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Frederick Scholte (Savile Row)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CrimsonSox, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. carpu65

    carpu65 Senior member

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    Like Liverano & Liverano coats?
    Interesting,
    Florentine school is said have been profoundly influenced by British customers in 20s and 30s (and also after).
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  2. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    I have just looked at some Liverano coats pictures. Their seams is placed further forward than on Scholte's coats.

    Furthermore, the one underarm seam was much more common then, as was the front dart (now known as neapolitan), I believe even in German tailoring.

    The one thing to notice, having seen the fabric, is that the fabric was like today overcoat weighting and a lot of the shaping was done through ironing as the fabric patterns were visually distorted.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
    2 people like this.
  3. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Some wonderful photos - thank you very much.

    I do wonder, though, whether simply converting 1920s currency to today's currency really gives a good idea of purchasing power parity.

    It's worth noting that, back in the late 1920s and early 1930s, average weekly earnings in the UK were about 3 pounds a week.

    It's also worth noting, too, that most people on 3 pounds a week had no money for luxuries and that the middle class was a lot smaller than it is now, so a suit from somewhere like H.Huntsman was totally out of the reach of the vast majority of people, even though prices sound very reasonable when converted to current dollars.
     
  4. carpu65

    carpu65 Senior member

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    Well, you must consider that at time were thousands of tailors,many of which taking a fraction of the Scholte or Poole,or Gieves & Hawks cost.
    Most of these tailors were also good as the cutters of the renowed firms of Saville Row,many were trained in the Row.
    So in 20s and 30s ( but i think until 60s) was a lot of "affordable bespoke.
    Besides,i don't know in UK,but in Italy the cutters of many finest tailors like Caraceni or Rubinacci,worked (and work) in home at a fraction of the cost.
    For the rest,considers also that the taxes were more low at times (so the rent of Saville Row shops),and many more peoples could afford a Saville Row suit.

    Moreover for the working class in 20sand 30s were good ready to wear clothes and many "cheap" tailors that i suspect were indeed better that many expensives tailors of today.
    Think that still in early 60s the "Mods" dressed by several cheap tailors in London.
     
  5. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    I was reading through Farid Chenoune's grand book for my own book project, and C. mentions that DoW was among the first men to wear unstructured tweed jackets in the '30s. Trouble is, he shares no reference for this. Might anyone know who could have made such soft tailoring for the Duke, and why he abandoned Scholte's strong shoulders for an unstructured one?
     
  6. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    I do not think Scholte had strong shoulder like Huntsman for example, although indeed padded. I have seen a DoW's Tweed Suit at V&A museum, and it was teh usual Scholte construction, although probably made by someone else.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Ivan Scholte

    Ivan Scholte Member

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    3 people like this.
  8. lukejackson

    lukejackson Senior member

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    Wow, great to hear from you Ivan. Please share with us anything you have!
     
  9. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    Welcome to Styleforum, Ivan! You may not have known this, but good old Frederick still has fans all over the world. He was, after all, one of the most talented tailors of his age.
     
  10. carpu65

    carpu65 Senior member

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    Welcome Ivan!!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  11. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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  12. Ivan Scholte

    Ivan Scholte Member

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    Well, I actually live in the Far East but all the information on him is with my father ( 87 years old) who lives in the UK. Next time I am back there, which will be in April I will look up the "Scholte" file that he keeps and will post some more information. My father has a number of his suits which he inherited a number from his father and uncle. Sadly they are too small for me but I do have possession of a wonderful fur-lined woollen overcoat with astrakhan collar that he made for a customer in 1925 which for some reason, never came to collect. I would be happy to post a picture of that. In the meantime, I attach a family picture of Frederick.
    [​IMG]
     
    12 people like this.
  13. carpu65

    carpu65 Senior member

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    The grandman himself !
    I think that this picture is before that Prince Edward become his customer.
     
  14. carpu65

    carpu65 Senior member

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  15. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Well there's only so much out there as the man's dead you know.
     
  16. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, well, they said the same thing about Lincoln.
     
  17. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    I'm hoping that Ivan, when he has the opportunity, will post photos of the perfectly tailored and beautiful clothes that his great-grandfather made. They are an inspiration to this day.
     
  18. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    ...who knows, maybe there's even an interview brewing at the moment, just waiting to be served on the right site.
     
