The idea of putting art on a pocket square is nothing new. Plenty of makers offer classic works of art, or original ones, printed on silk and other materials. R. Culturi, however, is somewhat different in that the art available on their squares is created by living artists from around the world as a way to share their artistic vision. Each of the designs is exclusive and comes with information about the artist who created it and the inspiration and vision of their artwork. This blending of the concepts of clothes as art, and the work of actual artists, intrigued me. As I examined the designs I found myself searching the internet for more information on the artists responsible for them. I was drawn in by the idea that I was not only wearing something that looked nice, but that i could explore it as art in its own right.
The shipping notification was prompt and the items arrived within 3 days. A delivery confirmation was received from R. Culturi notifying my when the package arrived.
The product packaging is simple and handsome, more than worthy of gift presentation.
Upon opening the box, the receiver's eyes are met with an envelop sealed with a real wax seal bearing the company's 3 headed "Knight's Move" logo.
Contained within the envelope are cards printed on heavy ivory card stock with information on the artist(s) who created the art for the pocket squares. I quite liked this touch because it gives one the feeling of opening something special and anticipates what the receiver will find further within.
Arranged within were the various samples sent from R. Culturi.
Overall the quality of the printing was very high. Most lines and colors appeared very bright and sharp and are comparable to other high end pocket squares in my collection. I will refrain from posting images of the squares in a pocket because R. Culturi's website already does a good job of that. In fact, they provide several images of each square to demonstrate the overall appearance, texture, and how it looks stuffed into a breast pocket.
(Still Life, by artist Haesuk Jung)
(Carpathians by artist Serhiy Fedynyak)
(Stag Totem by artist Jennifer Hawkyard) As is visible here, the different media used by the artists translates into differing image quality on the prints. What appears to be conte, pencil, or some other "dry" media seems to create more challenges to replicating the sharp lines on silk. Still, the character of the artwork maintains a rough "drawn" essence to it which illustrated the fact that it is not simply a pattern, it is the creation of a human hand.
(Tides by artist Daniel Tinagan) Probably my favorite of the bunch is this one, a 60% wool and 40% silk blend. This square really shows off the delicate lines and intricacies that these squares capture, along with giving the image an antique feel with the browning of the light areas.
All of the squares are made in Italy and hand rolled. The hand rolling of the edges is nice, and in the French style, however, it isn't my favorite method. As shown below, the stitching on the R. Culturi square proceeds fully through the square and onto the reverse side...
R. Culturi square (Click to show)
Compare this with the reverse side of a Kent Wang pocket square purchased several years ago in which the stitching is hidden within the roll itself, in the Italian style, which I prefer...
Kent Wang square (Click to show)
This detail hardly detracts from the overall beauty of the R. Culturi squares and I suspect most will chalk it up to personal preference to prefer one style over the other.
In conclusion: These squares are some of the most beautiful I have seen. The methods for reproducing the artworks results in a generally very pleasing image. Some might find several of these squares difficult to pair, however one gets the feeling that these are meant for a more sophisticated sartorial audience. They do not provide plain white squares, for instance. Their focus is not to provide staple items, but signature items with a "wow" factor.
The squares measure 14,3/4 inches by 14,3/4 inches, which is slightly larger than many of my others. I greatly prefer this, as the smaller ones (the Kent Wang square is 12,1/4 inches by 12,1/4 inches, for instance) tend to sink into my pocket easier and fall out of sight. R. Culturi's have pretty well stayed put, largely due to the size I suspect.
By the way, R. Culturi also makes women's scarves which my wife thought were remarkable looking. She's a big fan of Hermés scarves which she favorably compared R. Culturi's designs to. I may have to surprise her with one of those soon! Squares: $85. Scarves: $265.
Edited by Caustic Man - 8/25/16 at 9:01am