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Best suits

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know we had a thread on this some time back, but I would like to know how you would rank the makers who do private-label work.  By private-label, I mean those who do clothing completely under another company's name (for example, Saint Andrews making RLPL suits), and not those who only do it for certain stores, for example, "Oxxford Clothes for Neiman-Marcus" or "Kiton for Bergdorf-Goodman."  I've listed some here, but feel free to add makers, and please let me know if any of these I've listed do not do private-label work. I imagine that these makers have different lines of differing quality.  Let's rank these manufacturers according to their best lines.  Buttonholes must be sewn by hand.  One more thing: I am not only a fan of non-fused lapels, but more specifically I like the pad stitching to be done by hand as I think it lends a cleaner look and really does result in a better roll than when the pad stitching is done by machine.  Which of these makers do pad stitching by hand?  I only know how some of them do it.  I believe that Cheshire and D'Avenza do the pad stitching by machine.  I think that Saint Andrews and maybe Lou Myles do the pad stitching by hand. Adrian Jules Balfour/Bilancia Belvest Canali Cantarelli Castangia Cerruti Cheshire Clothing Ciccarelli Cifonelli Coppley Corneliani d'Avenza Giliberto Isaia Lou Myles Martin Greenfield Saint Andrews Samuelsohn Southwick
post #2 of 13
Makers on the list that can make a really top-quality RTW suit: Castangia, Cheshire, D'Avenza, Isaia, Martin Greenfield, Saint Andrew's, and Belvest is pretty good, thought they do not do handmade buttonholes, at least for the US market. To my knowledge, Gilliberto does custom suits only. Never heard of Ciccarelli. And Cifonelli suits are made by Nervesa.   I don't think that any of those makers pad-stitch the lapels by hand, though I haven't cut all of them open. I have cut open a Cheshire (Chester Barrie) and a D'Avenza, as well as jackets from Canali, Samuelsohn, etc. All the lapels were done by machine. I haven't found suitably cheap and thrashed jackets from Brioni, Kiton Saint Andrew's etc to cut open, yet. I think that Oxxford, and maybe Kiton are the only RTW brands that pad-stitch the lapels by hand. Keep in mind that EVERYONE does private label work. For instance, the line Oxxford did for Murray Pearlstein private label, the private label work that Brioni has done for Bijan, Sulka, and Mariano Rubinacci, etc.
post #3 of 13
Sorry for the slight diversion, but I recently came across a Louis Boston house label suit that was Made in the USA. Would it likely be a Greenfield?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
(Rocco) Ciccarelli is in Long Island City. Kiton does the pad stitching on its lapels by machine. If you want to see it, you can view it on Kiton's web site (in the videos) and in Kiton's little book available at the Kiton store. The Louis Boston suit might have been made by Greenfield, but another possibility is Southwick, which is in Massachusetts.
post #5 of 13
Add M.A.Co/R.Caruso to that list of companies who do private label work.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just wondered, how much were the suits made by Oxxford under the Murray Pearlstein private label? I imagine that the Bijan suits made by Brioni were insanely expensive, but how about those made by Brioni for Sulka and Rubinacci?
post #7 of 13
I'm not sure about the original retail prices. I've sold Brioni/Bijan, Brioni/Rubinacci and Brioni/Sulka pieces, but they were all secondhand. The Brioni/Sulka suit was probably at least 20 years old. I would guess that the Bijan was probably the only suit that was priced significantly above an average Brioni retail price. As for the Oxxford/M. Pearlstein line, perhaps someone in the Boston area could comment. There are supposed to be some pieces still available at Filenes, at least, that was the word a couple of months ago.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Kiton does the pad stitching on its lapels by machine. If you want to see it, you can view it on Kiton's web site (in the videos) and in Kiton's little book available at the Kiton store.
Right you are. (Checked the video.) I wish somebody could tell me what exactly it is, if anything, that makes a Kiton more handmade than say, a Saint Andrew's. If there is a difference, it's obviously internal, and I have neither the knowledge of tailoring, nor the experience with the insides of a Kiton jacket to figure it out.
post #9 of 13
Didn't Alex Kabbatz provide a list of those that did and did not do hand stitched pads? If I remember correctly, he said that Brioni and St. Andrews did on their RTWs.
