The Tailor


The Tailor is the story of a tailoring business, Threads of Arrow Street, and the changing relationship between its founder, Anjali Darji, and her assistant, Panja, whom Anjali’s tailoring uncle imposes on the fledgling business.



As a teenager she collected clothing as a philatelist collects stamps, looking for examples of type, period and origin.  Through this she began to understand how clothing defines a person. Some clothing wishes to fit in and some wishes to stand out. Clothing can be confident and determined, it can be hesitant or unreliable, it can be threatening, or it can be warm and supportive.


Anjali helped in her uncle’s as soon as he felt she could be trusted amongst the needles, scissors, and the unforgiving sewing and pressing machines.  Her uncle taught her how clothing is structured, how it can be treated, fastened and stitched, and the nature and needs of different fabrics.

Significant Steps in Creative Development

The Tailor is created around a series of decisive moments where the stasis is broken. The attendant and associated consequences of each break of stasis then drive the storyline.

Break of Stasis: 'Resisting her controling uncle'

She wound the thread tightly around the black button and tied the end firmly beneath the shirt collar. ‘My uncle has the strength and resistance of Herdwick wool.  But this wool of the sheep from the fells with its sturdy fibres becomes softer when it is spun with the wool of the alpaca.  I must find that soft alpaca wool and spin it with my uncle’s firm and resilient business sense.’
It was one of those thoughts that was impossible to brush away.

Break of Stasis: 'The Red-headed Lady'

The red-headed lady is dressed for the part she is auditioning for. She looks in control. The colour is confidence and capability. The cut is planning and precision of decision. You know that she can take people with her, because you are taken with her. The Danish owners will trust her because she is tailored to the requirement and groomed for reconstruction.

The Creative Techniques of The Tailor

Metaphor, Simile or Analogy

Anjali you remind me of the river that flows beyond our factory wall. One day there is the calm sound of water flowing smoothly to the sea. The next moment we are rushing to get the expensive fabrics to the high floors in case that same river decides to flow right through our workshop, destroying everything it touches.

Did you know that most stars in the universe just turn out iron towards the end of their lives? It is only the greatest stars that make more precious materials than iron. And only the very largest and brightest of the stars of the sky that will come to weave gold in the end. I know you will weave gold, Anjali.

Random Quotation

It comes as a great shock to discover that the flag to which you have pledged allegiance has not pledged allegiance to you.

‘You are being pulled out of shape by your ambition,’ she said deliberately but serenely.  ‘There is no foundation to this work.  It can take us nowhere.  You have made our tailoring subversive.  This obsession has corrupted you like a fungus.  It is rotting away the base that we have worked too hard to fasten in place.’

Anjali was thrown.  Panya was always measured, rarely direct, and never this direct.  She drew breath, and then with her words snipping like scissors, she said, ‘The past you repair, Panya, the future you design.  If I could just stitch courage into your backbone we could fabricate something so colourful, so beautiful.’

All Creative Techniques used in The Tailor:

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