What can I say? Alphonse is a miracle worker. I mean, not an actual miracle worker, like Princess Diana or Jesus, or that one gardener who used to fix Mummy’s bad back in the poolhouse every other weekend. But a miracle worker none the less — the way this guy can make your calves look with little more than some Lycra, a pair of scissors and an industry-grade lighting rig, you wouldn’t believe!
Alphonse was recommended to me by my friend Lissy, who needed a lower-cut crop top because her personal trainer had just got a divorce. The timing was perfect — I used to get all my yoga pants ‘off the shelf’ until my nutritionist told me most high-street shelves are treated with synthetic chemicals.
I got an Uber over to the shop at around 11. It’s in Dalston, but that’s deliberate. The store is a real Aladdin’s cave of a place, which Alphonse says is really funny because the curry house it replaced was called that as well. Inside, the workshop is a truly eclectic mix of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian influences, with a definite Scandi vibe chucked in for good measure. I love it.
We started by deciding on a colour palette, which was easy for me as I went to Paris for a year to study history of art after some girls at Bristol didn’t invite me to their 21st. In the end we plumped for some shades called Provençal Rosé Pink and Older Boyfriend’s Second Swimming Pool Blue. Then it was just a case of sitting back and enjoying a cauliflower muffin while the big man worked his magic.
And what magic! Alphonse and his team of interns turned my first pair of made-to-measure yoga pants around in no time, which was impressive considering my abnormally prominent thigh gap. After lunch, I cruised over to Punch & Judy, the female-only boxing gym, to put my new twinset to the test. I had a really fun session working the punching bag, then fulfilling my contractual obligation to clearly show Alphonse’s branding, then laughing near some green juice.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with activewear tailoring. Did your tailor send any sample stock to the Grenfell fire victims and livestream it? How much downlighting do you use to make it look like you’ve got abs? Get in touch, because this kind of engagement would be compelling in my next book pitch.
As told to Joseph Bullmore