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Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread - Page 671

post #10051 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRINI View Post

Just placed an order for the Caccioppoli cotton solaro.

icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif
Highly interested to know more details...
post #10052 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maccimus View Post

Highly interested to know more details...

It's the same as this Formosa suit NMWA has available

frmsui011_1.jpg
post #10053 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by agjiffy View Post

^It was made by Islay Woolen Mill in Scotland, the same place the produces many of the Huntsman tweeds. It is a new bolt that was produced for Huntsman. Patrick Murphy appears to be pleased with it and is handing out small squares (I took one with me and that is what I have in my photo). I'm not sure I understand the comment about shrinkage. The fabric is wool, so I'm not sure why it would be more prone to shrinkage than other wool, but I'm certainly not an expert. If you are implying that there is something else in the fabric, I'd be surprised. I'd be surprised if Patrick is trying to pull one over on his US customers. We make up the majority of Huntsman's revenue and Patrick has been doing this for a long time. He is well respected. I assume johnny allen is back in London next week. I'll ask him to send a picture of the coat.

I've heard bolts of that same Islay tweed have circulated amongst many SR tailors. I was in London last week and two of the tailors were talking about this very fabric, and how it's impossible to sell and everyone is keen to get rid of it asap. One of them even mentioned how the majority is now in Huntsman's hands, and he wondered how they'd ever get rid of it.

On the shrinkage, some wools tend to shrink after dry-cleaning, but never appreciably. One of the tailors seemed quite concerned about it, so I was just passing along his comment - I'm no expert on the matter myself.
post #10054 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by poorsod View Post

My impression is this thread is essentially the general bespoke clothing thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabrigian View Post

^ Same here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRINI View Post


Yup.

Really? Well, in that case, if people are OK with talking about non-cloth issues, I'd be curious to hear if people think there's an advantage in having the cutter and fitter be the same person, especially with traveling tailor operations.

Also curious to hear if people think it's a bad idea to constantly skip around sampling houses. I'm often drawn to the idea of trying new people, but FME, it's only on the second or third commission from the same tailor where you get something you really like. Unless you have the funds (and time) to go to a second or third commission from someone, I'm not sure if trying one jacket here and there makes sense (@unbelragazzo is sort of doing this right now in Naples, but I don't know if he's gotten his coats yet)

Thoughts?
post #10055 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCal_1 View Post

wanted to pass along a good experience with the Harris Tweed people at www.harristweedandknitwear.co.uk

I picked up a coat length of what they list as cloth #227 that both InTweed and Huddersfield sell as cloth #8193

the price was almost half (£35.00) of what the other two were charging ( £68.00), and I obtained swatches from all three to verify that it's the same one

it's being turned into a camel coat alternative, inspired by this Sartorialist post

note: their shipping calculator produces huge shipping fees to US, but they were kind enough to send it Royal Mail and it got here quickly with no issues for much less.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
this is a picture of the cloth swatch sitting next to the London Lounge Herringbone shetland. It's got olive and darker browns in the weave - really beautiful cloth in person (about 500 grams in wt), lots of mottling of earth tones, and it really lights up in direct sunlight

IMG_0070.jpg


coat project inspiration (wanted an alternative to Cosentino or vicuna fabric and a darker shade more wearable in business settings):
1149DBcoatwalkingWeb.jpg

the cloth in light near a window (not direct sunlight) - lots of depth of color that my camera cannot accurately pick up. In other words, it's better than it looks in person.

IMG_0075.jpg

Very interesting; please keep us updated.
post #10056 of 11740
Below is the text of the email blast that Huntsman sent to U.S. customers in early April. They generally announce their visits with the promotion of a new cloth, like they did in the email below. Usually those cloths are generally based on the Huntsman archives, very often tweeds but sometimes other cloths (I've purchased two mohair/wool blends in the last few years as well as several of the tweeds). Usually they bring a good section of the cloth or samples, and then a garment that has been made up.

As for Grammeton Cleric's anecdote, I suppose that in this instance as part of a longstanding savile row trick that various tailors play on their U.S. customers, Huntsman decided to purchase all the existing unsalable British warm from other tailors, send out an untruthful email, and pass off a cloth that shrinks and makes up badly as something good and desirable. Their reason for doing this isn't clear to me as I doubt they make much off the cloth (generally, they pass on cloth at their cost). I think they probably have less of a margin on the coat as opposed to other garments because it is so time-consuming to make up. But maybe they wanted to have a laugh at our expense and leave a bunch of customers with $7500 coats that aren't built for the long haul.

I guess that just seems implausible to me.



