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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. Kuro

    Kuro Well-Known Member

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    ^You have issues. Very scary that this is what you are thinking...



    Exactly, and very often a thread where THE FOO decides post. Time for me to move to another thread...
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Maison Bonnet was a very fun visit, though not what I was expecting. Within the past two years, they moved to a small storefront across from the Galerie Colbert behind the Palais Royal. As I noted above, it appears like any other luxury/designer shop: very sleek, minimalistic, and sterile, with all work being done offsite. You would never know they make everything themselves. I suppose for many customers this is a "nicer" experience. I would prefer more grit and exposure to their work.

    I was helped by Arnaud and Morgane. Arnaud is the more technical of the two and takes care of the initial measurements and specifications. Morgane seems to be more in charge of styling and general process management. However, they overlap a lot and are clearly a very tight team. Extremely friendly and patient. English is an easy language for both.

    We spent two hours going over different styles of frame that would work for me. This included very careful attention to the shape and position of my eyebrows and my lack of a nose bridge (being Asian).

    They will not make you tortoise shell frames until they have done at least one in acetate or horn. Normally, one would return to the shop for a fitting of the made glasses before taking final delivery. In my case, they will send the finished plastic frames for me to wear until my next visit to Paris, when they can make any needed adjustments. At that time, when they finalize the fit, they can then begin work on the shell frame. They absolutely will not deliver the shell frame until you have visited them again for a fitting, as the material is much less flexible and forgiving than plastic. Hence, it will take at least two more visits before I can get my shell frames! They know it might take a few years, but apparently such is common with their many American clients. New York visits are a distant possibility. I can only hope.

    Apparently, horn is not an option for those of us without nose bridges, as it does not come thick enough to build up the frames in the necessary places. Hence, plastic and shell are the only options, and since the cost of shell is based on the size and weight of the frames, it will be particularly pricey. A pair of dark cherry shell frames (the second darkest after almost black) will be about 9,000 euros. Red cherry, the next level brighter, will be 12,000 euros. The plastic frames are 1,000 euros (plus an additional 600 euros for the lenses).

    Speaking of lenses, they are handled by the shop's in-house optometrist, Cecile. She was as wonderful as Morgane and Arnaud. I've never had such a careful and detailed vision test.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    7 people like this.
  3. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    ^ That sounds excellent. How much of the cost is covered by insurance?
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Victor Elfo

    Victor Elfo Well-Known Member

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    That's great report, foo! Please keep them coming, if possible with photos.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Lavabre Cadet is now part of Camille Fournet (the watch strap makers). The old Palais Royal shop is gone. Now, you have to order through the Camille Fournet shop on Rue Cambon. Marie Beyer is not with the company anymore.

    Like Maison Bonnet, it is essentially a luxury/designer shopping environment. You are not meant to interface with anything but the finished products. There are no fittings for the gloves. They simply do a tracing and then make to order. I am slightly skeptical, as the woman helping me and in charge of glove orders didn't seem very confident. She couldn't really distinguish between hand and machine stitching. When I asked for my peccary gloves to be fully hand-stitched, she was confused and said she would note it in the order to see if the factory understands. Skins are limited to seasonal colors, which leaves gaping holes in selection. There was no brown peccary, for example, only navy blue, black, and light tan. However, the quality of the peccary was exceptional--much softer and more unblemished than what the other two Millau makers (Causse, Fabre) use. They still have kidskin as well, with a much larger selection of colors, but mostly very bright, bold ones more suited for women (cherry red, apple green, pinks, purples, etc.). I have a cognac kidskin pair on order, too.

    It seems to me Camille Fournet is attempting to fashion itself (and newly acquired Lavabre Cadet) into a mini-Hermes. Customization is available, yes, but in a way geared toward the typical fashion buyer. It is a headache trying to stipulate options. Essentially, you pick from certain existing models sold RTW. If you want any changes, they push back and say they will ask the factory if it is possible before production. You ultimately get what you get.

