Magdalena Handwerker, Head Ladieswear Cutter

A true pinnacle of the trade, Magdalena champions the Huntsman ladieswear department as well as teaching at the London College of Fashion. A natural maker, Magdalena enjoys upholstery, furniture renovation and gardening outside of our Savile Row home. Discover more about Magdalena's style inspiration, wardrobe essentials and secrets to making the best ladies bespoke garments.


If you could dress any woman from any era, who would it be and why?

Lady Amanda Harlech for being a leading authority on style and her contribution, appreciation, and love of the couturier world.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and making a dinner suit for Lady Harlech, yet her appreciation for bespoke tailoring could not be more apparent….. Looking into the future, it would be a privilege to be able to collaborate with and create new pieces for her.


What is the Huntsman piece you have created that you are most proud of and why?

It must be a Riding Coat for Mrs. Pricilla Waters. It was the first piece that I was commissioned to create by Huntsman. The initial idea was for the coat not to be worn for its original purpose - riding. Yet, Mrs. Waters has, so effortlessly, subverted the connotation of the coat by wearing it for all other occasions, but not for the one that one would associate the piece with; by doing so redefining a classic item as a piece that could be worn in more diverse ways.

If you could pick one piece from your wardrobe that you could keep forever what would it be?

It must be a pair of wide-leg trousers in Holland & Sherry worsted flannel. It is all about practicality and comfort- no fuss, yet you can dress them up or dress them down, depending on the occasion. 


What are the 3 key pieces of tailoring that every woman should have in her wardrobe?

A Single-breasted coat with 1 button and peak lapel

 A pair of trousers (style should depend on body type)

A Pencil Skirt.

Why is the bespoke experience so special? Especially in womenswear?

There are certainly very special elements to having a suit made for an individual: it will be as individual as the person is, there will be no compromises on fit, everything will be as one would imagine it to be.

Yet, Bespoke Tailoring, especially for women, has a power that ready-to-wear can never have. All that love, belief, and attention to detail go into that one piece of clothing. And that is exactly, what you feel when you wear it.


What is your favourite part of your job at Huntsman?

The most satisfying part is the final fitting with a client, and knowing that you have fully satisfied the client’s needs. This can only be achieved through maintaining an honest dialogue with the client throughout the entire journey of creating a garment.

Describe your style of tailoring in 3 words?

It definitely has to follow the Huntsman style while keeping the signature cut relevant:

Elegant with firm shoulders and clean lines

Waisted with a slight hour-glass silhouette 

Slightly less structured interior for comfort


How important are ethics and sustainability to you?

I have always believed in ‘Less is More’ and that any object is chosen carefully, and if cared for well, should remain a loyal companion throughout your life.

That is why the bespoke tailoring concept is of great importance in endorsing an ethical and sustainable approach to our living. By going through the journey of having a bespoke piece made locally with love and attention to detail just for you and only for you, with the use of the best quality cloth possible and from a known source yet, with the conciseness of passing the pleasure of discovering of the past to the future generations makes you appreciate and treasure the item with great respect.

Couldn’t this be more ethical and certainly sustainable; yet, one should certainly adopt the approach to one’s life as soon as possible, in response to all the current global events and for the generations to come.

Which designers do you most admire?

Coco Chanel for her bravery in creating a new classic for women in the 20th century. She herself once said: "Fashion fades, only style remains the same," this couldn't it be more current and true.

And certainly, Martin Margiela for his avant-garde approach and revolting against the luxurious fashion. Yet, for his use of the concept of deconstruction, and bringing the beauty of craftsmanship to the world through exposing all the hard work that goes into the interior of a garment to outside. 

Do you see a difference in the style of your European clients and your clients in the US? Are the client's commissions very different?

In fact, there is not that much difference in the style of our European clients and our clients in the US.  Both, when it comes to style, are looking more for a timeless, yet classic style. It is all about the statement suit or piece that simply enhances the female form. Having said that, some of our clients in the US might be more adventurous and flamboyant when it comes to choosing cloth and lining, while the Europeans have a more understated approach. At the and of the day, it is all about personal preference. 

To discover why the world's best-dressed women choose Huntsman visit our Bespoke Ladies page

Chat to us and make an appointment with Magdalena.