I typed up the last page (the one with the crest) and ran it throughthe Babel Fish translation engine. Here is what it came up with: Its Real Height Vittorio Emanuelle Duca of Savoia, Prince of Naples for Grace of God and Hereditary Right Head of The Real House of Savoia Wanting to give to Luigi Borrelli A special and public mark of its esteem and appreciation, has ordered to grant to us such. Company the facolta of fregiare of the Coat of arms of the Real House the own standards, with the "Supplier of the Real House of Savoia ." Rilasciamo therefore the present Diploma, waves turns out this exclusive concession. Recorded to __ the 16 Dell directory of the Suppliers of the Real House. Can anyone translate it better? I can get the gist - I always wondered what that crest was about, now I know.
Mr. Harris, Borrelli was the exclusive shirtmaker for the Savoy family of Naples (hence the translation of 'Real House of Savoia'). It is similar to Prince Charles' royal warrant for Turnbull & Asser. This Savoy family owned about 2 dozens of exclusive patterns that Borrelli made special for them and are not available to anyone else even for bespoke shirts --- that is, until recent. Borrelli stores the sample swatches in a special box, be sure to ask about the Royal Collection when you visit the store. I don't think they would display them at their department store corners. They are sea-island cotton with thread count of 200; as I remembered, the patterns include complicated checks, mainly based in blue, but it was the feel of the fabric that I remember most. It felt like silk, with a natural sheen to it. This last page is a show of their history working for the Savoy family --- very much like Gieves & Hawkes displaying rows of royal warrants. ~~~ Shirts from this fabric starts from US$480, only for custom of course. Borrelli has a minimum order of 6 shirts for the first order; any number for subsequent orders. There are more than a dozen different patterns and fabrics for a white shirt alone. The same patterns from the Royal Collections are also available in regular Italian cotton --- which are actually a notch above others already --- at US$320. Most of your orders would fall between $340 to $440. A Borrelli experience is a must for any gentleman. Regarding the suits: yes, they are all made by them in-house. As with most Neapolitan tailors, they are particularly proud of them. Thracozaag and I witnessed a performance by the Borrelli store manager who took a suit jacket, literally rolled it up, tucked it under his arm and squeezed, and took the jacket back out in perfect shape --- not a crease on the shoulder or the front body. (Sorry guys, I asked him for a picture but he shyly refused.) Thracozaag witnessed the same performance at Kiton Custom Shop. The Borrelli canvas feels very different from what you'd see from Brioni or Oxxford. (A canvas is what comes between the suiting fabric and the lining, and it remains to be the pinnacle of achievement for every suit maker. No two houses utilize the same canvas in the same way. Though some would consider me crazy, but if you are obsessive enough, Kiton's canvas is a must-see. Forget about all the books and websites you've read. One trip to the Kiton custom shop is worth a thousand hours of reading.) I did not get a chance to see the actual Borrelli canvas, but the Kiton canvas omits layers of linen, leaving only one layer of linen over a horse-hair felt, then a cotton felt, hand-stitched together, of course. I assume the Borrelli canvas to be closer to Kiton's. Brioni also uses a layer of horse-hair. Other canvases I have seen feature one or two more layers of linen, even nylon (God forbid.), before it reaches the cotton felt. One thing about making your suit from a local tailor that you should know: they order canvases from 'canvas makers' that are mass-produced, and they come 'ready-stitched' --- by machine, of course; and since horsehair is much more expensive, most may omit this much-needed luxurious layer. This horse hair layer gives the needed shape of the body, therefore the body will stay in shape for many years to come; it also adds as an additional insulation. Thus it is another reason why I would rather get a suit from Brioni, Kiton,etc. than get one from a local tailor who would probably charge me a thousand less. (My ability to fit perfectly into a Brioni 38 regular is another incentive. I do not need an inch of alteration for Brioni jackets or shirts. I thank my parents a million times for that.) I'm sure some would argue against it (sorry, Mr. JoeG), but that falls in a separate discussion. Shoulder padding in Borrelli is a one-piece pad of soft cotton felt. Pants are extremely tapered, more so than Attolini. There are about eight models of dress shoes and one or two models of casual suede shoes available ready-made. They are also available for custom-order, but I do not know if they are available for bespoke. At first glance they resemble Mantellassi (even the leather), though they have a more discreet square toe. The whole cut was beautiful --- however, I will open a separate discussion on whole cut later, as it is my favourite. There are double sole and Norwegian welt models; nothing too Lattanzi-like (triple welt). I believe the leather is from Italian tannery instead of English, as they are softer, thinner, and more fragile (hey, nothing is perfect), but a slight chance that I may be mistaken. There also lacks the burnished patina one would find in English shoes. The double monk-strap features a double sole in contrasting stitches, and the straps are not aligned parallel like the Grenson Felstead or the RL model from Edward Green (not Westminster). I did not try on the shoes.