Lee Paton, founded in 2010, is one of the world’s most private couture houses. For a clientele including international royal families and high profile musicians, Lee Paton offers entirely British made garments including tailoring, evening wear and bridal. For over a decade the house has chosen to work with British craftsmen for supplies and specialist skills to preserve unique heritage crafts and practices. This compliments the processes of the atelier in creating bespoke garments and accessories that endure the test of time. The brand’s work has been featured in many British and overseas publications such as Vogue, Tatler, Harper’s Bazaar and The Financial Times.
Lee Paton’s roots stem from England, Scotland and France, with each country having had a unique impact on the Paton family story whilst the history, heritage and nature of these places has had an intimate influence over his collections to date. Lee grew up surrounded by some of Britain’s most poetic and charming landscapes - from Scottish lochs to the castles of Northumberland. He ultimately spent most of his childhood close to the rugged fells, valleys and tarns of the English Lake District. Known for its historic literary associations, it was home and inspiration to Britain’s greatest romantic artists including Wordsworth, Keats, Lord Tennyson, Bysshe Shelley and Beatrix Potter.
Lee Paton studied menswear at the London College of Fashion, during which time he embarked upon several internships within the fashion industry. A design internship at Alexander McQueen turned into a longer journey working within the studio. From his studies and a keen interest in historic and military tailoring, he was led to the home of British bespoke, London’s Savile Row. Here, outside of his university classes he learned the Row’s ways and the importance of bespoke craftsmanship, this was followed with tutelage in the English countryside with one of the last existing traditional huntingwear tailors. He refined his illustrative skills by attending Oxford University’s Ruskin School of Art. Finally, between the Royal School of Needlework in London and Maison Lesage in Paris, he honed new skills in various methods of couture hand-embroidery. These techniques continued to adapt in Lee's creations and are taught by Lee to his in-house team today. His designs present a rich mixture of traditional British crafts and tailoring with detailed hand-finishing and couture techniques of the early Parisian ateliers.
Lee Paton’s central London atelier opened in 2014, finding home in a former tannery from where his ancestors worked as leather merchants in the early 20th Century. In 2022, a new house for the brand was established on the cusp of the Lake District hidden within a remote hamlet. Nestled at the foot of the fells, surrounded by native wildlife and topiary gardens, the atelier operates from a mid-16th Century bastle house and a 320 year old farmhouse with interiors designed entirely by Lee. For a more exclusive experience clients are invited to stay, dine and be welcomed into his world.
In 1066 during the Battle of Hastings, Duke William of Normandy awarded the Paton clan the Fleur-de-Lis as an emblem for their battle shields - a reward for their assistance to the French in their fight against the English. An emblem which is still proudly displayed in the centre of the family’s coat of arms and often seen in detailed embroidery on Lee’s designs. The family’s tartan is also a regular sight in the collections, exclusively woven in the Scottish Highlands. The deep green and black shades of the wool were a result of the Victorian creation of chemical dyes and the fondness for bold palettes at the time, however the house also still produces a more historically authentic version that is derived from fragments of tartan cloth more than two centuries old, dug up from the historic Culloden Moor in 1946.