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Sartorial mythbusting - Page 103

post #1531 of 1680
Sweet, we made it to page 103! Cutting out a coat does not take long. Those who watched Mahon doing it in his video may have noticed. He cuts very generous, meaning that he leaves huge inlays, which is something that is hardly ever done in Germany. Unless the tailor is very insecure about his skills and drafting system. Given the right equipment the cutting out part is one of the less time consuming. I don't know how other SR cutters do it, but to me it seems that A&S cutters leave a lot of work to the tailors. So he has 10 min. to draft a pattern, cut and lay it out and chalk around it. I'd say that is slightly exaggerated. So my guess is that the author of that article spent 15 min. watching JH marking and cutting, and that is enough time. Vox, here are the videos (the music in the video is the original one)
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post #1532 of 1680
BTW I should say that drafting by rock of eye is quite different to drafting directly onto the cloth. You can draft by rock of eye (or is it rock in the eye?) onto paper and then keep the pattern you have drafted for future reference. This seems to be the traditional way of doing it at A&S.

I think the whole business model of a firm that pushes the drape cut is about speed and efficiency of throughput. You draft really quickly using an approximate freehand way of drafting and leave generous inlays. The lower demands on the fitter of the looser fit of the drape coat means you can still skip to forward fittings. From a tailor's point of view, the drape cut should be a godsend. It's easier to cut, fit and make up. Quicker throughput means improved profitability.

All you have to do is to convince your clients that the cut makes them look like a prince - or should I say, like a Duke?
post #1533 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
BTW I should say that drafting by rock of eye is quite different to drafting directly onto the cloth. You can draft by rock of eye (or is it rock in the eye?) onto paper and then keep the pattern you have drafted for future reference. This seems to be the traditional way of doing it at A&S. I think the whole business model of a firm that pushes the drape cut is about speed and efficiency of throughput. You draft really quickly using an approximate freehand way of drafting and leave generous inlays. The lower demands on the fitter of the looser fit of the drape coat means you can still skip to forward fittings. From a tailor's point of view, the drape cut should be a godsend. It's easier to cut, fit and make up. Quicker throughput means improved profitability. All you have to do is to convince your clients that the cut makes them look like a prince - or should I say, like a Duke?
Cynical, I like it....
post #1534 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
BTW I should say that drafting by rock of eye is quite different to drafting directly onto the cloth. You can draft by rock of eye (or is it rock in the eye?) onto paper and then keep the pattern you have drafted for future reference. This seems to be the traditional way of doing it at A&S.

I think the whole business model of a firm that pushes the drape cut is about speed and efficiency of throughput. You draft really quickly using an approximate freehand way of drafting and leave generous inlays. The lower demands on the fitter of the looser fit of the drape coat means you can still skip to forward fittings. From a tailor's point of view, the drape cut should be a godsend. It's easier to cut, fit and make up. Quicker throughput means improved profitability.

All you have to do is to convince your clients that the cut makes them look like a prince - or should I say, like a Duke?

Is it why they're not as expensive than their illustrious neighbours?
post #1535 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
Cynical, I like it....

I like it, too, and as a gesture of common purpose, let's see how much closer cut a non-draped, structured, clean chested suit can be:



Not just generous inlays...but generous outlays as well.


- B
post #1536 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I like it, too, and as a gesture of common purpose, let's see how much closer cut a non-draped, structured, clean chested suit can be: Not just generous inlays...but generous outlays as well. - B
Well, like I said. 'How accurate does the pattern have to be...?' I think the problem is that there seems to be some mythology surrounding the rock of eye technique, that is, that it is a more skilful cutting technique, whereas, it may be a sloppier cutting technique that shifts some of the skill from the cutting to the fitting stage. Actually, I don't have a problem with this approach, in fact, it may actually be a better approach. as you are solving the problem in the 3D domain which is actually where the problem resides. I wish I could find some video's of women's couture suits being made. They would be very instructive Here's another technique used by Chris Kerr, who makes for many in the entertainment business. Notice the seams on the outside. I think Jonny Depp is a customer. http://thelondonlounge.net/gl/forum/...=7379&start=15 http://www.chriskerr.com/#
post #1537 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
Cynical, I like it....