Introducing the British Warm Overcoat

We shall be promoting the British Warm during our visit, a classic overcoat originally worn by officers during WW1. Weighing in at a sturdy 32oz, this taupe coloured, double breasted garment provides the perfect solution to keeping out the biting cold during harsh, East Coast winters. One of our favourite New York customers took delivery of his British Warm in November 2013 and has sworn on several occasions that it quite literally "saved his skin" during the big freeze at the start of this year.

British Warm overcoats are typically double breasted with peak lapels, swelled edges and are slightly shaped. They tend to sit just above the knee, sport leather buttons and on occasion, epaulettes (although we find that these are best omitted for non military wear). The most characteristic aspect of the coat is the fabric itself; a heavy, slightly fleecy melton cloth, that is distinctive in its colouring yet very easy to wear both in the city and at weekends.

Head Cutter, Patrick Murphy has secured a bolt of British Warm cloth from one of the country's oldest mills. Conforming closely to the original spec, this really is a great find. The British Warm has been a perennial classic for the last century and is still worn on parade by the military today. It provides a distinguished look whilst being comfortable and warm, making it a perfect addition to your Winter wardrobe.

We shall be bringing a sample of a British Warm overcoat with us on our visit to New York for inspection. This will ensure that customers ordering the coat this Spring shall have it ready for when when the Big Chill strikes back.
post #10057 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Also curious to hear if people think it's a bad idea to constantly skip around sampling houses. I'm often drawn to the idea of trying new people, but FME, it's only on the second or third commission from the same tailor where you get something you really like. Unless you have the funds (and time) to go to a second or third commission from someone, I'm not sure if trying one jacket here and there makes sense (@unbelragazzo is sort of doing this right now in Naples, but I don't know if he's gotten his coats yet)

Thoughts?

If you try a tailor and you don't like your first garment, move on. I think developing a relationship with a tailor over time will lead to better garments, but the first one should be pretty darned good. If it isn't, then don't think "the second one will be better." That is what fittings are for.

The strategy of trying one jacket here and there has several enormous benefits. First, pictures can never tell you how a particular garment will feel on your body. Things often feel different than you might think they would. Different styles will feel better or worse based on your body type. Second, it is always nice to have a basis of comparison.

For me, trying new tailors is enjoyable. I'm happy enough with the two I've selected over the years that I likely won't change, but that has led me to try more shirt and shoemakers. I suppose I might get to the point where I say "I've found exactly what I'm looking for with every aspect of my warbrobe and I don't need to try anything new", but I'm not sure that is my goal.
post #10058 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by agjiffy View Post

If you try a tailor and you don't like your first garment, move on. I think developing a relationship with a tailor over time will lead to better garments, but the first one should be pretty darned good. If it isn't, then don't think "the second one will be better." That is what fittings are for.

+1.

The way I see it, the first jacket should be close to 90% with tweaks to subsequent jackets getting you closer to that coveted 100%.

If the first jacket is 75%, there's no reason to believe it's only going to get better.
post #10059 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

Really? Well, in that case, if people are OK with talking about non-cloth issues, I'd be curious to hear if people think there's an advantage in having the cutter and fitter be the same person, especially with traveling tailor operations.


This is the sort of thing that was endlessly debated on AAAC in the early days. My one conclusion is that it pays to be very skeptical about the ability to meaningfully answer this sort of question a priori.

I guess the best is to have the cutter and fitter / salesman be different people and both be there every step of the way. Because why not?

If you're only dealing with one person, I don't know if there's a meaningful difference in terms of results based on whether that person is s fitter / salesman or cutter.

I believe the only cutters who travel are the A&S diaspora - Mahon, Steed, Deboise. I haven't seen as much from Mahon but what I have seen has been universally really good. The other two are more mixed.

When it's the cutter who's travelling, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a small shop which brings it's own disadvantages (and advantages as well maybe).

I suppose, if you were inclined, you could argue it either way - a fitter's main ability should be figuring out what the client wants and effectively communicating that to the cutters / makers so he should understand exactly what you're looking for even if he doesn't know technically exactly how to deliver it or fix it. On the other hand, a cutter should know exactly what needs to be done, as long as you can tell him just what you're looking for.

I've only ever worked with salespeople / fitters and the results have been quite mixed (neither price nor travelling vs local appear to have had much influence over the outcome, in my particular case)

While it makes for a bit of discussion, I suspect that any difference that cutter vs fitter might make will be swamped by other considerations - how much you like their typical style / quality of construction / convenience / cost / dumb luck.
post #10060 of 11740
I don't know how to evaluate the percentage of "thereness" on any given garment. But I agree with the proposition that 1) commissions generally get better over time 2) If you like tailor A's nth try better than tailor B's nth try, you will also like tailor A's (n+m)th try better than tailor B's (n+m)th try. Just as if you don't like the stuff a tailor shows you as typical of his style, you shouldn't trust his "but of course you can have whatever you want" caveat.

