gennaro paone: former head tailor of rubinacci

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by T4phage, Nov 1, 2014.

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  1. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You are twenty. Odds are, you are going to make shitty decisions when it comes to purchases. Odds are, you think you won't. Odds are, you aren't an exception.

    But you might be.

    Given that you can't know whether you are the exception, you're essentially gambling here...because good clothes are a long term thing.

    You're gambling that you won't fuck up. And admittedly you might not. And you're gambling that you won't grow. Which you probably will.

    Now, if you are in the envious position of money meaning little to you, knock yourself out. No need to worry as there will be nothing really lost. Otherwise, I'd be patient before embarking on my first Neapolitan sartorial ad.venture
     


  2. Xancatrius

    Xancatrius Senior member

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    I'm very thankful for the kind offer @dieworkwear , and I will definitely PM you when I do decide to head down to Naples. In fact, I'm considering signing up for some Neapolitan courses, just so I can TRY, (and I choose my words very carefully here) to carry out a conversation. I'm pretty sure the SR tailors can make me a wonderful jacket, and I am not adverse to the structuredness of the English cut.

    However, as Beppe Modenese said in O'Mast : Napoli is Napoli. (Though honestly I do think my love for italy has something very much to do with my father's constant replaying of the Godfather trilogy all throughout my childhood)

    And I am thankful for the kind pointer @Claghorn , but it is exactly why I would like to go to Napoli, not because I want a 2inch lapel with an extremely high buttoning point and a very short jacket skirt, but rather because I would like these masters to tell me what they feel would look best on me. I'm sure I have much more to learn, stylistically and everything, but I'm glad I'm past the days of the pitti fit and half buckled double monks, but yes, tailoring is a journey, and I understand certain dues have to be paid in the process.
     


  3. jedwards

    jedwards Senior member

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    I admire your interest in the subject.

    One note of caution I would add here though is longevity.

    I have been having suits made from 18 or so upwards.
    Those I had as a teenager where by tailor in my home city and relatively affordable in comparison to some of the tailors I use now. However, I would now struggle to get into those jackets, alterations or not. Nor have I gone fat, I have just filled out, shoulders wider, maybe even hip bone wider, as most men do in their mid twenties onwards.

    So, if you are going straight into this believing you will "have it for life" then that is something to consider.

    Also, again, I'd advise you go for a style that doesn't age you or look like a little boy trying to dress up - you just won't fit in with your peers. This is not a bad or good thing, but again, is something to consider.

    Ignore pretty much all of the pictures you see on here when it comes to your sartorial inspiration - most people on here, by and large, actively favour the "old fogey" look - sorry, I do not know a comparable American expression. You're already going to look more mature simply for the act of wearing a well fitted suit. Do not go for heavy tweed or whatever like many favour on here, you are too young.

    So if you do go to Naples - I'd really advise to keep it very, very simply, plain navy or grey fabric, single breasted.

    I really do not think you should be commissioning famous Neaopolitan tailors age 20 though to be honest, purely for the fact that you are just not at that life stage yet where it will have any longevity for you. Note, I am not saying you shouldn't go bespoke, but unless money is no object, you really won't get much long term value out of it.

    At your age, I was into "exclusive" Nikes and Adidas - thought I'd have them in my "collection" forever and that they were "worth the money" and all the attendant shipping fees from America or Germany etc. A few short years later, I was over my obsession and sold them all on ebay - you won't be able to do that with a bespoke suit. Today I have one pair of trainers for the gym, I'd thought I would only ever wear trainers outside of work.

    You don't know if your taste will change....
     


  4. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    O' Mast only featured a very small sampling of what the city has to offer.

    The Ciardi's family are very respectable and do produce a cleaner version of a Neapolitan jacket. Ciardi snr was Angelo Blasi apprentice and was "nominated" as his heir by Blasi himself. However, as far as I know, Ciardi or even Panico price point are not really set at entry level market.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014


  5. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Well, there's paying dues, and there's throwing money away.

    It's a simple fact that the vast majority of men don't finish growing until the period between 20-25. I know that I bought a few suits while I was at university, as well as several pairs of shoes, and by the time I was 23-24 I couldn't wear them without serious discomfort. I hadn't put on weight - in fact, I was actually thinner than I used to be - but my physical structure continued to change through my early-to-mid twenties and I became more solid and my chest and shoulders widened and my feet grew.

    Therefore - and this is just my opinion, of course - I think that it's largely a waste spending a lot of money on high-quality clothing while you're in your early twenties. That's particularly so in the case of clothes from really good tailors as, ideally, those clothes should last you for decades so it would be an enormous pity if you spent thousands of dollars having such clothes made for you, only to then not be able to wear them in a few years' time because your body had not finished growing/changing.

    Of course, you may happen to be someone who reached your maximum growth early and, if so, then go for it - but I'm not sure exactly how you can tell whether you've stopped or not so it may be safest to wait a few years before investing large amounts in Neapolitan tailoring.
     


  6. Xancatrius

    Xancatrius Senior member

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    @jedwards I fully understand where you are going with it. To put things in perspective, I'm from Singapore, where I would say, maybe 15 or 20 people dress well. 99.9 percent of people you meet can't even tell the difference between a good jacket and a bad. I have seen people get praise for jackets with huge pulling Xs across the buttoning point, gaping collars and jackets that end at the hip length wise.