Yeah, you can look at it that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasbar View Post
Is it why they're not as expensive than their illustrious neighbours?

This is the great advantage to the customer too. Reduced cost to the client means you get more orders, more throughput and increased profit. It's all good for both client and tailor alike.

I think this was bespoke tailoring's answer to the rising threat in the 1930s coming from a burgeoning RTW industry. At the same time weaving technology was progressing to permit cloths to become lighter and mid-century text say that this demand for lightness and airiness in tailored garments drove the popularity of the drape cut. So out went the meticulously worked up and carefully fitted garment handed down by tradition in favour of something more spontaneous like a charcoal sketch than a detailed oil painting.

The only thing is that you had to "educate" your clients to convince them that they really needed this. This is what John King Wilson, a great enthusiast of the drape cut wrote in the 1950's:

post #1538 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
I think the problem is that there seems to be some mythology surrounding the rock of eye technique, that is, that it is a more skilful cutting technique, whereas, it may be a sloppier cutting technique that shifts some of the skill from the cutting to the fitting stage.

I have never heard or read anywhere that drafting freehand is a "more skillful" technique. What's been said is that in the context of A&S, this approach to drafting was an element of the house style of the generation of senior cutters before the current one (and perhaps stretching far back into the past...I wouldn't know.)

The only claim I recall was that to the extent that A&S might have moved away from freehand pattern making, it was becoming more similar to other SR houses and perhaps losing some of what made it singular. Some might lament such a development; others might welcome it as an improvement.

If some can both draft by square and by freehand, I think it reasonable to conclude that such a cutter might have more (as in quantity and variety) of learned skills than one who knows only to draft and cut one way. But, I do not think this has any import one way or another on what the result will be. Presumably, every technique is subject to excellence or mediocrity.

Based on the very first thing Steed made for me, I will say that the fit seemed precise even at the first fitting.

Just so that people are not confused: we are talking about the initial pattern. One hopes that in the following orders, what imprecision existed at the start is carefully corrected, no matter what the pattern making technique is.


- B
post #1539 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I think this was bespoke tailoring's answer to the rising threat in the 1930s coming from a burgeoning RTW industry.

You might want to re-read Hardy Amies's comments on the "multiple tailors" that arose in Britain. You will find that interesting.

Amies would disagree with your premise. He viewed drape as more ubiquitous on SR at that time, and asserts that he helped to introduce it into British RTW (at Hepworth) to make it look more gentlemanly and SR-ish.

Anyway, if you have not read The Englishman's Suit in awhile, it bears rereading since Amies is an eyewitness to (and a notable participant in) some of the changes in history on which you speculate.


- B
post #1540 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
I have never heard or read anywhere that drafting freehand is a "more skillful" technique. What's been said is that in the context of A&S, this approach to drafting was an element of the house style of the generation of senior cutters before the current one (and perhaps stretching far back into the past...I wouldn't know.) The only claim I recall was that to the extent that A&S might have moved away from freehand pattern making, it was becoming more similar to other SR houses and perhaps losing some of what made it singular. Some might lament such a development; others might welcome it as an improvement. If some can both draft by square and by freehand, I think it reasonable to conclude that such a cutter might have more (as in quantity and variety) of learned skills than one who knows only to draft and cut one way. But, I do not think this has any import one way or another on what the result will be. Presumably, every technique is subject to excellence or mediocrity. Based on the very first thing Steed made for me, I will say that the fit seemed precise even at the first fitting. Just so that people are not confused: we are talking about the initial pattern. One hopes that in the following orders, what imprecision existed at the start is carefully corrected, no matter what the pattern making technique is. - B
Well, I think there's a certain 'implied' mystique surrounding it. I also think in the snipit below, the late Mr Halberry is subtly suggesting the superiority of the technique. Here: http://www.englishcut.com/archives/000030.html Not that any of this matters for the reasons I've already mentioned. Who's the chap being fitted and who's the tailor in the picture you posted.
post #1541 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
You might want to re-read Hardy Amies's comments on the "multiple tailors" that arose in Britain. You will find that interesting. Amies would disagree with your premise. He viewed drape as more ubiquitous on SR at that time, and asserts that he helped to introduce it into British RTW (at Hepworth) to make it look more gentlemanly and SR-ish. Anyway, if you have not read The Englishman's Suit in awhile, it bears rereading since Amies is an eyewitness to (and a notable participant in) some of the changes in history on which you speculate. - B
I was recently at my my other *ahem* tailor for a fitting and we were discussing drape suits. What was interesting was that he thought they were American.
post #1542 of 1680
Quote:
If some can both draft by square and by freehand, I think it reasonable to conclude that such a cutter might have more (as in quantity and variety) of learned skills than one who knows only to draft and cut one way. But, I do not think this has any import one way or another on what the result will be. Presumably, every technique is subject to excellence or mediocrity.

