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

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

  1. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Here's my two cents, for anybody who's considering making a first commission at one or the other, between Camps and Cifo:

    If you're very classically minded, I think you might enjoy Camps more, but if you're more adventurous in your styling, you might enjoy Cifo more.

    That just my personal impression based on many many conversations I've had with both, and it's my own personal reading of their personalities and strengths.

    I'm not sure they would agree with my assessment, and each would argue that they are completely capable of handling commissions at either end of the spectrum.

    However, the vibe that you get from each place is that Camps really makes a virtue/trademark out of classicism, while Cifo makes a virtue/trademark out of pushing the envelope.
     


  2. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Senior member

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    I appreciate that because I am currently tossing up exactly that. I was planning to commission two Cifo jackets and one CDL but I have seen a coat at Loro Piana that has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons that will mean one jacket is probably sacrificed. At the moment I am thinking it's the CDL one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014


  3. HighToned

    HighToned Senior member

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    Sorry Poorsod, it was Julien de Luca coat. I took pictures of details.
    When I put the jacket on the stockman. It's was too small, I couldn't close his jacket.

    It's funny because from what I see at CDL and Cifonelli.
    Many of customers seems to have quiet original choices to French tailoring. Compare to that Savile Row is very business style.

    Lorenzo Cifonelli is the more open minded to creativity. I saw him wearing cargo pant or short, many funny details on his jackets.
     


  4. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Then it is unfortunate that these customers miss out on real finesse. To my eye the best parts of the house appear when there are fewer flourishes to distract.

    Some examples courtesy of Dirnelli

    Cifonelli
    http://dirnelli.tumblr.com/post/64594703607/for-sale-cifonelli-bespoke-donegal-tweed

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    CdL
    http://dirnelli.tumblr.com/post/78536287002/monthly-lunch-at-automobile-club-camps-de-luca

    [​IMG]


    Smalto

    http://dirnelli.tumblr.com/post/76617506482/the-camps-de-luca-notch-lapel-which-later

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


  5. HighToned

    HighToned Senior member

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    Different strokes, different folks .... especially if they're Russian ; )

    Poorsod, I completely agree with you.

    Wow this vintage Cifonelli tweed jacket !
     


  6. Pingson

    Pingson Senior member

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    :D
     


  7. lasbar

    lasbar Senior member

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    Just superb..
     


  8. HighToned

    HighToned Senior member

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    I heard a rumor about Camps de Luca got to move out because their building just got acquired by a foreign investment group.

    Is it true ?
     


  9. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Yes, it's true, it was in the newspaper. Not that everything you read in the newspapers is true, but it happens to be in this case.
     


  10. HighToned

    HighToned Senior member

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    Wow the landlord Qatar National Bank will create a luxury hotel project starting this year... That's sad !

    It's gonna be hard for Camps de Luca to found such prestigious place like in Madeleine.
     


  11. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Their lease must date back to 1960, so when they move their rental charges will likely skyrocket. It'll be interesting to see how this gets carried over into the price of a suit.
     


  12. dirnelli

    dirnelli Senior member

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    Crompton does Camps:

    http://www.permanentstyle.co.uk/2014/04/camps-de-luca-suit-paris.html#.U2HdJIkazCQ

    This article is likely to trigger passionate debate, since it features Simon wearing a trial jacket, commonly used by Camps but vehemently disputed by tenants of the non-standardized pattern school of bespoke tailoring. The argument for is quite compelling: as mentioned in the article, it allows the tailor to get the jacket to fit just right from the start, reducing any risk of error. The argument against is also quite compelling: if you're going to pay bespoke prices, you kind of expect a pattern that is unique to your body, not a measuring process that involves a standardized form to which alterations are made, which can be too reminiscent of a made-to-measure process.

    I like the fact that Simon's article doesn't come down on any side of this debate: I guess at the end of the day it's about what works for each tailor. In my case, the Camps process yielded one of the best fitting suits I've ever owned, and I only judge the final results -- I'm not too sentimental about how much labor is involved. I've always stated that I prefer something that is machine made that fits well to something that is handmade and ill-fitting. At the end of the day, how many bespoke customers are aware that there is often tiny fusing at certain very specific (impossible to detect) locations in many bespoke suits, such as the superior part of the notch lapel, to prevent deformation at the seam as the fabric slightly stretches through pressing and wear. I know it's shocking, but I have this information on very good authority from a bespoke tailor who will remain nameless. In other words, depending on the fabric, often bespoke tailors cannot prevent deformation from happening there without putting a tiny bit of fusing. So I ask, what is better? To have a fusing-free garment that may develop some slight collar deformation over time, or to have a bit of fusing that no one would even know about if I didn't mention it here, making the garment look crisp for its entire life? Of course, our Neapolitan friends have found the best possible out: get customers to accept that the best style is an imperfect style, in this way any tailoring approximations can be chalked up to the fact that it's the 'house style'. It works great to obfuscate most iGents -- until the day you wake-up and realize how many extra hours work must go in to making a suit that his spot perfect. I'm not saying the Neapolitans have found the perfect excuse for some of their tailoring laziness and shortcuts, but I'm kind of thinking it very loud. I know that the French bespoke tailors would back me up on this one.

    Now, having said all this, I was recently disappointed that Camps is no longer willing to accomodate necessary jacket alterations due to my weight-loss, which I feel could be expected from a bespoke tailoring house. I'm well aware that my weight-loss is a real headache for most of my tailors, but at the end of the day, customer service is a big part of the equation. Lorenzo Cifonelli has cleverly stepped in to save the day, thus seizing the opportunity to score some points over the competition: upon hearing of my tailoring woe, he instantly offered to make the necessary alterations to my Camps suit. Massimo did that as well for me many years ago on my first Italian bespoke suit, which had a glitch that he instantly spotted, and which I hadn't even noticed. He just said: "leave it with us, we'll fix it for you." I've got to hand it to those guys, they really know how to pull all the right moves to win over the hearts and minds of customers. When you experience customer service like that, it's no surprise that they ended up having the biggest bespoke operation in Paris. You can sense that they're going to go all out for every customer, to win everybody over.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014


  13. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    :bigstar:
     


  14. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Senior member

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    Well that totally sucks. I don't know if we're talking 15 pounds or 50, but if it's in the scope of "doable"...
     


  15. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    So CdL is refusing to alter one of their bespoke suits even though Cifo thinks the alterations are do-able? That is very surprising.
     


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