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French Tailoring Thread (e.g. Camps de Luca, Cifonelli, Smalto and etc.)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by poorsod, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    I have seen dozens of pics of that Alexander Kraft guy in Cifo, and he has never struck me as looking that good. Is his stuff indicative of their style?
     
  2. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    in the lapels. the shoulder line definitely (the roping varies to desire). i think his look are his stylistic choices...

    my suits are a little looser and simpler (e.g. besom pockets). also my pants aren't as slim.

    they seem to be on 3 piece kick. jacket on beard guy looks too short for my taste..
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  3. fassbinder

    fassbinder Senior member

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    I am also a fan of their 70s and 80s work for Lino Ventura :

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    But like Mitterand this was undoubtedly the work of Adriano Cifonelli (and not his son and nephew who are currently running the house).
     
  4. fassbinder

    fassbinder Senior member

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    yes the shoulder line and lapels of Kraft's jackets are definitely standard cifo. Also the minimal, yet clearly defined, chest and the shape of the sleeves also seem to be modern cifo hallmarks. They also seem to generally cut a close jacket, minimal/no draping, very high armhole and a defined waist. I agree that the amount of roping varies, and I find Krafts to be excessive,but the roping is part of their house look. Camps also has distinct shoulder roping. I lalso agree that the hacking pockets and extremely fitted appearance of Kraft's clothes seem to be his style choices. Unlike camps or smalto, cifo's lapel notch is less "parisian" although still somewhat distinctive. Their jackets also may have a bit of a flaired skirt. I believe a very large part of the French houses' business is for clients who demand lighter weight and luxury suitings. And I believe their style was developed for and is well suited for this type of cloth, as Mr. De Lucca postulates in RJMans essay. Unlike Saville Row the first thing presented to a new client at a French house will not be the 13oz Lesser or Smiths.

    Also as previously stated, the quality of the finishing at the major French houses is unmatched.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  5. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    lots of olland & sherry and drApears...

    lino's stuff is nice.

    looser please has been a comment at all my fittings..
     
  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    This is a great idea for a thread, poorsod. Thanks for starting it.

    A few years ago, The Parisian Gentleman did a couple of short posts at Permanent Style. You can see an interview by him with Lorenzo Cifonelli here.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
  7. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Thanks!

    I have been reminded that RJMan wrote an article on Will's blog regarding Smalto and the 50th anniversary book.

    Francesco Smalto and French Tailoring

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2013
    2 people like this.
  8. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    One thing that absolutely distinguishes French tailoring is the level of attention to detail, particularly in the finishing. English finishing is generally poor to adequate, Italian finishing is generally clean yet unremarkable, whereas French finishing is generally a work of art. The garment must be as attractive inside as it is outside, and a lot of the details tend toward displays of virtuosity. It's almost obsessive for them. I studied haute couture under someone who had worked in YSL's atelier and this was definitely something that was a part of the French culture.
     
    4 people like this.
  9. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Would you mind giving some specific examples of the French method of finishing? In your review of Smalto I noticed the buttonholes were beautiful. But what else do you see? Thanks.
     
  10. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The label is set into a pocket which is very laborious to make and serves no purpose other than to draw attention to the amount of work done on the garment. It's the tailoring equivalent of melisma- a "see what I can do?".

    [​IMG]

    The French are obsessed with the Boutonniere Milanaise which is also incredibly laborious and difficult.

    [​IMG]

    The pocket jets are finished by hand

    [​IMG]

    The linings are felled by hand using a type of stitch which is at least twice as long if not three times as long to do than the usual method.

    [​IMG]

    A few stitches would suffice to tack the lining. Instead, they embroider the "S" for Smalto
    [​IMG]

    The cut edges, which are concealed under the lining, have been overcast by hand to prevent fraying. I have never seen this on an English garment, but is typical of couture.
    [​IMG]
     
    9 people like this.
  11. mans72

    mans72 Well-Known Member

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    I am learning at almost every post in this thread, it is just fascinating. Thank you everyone for making this one so interesting and educational.
     
  12. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Thanks jefferyd! That was very educational.
     
  13. gambit50

    gambit50 Senior member

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    jefferyd is wise.
     
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  14. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  15. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    He knows his stuff ..:slayer:
     
  16. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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  17. fassbinder

    fassbinder Senior member

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  18. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Senior member

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    Finally a post on French tailoring! I am in the train right now but will contribute over the week end with pictures of my suits by diagne, CIFONELLI, Camps de Luca and smalto as well. I also have a Claude Rousseau who used to cut at Cifo just like Gabriel Gonzalez and who also happened to be a student of Joseph Camps as well.

    My friend Dirnelli might contribute as well as he owns a lot of pieces realized by French tailors.

    Indeed the attention to detail is second to none as pointed out by an ex G&H cutter that is now working by himself and who told me that no one could match Camps level on the Row or anywhere else for that matter. Of course I'll post pictures to illustrate.
     
    2 people like this.
  19. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    SeamasterLux -- you beat me to it! I too am on a train typing this on an iPhone...

    Guys,

    I am positively thrilled to see SF finally talking about French tailors, the unsung heroes of the global sartorial arms race IMHO (e.g. a selfie of my Camps de Luca suit, the only CdL pic EVER posted on SF, went virtually unnoticed on the WAYWRN thread; as a result, I've snobbed SF since, but RJMan coaxed me back by flagging this long-awaited thread.)

    Don't hesitate to ask me or SeamasterLux any questions about the French tailors, between us we have experience with almost all of them. For pics, see my WIWT Tumblr dirnelli.tumblr.com and use the search box to call up pics of items from just about any tailor, including hard-to-find vintage ones such as Claude Rousseau, or even some vintage Cristiani and Lanvin coming up, as soon as I get them back from alterations.

    The young guns on the French scene Suzuki Kent and Brano also seem very promising.

    Another house worth knowing about, one that you won't read much about online, is Marc Di Fiore -- which is at the top of my list to try next, given the 2500 euros starting price and the quality of the work I've seen.

    BTW -- Camps de Luca starts at 5900 euros and Cifonelli at around 5300, if memory serves.

    I read a comparaison with Huntsman above. I would hesitate to draw such comparaisons between SR and the Parisians. If I were to sum up, the French tailors fall somewhere between SR and Italy, as their geographic location would suggest, striking a perfect balance as they do between the somewhat 'armoured' design of the Brits and the fluid construction of the Italians. On top of that, the French tailors have a quality of needlework that you simply won't find anywhere else -- the most consistently perfect stitching, embroidering and buttonhole work worldwide, bar none.

    The main issue is getting ahold of this stuff while you still can. It's my understanding that no one knows how to work like that anymore, and the ones who do are all retired or close to retiring, so there's a real question mark about whether the younger generation will be able to keep the tradition alive. In Paris, contrary to what I've heard re SR, none of the tailors share workers with eachother, so there can potentially be marked differences in quality from one house to the next.
     
    4 people like this.
  20. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    e-reviews seem to suggest that Camps is at the very top of the heap. Are they better than Cifonelli in your opinion?

    Thanks,
    ET
     

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