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The Anderson & Sheppard Expatriates Thread

post #1 of 2409
Thread Starter 
My tailor is Edwin DeBoise of Steed Bespoke Tailors. His work and that of several great tailors is discussed in this thread.
Edited by voxsartoria - 7/27/12 at 12:49pm
post #2 of 2409
This thread was a great idea!

An enjoyable video on Tom Mahon:

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?...291&pr=goog-sl

And some pics of Hitchcock's suits:









post #3 of 2409
Vox and ET: thanks for starting the thread and the photos. I'm considering one of these tailors for my first bespoke commission and am keen to learn more. Hopefully others will chime in with their own pictures, thoughts and comments...
post #4 of 2409
Great thread. I hope to learn from anyone with prior experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by academe View Post
Vox and ET: thanks for starting the thread and the photos. I'm considering one of these tailors for my first bespoke commission and am keen to learn more. Hopefully others will chime in with their own pictures, thoughts and comments...
post #5 of 2409
Another common thread (so to speak) is the small/short backneck measurement. That's the distance from the center backseam to the shoulder seam. A short backneck (on each side) results in extra fullness over the shoulder blades, allowing for greater freedom of movement, and also is THE major cause of keeping a collar glued to the neck. Frankly, I don't know why all tailors don't do this. The tell-tale sign, BTW, is the angled shoulder seam. It won't travel in a straight line from the neck to the sleeve, bisecting your body, but will angle down toward the back of the coat.

All my A&S-inspired suits stay glued to the neck far better than others, and also are easier to move in. I can pretty much move my arms in any direction and the collar will not lift.

Stylistically, they are known for widish, bellied lapels, and peaks that rake up dramatically. One or two darts, sidebodies rarely (if ever), and front darts to the bottom, never.

Shoulders will be un- or lightly padded. Wadding at the sleevehad is typical, which when paired with the open seam gives a very slight roping effect in the coat's early years. Shoulders are also typically extended a hair (1/4" to 1/2"). Given the softness of the construction, the shoulder tends to "break down" over time and eventually fall over the delt with wear.

I have found (through somewhat limited) experience that these guys have a tremendous track record at getting the balance right from the get-go. They may not make the most shapely coats, and certainly not the leanest, but the balance is perfect. An A&S customer friend of mine reports the same of John Hitchcock, and from what I have seen of his coats, he is right.

My major complaint about the cut is that these guys typically do the buttoning point too low (and sometimes the gorge as well). Getting them to raise it is essential for me.

As to the actual tailors discussed, I have one suit from S. Hitchcock. Despite what the obsessive stalkers at FNB.com will say, the suit's balance is perfect, and it fits very well after some necessary alterations (which Steven himself admitted were necessary, and performed himself). The shape is OK, but very loose compared to the others. I don't find it as soft as my others, and the sewing leaves a lot to be desired. That's one suit, so YMMV.

My Steed stuff is from when Thomas and Edwin were partners. It is very wasp-waisted, and the chest is more swelled than draped. It is well made, but far from the best stuff I have seen or own. Ultimately, the cut was just a bit too flamboyant for me.

This to me represents A&S/Scholte at its best:



NB: the skirt looks fuller than it is because my raised arm, holding the camera, is causing it to lift. It's much trimmer normally. Not as trim as what we have seen from Rubinacci, but not at all flared.

I just got a new SB jacket, but I don't have my camera.
post #6 of 2409
Thread Starter 
What is meant by "soft tailoring?" Well, let's start with an example, the construction of the shoulder of one of my DeBoise tweed jackets:



There typically is no shoulder padding at all, but there might be hand-placed wadding to shape or even out the shoulders.

Let's see how the shoulders fall, and how full the bellies of the lapels are:



The full tweed suit...not the best photograph, but can see the shaping of the silhouette:



The coat worn as an odd jacket, with Kiton RTW trousers:



- B
post #7 of 2409
^^^ Softness is not simply or even primarily a matter of the shoulders. It's also about the canvas. The A&S guys use very little (sometimes none) of the stiff stuff (horsehair/hymo), and so far as I know never make a more typical SR four-layer canvas. The canvas's main ingredient is typically flax, and as a result the chest and fronts overall are very, very soft, esepcially by comparison with their peers on the Row.
post #8 of 2409
Thread Starter 
More of my DeBoise examples...let's focus on lapel shape and shoulder line:







- B
post #9 of 2409
Thread Starter 
The welt of the DeBoise breast pocket is not straight, but angled and curved to follow the chest...but not as dramatically or obviously as an Italian boat-shaped welt:



- B
post #10 of 2409
Breast pocket shape is IMO one of the weaknesses of their style. Most are too narrow -- top to bottom and side to side -- and too straight. The one above is better than most, but the Italians do it better still.
post #11 of 2409
Thread Starter 
One of the foremost purveyers of soft tailoring and drape is London House, the renowned home of the Neopolitan tailors of Rubinacci.

Rubinacci and DeBoise, in the Scholte tradition, work a larger sleevehead into a smaller armhole. The Rubinacci sleeve can be fuller and straighter, while the DeBoise sleeve conforms more closely to the arm:



Rubinacci on the left, DeBoise on the right.

- B
post #12 of 2409
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
The Rubinacci sleeve can be fuller and straighter, while the DeBoise sleeve conforms more closely to the arm

I would put this a little differently. Yes, the R sleeve is fuller, but it's not straight. The back is quite curved. The front also curves close to the wrist.

The more important differences are two:

1) On the R coat the sleevehead is placed more forward. This is in part a function of the crooking of the coat to fit Matt's body, but I think there is something aesthetic about it as well.

2) The shape of the upper sleeve is very different. The ED coat has a more traditional, symetrical horseshoe-shaped sleevehead. The R coat's is shaped more like (for lack of a more ready example) the toe of a shoe: straigther in the front, and more rounded in back.
post #13 of 2409
Thread Starter 
The A&S expats, whether one likes them or not, are in the direct line of succession from Frederick Scholte. Scholte's significance is probably considerably overstated, and stems from his close association with the Duke of Windsor. Soft tailoring is atypical of Savile Row, then and now.

When the 20th century founders of Italian tailoring were in their imitative period in the 1920s and 1930s...with even outposts and apprentices outside of Italy in London and Paris...the Scholte influence seems to caught their imagination a bit more, and there is a far wider range of softly tailored garments today from many Italian sources, both RTW and bespoke, than you will find from English makers.

Few pursue the more esoteric tenets of Scholte, however, such as the minimization of seams. DeBoise still does, however...this odd jacket that he made for me has no sidebodies, and no front dart...only a pair of underarm darts that are usually not visible:



- B
post #14 of 2409
Thread Starter 
A&S, and their expats, pride themselves on going straight to a forward fitting. This might be self serving, but it does place a premium on brilliance.

Are they brilliant? Or are they taking shortcuts? Hard to say...one can only judge from the results.

But here is one thing in their favor: in the case of all three A&S expats, the guy who talks with you, the guy who measures you, will also be the guy who cuts your cloth and then fits you later on. This is a pretty efficient committee, and can...if the conditions are right...result in straighforward and clear collaboration between maker and client to achieve the objectives on which both agree. That is, in the ideal case.

Photographs of my most recent set of fittings. One is completely at forward, the other is partially at baste and forward.





I, in fact, just received the finished garments today.

- B
post #15 of 2409
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Breast pocket shape is IMO one of the weaknesses of their style. Most are too narrow -- top to bottom and side to side -- and too straight. The one above is better than most, but the Italians do it better still.

I agree with that.

- B
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