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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. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Senior member

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    I LOL'd a great deal at the way you described your experience there. Bullshit though, all great shirtmakers are ok with machine wash as it leaves less soap in the fabric.
    The best is powder and not gel by all means which apparently sticks too much to the fabric (dixit Lucca, one of the French shirtmakers mentioned by Dirnelli).

    John Baillie is a fraud, let's just skip him.

    Halary was disappointing to say the least. Bad fit, price tag too high to justify not such a great handwork and awful staff attitude. Lucca is truly much better (Boulevard des Batignolles) and a finer person.

    Charvet is indeed more expensive but what can I say, it has to be one of the ultimate experiences in a lifetime. The sight of all the fabrics (approx. 5000 IIRC) makes you feel like a kid in a toy store before Christmas. Just incredible including some very very hard to find ones (I'm talking truly high-end ultra fine and thin cottons). But it comes at a steep price: 450 euros for Petite Mesure and 550 euros for Grande Mesure (bespoke). It goes up with the quality of the fabric but everything they offer is stellar anyway. They also offer a bespoke tie service that they don't really advertise, it's 20% more expensive than RTW and you can choose the width, the length and the fabric. Truly worth it in my opinion and I used it at least 5 times for numerous ties each time, never got disappointed.

    I also tried the fully canvassed MTM of David Diagne (ex-Lanvin) who also does bespoke. It's a good product but too expensive. 2000 euros for MTM is too high, let's be serious. He's asking 4500 for his bespoke which is way too high given the fact that he's got less credentials than Di Fiore for instance but he's got clients. I'm just not paying that. I'm mostly working with Sartoria Ripense in Roma but as indicated above, it's out of topic here.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013


  2. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Senior member

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    Re Stark, they enjoy a decent notoriety. I never understood why. I got a very cold welcome upon my first visit. I guess the jeans-leather jacket week-end attire wasn't what they were used to. I know Julien Scavini (a young tailor that does MTM and occasionally bespoke) actually likes the guys at Stark but I can't say anything good about them. From what I've seen on some of my former colleagues, there's nothing to brag home about.

    Guilson, no idea unfortunately.

    Brano is definitely one to look out for and so seems to be Suzuki Kent. I'd like to meet both but never got the chance yet. FYI, Brano is Brahim Bouloujour. You can google him for a short video http://chatolufsen.blogspot.com/2009/02/brahim-bouloujour-la-pointe-de.html.
     


  3. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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  4. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Re shirts, RJMan caught my mistake. Charvet is indeed the best bespoke shirt in Paris. I meant to write that Lucca and Courtot are the best AFFORDABLE bespoke shirt-makers in Paris. Sorry, but I just can't condone paying the Charvet price-tag for handiwork that is largely comparable.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013


  5. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Here is a great resource for understanding the different notch lapels of the French tailors:

    http://stiffcollar.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/les-revers-parisiens/

    Also, to answer Kuro's point about the differences between the Camps and Cifo cuts:

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'air', but I would say that both are cut pretty close to the chest, no drape whatsoever (I really like that). However, the Cifo shoulder is resolutely turned forward, which can give the impression of a smaller chest, i.e. the distance accross the pecs is noticeably smaller than the distance accross the blades.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013


  6. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    :confused:
     


  7. Romain

    Romain Senior member

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    Great thread here!
    Unfortunately I've learnt most of what I know of parisian tailoring through window shops... You forgot Arnys in the list of parisian tailors, for a softer and draper cut. They've been bought by Berluti, but I believe their bespoke workshop will still be running.

    I met David Diagne, he has an interesting style, especially the shoulders which are made with no padding at all (but not in the spalla camicia way), and very nice trimmings.

    For very good quality RTW I would get the RTW lines of these tailors, like Ciffonelli, Arny, or Smalto (beware, the latter has less interesting "Smalto by" line).

    Yes, I am not sure about Charvet either. From what I heard they have a great choice of fabrics, but the shirts are not THAT amazing.
     


  8. Romain

    Romain Senior member

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  9. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Cifonelli RTW, made by Caruso, is top notch and is some of my favourite RTW among all brands. When on sale, it's actually good value for money compared to MTM from some popular tailors in Paris. Their RTW DB's are just stunning, and it's thanks to that model that I started wearing DB's -- until trying theirs I never thought I could look good in a DB. The fabrics are all fantastic as well.

