I'll try to answer a couple of questions all at once:
1) I would not say that between Camps de Luca and Cifonelli the one is superior to the other. At this level of game, it's a matter of personal taste because both are pretty much the best bespoke tailors in France. As someone who buys alot of second hand suits on eBay or in thrift stores, as you'll notice from my Tumblr, I was drawn to Camps de Luca for a bespoke commission because they are no CdL suits available on the second-hand market, and there is no RTW offering to get acquiainted with the style.
2) Re Guilson, yes, he's a well-respected master tailor, but I find that he, Djay, Charvet bespoke, and Max Evzeline all make suits that, while true to the canon of the French cut, appear all too 'stiff' or stodgy to me. There is something definitely graceful and italian about the way Camps de Luca, Cifonelli and Marc di Fiore cust and construct a suit. I don't know how to explain it, as it's the kind of thing you have to see and touch to get what I'm referring to. There are some exceptions to what I'm saying: Urban, Gonzales and Rousseau (the last two have been folded into Cifonelli), which have a characteristically French cut, and a more 'armoured' construction, but exude top class nevertheless.
3) I totally agree with the comment about not asking Marc di Fiore to make a suit different than what he's been used to cutting for decades. This rule also holds true for any bespoke tailor you want to try in Paris, or anywhere else in the world: I've only ever seen bad things come from trying to get a bespoke tailor to make something he's not used to making. I've written about it before, I call it the 'Myth of Bespoke Tailoring', i.e. the false notion that you're successfully going to get your bespoke tailor to design and make a suit like some other tailor's. All the tailors I've spoken to have stories about clients requesting a different style than the house cut, and it usually ends in tears... Surprising, right ? You kind of expect your bespoke tailor to be just that, bespoke... In reality, it never pays to stray too far from the house style. I've tried it at my own expense, and it's always a mistake. Now, I just stick with the house cut. If I don't like the house cut, I go to a different tailor, it's a much safer approach. And also, NEVER beleive a tailor who tries to spin you a tale about how he can create anything you imagine, it's a lie.
4) Ripense is a Roman bespoke tailor. Great value for money, but perhaps a bit off topic for a thread about French bespoke tailoring.
5) Albert Arts is a RTW brand created by Albert Goldberg, founder of Faconnable and one-time owner of Old England. To my knowledge, Albert Arts was only ever distributed at Old England and at the Albert Arts flagship store in Nice. The entire line in made in Italy, to a high standard, sometimes even by Sartoria Partenopea, so there could even be some discussion about whether to consider Albert Arts an example of French RTW tailoring. The store in Nice is very big and quite nice, worth a visit when on the Riviera. However, the prices are stiff for RTW. I picked up my whole Albert Arts wardrobe at -70% off RRP at the closing sale of Old England and subsequent clearance sales in Paris. Theres is alot of deadstock out there, worth keeping an eye out on eBay if it shows up at some point.
6) Hartwood is also a great French RTW brand, launched by one of the co-founders of Arthur&Fox, but with a higher standard of manufacturing, since Hartwood is all Caruso-made. Again, same issue about whether to consider any of these brands French, since both Hartwood and Arthur&Fox are made in Italy (Arthur & Fox manufactures in part at Boglioli.) The list goes on and on: Cifonelli RTW is Caruso, Zilli RTW is Pal Zileri, Smalto RTW is Caruso, Arnys RTW is Caruso, Basile RTW is Mabro (Tuscany).
Edited by dirnelli - 5/3/13 at 10:14pm