    That said, the quality still appears top-notch. Stitching is noticeably tighter and neater than what I've seen on any other gloves (Causse, Fabre, Merola, Chester Jefferies, etc.). Causse comes in second, but is even more fashion-oriented and with absolutely zero bespoke capability or interest.

    Fingers crossed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    4 people like this.
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Arnaud at Maison Bonnet sketching out my frames:

    [​IMG]

    They will be similar to the frames worn by Jacques Chirac:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    3 people like this.
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

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    Camille Fournet glove models and leather swatches:
    [​IMG]

    Light tan peccary and cognac kidskin selected for my gloves:
    [​IMG]

    Stitching on my green Fabre gloves versus Camille Fournet on the right:
    [​IMG]
     
    5 people like this.
  8. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Well-Known Member

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    I don't think she cut the collar on my try-on shirt but she did make a big deal about designing a collar based on a photo I sent her.

    I wound up with a Pat Riley type deal. While I was flattered by the reference, I don't really like it.




    One advantage of this method is the willingness to mess around and change things that you might otherwise leave. It isn't too much hassle to pin and repin a shirt but if you're essentially doing the fitting process through successive finished shirts, I suspect that inertia is a lot greater.
     
  9. Kuro

    Kuro Well-Known Member

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    good post. I always liked the Chirac frames.
     
  10. Dandy Wonka

    Dandy Wonka Well-Known Member

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    Mafoofan, how much assistance did they give on choosing the shape (because I have no idea what shape suits me).

    Also, I would like to thank you. I cancelled my appointment because I did not know when I would be back for the final fitting. Now you have advised of the option of them sending them to use in the interim I will make a new appointment (though I will have to go for horn instead of shell).

    And your ones are ridiculously cool.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
  11. Xiaogou

    Xiaogou Well-Known Member

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    Foo, get a nose bridge implant!
     
  12. elephantm

    elephantm Member

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    I think I have a cashmere blazer from that period, and it's not as nice as the recent Caruso stuff for Cifonelli.
     
  13. elephantm

    elephantm Member

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    That said, they might be amenable but even with best intentions, having the work done on the quick and just not having a bit of time to to view the fit with a refreshed eye might hurt the final product.
     
  14. Cifodeluca

    Cifodeluca Member

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    Which period are you talking about?


    Who is "they"?
     
  15. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Well-Known Member

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    +1 - seriously, what kind of an iGent are you?

    I've made a ton of frivolous #menswear purchases in my life, but even I go :wow: at the notion of buying $12K+ glasses!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  16. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    Tortoiseshell seems to be quite unique material.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/fashion/19iht-acagglass.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

     
  17. Cifodeluca

    Cifodeluca Member

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    Although I have frowned upon several of Foo's choices in the past, this one I can understand very well. If you wear glasses every single day of your life and just take them off to sleep, the price of a tortoise frame does not seem to be very high per unit of weartime compared to a bespoke suit. And having your glasses specially designed to suit your face might enhance your appearance more than any piece of garment ever could.
     
    2 people like this.
  18. clee1982

    clee1982 Well-Known Member

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    well, let's say 3k is 1% profit...
     
  19. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Well-Known Member

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    That's the model mine are based on

    EDIT: actually not exactly. Nose bridge is different. I hadn't seen the picture of the Chirac frames before I posted. They do have awesome pieces, I'm thinking of ordering an acetate one now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  20. SeamasterLux

    SeamasterLux Well-Known Member

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    They are very good at analyzing your face. I'm not talking about the bullsh*t salesforce that one encounters at every eyewear shop, even at Moscot in NY. They truly know their stuff and guide you all the way. I know what I like but they made me try a lot of things until we decided that we found the optimal solution for me. I truly like my glasses. Horn by the way.

    My lenses were wayyyy less expensive than Foo's ones but this, of course, depends on the correction you have.

    [​IMG]
     
    4 people like this.

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