm.

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