    Maybe it's good that I maintain my anonymity here as the local scene is in my opinion, a cut throat one, one which I get no kick from mixing with people who think they know everything about nothing. It is not uncommon to go to a tailor and hear people asking for 13"cuff openings, pants that fit more like leggings, and 2" lapels with contrasting buttonholes everywhere. Such is the "beauty of bespoke" on our sunny island. Maybe I'll draw flak for this but I find that many people, even people from Esquire and The Rake can't dress themselves.

    So really, I'm in this for the love of tailoring itself. If I wanted to be in with the Jonese's then there's no need to fly to Naples when nobody can tell the difference between a 400 dollar suit and a 4000 dollar one. (I too, feel no need for a LH logo on the inside of my jacket just so I can peacock)

    I am hopeful that 5 years down the road I'll still be able to fit into my jackets, but I am well aware of the fact that I might not be able to, not comfortably at least. Which is why I have no intention to commission 5 jackets at a time. Maybe thankfully so, my wallet will not allow it too. However I am extremely interested to visit the sartorias, talk to the old masters and workers who know the jackets better than they know their wives even. To develop a working relationship with a true master tailor, not a front end tailor who measures you then sends your order off to God knows where, taking no part in the cutting nor making of it. Maybe a jacket will last me a good 5 years, hopefully more. But I do not go in with my eyes wide shut.

    So I appreciate your concern too @Journeyman , but I think I know where I stand on this. I have taken many things into consideration before I even asked.
     


  7. chobochobo

    chobochobo Rubber Chicken Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    It's a shame you missed meeting Gennaro Paone whilst he was nearby, he'll be back in February though.
     


  8. jedwards

    jedwards Senior member

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    What about Kevin Seah...I read somewhere he is considered highly?
    He is based in your city.

    Or failing that, BT tailor in South Korea, highly esteemed here, (Liverano style) could be a shorter trip for you and is also affordable from what I have seen here.

    As to your idea about getting to know all the tailors and makers etc, those that I have encountered personally don't really speak much English other than basics - so that is a fairly romantic notion I am afraid. Your first appointment will always be fairly transactional - yes as they get to know you through more commissions - they will take to time to get to know you, but again, do not read too much into the 'romance' of the whole thing you saw on O'Mast. Do bear in mind that was a Naples born director who made and directed it - he and his family will always have a more 'personalised' experience with a Naples tailor than you or I as foreigners would.

    But if this is more of an enjoyable thing for you to do, more of an 'experience' then of course go ahead, but I really would advise my younger self about doing what you seem dead set on.

    As you are ethnic Asian, you will probably manange you weight a lot better over the years than Westerners do, so maybe that argument is not the argument it would be for those of us who are not Asian. Speak with your Dad, or another male relative and asked when they truly stopped growing for a guideline though...
     


  9. Tried and True

    Tried and True Senior member

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    :embar:
     


  10. Xancatrius

    Xancatrius Senior member

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    I have seen the things that tailors in Singapore can and cannot do.

    I find Kevin Seah extremely hyped up, owing to God knows what and his uncanny ability to market himself.

    His VBC suits start at 3500 I hear, and I have personally examined a three piece suit made for my friend who paid 4000 for a VBC. The bespoke experience is probably really only in the experience, as there was pulling all over the jacket which was to say the least, ill fitting, and when questioned, Kevin Seah simply told my friend "This is to be expected of wool. Wear it in and go dry clean it" [​IMG] I think I must include that there were at least 4 fittings and still the product was very lacking.

    Since I'm on the topic, many people think Kevin Seah to be the representative of Singapore, and I would strongly discourage against that idea. Singapore is no tailoring oasis but I strongly suggest visiting the old guard tailors who have been around much longer. A very harsh critic of Kevin Seah once said "The nicest part of his jackets? The buttonholes I suppose"

    Tailor Chan, Leong Tailor, Kingsmen, Justmen, Rossi, Iris Tailor are a few I would recommend, and surprise surprise their VBC doesn't start at 3500. Still, willing buyer willing seller.

    So no, I wouldn't spend 3500 on a VBC jacket which still pulls all over after at least 4 fittings, however everyone is most welcome to try the whole bespoke experience for themselves and form their own opinions on it.

    B&Tailor is definitely another option I am considering, and the stuff they put out looks absolutely gorgeous and Liverano-esque. However I guess Napoli will always be to me some place I have to go to, and I just heard that Panico charges upwards of 3000 euros, and he has a lot of japanese clientele. So does Liverano I hear, geez these Japanese really know how to drive prices up [​IMG]

    Oh and @chobochobo , I would definitely love to visit Gennaro the next time he's in HK. Will you be the one hosting him?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014


  11. Tried and True

    Tried and True Senior member

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    Another reason to hate them, besides karaoke.
     


  12. Xancatrius

    Xancatrius Senior member

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    Oh I think they're lovely people.

    I just hate them because they're always the first to everything good, and by the time we slobs catch up the good stuff is all either gone or extremely expensive
     


  13. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Kevin Seah now has a young tailor working for him who apprenticed at Sedwell, one of the best on Savile Row. Sedwell is known for both its meticulous finishing and the emphasis its proprietor places on teaching. So that may make Seah worth a look. It is also a bit of a novelty in that the young tailor is a Lubavitch Rabbi. he used to blog or instagram at "Rabbi Tailor" so you might want to have a look at that, first.
     


  14. UrbanComposition

    UrbanComposition Senior member

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    Dylan & Son is based in Singapore, and based on their Instagram they seem to look quite nice.
     


  15. jedwards

    jedwards Senior member

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    Wow, some of that stuff looks nice![​IMG]
     


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