or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Favorite mens suit designers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Favorite mens suit designers

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
There are many suit designers offering many silhouettes, at various prices....offering different styles of fabrics.  The choices are mind numbing to say the least.  I am a professor of Textiles at a very famous fashion college.  What strikes me is how little designers actually know about fabric.  I can count on one hand the mens designers which have an extensive knowledge of fabric.  Some people say this is unneccessary, I beg to differ.  To have no knowledge of fiber characteristics, and work as a designer...is like saying I am a painter and I have no idea what the viscosity, drying time, etc of paints.  Textiles has taken a big part of my life for many years.....and I must say there are a few designers which actually comprehend the characteristics of fibers...what makes this industry even more frightning....many of the salespeople also lack this knowledge. Here is a list of designers which know their textiles in order of knowledge. 1. Jhane Barnes ( she actually designs and not "copy" patterns for her sportswear and suits.  The first woman to design for men in USA.  Yes, she started her menswear comapny way before Donna Karan. ) 2. Armani ( he undertands fabrics and how they react ) That is it .....many people will argue; however, I picked these designers based on knowledge of textiles, and using this knowledge to enhance their products. chartroom
post #2 of 13
I do not have idea who the 1st designer whom you mentioned.. but I have to agree with the Armani. Armani pieces have these gentle curves and drapes that are achieved with fabrics. I heard that Armani uses diagonaly woovened fabirc to create that magical drapes.
post #3 of 13
I guess the real question with Armani is does he (or his assigns) actually choose the fabrics that Vestimenta and Zegna uses, or do he only provide the design?
post #4 of 13
I agree that Armani understands fabric, but I would say that he is more versed in how a cloth drapes and moves more than its durability. I have been an Armani buyer for nearly 15 years and one of my only criticisms is that his fabric is too fine; sometimes it picks easily and requires a lot of care. In paritcular, I am speaking about his crepe suits and other garmets that are produced with very "airy", open weave texture. Don't get me wrong, most everything that I have owned has been excellent, but I sometimes second guess the practicality of the fabrics.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
For those of you who do not know of Jhane Barnes please see her website www.jhanebarnes.com  I have been buying her product for at least 19 years, and the fabrics are in complete harmony with the garment construction.  Her color palatte is amazing, with intricate weaves/knits which are not to be found at other designers.  Again, as a tenured Textile professor her work is destined for museums; moreover, her designs were used at MOMA ( Museum of Modern Art ), what other apparel designer has that distinction? Armani fabrics are at times very delicate, the reason is that only fine tailored apparel can handle the stress of manufacturing.  Lower priced garments can attempt to use these fabrics; however, the result is NEVER the same.  Fibers are getting more refined, better spinning methods are being developed, weaving techiques are improving, and natural fibers are being treated differently.  That is why good suits today cost more money.  Do not be hesitate to ask your salesperson question about fabrics and construction of garment..if he/she cannot answer your question...or delays significantly..that is poor product knowledge.  Or you can email me.  I have no problem answering questions from the public. Set yourself apart from the sea of black,grey,navy...buy someting different. chart
post #6 of 13
Ok Chartroom .. In this forum.. the biggest issue with Armani suits that people have is Armani Collezioni suits are fully fused. My Armani suit fusing is so thin and soft, thus feels almost natural. So .. what is your take on this issue?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Milano, Fusing technology has come a long way. In fact today's fusing is a world apart from 10 years ago. Superior quality fusing helps to stabilize the fabric, there is no bubbling ( like cheaper fusing ). The big problem with full or part canvas suits is Differential Shrinkage. You will know this if you travel from humid to arid enviroments. The suits will pucker...and that does not sit well with me after spending over $ 1500 on a suit. I know having a full canvas suit evokes the bespoke hand tailored suit; however, canvas was the the only material avail. many years ago to make suits. Now technology plays a big part in suit construction, and like fabric, there are many types of fusing...from very expensive ( what Armani and Jhane Barnes uses ) to very inexpensive. This problem of puckering is so severe, Zegna has a very fine shaving of fusing glued on to their canvas, again for fabric stability. Differential Shrinkage is more of a problem today because of: 1. soft delicate fabrics like viscose blends 2. worsted wools in Super 120's and finer. Remember, years ago men's suits used a much coarser wool....the fibers did have the flexibility like todays wools. Milano, I have seen Armani's lapel fusing a few years ago on a factory visit ( nice perks for teachers )..and it was technically advanced, moisture control, flexibility, high glass transition temperature.....You are wearing a garment with the BEST fusing. Regards, Chart
post #8 of 13
A year ago, I would have easily replied, "the cut." But, I've learned that "fabric" makes or breaks "the cut".
post #9 of 13
For finer wools, a fused construction would lend more stability and durability. I think even Darren (Beaman, Savile Row tailor and one of its best, I've heard) recommended such for wools approaching the 9 oz mark. However, I can't stand it when suits don't have pad-stitched lapels. If the lapels are also fused, they sort of float over the chest almost as if they're peeling away, and it's just really obvious to me. Also, I can't stand the really coarse and spongy fabrics some designers use in their suits. These fabrics more often than not tend to be of some kind of polyester blend.
post #10 of 13
I too have never heard of Jhane Barnes until you brought it up, but I am undeniably tempted to make a blind purchase based on your comments about it. I find it unusual that you would give such high praise to a designer who prices suits under $1,000. Any thoughts on this? The fact that her work is on display at the MOMA really blows me away, and interests me greatly.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Brian SD, you will not be disappointed. Jhane Barnes has the best price value relationshiop of all men's suit designers. Although her suits retail for less than $ 1000.00, they stand head to head with Pal Zilerie, Canali; moreover, her fabrics are much more innovative than the two labels i just mentioned....retailing at $ 1300 - 2000. Her products are held to high standards, especially raw materials. The garments are partially hand made ( suits )....there is ample pressing. By the way...good pressing seperates good factories from poor ones. Pressing actually "molds" the fabric to the shape of the human body. Machines can "mold" fabric...but the best pressing is done by hand which takes much time to complete. Just because a suit is over $ 1000.00 does not mean it is a great suit. Brian it is: FABRIC, FIT, PRICE. Some companies do not have millions to spend on ad campagins, they would rather put the money into their product.
post #12 of 13
I can't recall seeing Jhane Barnes suits at retail, but the label has mountains of shirts for sale at Filene's Basement every day of the week. For that reason, I've never considered it an "exclusive" make of quality or one that is worth seeking out, whether at Filene's or at a department store that also carries the line. The prices are always very inexpensive -- probably averaging about $30-40 at Filene's for dress and casual shirts; much cheaper though if you can get it during one of their sales. Many of the shirts are certainly nice looking though. One label I've come to be a little cautious of is Loro Piana -- the fabric label, not the maker. These days, it seems quite a few suit makers use Loro Piana fabric. This means that the fabric is generally very nice, but doesn't guarantee a nicely constructed suit.
post #13 of 13
I would suppose that, for practical purposes, a fused suit (hand-pressed) would be good. However, for people who appreciate the suit as a work of art, fusing just doesn't suffice.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Favorite mens suit designers