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2001-Sep-20: RIP Dougie Millings

Dougie Millings, the tailor who designed the Beatles' famous collarless suits, died today at the age of 88.  In 1963, Beatles manager Brian Epstein brought the group to Mr. Millings' shop at 63 Compton Street in London's bohemian Soho district with hopes that he could create "something different'' for the band. The resulting collarless conception was a brainstorm of both Mr. Millings and Paul McCartney.  According to Millings' son, Gordon, the Beatles "were elated -  just knocked out" with the unconventional design - round necked jackets in silver gray with braided edges, three pearl buttons on the jacket, single-button flared cuffs and flat-front pants with no side pockets. The price of each suit was about $90. Dougie went on to become the Beatles' house tailor, making everything they wore as a band - some 500 garments in all.  You might remember seeing Dougie Millings in his role as the frustrated tailor in A Hard day's Night.  After the breakup of the Beatles, Millings continued to design fashions for Wings, including the outfits they wore on the cover of their Band on the Run album.

Over the years, Sir Paul remained close friends with Dougie Millings, who also write poetry in his spare time. Shortly after John Lennon's death he presented Sir Paul with a tribute he had composed for John.  Sir Paul framed the verse and it hangs in his Soho Square office,  which is located just a few yards from Dougie Millings old tailor shop.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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