Militant Guild of Rural Tailors – Young Meagher

Rural Tailor Brass Knuckle Scissors 1

Young Meagher’s “Militant Guild of Rural Tailors” is apparently a fashion line that doubles as a faux-museological collection of objects and textiles purportedly belonging to a revolutionary worldwide underground cult of rural tailors reaching back into early 19th C history. You can lose several hours in this imaginary steampunkish realm. The combination of high-quality men’s tailoring and handmade fantasy props is very big in Japan (not joking), which seems to be MGRT’s largest market. “Audience” is maybe more appropriate than “market,” because even though the clothes are commodities, they also seem to be part of an artistic performance. The fact that the objects are presented as props and artifacts rather than as mere products seems to be a part of a rebellion against cheap meaninglessness of the commodity market and a hopeful alliance with quality and historical meaning, so that the company’s symbol—the hybrid of brass knuckle and scissors above—almost comes off as secret insignia rather than as a logo. As for the styles themselves, they seem to point to the American Civil War and more broadly to the 19th C in general, which seems to be a popular nostalgia at the moment and has ties to the eclectic antiquey references of steampunk. These photos are all from the Young Meagher website  (original site at is now defunct; it had a bleak, howling wind and antique train soundtrack) and their Flickr pool, which goes by the name Rural Tailor Research. Captions to photos below are from the Flickr pool. Thanks to B.C.M. for the tip.


youngmeagher militant guild of rural tailors

youngmeagher militant guild of rural tailors

youngmeagher militant guild of rural tailors

youngmeagher militant guild of rural tailors

Rural Tailor's Crown 1

Tailors Crown crafted from traditional scissor-parts taken from initiated tailors in exchange for the Brass Knuckle Guildsman’s Shears shown above and presented in clandestine annual ceremonies to bestow honor on the single guild member from across the international network thought to have most advanced the art of rural tailoring. The crown would be displayed in secret in the winner’s atelier for a year before it was then awarded to the next honoree (similar to the Stanley Cup).

Rural Tailor Applicant's Novice Mask 5

Rural Tailor Applicant's Novice Mask 3

Novice’s Veil Masks like this (and those below) were required to be worn by candidates seeking initiation in order to prevent nepotism influencing selection. Would-be guild tailors were referred to as “Fresh Faces” by the inner guild which refered to the practice adopted by candidate of decorating their masks in order to show a little bit more of the tailorwise dexterity during their application regimine. This reproduction and those below were created for GenArt during New York Fashion Week.

Rural Tailor Silk Hanger

Reproduction Silk Hanger garment hanger covered in silk re-used from vintage neck-ties used by guild members to display new designs for consideration during the ceremony described above. Hangers like this would be hung from scissors which had been “stabbed” into the wall of a guildhall to present garments by rural tailors competing for the Tailor’s Crown. Created by L. J. Maher (AKA Meagher)

Handsewn Lamb-Suede Angel Dressmaker Form Mannequin

Commisioned from by Barney’s New York for use in holiday windows. Hand-cut silkscreened words from Handle’s Messiah printed onto strips of lambs-suede and hand-stitched through a fiberglass form. Hand sewn ostrich feather wings with cowhide banding brass snap-clipped to copper wing armatures. Hand=hammered shoulder and neck cladding leading to antique violin peg-head finial.

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One Response to “Militant Guild of Rural Tailors – Young Meagher”

  1. PS to the Miltary Guild of Rural Tailors: Liam Maher | Ouno Design Says:

    […] Militant Guild of Rural Tailors, a mysterious outfit we recently stumbled across online, seemed to be a cross between an elaborate […]

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