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

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

  1. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    It's true, but once something like that enters the public mentality, big makers figure out how to imitate pretty well while making everything else cheaply. If not inevitable, it's at least likely. Remember before Indochino when surgeon cuffs meant you must have a bespoke suit? That's what "The Secret Vice" is focused on.

    My point is, using some essentially meaningless thing like buttonholes to reassure yourself of the untold artisanal handmade man hours that went into your coat is both an exploitable strategy and a missed opportunity. Not only do you expose yourself to potential trickery, you (not you specifically dirnelli, I know you have a great appreciation for all the finer aspects of tailoring) trade the pleasure that comes from noticing a particularly nice lapel roll or a well cut shoulder for the hollow and tenuous satisfaction that your suit is "better quality" than everyone else's and the hope that someone else notices. This distortion of values is the main reason I think these "rules of thumb" are often counter-productive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014


  2. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    I think you're reaching a bit.

    When a component of something is executed at a higher level of quality, at the very least you have that incremental improvement (in the component). And it shows the maker is putting in the effort there where others are not. Generally, the more signals of quality you have (i.e. working button holes, handstiched botton holes, hand stiching, hand attached arms/collars, nice buttons, high quality cloth, high armholes, canvas instead of fusing, etc), the more quality you are likely to have.

    Sure, makers can conspicuously try to signal quality while failing to deliver as a whole, and maybe some do. But the extra effort and expense in those signals works best when paired with underlying quality, because that is what builds reputation, and business.

    Its kind of like how you won't get a good return on your investment if you build an amazing house on a shitty street. The incremental steps up tend to go together well.

    So I think it is not unreasonable to infer an incremental increase in quality when you see the signals of it.
     


  3. CrimsonSox

    CrimsonSox Senior member

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    A well-made buttonhole by itself is not sufficient for a good jacket, but it does contribute to the jacket being beautiful. If your dinner starts with a well-made cocktail, it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole meal will be a success. But it certainly enhances the dinner. It might also be a sign that the restaurant pays attention to detail, increasing the likelihood (though it's far from inevitable) that the meal will be well-prepared.
     


  4. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    I giess it really depends what signals -- kissing vs. overlapping buttons signals nothing.

    Remember the sandbox days of MTM when having a contrasting lining was supposed to signify some kind of quality in the suit -- we all saw how that ended...

    Discussions on visible quality signs are an exercise in futility, makers are always playing with our collective minds -- think AMF stitching machine. I heard of a machine that now imitates human stitching by randomizing spacing to give it an irregular more handmade look.

    Time for Jeffrey D. to join in and enlighten us on all these tricks of the trade...
     


  5. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    Ergo Prompter Viget Unum Inamabilis Sciurus
     


  6. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    JefferyD wrote a great post about how to tell an authentic Brioni by looking at the underside of the collar. Use it as a guide to examine your bespoke vs RTW. I learned quite a bit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014


  7. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    What keywords to find that thread, Baroni?
     


  8. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    :lol::brick::crackup:
     


  9. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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  10. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I'm sure J is right in those posts. But say a fair number of people start paying $2k for suits without the zig zag stitch on the collar, but otherwise the same as a $150 retail suit. You're telling me some manufacturer can't replicate the same exterior look to those collars, even without the interior construction that they currently signal, keep everything else the same, and make a mint?
     


  11. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    I'm saying that at this point in time, Jefferyd's observation regarding the correlation between the construction of the undercollar and overall quality is very useful. Look around at your bespoke stuff by Steed and NSM and compare it to other RTW of various quality and see if you notice the same correlation. I do.
     


  12. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior member

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    Thanks for that.

    I was surprised because Cifonelli are by all accounts the masters of those little details.

    I will still buy a couple of their jackets when I come to Paris in October though. I can't wait actually.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014


  13. Romain

    Romain Senior member

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    Actually, I believe that "kissing" buttons means overlapping buttons, and it is rather a style choice than a sign of quality.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014


  14. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    You didn't really get the gist of what I was saying. Is that how you spell gist?
     


  15. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I wasn't responding to your post...
     


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