post #10 of 13
I think the important thing is not merely about doing it by hand or machine.  One could do a rather bad job by hand, or an excellent job by machine, especially if the machines that we are talking about are function-specific.  Having something machine-made does not necessarily mean bad.  Machines are used by present-day artisans purely for the sake of increasing efficiency.  If it decreases the quality, it will most likely not to be used.  For example, as far as I could understand, no buttonhole machine can yet replace the fineness of hand-embroidering a button hole, so makers like Kiton, Isaia, etc., would still opt for the time-consuming hand embroidery on button holes.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yup, Alex did post info on that some time back on AskAndy.  I just dug up the content of the thread:
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Handmade Canvas: Custom tailors only (and not all custom tailors. ) Machine-Made Stock Sized Canvas, Hand-Felled: Oxxford, Brioni, Belvest, St. Andrews, Polo Purple Label, Hermés, Battistoni, Dunhill Machine-Made Stock Sized Canvas, Machine-Felled: Armani Black Label, Kiton, Polo Blue Label, Hickey Freeman, Alan Flusser, Mimmo Spano, Domenico Vacca, Ferragamo, Dunhill, Martin Greenfield Fused Fronts: Armani White Label, Calvin Klein, Joseph Abboud, Donna Karan, Burberry, Chaps, Southwick, Prada, Gucci, Boss
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I wish somebody could tell me what exactly it is, if anything, that makes a Kiton more handmade than say, a Saint Andrew's. If there is a difference, it's obviously internal, and I have neither the knowledge of tailoring, nor the experience with the insides of a Kiton jacket to figure it out.
I don't know that Kiton really is any more handmade than a Saint Andrews.  Perhaps the buttonholes on some suits, but overall I really feel that Kiton's huge following and romanticized "mystique" is the result of a huge marketing machine - why else would Kiton spend $26 million to have its own boutique in NYC? Naturlaut, I agree on the buttonholes.  There is no doubt in my mind that handsewn buttonholes are far superior to machinemade buttonholes on suits.  However, I feel the same way about pad stitching.  Oxxford does the pad stitching of its lapels by hand, and I really can tell a difference between the roll of the lapels of Oxxford and Kiton(I prefer Oxxford's).  Doing the pad stitching by hand allows the person doing the sewing to manipulate the fabric and canvas to "sew in" the roll as seen below.  Notice how they hold at an angle and "bend" the point which they're stitching? Maurice Sedwell: Oxxford: When this is done by machine it's just laid flat and sewn together, attached but without the same natural roll.  Also, this is something that can't actually be seen in a finished suit(one would have to cut open the suit), but I hate the loose "loops" left by machines doing the pad stitching.  You can see these "loops" in the videos on Kiton's web site or in Kiton's book, or here, in a pic from d'Avenza: Here in another pic from d'Avenza, though, the collar canvas appears to have been pad-stitched by hand: So it seems that d'Avenza uses both methods. Look at this absolutely beautiful work by Ferdinando Caraceni: ------------------------------------------------------------ Check out Kilgour's updated web site: http://www.8savilerow.com
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Savile Row's most venerable tailor Kilgour, French & Stanbury has been re-branded with a new name, new clothing collection and new shop.
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For Autumn Winter 2004, responding to continued demand for ultra lightweight clothing, we have re-constructed the classic Kilgour suit.  Lining and trimmings constitute about 50% of the weight of the average suit (the balance is cloth).  By quarter lining the jacket and removing some of the trimmings, Kilgour has produced a garment that is 25% lighter than a suit tailored in the traditional manner from the same cloth. The heavier fabrics traditionally used for winter have allowed us to maintain the elegant line, proportion and cut of our clothing but reduce the overall weight.  It allows the customer to see the elegant needle work used in constructing the jacket - the inside is as beautiful as the outside. The half line system was conceived by Kilgour several seasons ago in response to a new approach to multi-functional clothing.  The suits feature taped seams in contrast colours in the jacket making a stylistic virtue out of Savile Row's tailoring secrets, usually hidden from view.  The system shows off the suits third dimension, the missing link between ordinary and the very best. Peter Savile said: "Carlo Brandelli, Kilgour's creative director, has remade the suit from inside out.  Breaking down the suit in this way is incredibly modern and exciting".
------------------------------------------------------------ buttonholes: Oxxford: d'Avenza: Saint Andrews: ------------------------------------------------------------ Here are some pics which A Harris had posted some time back: Canali: Chester Barrie: d'Avenza(notice Bijan's logo on the lining?):
post #13 of 13
Quote:
d'Avenza(notice Bijan's logo on the lining?):
Yep, it was a silk jacket, made for Bijan by D'Avenza.
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I think the important thing is not merely about doing it by hand or machine. One could do a rather bad job by hand, or an excellent job by machine, especially if the machines that we are talking about are function-specific. Having something machine-made does not necessarily mean bad. Machines are used by present-day artisans purely for the sake of increasing efficiency. If it decreases the quality, it will most likely not to be used. For example, as far as I could understand, no buttonhole machine can yet replace the fineness of hand-embroidering a button hole, so makers like Kiton, Isaia, etc., would still opt for the time-consuming hand embroidery on button holes.
I agree completely. I not really concerned with which is better (it gets extremely subjective at the top end of the price range) but Kiton does make a big deal about how their suits are more handmade than everyone else. So I'm just wondering what exactly the difference is.
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