PHD Astrophysicist Callum Lamb took a giant leap of faith following his many years of extreme academic study. Instead of pursuing a career in science, as one might imagine, the passionate clothier instead followed his heart and redirected his fine eye for detail into the delicate art of bespoke tailoring.
Lamb and business partner Velina Petrovic launched Oaktag Clothier and Tailoring this summer, located in a quintessential light-filled, loft, located above elegant Great Expectations antique store, at 213 Western Avenue, in Petaluma’s historic boutique shopping district.
Their collaboration with Oaktag is a little bit of London’s traditional Savile Row mixed with the greatest of modern America’s penchant for custom made, heritage-inspired clothing. Lamb, who has been sewing his whole life, envisions and precision pattern makes his stunning, classic designs for both men and women, cutting and fitting and sewing to finished splendor in this snug, enchanting little downtown tailor’s space.
Ulster Weavers’ quality Moygashel linen has been sourced for a selection of dresses, skirts and mens suits amongst the exquisite launching line for Oaktag, one that, now the patterns are in place, may be custom ordered to fit in as short of time as a week.
Looking for something specifically cut to your own ideal? That would take a little longer, up to a month if Lamb were to make a custom pattern. The beauty in such old-world tailoring is that once that pattern has been produced for an individual customer, whether it be for a favorite style of skirt, dress or suit, that blueprint exists for a potential entire wardrobe in a variety of fabrics and for different seasons.
“People are craving the real thing these days, they’ve been sort of deprived,” said Petrovic, during a visit to the tailor shop, the day before its official grand opening party due to take place in the antique store below. She and Lamb had been working round the clock to complete the launching line in time for the party. Each piece would be worn by its original fit model, friends and family of the business partners.
To touch the partners’ designs is to take in the beauty of impeccable detail, measurement, fit, fabric, hand-stitched seams and inlays – the trademarks of bespoke, a tradition in top-drawer tailoring that dates back to the 12th Century (Bespoke specifically pertains to the verb ‘bespeak’ which means to speak for something or give and order for – in this case, individually patterned and crafted mens clothing).
“There is a whole movement towards custom clothing,” said Lamb. “The local element is important, too. All of our garments are sewn in the room in which customers are measured.” This is an appeal that calls to young and old and not just for weddings and other special occasions. A custom cut, classic outfit is an investment that outlasts anything off the peg, whatever the designer label.
“I don’t want people to think that this is a stuffy old tailor’s shop,” said Lamb “We like for potential customers to come upstairs and take a look at our original designs after browsing antiques below.”
Petrovic and Lamb have future plans to develop an additional line of stylish, custom adaptive clothing for the elderly, disabled and wheelchair bound. After extensive research, it became apparent to the intuitive design pair that the limited choice for those in need of clothing that has been designed for dressing more easily has rendered many people, young and old, at the mercy of sweatpants. “Many people in this situation want to retain a sense of style as well as comfort,” said Lamb.
If you’re reading this in time, stop by Great Expectations Saturday, July 21st from 5pm to 8pm for wine, cheese and a chance to be the first to preview Oaktag Clothier’s launching line of West Petaluma-made, custom clothing. “We’d particularly like to say a big thank you to Scott and John, owners of Great Expectations,” said Petrovic. “They’ve been more than great.” There is something ideal about an old-world tailor shop above an antiques store, after all.
Oaktag Clothier is open Thursday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm and by appointment. Call 707 992 5127.