"Armholes, collar and buttonholes are hand done- the hand stitching around the armholes is so fine as to be invisible from the right side. When I asked if this was perhaps too delicate to be machine-washed I earned a look of utter disgust, the likes of which only the French are capable. Hand wash only, s'il-vous-plait."
I LOL'd a great deal at the way you described your experience there. Bullshit though, all great shirtmakers are ok with machine wash as it leaves less soap in the fabric.
The best is powder and not gel by all means which apparently sticks too much to the fabric (dixit Lucca, one of the French shirtmakers mentioned by Dirnelli).
John Baillie is a fraud, let's just skip him.
Halary was disappointing to say the least. Bad fit, price tag too high to justify not such a great handwork and awful staff attitude. Lucca is truly much better (Boulevard des Batignolles) and a finer person.
Charvet is indeed more expensive but what can I say, it has to be one of the ultimate experiences in a lifetime. The sight of all the fabrics (approx. 5000 IIRC) makes you feel like a kid in a toy store before Christmas. Just incredible including some very very hard to find ones (I'm talking truly high-end ultra fine and thin cottons). But it comes at a steep price: 450 euros for Petite Mesure and 550 euros for Grande Mesure (bespoke). It goes up with the quality of the fabric but everything they offer is stellar anyway. They also offer a bespoke tie service that they don't really advertise, it's 20% more expensive than RTW and you can choose the width, the length and the fabric. Truly worth it in my opinion and I used it at least 5 times for numerous ties each time, never got disappointed.
I also tried the fully canvassed MTM of David Diagne (ex-Lanvin) who also does bespoke. It's a good product but too expensive. 2000 euros for MTM is too high, let's be serious. He's asking 4500 for his bespoke which is way too high given the fact that he's got less credentials than Di Fiore for instance but he's got clients. I'm just not paying that. I'm mostly working with Sartoria Ripense in Roma but as indicated above, it's out of topic here.