Harry Gatt

Harry Gatt was a customer of Andy Ellis Tailors from a young age. In this interview he remembers the hip clothing for which Andy Ellis was famous in the ’50s and in the excerpt below he describes the exaggerated suiting beloved of the rock and roll generation.

Johnny O’Keefe went there, which would have probably been in the late fifties, and bought an outfit – and Johnny was outrageous, ‘cause I knew Johnny, having worked with him – and people saw what he was wearing. So, the Col Joyes and all of the artists in that era were going along and, I mean, there were a lot of guys just loved to go to dances and they’d have trousers with, in the old measurements, twelve inch cuffs, which were very tight – and purple. Some of the cuffs on the trousers were so tight, like peg bottoms, that they had to put a zipper in them to get their foot through and then they’d zipper them down and of course they were too tight around the ankles – and very big, baggy knees and pleats everywhere and odd colours; as I said, purple and things like that. But probably those late fifties and through the sixties were the heyday. They were the big days of when you’d go in there the shop would be very busy and a lot of people and you’d see all sorts of familiar faces, either from tele[vision] or somewhere.

Richard Raxworthy