The specialist Manchester tailor is now making fashionable facemasks
To find proper craftsmanship alive and well and pursued with enthusiasm is always a treat, whether it is in food, furniture or fashion.
Frank Rostron on Princess Street is a place filled to the brim with crafty enthusiasm, plus rolls of material in a myriad of colours, shirts and suits galore, radiant ties, heavy wooden fittings, stately home settees and leather brogues. The place looks like it should be located just off London’s Savile Row.
if we’re all about to spend the rest of 2020 covering the lower halves of our faces, there’s no reason we can’t also look stylish
The shop opened in 1968 on Chapel Walks off Cross Street and then spent time on Bridge Street, before settling in its present Princess Street location. The eponymous Frank Rostron the founder of the business was apparently 'a proper character' driving around Manchester in a car with a number plate spelling 'Shirts1'.
Apparently Frank worked with George Best on a fashion range for a while, but gave it up after discovering the legendary footballer didn’t really have a head for business.
Hand stitching made-to-measure, bespoke, monogrammed and beautifully finished shirts is hard graft, but work well for people who can afford it. On one occasion an American businessman ordered £18k of shirts and suits in a matter of minutes.
A nosey around the upstairs sewing room will reveal shirts about to be despatched to renowned rock stars and presidents of American film corporations, but they won’t name any of these people as discretion is the better part of valour in the tailoring game.
Frank Rostron has been known to turn a shirt round in a single day – and if it's some kind of a sartorial ‘emergency’, they can even turn a bespoke shirt in two hours.
A shirt usually consists of between ten to twelve different pieces with measurements taken for back, cuffs, waist, chest, neck and various other places. Collars apparently are the hardest part of the shirt to construct, and then each customer has to decide on a bewildering array of styles, and of course materials; coloured, patterned, plain, cotton etc.
Many in Frank Rostron’s team have been working in textiles for four decades or more. Finding younger people who are qualified and talented enough to take on such specialised work is an issue.
These garments are built to last, so although they may be pricier than your high street shirt, they’re beautiful, high quality and are good value in terms of how much use you get out it. Many loyal customers have been purchasing shirts since the early days of the business because of the consistent quality. Many new customers are buying them because they can really feel the difference. Quality brings a certain confidence to the wearer.
Now Frank Rostron’s expert sewing team are turning their talents to hand stitched facemasks. The UK government is now advising that everybody should start to wear face coverings in public and people are being encouraged not to purchase surgical masks, as those are needed by critical care staff.
It is recommended that face coverings should now be worn in enclosed spaces including on public transport and in some shops where maintaining social distancing is not always possible. Cloth face coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but can help to reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances, like being in close proximity to others (although the World Health Organisation emphasises that wearing a mask is only effective if it is combined with frequent hand washing.)
So if we’re all about to spend the rest of 2020 covering the lower halves of our faces, there’s no reason we can’t also look stylish, breathe comfortably and take advantage of the multi-skilled talent and high quality materials at Frank Rostron.
Each limited edition facemask has been constructed with the finest quality materials, individually hand sewn, is comfortable to wear and soft to touch. They have been designed in three sizes to help protect men, women and children in a range of sleek, modern designs from fashionable fabrics to choose from.
£29 each including delivery. Click here to purchase yours.
£1 of every order will be going to Hospitality Action.
Frank Rostron Bespoke Shirtmakers, 29 Princess Street, Manchester, M2 4FN
Tel: 0161 236 5379