Thanks. I'm hoping Edwin will enlighten us as I think this garment was not cut very drapey on purpose. Perhaps Edwin makes his canvas differently according to what his customer wants. It would make sense.
The difference between the two being that if the haircloth extends into the armhole and is secured there (as is general practice), when the arm is resting it pushes the entire chest forward. If I were cutting for Foo, for example, I would cut a full chest and full chest canvas as it gives the sort of full, bulbous chest that he likes. This, however, is not drape, as I understand it; in order for the fullness of the chest to form a vertical fold (drape, duh) near the front scye, the haircloth has to be cut out of the way so that it is soft in that area and can drape properly. That's one thing I did wrong on my drape coat- I didn't cut enough haircloth out of the way. It is also more comfortable like this, but can sometimes look messy.
So I am guessing that the owner of this dinner suit wanted soft but clean. It's very possible that Vox's coats are done this way too, and from the looks of it, even Mr. Hitchcock is building his chest up a little more these days- the photos Foo took of him show a rather substantial chest piece.
I'm going to poke around and try to find some photos to illustrate what I mean.
Love the cat. I think I've seen him before.
OK I'm back with some photos.
The purpose of the haircloth chest piece is to provide some support for the chest. Some cut it softer than others, but in order to get a clean chest like this, you need a fair amount of support. Haircloth is very
springy and resilient.
When it is sewn into the armhole, as you move your arm forward, the whole chest moves. You can see in Will's photo of Joe Hemrajani that the chest is forming a rather full and rich fold from the haircloth underneath- if this were only cloth and canvas it would be limp and would not look like this. We can judge what's going on underneath by watching people move in their clothing.
A drape coat is cut with a full chest which the haircloth could support, but instead the haircloth is cut away from the armhole- when you move your arm forward the area is soft so the fullness collects around the armhole in a drapey fold, a bit like the pleat of an action back. The arrows in this photo borrowed from Will's blog
show where the haircloth likely stops- ripples like these would not occur with a fully interlined chest unless they used very soft canvas in the chest, which was my guess before opening the A&S coat. If the folds were closer to the scye the appearance might be a bit neater, but that is a subjective thing.
This one's harder to see, but the arrow shows where the haircloth stops, in a vertical line down the front. The excess cloth (and there is quite a bit of it) tucks beneath it at the scye.