Made in London: Thomas Von Nordheim

This is the latest in our Made in London series of films about London-based makers by filmmaker William Scothern. This month’s video is about London-based tailor Thomas Von Nordheim, who was inspired to embark on his career when he coveted a friend’s designer coat and decided to make one for himself – he took an old coat apart and used it as a pattern. “I did things as I went along and of course made a lot of mistakes, but in the end it looked quite good.”

Thomas von Nordheim learned his craft during a three-year apprenticeship with Dusseldorf haute couture salon Lore Lang. “I didn’t enjoy my apprenticeship full-stop,” he says. “But in retrospect it is the best thing I’ve ever done, because it laid a solid foundation for everything I know. It took me another ten years to know what I was doing without having to think about it a lot.” Thomas worked for free lance for several cutting edge designers and spend 7 years at couture house Lachasse. When they closed down, he established his own business making bespoke garments for private clients and costume for International stage and movie production. Clients he tailored for include Baroness Thatcher, David Suchet and for his last film Sir Daniel Day-Lewis.

Thomas also teaches at London College of Fashion and just started lecturing at a design school in NYC. Today he runs his own atelier at Cockpit Arts in Bloomsbury, a former furniture factory converted into studios for designers and craftspeople.

Katie Treggiden is a purpose-driven journalist, author and, podcaster championing a circular approach to design – because Planet Earth needs better stories. She is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular, a program and membership community for designer-makers who want to join the circular economy. With 20 years' experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, Crafts Magazine and Monocle24 – as well as being Editor at Large for Design Milk. She is currently exploring the question ‘can craft save the world?’ through an emerging body of work that includes her fifth book, Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure (Ludion, 2020), and a podcast, Circular with Katie Treggiden.