  19. Ivan Scholte

    Ivan Scholte Member

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    Well, there is not much I can offer you I'm afraid. I have looked at the file of documents that my father has and aside from many letters from customers commiserating with the closing of the business and the list of clients and their measurements, we have only a few articles from the press and a interview FP Scholte gave my aunt about his getting started in the business. I attach that here:
    My Career as a Tailor by Frederick Petrus Scholte

    In April or May 1879 measles broke out at my school and as I was to leave school at the end of that year to learn my trade, I persuaded my father to let me go and start my apprenticeship at once as the school was to close up until the epidemic was over. I was put with one of my father’s workmen who made only Dress and Frock coats of black superfine – all made by hand, saw edge, blind stitching on the edges. The lapel padding took one day to do as it had to be done so finely that no stitches should show on the reverse side. As my apprentice-master was one of the very old school of journeymen tailors, he slept most of the afternoon and started again about 5 o’clock. I soon got tired of the monotony of that work and got transferred to a man who made all sorts of work and the understanding was that I should make a morning coat, (my first one) for myself. I was to go to Paris to learn cutting and the language. In those days I used to have my music lessons from 8am to 9am, after that I went to my apprentice master until 5pm without a break – only some sandwiches in the middle of the day, then to go home to dinner. After dinner, I had private lessons in French and English until 8pm, then home to practice music and do my homework for French and English so I never had to much leisure. I was 15 years old then and when I was 17 and had succeeded in making myself a morning coat I was sent to Paris in August 1881 to learn cutting and French. I got a place as an apprentice through a merchant with whom my father did business, and had to be there at 8am until 8pm – Saturdays a bit later as I had to help taking things home and Sundays until 2pm.
    When I got there Joffre was the name of the firm on the corner of Rue Faubourg and Boulevard des Italians. They were not very busy and so to keep me occupied I was given a piece of glass to scrape the cutting board!
    They did not teach me much, they only made use of me to sweep the place, scrape the cutting board and take the parcels home! All I learned there was my way about Paris. However I soon got tired of that and through another merchant – a buttons merchant this time, M. Anglade. My father was advised to send me to a professor de Coupe a M. Eaporte – at a regular school for cutting. When I had finished there he found me a place as assistant cutter and M. Versini, at 3 Rue de La Paix – at that time one of the finest houses in Paris although small and when I had been there about 18 months my father insisted I should go to London.

    That was in 1882. I got placed at Messrs Whitakers through a friend. Mr. G. Mead from Hove Mead, as trimmer then they let me cut a trouser pattern for the head cutter Mr Donaldson and when he had compared it with his own pattern he told me that I must have done it before. They gave me a bundle of 50 tickets for different customer’s trousers to cut and after some months of that I was promoted to that part of the business and got an offer to go to Johns & Pegg with an increase of salary from 30 shillings to 3.10.0 and 4 pounds per week after a month if I was still with them.
    At the end of 12 years I got 10 pounds a week through gradual increases and as they promised me partnership and kept putting me off I started on my own.

    Born 19th July 1865 in Amsterdam
    Married Emma Lewellen August 1888
    Died 1st December 1948
     
    5 people like this.
  20. Ivan Scholte

    Ivan Scholte Member

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    Here is an article taken written by The Duke of York in July 1960 published in the Daily Express.



    The Tyranny Of My Tailor

    My wardrobe as a Prince during the nineteen-twenties was by comparison modest with that, for instance of George IV which was valued at his death of 15,000 pounds.
    My expenditure amounted nevertheless, to a good deal more than that of the well dressed Regency gentleman, who could in terms of the currency of the time, dress for less than 50 pounds a year.

    From 1919 until 1959 – a space of 40 years – my principal tailor in London was Scholte. It is a firm, which, alas, no longer exists.


    Mr. Scholte died soon after the Second World War during which his premises were badly bombed and his son, who inherited the business, gave it up on the expiry of the lease last year.
    It was one of my equerries who first introduced me to this august establishment in Savile Row.
    Scholte, who came originally from Holland, was a tailor of the old school, who had run his own business since my grandfather’s time. He once told me that as a young man he had had to serve ten years of arduous apprenticeship before he was allowed to cut a suit for a client.

    He had the strictest ideas of how a gentleman should and should not be dressed. In the Brummell tradition he disapproved strongly of any form of exaggeration in the style of a coat. He steadfastly refused to make clothes for the theatre and later for the film world making exceptions only for the case of Sir Charles Hawtrey and Sir Allan Aynesworth whom he regarded as sufficiently restrained in their tastes to qualify for Scholte suits – and then only off-stage.

