Originally Posted by mafoofan
They need a more coherent and consistent styling direction. I think they should not be afraid of looking 'American' and stop trying to borrow from Brioni or Kiton.
I agree that is worth a try. An example of what you are saying:
I have about ten or so made in Italy Oxxford shirts, some Crest, some not, that I picked up from Filene's Basement circa 2002. They are puzzling because they are dead ringers for Kiton shirts, down to the flat, brown hensfoot-stitched buttons, internal labeling, gusset treatment, etc. In other words, garden variety RTW Neapolitan aimed at retail consumers outside of Naples, but with Kiton features.
I have always wondered:
1. Did Kiton make these shirts for Oxxford? That seems quite an odd partnership.
2. If not, did Kiton and Oxxford source these from a common Neapolitan maker at that time?
3. If neither 1 or 2, then why would Oxxford sell shirts so closely mimicing distinctive superficial stylistic features of a Kiton shirt? (I'm thinking here of the buttons particularly, which are exactly Kiton's style.)
Actually, why 1, 2 or 3 unless they were trying to do what you are pointing out?
The main difference between the Oxxford shirts that I have and the Kiton shirts that I have from the same period points out a theme that I see with Oxxford: the bodies on the Oxxford balloon quite large compared to the Kiton shirts in the same neck size. In other words, somewhat a stylistic incoherence: neither a RTW expression of a bespoke Neapolitan shirt, nor an unapologetic American trad.
(At this point, the Oxxford-o-phile will ask, "Why did you get the shirts, then? My answer is, many of us go through a Borrelli-ish phase, some leave it, some don't, and at $40/shirt from FB, I remain fond of them despite their flaws.)
A few months ago, I picked up an early 60s (I think) Oxxford coat from an SF member that had been retailed originally out of Maus and Hoffman. I feel that it is the about least stylistically conflicted Oxxford that I own.
To balance this somewhat, I think that Oxxford odd coats in their Gibbons model can look quite good, and most Oxxford db looks very good to me. I own both. I also own some rarely worn Oxxford that I plan to disown inexpensively on the Sales Forum to those who do not have the same viewpoint that I do.
I am pretty much in bespoke mode these days, but I retain a lot of affection for Oxxford as the big RTW/MTM home team.