Even little things that seem quite fixable can lead to a cascade of tweaks. For example you might ask for a slightly lower gorge. But now the buttoning point seems too high and/or the jacket too short. And so on. The easiest things to tweak are pocket styles and sleeve lengths. But virtually everything else seems to be a butterfly flapping its wings, which may or may not lead to hurricane in the armscye.

I have some stuff finished from my Neapolitan exploits, but waiting for the whole litter to come in before posting about it. I will return in a few weeks, and should have something to report shortly thereafter.
post #10061 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post


Also curious to hear if people think it's a bad idea to constantly skip around sampling houses. I'm often drawn to the idea of trying new people, but FME, it's only on the second or third commission from the same tailor where you get something you really like. Unless you have the funds (and time) to go to a second or third commission from someone, I'm not sure if trying one jacket here and there makes sense (@unbelragazzo is sort of doing this right now in Naples, but I don't know if he's gotten his coats yet)

For as lame as it sounds, I think the answer has to be to follow your bliss. If you enjoy the chase / trying new places, you'll be happier doing that (at least for a while) rather than settling down right away. If you just want some nice clothes and not an extended not-very-adventerous adventure, save youself the hassle and start a relationship with with a well-regarded tailow whose style / product / price / availability you like.

Personally, I'm playing the field a bit. One, because it's fun. And two, because I'd like to see what's out there before settling on a tailor or three. The results, to this point, are probably sub-optmal in terms of clothes but pretty much what I want in terms of a hobby.
post #10062 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Even little things that seem quite fixable can lead to a cascade of tweaks. For example you might ask for a slightly lower gorge. But now the buttoning point seems to high and/or the jacket too short. And so on. The easiest things to tweak are pocket styles and sleeve lengths. But virtually everything else seems to be a butterfly flapping its wings, which may or may not lead to hurricane in the armscye.

Yes, making changes that aren't really "stylistic" can throw other things around quite a bit. Tread lightly.
post #10063 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabrigian View Post

I believe the only cutters who travel are the A&S diaspora - Mahon, Steed, Deboise. I haven't seen as much from Mahon but what I have seen has been universally really good. The other two are more mixed.

 

Formosa sends one of their three master tailors to trunk shows.  He fits, cuts and tailors.  I've personally dealt with fitters only in the past and I do think there's a real advantage in having the tailor see the issue and mark them.   If you get fitted at the shop, the tailor will almost invariably be there, see the issues, mark them and often take the coat directly to the bench.  The visual memory helps there.   Replicating that experience for traveling tailors is very hard, but add to that the number of fittings and the ability to take perfect notes (it's going to be impossible to remember visually what the issues/alterations were, so marking the garment and documenting changes needs to be quite precise when it's destined to someone else) and those are layers of difficulty.

 

For smaller alterations, including sleeve length or most trousers alterations, Dionisio D'Alise (Formosa's traveling tailor) will actually make them shortly after the fitting, in his hotel room.  He always travel with the necessary tools to do so.  Post final fitting alterations almost never need to go back to Naples.

 

The main downsides I see of not having the front of house / fitter are that (a) tailors can be set in their ways and not as "commercial" as fitters, and (b) the commissioning part is harder because they are not necessarily the best people to walk you through bunches of swatches and make recommendations.  

post #10064 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabrigian View Post

I believe the only cutters who travel are the A&S diaspora - Mahon, Steed, Deboise. I haven't seen as much from Mahon but what I have seen has been universally really good. The other two are more mixed.

That list is much too short. Richard Anderson comes to NY. Huntsman brings Patrick Murphy, who is their head cutter. Lorenzo Cifonelli comes to NY 6 to 8 times a year. Roy Chittleborough and Joe Morgan come to New York. Allen Bennet is here regularly. That is just off the top of my head. Personally, I can't imagine spending thousands on a bespoke suit without meeting the cutter in person.
post #10065 of 11740
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrybrowne View Post

Anyone have 2.5 meters of the solid grey or solid light blue Harrison's anniversary tweed they want to part with? They are all sold out. Alternatively, leads on similar cloth would be highly appreciated.

2013524-2_zps37647294.jpg

TIA

If anyone has a lead on 2.5m of the brown with green windowpane anniversary tweed, please PM me.
Edited by gopherblue - 5/1/14 at 11:25am
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