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Raphael - Page 2

post #16 of 67
Good to see you back marc. Have to say, Panzer, this isn't having a go or anything, but Darren did a crackerjack job altering a sportcoat for me.  'course, you would have just missed his visit. Oh well.
Ha. - just my luck I guess. I have to give Beaman a try one of these days too, though I've never really been all that comfortable with the visiting tailor process. Marc - thanks again for your help, Panzer
post #17 of 67
I wrote an in-depth comparision of my Raphael bespoke suits vs my Oxxford MTM suits on AA a while ago, which you might want to read (If it's still available).  Raph's suits are a few hundred dollars higher than Oxxford MTM suits and, without going into a whole comparison again, we're talking apples and oranges in terms of fit, form, and workmanship.  I have the utmost respect for Oxxford and their adherence to the highest standards, but MTM has strict limitations, most notably in terms of fit, and I can readily see those shortcomings whenever I wear the Oxxford suits.  It's kind of like the difference between having a house made from the foundation up, and having one retro-fitted. While Oxxford's garments are made in their own dedicated factory, it nevertheless is a factory making thousands of garments.  Raphael has a much smaller output, and so there is an artisanal quality of craftsmanship lacking in my Oxxford suits.  Last time I checked, Oxxford MTM was in the $3K range, even higher for striped cloth due to the need to buy extra cloth (for purposes of aligning the stripes), so at this rather rarified price point, you might as well spend a few hundred dollars extra (Easy for me to spend your money.) and get a suit that will represent a stronger long-term investment and provide a heightened level of enjoyment. Grayson
post #18 of 67
Bry2000, not that anyone asked me, but if given a choice between Lesser & Smith, Lesser wins out by a sizeable margin. Merely feeling the cloth from both firms brought me to that conclusion: Lesser cloth is smoother and more refined, whereas Smith cloth, in contrast, is a bit coarser. I do admire the quintessentially English designs from Smith, but Lesser cloth just drapes to a level of perfection that Smith cloth, in my experience, can't replicate. I'm in the process of having 3 or 4 suits made from Lesser cloth, from their 13 oz. range. And, there is the Carlo Barbera lambswool cloth distributed by Lesser that truly is outstanding in its softness and beauty. Grayson
post #19 of 67
Marc, I agree with you that Lesser's cloth is outstanding. There is one swatch in particular in the 13 oz Smith's book that I really like. But I am likely to choose one from Lesser again. I am currently having a suit done from cloth from the Lesser's 11/12 oz book. I always appreciate hearing your views and opinions.
post #20 of 67
Bry2000, you have discerning taste, considering the myriad of cloth selection out there, some of it quality and some not-so-good.  Most of my suits are made from that same 11/12 Lesser range, but I'm finding that the slightly heavier cloth drapes even better.  Check out the medium weight cloth from Harrisons, which also makes very nice stuff, right up there with Lesser in my opinion.  Harrisons is famous for their "Millionaire Cashmere" that Kiton uses, but while it's amazing to the touch, it's way too soft to be practical (Will stretch out of shape over time).  MC is also dizzyingly expensive; not that I would or could spend that kind of money on one garment, but a sport coat made from MC, from a bespoke tailor, would sell for $5,000+. I went a little crazy and just had a few riding jackets made with 19 oz. cloth from John Hardy that feels like it can stop a bullet.  At the same time, it can't drape as well because it's just too heavy to have any flow, so you run into the law of diminishing returns by going too heavy.  Funny how I started out years ago with feather-weight cloth in the 7-8 oz range, but over the years have come to appreciate the "substantiveness" of heavier cloth, which I'm able to wear even during the warmer months with complete comfort.  Enjoy your suits in good health. Grayson
post #21 of 67
I went a little crazy and just had a few riding jackets made with 19 oz. cloth from John Hardy that feels like it can stop a bullet.
Do you take part in equestrian activities?
post #22 of 67
Marc, my cloth odyssey is starting out as yours did. I too was enamored of light weight cloths, figuring I can wear them all year. I had my first suit made up in some LP 8oz cloth that does not keep a crease well. My next cloth was a 9.5oz Super 130s, which is really nice, but not hard wearing. from now on, I won't purchase anything less than 10oz. Beyond Lessers, is there another cloth distributor that you like (scabal, H&S, etc.)?
