Blast from the past: "The Neapolitan 'Sartoria' Experience"

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by voxsartoria, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. kcc

    kcc Senior member

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    I remember this essay well, still an intriguing read today. Don't recall the c. publication date, however.
     
  2. OxxfordSJLINY

    OxxfordSJLINY Senior member

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    Thanks vox, that was a great read.


    I'm pretty sure the title was "The Neapolitan 'Sartoria' Experience", not "The One and Only Unique Neapolitan 'Sartoria' Experience that cannot be found Anywhere Else".


    As rapper Snoop Dogg's Huggy Bear character in Starsky & Hutch (the movie from 2004 that takes place in 1975) would say, I can dig whatcher sayin' apropos.

    That being said, the title for this topic should have been "The Italian 'Sartoria' Experience" as that what it really is. After all, all Italian bespoke tailoring is equally good and excellent overall. You dig? [​IMG]
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    If you ever get to visit Ambrosi in Naples, you'll get an experience like what is described.
     
  4. jamesbond

    jamesbond Senior member

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    Didn't know you were around back in those days Vox? I have all of his posts printed off from back then, they were indeed lost and he stopped posting shortly after he made those posts.
     
  5. Staatsoper

    Staatsoper Senior member

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    Certainly made my day...I think I'll read it again sipping a second ristretto...
     
  6. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Wonderful post. Refinement arises from decadence

    An old Maestro told me that many decades ago, when he was a young apprentice, most of the best customers belonged to the old Bourbon aristocracy and they had a lot of time to amuse themselves in the "sartoria" because they were not supposed to be personally involved in any kind of professional occupation (labour belonged to the bourgeois middle class and to the poor members of the working class). The affluent gentlemen of the high Neapolitan society used to spend endless hours perfecting their exclusive wardrobes down to the tiniest details, and they literally "trained" generations of tailors to work in a finical, exacting manner and to seal into their bespoke suits the patrician allure and the appetite for perfection of their aristocratic customers.

    Many members of the Neapolitan gentry grew so affectionate to their custom tailors that they used to say (of couse in Neapolitan dialect) : "E' mane 'n cuollo m'e ponno mettere sulamente mugliereme e o' sarto" ("I allow only my wife and my tailor to touch me .")
    That's how - through decades of countless, endless fitting sessions - the elusive, aristocratic style that is known as the "Neapolitan cut" came to life.

    Anyone who remembers the the Marcello Mastroianni
    roles in Marriage Italian Style (1964) ( Naples), and Divorce Italian Style(1961)( Sicily),
    will see the archetype of the original Neapolitan tailoring client.
     
  7. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    And people wonder why we moan about how Andy's used to be.
     
  8. LeonM

    LeonM Senior member

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    And people wonder why we moan about how Andy's used to be.

    Indeed.

    Leon
     
  9. stant62

    stant62 Senior member

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    Great read...

    Now if there was a Neapolitan RTW tailor that was more affordable, I'd be a happy camper.
     
  10. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Great read...

    Now if there was a Neapolitan RTW tailor that was more affordable, I'd be a happy camper.

    Sartoria Partenopea?
     
  11. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    Great read...

    Now if there was a Neapolitan RTW tailor that was more affordable, I'd be a happy camper.


    there are a lot of affordable, very good Neapolitan bespoke tailors.
     
  12. AgentQ

    AgentQ Senior member

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    there are a lot of affordable, very good Neapolitan bespoke tailors.

    some names, per favore!
     
  13. stant62

    stant62 Senior member

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    there are a lot of affordable, very good Neapolitan bespoke tailors.

    I know there's Solito, but $2800 is still quite steep for me. I can always wait for an Isaia sample sale, I guess.
     
  14. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    There is a natural tendancy to view tailored clothes as a product or object. It is that, of course. But, what I enjoy so much about what Filangieri wrote is that he describes (somewhat romantically, but why not?) clothing as experience, process, and a social activity.

    No matter how much you might want it to be otherwise, it seems unlikely to me that what he describes can really serve any clientele other than what history formed those tailors to do: make clothes for discerning locals of leisure.

    When I read about American clients taking delivery of their Neopolitan bespoke garments without even one fitting, or stuff disappearing into Alitalia flights, I suppose that I conclude that something intrinsic and important to how the art is practiced there is missing. Maybe the objects...the clothes...are still as good. I wouldn't know. But how wonderful it must be to be a local customer of this tailoring tradition.

    What do you guys think?



    - B
     
  15. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is a natural tendancy to view tailored clothes as a product or object. It is that, of course. But, what I enjoy so much about what Filangieri wrote is that he describes (somewhat romantically, but why not?) clothing as experience, process, and a social activity. No matter how much you might want it to be otherwise, it seems unlikely to me that what he describes can really serve any clientele other than what history formed those tailors to do: make clothes for discerning locals of leisure. When I read about American clients taking delivery of their Neopolitan bespoke garments without even one fitting, or stuff disappearing into Alitalia flights, I suppose that I conclude that something intrinsic and important to how the art is practiced there is missing. Maybe the objects...the clothes...are still as good. I wouldn't know. But how wonderful it must be to be a local customer of this tailoring tradition. What do you guys think? - B
    You can't go home again, but that doesn't mean there is nothing worthwhile about life in the new place. Alitalia aside, there is something fun about the intersection of the internet, airplanes, Naples, NY and tailoring, and the fact that it is being done by a new generation of Neapolitan tailors and a new generation of customers makes it all the more interesting. One kind of relationship is gone, but in the old days Salvatore and Foo couldn't have been such good friends.
     

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