Jack Goode, adding a touch of couture to queer art performance
Jack Goode is not your typical tailor. Renowned among the London queer arts scene, Jack Goode has been designing extravagant pieces for numerous stage performers. However, Jack Goode's work not only exudes flamboyance and glitz, but it's also impeccably tailored to the last minute detail. It is therefore no surprise that this Bespoke Tailoring graduate from the London College of Fashion, was selected to showcase in the London Queer Fashion Show.
Describe a typical Jack Goode customer.
Typically my clients are in the performance or queer arts scene. They will request a costume for a stage performance or even if they are not performing, for instance, to wear a special piece for a high-profile event.
How did you get into the queer arts scene?
It happened really organically. I have always engaged with this market throughout my design process and so it happened quite naturally. Especially when I started to be more vocal about the work I'm producing, it was quite a natural progression for performers to get in touch with me.
Are all of the pieces you design quite extravagant?
Given the nature of the queer arts scene, my designs are often quite daring and subversive, but I do not necessarily always create something that is over the top. There's a lot of interesting things to play with in terms of tailoring and classicism and I love to subtly change something to turn its meaning on its head. So although there will be elements of drag in my designs that are quite extravagant, at the same time, I also stick to a more traditional style of tailoring.
Why did you decide to study tailoring, instead of a degree more common such as fashion design?
I decided to study tailoring at a time when I was quite disillusioned by the fashion industry. There hadn't really been anything around me that I was receptive to in the fashion industry. However, with tailoring, I had the feeling that I was acquiring a real set of skills, and that was really important to me. I really wanted to have the feeling that at the end of my degree, I would be able create something of my own. And if you learn those core skills, the sky is the limit.
What's your own favorite design and why?
My favourite piece, purely because of the reaction it got, was a pair of trousers where the backside had been cut out. It's a classic, well-made trouser, but has an exposed thong at the back. It's incredible because when a model wears this piece and turns around at the end of the runway, everyone sees his bare bum! The audience goes wild and all take their phones to take pictures of it.
In addition, I always want my work to be fun and not to feel like a dry fashion catwalk. I want people to get excited by my work. What I also like, is that now a bunch of people I've never met have a picture of my partner's bottom on their phones, in context of course!
What is the most important characteristic of a good tailor?
I think it is really important for a tailor to have good people skills and to be confident. When you're doing fittings with your client, it's important that they trust you and believe that you can make them as happy as possible with what you're creating. You need to really listen to the client's needs and get a sense of how they perceive their own body and image. You can use tailoring as a vehicle to celebrate a body and its form, but you also need to be sensitive to the fact that people are not necessarily happy with all parts of their body. So be attentive to their needs and know when to push for something, and when to hold off.
Who is your favorite fashion designer?
Most of the time, inspiration comes from not only just fashion but also from different areas of my life. For example, I am inspired by the performers and artists that I work with. In terms of specific fashion designers, two of my ultimate favorite are John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
The biggest fashion no-go?
The thing is, I don't believe in any of that stuff. If you can make it work, wear whatever you want!