    I was present in his shop when he refused to cut a suit for Fruity Metcalfe – much to that gallant officer’s mortification and to my own secret amusement.
    As befitted an artist and craftsman Scholte had a rigid standards concerning the perfect balance of proportions between shoulders and waist in the cut of a coat to clothe the masculine torso. Fruity, who for all his discretion of costume was always ready for some experiment had sinned by demanding wider shoulders and a narrower waist. Thus for a time he was excluded from Scholte’s sacred precincts.

    These peculiar proportions were Scholte’s secret formula. His rivals would aspire in vain to have suits made for them without disclosing their identity, so that they could take them to pieces and, by measuring, discover the secret.

    But they never succeeded. Scholte knew his clients, and remained alertly on his guard. He used to recall one Saturday when a flashy gentleman in a sports car drew up before his shop and began to order some suits. But Scholte recognized his type at once and politely refused to make for him. He was, as he afterwards discovered, a wholesale tailor from the Seven Sisters road.

    It was for another reason that he refused on one occasion to make for an American Ambassador to Britain. The Ambassador needed a morning coat in a hurry for a royal garden party. But when he came to try it on he made the mistake of bringing his wife along with him. The Ambassadress began to find fault with the cut and hang of the coat and to suggest improvements. Scholte, without comment, removed the coat from the ambassador’s back, flung it on the floor, and refused to complete it.

    The Ambassador returned the next day, without his wife and, in view of his urgent need for the coat implored him to reconsider this drastic decision. Scholte relented and agreed to complete the job, adding, however in a burst of undiplomatic Dutch bluntness : “ But don’t bring that damned woman in here again!”

    That Scholte could make clothes in a hurry, if need be, I discovered for myself one summer, when I appeared at Ascot wearing a dark grey morning coat with trousers to match.
    Unfortunately I had forgotten something: the Court was in mourning for some distant relative. On reaching the racecourse, I thus earned a rebuke from my father who pointed out that in the circumstances a black morning coat was required. But to my dismay I realized that for some reason or other, I did not possess one.

    I called Scholte from the racecourse throwing myself on his mercy and telling him that I should require a new black morning coat for the next day’s racing, but that I should be unable to get to London until nearly six o’clock that evening. On arriving I drove straight to his shop, chose the material, had my coat there and then, and handed it to one of his tailors, who had stayed behind after the shop was closed. He sat up half the night making the coat. In the morning it arrived in Windsor complete. It was a perfect fit and I drove over to Ascot secure in the knowledge that I was now correctly and respectfully dressed. With this formal costume I always preferred the grey top hat. I have been told hat I helped make it popular by wearing it at Ascot where a black silk hat is seldom seen today.

    It was one of Scholte’s rules that his clients whoever they might be must come to his shop for their fittings. He refused to visit them at home. I always obeyed this rule and never except for some exceptional reason asked for a fitting at York House. I was thus departing from the accepted custom of royalty. I cannot imagine King George V in a London shop. His tradesmen always came to him.

    My mother on the other hand, loved to shop, especially for antiques and her Daimler was a familiar sight in London, drawn up by the kerb of some busy shopping street with a small crowd gathered on the pavement to watch her emerge with her upright carriage and her gracious smile. I must have inherited this taste from her since I have always enjoyed popping in and out of stores selecting what I want on the spot.

    I never had a pairs of trousers made by Scholte. I disliked his cut of them: they were made, as English trousers usually are, to be worn with braces high above the waist. So preferring as I did to wear a belt rather than braces with trousers, in the American style, I invariably had them made by another tailor.

    During the war when I was Governor of the Bahamas, my wardrobe began to wear out, and on a visit to New York I decided to replenish it, I went to a tailor named Harris who had served his apprenticeship in London. I gave him a pair of my old London trousers and he copied them admirably. Since then, I have had my trousers made in New York and my coats in London, an international compromise, which the Duchess aptly describes as “ Pants across the Sea”.
    I am, I gather in good company, since Brummell himself had his coat made by one tailor, his waistcoat by another, and his breeches by a third, He had one advantage over me, however. He did not have to go all the way across the Atlantic for the breeches.
    Here is an article written by the Duke of York in 1960.

    [​IMG]
     
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