I love her. I said within the film I’m a massive fan of hers, I’ve loved her ever since I saw her.

– Henry Rose (on Madonna)

Henry Rose tailoring

Henry Rose tailoring

The interview with Henry Rose

Henry Rose, bespoke tailor to the stars, has tailored the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones (apparently all legs) and Mike Tyson (also all legs). Join Matt Spaiser from Bond Suits and I as we get to know Henry and hear the journey of this legendary Savile Row tailor.

Okay, well, to start from the beginning, my apprenticeship started in 1960 at Kilgour French and Stanbury. It was a four year apprenticeship and at the end of it, you’re supposed to be able to make a jacket (laughs). I needed to cut my teeth a bit more. Louis Stanbury suggested I work downstairs in the basement in alterations just to get a bit more experience I did for a while.

Then I went back upstairs and made a few jackets. And that’s when I became a coat maker. A coat maker actually is not just jackets, it’s overcoats, dinner suits, towel coats, so it covers a whole kind of gambit of the top part of the suit. So I made a few suits a few jackets. I made about seven or eight with Mr. Paul Getty, who, the richest man in the world at that time. I can remember the fabrics, unusual fabrics as well.

And you made for Madonna?

I had to go to New York, she was on tour. And I was measuring her up the first she went into her bedroom. And because we were making a waistcoat, I asked, “what kind of blouse would you be wearing, and will you be wearing a sports bra. Out pops the voice without appearing, “So it’s not your goddamn business!” So I thought, this is not really going to be a good day at the office.

Oh, and so anyway, we got on into it to various other parts and aspects of the jacket (shooting jacket). And I told her to go into a shooting position. She somehow she got hand her arms propped up away from the shoulder.

I asked her (Madonna) will she actually be shooting in this suit. Madonna replied “That’s the most chauvinistic thing I’ve ever heard”. It was the furthest thing from my mind. It was a pertinent question. I love her. I said within the film I’m a massive fan of hers, I’ve loved her ever since I saw her. I’ve fitted her since for other things. I think she’s forgiven me. – Henry Rose

See Henry Rose talking about the suit he made for Madonna in our YouTube video.

More on Madonna

We also chat to James Davies from Do You expect me to Talk. He recalls a chance encounter with Madonna at a press screening.

There was this stairwell, I waited in there. I was in there for 20 minutes. The door opened and I saw Madonna coming down, I thought here is my moment. She came down, I said ‘Madonna I’m so sorry to bother you I would like to ask you a few questions,’ she looked at me, she looked at the chap she was with, and she said, “can you believe this young man asked me a question?” – James Davies

Listen to the podcast

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Matt Spaiser can be found on Instagram here. Henry Rose is available for appointments through Mason & Sons. James Davies can be found on Instagram here.


I penned a short skit for Paul Lally who does the wonderful Sean Connery impressions. Sadly, he didn’t have time. But here it is, to be read in a Connery accent of course:

I remember seeing Madonna in Die Another Day, I thought she was fantastic. The keeping your tip up line I remember I thought that was wonderful. The song she wrote also I believe. But of course, I’ve been acutely aware of Madonnas acting abilities for some time. I can’t tell you amount of times I’ve seen Body of Evidence. Especially when Micheline goes out to buy the groceries. Take your time Micheline I say. I think you understand where I’m coming from.
Body of Evidence is an incredibly powerful movie, her character is so rich, so well written and the way she pours that candle-wax on the nipples of William Dafoe, I can only imagine the kind of training she must have had.

A little known known fact I was originally offered the role but I turned it down. So they ended it up giving it to Madonna. Which I know must have come to a huge relief to William Dafoe.

I went on to do Medicine Man, that was a movie about where I play an eccentric scientist. You can tell I’m eccentric because I have a pony tail that runs down to my knees. I find the cure for cancer in the Amazon jungle, but then I lose it. And then someone wants to build a road through my laboratory. Which was really a tree house. I know, it sounds terrible. But hey, would you rather see William Dafoe shove his fist up my arse. I think you should be thanking me.