post #23 of 67
Bry, you can't go wrong with anything from Holland & Sherry, which offers a dizzying array of cloth (Perhaps too much of an array, if possible).  For sportswear, their Donegal tweed range is very nice.  For suits, their Snowy River range is also excellent--a sturdy, mid-range weight worsted.  H&S's Crispair cloth, though lighter-weight, is also sturdy for its weight.  Another range of the highest quality is called "Rangoon" although I can't recall the firm that distributes it (H&S maybe?). For heavy, traditional English flannel, some top purveyors are J&J Minnis, Fox Brothers, West of England, and Harrisons.  Haven't kept up with Scabal.   So much cloth, so little time...and so depleted a bank account. Grayson
post #24 of 67
Thanks again, Marc. While we still have you on line, can you kindly comment on your experience with Chittleborough & Morgan suits and New & Lingwood shirts? If you have taken delivery, how do you like the C&M suits; how do they compare with your other Savile Row suits, etc. Similar question for the N&L shirts. Thanks.
post #25 of 67
Hi Bry--Coincidentally, I spoke with Joe Morgan just yesterday to mention that I was pleased to read in the current Vanity Fair magazine, profiling various people of note, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts being asked who his tailor is, and his reply: "Chittleborough & Morgan, Always". Another client of Joe is restaurateur Joe Allen, who cuts an especially dashing figure in New York, London, and elsewhere. I also checked up on his next trip to NY, which will be sometime in April. Joe will have with him the first suit he has made for me, and so I'll be in a better position to offer feedback then. In the meantime, I can say that based on my initial experience with Joe, that I'm liking how the suit is materializing (no pun intended). I'd describe Joe's "house style" as the most elegant of any English tailor I've worked with, leaning more to an Edwardian type of cut. I've described the cut of the suit Joe is making for me as reminiscent of the late London tailor Anthony Sinclair, whose garments I've greatly admired on Sean Connery during his 007 days. On a personal note, Joe is really a lovely guy, who cuts an elegant figure himself, a very soft-spoken and refined gentleman, and, refreshingly, conducts himself as a *grown-up* should. Happily, Joe has not taken up residence on the Internet and is readily accessible, nor does he host frat parties in his hotel suite, if you get my drift. All in all, Joe's a much-needed breath of fresh air. Tailoring-wise, Joe has shown a meticulousness in the fitting process and in the garment that has been taking shape. As an example, the suit was pretty much good-to-go with the previous fitting, and I would have been happy to take it with me, but Joe saw a couple of minor things that he felt needed to be tweaked, and said he'd rather take it back with him to London to work on. I appreciated this as past experience has shown me that oftentimes, traveling tailors want to avoid the hassle of "shlepping" garments back and forth, and have been known to say a garment is perfect when, in truth, it is not. Joe receives high marks for his integrity. A word of caution, however, Bry, that a first-time suit with Joe will take at least one year's time, with subsequent garments, presumably, enjoying a faster turn-around, reason being that Joe travels to NY only a couple times a year (Incidentally, Joe only travels to NY). While I've been anxious to receive the finished suit, I've placated myself knowing it will have been worth the wait. Hope this helps. Grayson
post #26 of 67
Thank you. Good luck with the C&M suit and wear it well. I visit London oten on business and I will visit C&M to check out the house style. I also plan to visit Stephen Hitchcock and Dubois at Steed. Yes, I have read about your experiences with those two so I am not asking you to comment on those two. Can you comment on your experience with N&L shirts? Thank you again.
post #27 of 67
Bry, regarding New & Lingwood, I tried a "bespoke" shirt with them, but, not to sound like a curmudgeon, it just did not impress me. This is the latest, and, mercifully, the final disappointing venture for me with English shirtmakers (Fortunately, this time it was limited to just one shirt, unlike the surreal 25-shirt experience with Hilditch.) I've since reached the promised land of shirts with Mimmo Siviglia in Rome, one of the two best bespoke shirtmakers in the world, in my humble opinion (Battistoni being the other). Mimmo is ably represented in the US by Raphael the tailor in NY, whose remarkable measuring and fitting skills are applied to the shirtmaking process. A muslin/try-on is the next stage, and the final results for me have been nothing short of stunning (Around $400/shirt) Grayson
post #28 of 67
  I visit London oten on business and I will visit C&M to check out the house style.  I also plan to visit Stephen Hitchcock and Dubois at Steed.  
Not visiting Thomas Mahon?
post #29 of 67
Marc: read some old posts at AA - you seemed equally excited about Darren at one point as you are now about Joe Morgan, that you reached "the top of the world" or something to that effect...until you received the finished garments. Why order so many garments the first time trying out a tailor, and if you're perfectly happy with Raphael, whom you proclaim as the best tailor, why try anyone else? Based on your commissioning hacking and shooting jackets I've got to ask, are there really that many horses and deer in Manhattan or NJ?
post #30 of 67
Raphael's house style is an updated classic American 1930s cut, with an English twist.  While Raphael's garments dominate my wardrobe, I also want to have a small amount of variety style-wise, and, hence, my odyssey (saga) with English tailors.  While I did initially wax enthusiastic about the previous London tailor to whom you had alluded, I subsequently came to the regrettable decision that a change needed to be made.  No further comment in that regard. Grayson
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