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Cambridge dressmaker and artist Regina Galassi: ‘I stole my style from pirates’





Avast! Cambridge dressmaker and artist Regina Galassi has the eye-catching sobriquet ‘The Pirate’s Tailor’.

Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell
Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell

It comes, as our pictures make clear, from her love of pirate-themed clothing and costumes, which are full of imagination and creativity.

“I’m kind of obsessed with pirates and skeletons and treasure movies and stuff like this,” explains Regina.

Born in Kazakhstan – her maiden name is Bystrjakov – she grew up in Germany and moved to Cambridge two and a half years ago.

“At some point I just started to dress in this way – I don’t go out dressed as a pirate, but my style I stole it from pirates!”

Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell
Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell

Regina upcycles and recycles clothing and says she “sews all day long”. She started with her hobby at around the age of four and these days also makes clothes to order. “Right now I’m making something for a festival in Switzerland,” she reveals.

“I’m always making something new – I’m never doing the same thing – and I don’t make simple things that you can buy at the store; it needs to be something interesting and crazy or I’m not interested. I can’t make something I don’t enjoy making.”

Regina’s business card describes her as a ‘jeans artist and dressmaker’. But what does she mean by the former? “I take the jeans apart in a special way,” she says, “it’s like a butcher removing parts of the meat – then I make art out of it.”

Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell
Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell

As well as making clothes for herself and others, Regina has also given classes to children at a couple of local primary schools. “It was a little job for me to get out of the house, to spend more time with people,” she says.

“I was working at the after-school club for about a year, but then I had a little accident in January where I badly damaged my hand.

“I was still trying to work but at some point I had to quit. So right now I’m just concentrating on the sewing. I’m going to sewing conventions and trying to find someone to collaborate with me, maybe some shops, because there is a pirate festival in Hastings in July. It’s right by the water, on the pier, and everybody will be dressed like a pirate.”

Regina, who previously worked as a nurse for 18 years, has made fancy dress costumes for people and has even been asked by brides to make things out of their wedding dresses after the big day has taken place.

She believes that the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, and Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character in particular, have helped popularise the pirate look.

“Oh my goodness, yes,” she enthuses, “I’m a huge fan – I have a lot of tattoos on my body and my entire right arm is just Pirates of the Caribbean.

“I have Johnny Depp on there, the ship, the mermaids, a lot of stuff from the movie – and I have on my right leg a huge Davy Jones tattoo also.”

Although she considers herself to be German, Regina says she likes living in Cambridge more – “because of all the sewing, all the art, and how the people are… I walk around and everybody’s like, ‘Hey, looking great, cool hair colour!’. I really like it here.”

Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell
Regina Galassi – The Pirate's Tailor. Picture: Keith Heppell

To learn more about Regina and her work, visit her Etsy page at etsy.com/uk/shop/ThePiratesTailor, or go to her Instagram page at instagram.com/thepiratestailor/.



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