Based on the very first thing Steed made for me, I will say that the fit seemed precise even at the first fitting.

One thing leads to the other, and the fact that Edwin DeBoise has the Edward Sexton background sure does help him understand certain things better than those who only know their drape cut.
I find it easier to go from a precise to more "generous" cut than the other way round.
The German school of thought has always been to get the initial pattern as close to the final result as possible. Inlays are meant for (hopefully just) minor changes coming up during the fittings.
Experience has taught me that a sloppy draft (for any type of cut, clean or drape-ish) will cause more work in the end.

The A&S starting price is a bit lower than that of Henry Poole, but not much. I don't think they are the cheapest on the Row, maybe the cheapest among the big names?
Does anyone know if they have any in-house tailors? In-house staff is more expensive. In their website video it's said that the apprentice is taking the bundles down to the workrooms, but they don't show any. I wonder why those bundles are wrapped in paper! Too much effort if they stay in the building...
post #1543 of 1680
A&S definitely has some in-house coatmakers, thought not enough to make 100% of their production.
post #1544 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
I was recently at my my other *ahem* tailor for a fitting and we were discussing drape suits. What was interesting was that he thought they were American.

It is actually unknown where drape originated. Some say it originated on the West End, others in Europe, while others think it was American in origin.

Scholte was Dutch. Pers Anderson was Swedish. I suspect that it had European origins. I also suspect that British tailors subsequently have been making up their drape coats incorrectly, judging by what I have seen from studying three A&S coats in my possession. There are things in Continental texts that I suspect represent the correct, original way of working up the drape coat - probably known to Scholte and Anderson but lost on British tailors after them. The German and Dutch literature overlap strongly with the German journal Rundschau being printed even today in a Dutch edition. Many Dutch second hand book sellers on-line offer classic German textbooks as well.

As for the Americans, well, most of these tailors were European migrants in days gone by - often Jewish tailors migrating out of Central Europe.
post #1545 of 1680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
It is actually unknown where drape originated. Some say it originated on the West End, others in Europe, while others think it was American in origin. Scholte was Dutch. Pers Anderson was Swedish. I suspect that it had European origins. I also suspect that British tailors subsequently have been making up their drape coats incorrectly, judging by what I have seen from studying three A&S coats in my possession. There are things in Continental texts that I suspect represent the correct, original way of working up the drape coat - probably known to Scholte and Anderson but lost on British tailors after them. The German and Dutch literature overlap strongly with the German journal Rundschau being printed even today in a Dutch edition. Many Dutch second hand book sellers on-line offer classic German textbooks as well. As for the Americans, well, most of these tailors were European migrants in days gone by - often Jewish tailors migrating out of Central Europe.
What he said was that he believes they would be difficult to make now. He mentioned cloth weights and canvas weights. I suspect however, that his understanding of what a drape coat is; is different to the clothing foraz understanding.
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