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Beatles’ Tailor Millings Dies at 88

October 8, 2001

LONDON (AP) _ Dougie Millings, the tailor who helped create the Beatles’ famous collarless suit, has died. He was 88.

Millings died Sept. 20 in London, his family said.

In the 1960s, Millings’ workshop in London’s bohemian Soho district outfitted a stream of celebrities including the Beatles, Warren Beatty and Sammy Davis Jr. _ as well as more prosaic civil servants and diplomats.

Douglas Millings was born in Manchester in 1913 and began his career as a tailor’s cutter in London, working his way up through the business while singing with a dance band in the evenings.

His Soho shop adjoined a coffee bar frequented by Britain’s first generation of rock stars, including Cliff Richard, Tommy Steele and Adam Faith. His suits soon became fashionable with musicians, and in 1963 Beatles manager Brian Epstein asked Millings if he could create ``something different″ for the Liverpool foursome.

Millings recalled that he’d sketched a picture of a round-collared suit he’d been experimenting with, ``and that was that.″

Millings crafted the wardrobe for the Beatles’ first U.S. tour in 1964 and went on to make some 500 outfits for the band. After the Beatles’ demise, he made fashions for Paul McCartney’s band Wings, including those worn on the cover of the ``Band on the Run″ album.

Millings continued to perform _ making an appearance as a frustrated tailor in the Beatles’ first film, ``A Hard day’s Night″ _ and to write poetry.

He is survived by his wife, Lilian; a daughter and a son, Gordon, who continues to operate the family tailoring business.

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