    My Arnys RTW suit has an unsettling label inside reading 'Fabriqué a la main en Chine', but it's actually beautifully made, suggesting that a French suit made in China can still be great. Apparently, Caruso has a factory in China, and given that Arnys RTW is Caruso, that would explain it. If anyone knows more about this, I'd be curious to know.

    Also re Arnys RTW, beware there are many differents styles, and some are downright awful with tiny lapels or buttons placed way too high.

    I agree that the Smalto By second line is to be avoided at all costs. SeamasterLux surprised me with a Smalto By suit that has the signature Smalto cut, which I thought only existed in the topline. Perhaps a limited run.

    Smalto topline RTW is a great way to acquire the signature Smalto cut without going bespoke. However, the fabric choices are sometimes dubious, more geared towards Russian or Gulf clients, though one can still find a few normal fabrics in the lot. However, given that this stuff is also Caruso-made, I've found the Arnys-Caruso and the Cifonelli-Caruso to be more finely tailored, with much more subtle canvassing for example.

    BTW -- big thumbs up to Smalto and Cifonelli RTW for agreeing to take-in a total of 11 suits between them, free of charge, when I lost a ton of weight. Not all brands I went to were as generous with their after-sales service, which demonstrates the advantage of buying RTW from tailors who have their bespoke operations on the premises for their RTW customers.
     


  10. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    perhaps hang is a better word...

    looking at your video and others I've seen as well as photos the line of their jackets in the sleeves and the torso seems to hang a bit more (but still clean and fitted). at first I though this was because marc and julien are slim, but in your video the gentleman being fitted has a larger build.


    also the jackets seem longer and the vents higher. the roping and sleeve attachment also appear different, but perhaps that is because of the curved shoulder line which you've described quite well. cifonelli sleeves also seem a bit more curved.

    btw how is stark & sons for rtw (say for trousers, overcoats, ties)?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2013


  11. Kuro

    Kuro Senior member

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    Last edited: May 4, 2013


  12. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    I wasn't aware that stark does anything other than shirts rtw, i had them pegged as bespoke and mtm only. I'll have to look again.

    I have a mto stark tie, but i don't like the stark tie shape. Their ties are made by boivin who makes for all of the usual suspects in paris -- from season to season you'll see the same collection of ties at all the tailors, with different shapes and price-tags, all from in the same source, quite amusing.
     


  13. Romain

    Romain Senior member

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    So, Caruso is making RTW for (almost) all the parisian tailors?


    Even if the quality is good, it sounds a little disturbing to have a French suit made by Italian in China...

    Regarding Stark, you can find some info on their website/online shop: http://en.starkandsons.com/
     


  14. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    If you want suits Made in France, you have to go bespoke these days, as there are essentially no more workshops mass-producing high end RTW suits in France anymore. Julien Scavini examined a couple of French manufacturers when he launched, but I beleive he found them wanting and has since refocused on manufacturing in Italy. You just can't beat the Italians for mass-producing quality menswear -- even Huntsman RTW and the old Chester Barrie Handmade RTW were Made in Italy, among many many others. All the decent French tailors are making their RTW in Italy. Cifonelli was having theirs made by Saint Andrews for a while, but is now doing Caruso, using what they describe as the top of the Caruso quality offering -- I noticed however that they don't have the beautiful milanaise by default in RTW, whereas Smalto & Hartwood, also Caruso suits, do. Arnys RTW doesn't however.

    Going down one notch on the quality scale, many other French tailors manufacture at L'Atelier des Createurs in Porto, Portugal. After that, further down in quality, you start to find Eastern European and North African manufacturing.
     


  15. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    While French tailors certainly sound top-notch, I wonder how the young guys in their 20s / 30s are ever supposed to gain an introduction to local bespoke at those prices? Short of Wall Streeters at that age, I can't imagine people having the financial wherewithal to throw down 5-6K euros for a suit.

    Do they all head to Italy or buy high-end MTM? Or is there a local version of Ercole / Graham Browne?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013


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