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Important and Titillating Sartorial Observations

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TheFoo, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. SartodiNapoli

    SartodiNapoli Distinguished Member

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    I got a similar pair as those but from other brand. Great pic!
     

  2. SartodiNapoli

    SartodiNapoli Distinguished Member

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    Posted for later and posted at this time by me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019

  3. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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  4. Bromley

    Bromley Senior Member

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    I've always found it kind of interesting that, as far as I've been able to learn, tailors don't patronize other tailors (upstart MTM operations excluded).

    Think of nearly any other professional craft-- cooking, art/painting/sculpture, filmmaking, bartending... Chefs dine at colleagues' restaurants, filmmakers buy tickets to other filmmaker's movies. Authors read others' books.

    Even in crafts where prices might be out of of the range of the craftspeople, I know of some who trade. Furniture makers exchanging items, artists swapping paintings.

    In these non-tailoring fields, having things made by your colleagues seems to be good-natured, and community-building. And if it's neither of those things, then it's at least an obligatory part of participating in an industry. A friend runs a brewery, and a very definite part of his job is trying beer from other breweries.

    There's a David Berman poem where he says something like, "Feeling pain makes a doctor a better doctor".

    Why aren't tailors ordering clothes from other tailors? If they did, would it improve the quality of their work? Of bespoke tailoring in general? Don't tell me about how tailors can't stand each other.
     

  5. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Distinguished Member

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    Most people can't afford a $4k suit......
     

  6. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    That's a really interesting question. Assuming it's true as a rule,@jefferyd seems to have made up for all of the others.
     

  7. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    I know you said don't point to this, but the Neapolitan tailors I know all hate each other. Except for Rubinacci, who they all revere (maybe because the company is a champion for the region, or because they're all in awe at how much money Rubinacci is able to charge). But it doesn't take much to get any one of them to talk about how everyone else is doing things wrong except for them.

    A few MTM and brand shops, however, that I know will patron other businesses, but mostly for R&D purposes. So they'll go into a shop and order something, then take it home and dissect it. It's less for collegial reasons (e.g. "I want to support another business") and more about improving their own product.

    As for the other tailors, particularly tailor-run shops, I find many just aren't actually interested in style. They're interested in style to some degree, but it's not like how someone on this board would be interested in dressing well and/ or building a wardrobe. Many of the older tailors I know came into the trade because they didn't have other job prospects when they were young or they accidentally fell into it. And now this is just what they do. I think of them more as technicians or craftspeople. The ones I know seem to mostly wear tailored clothing for work (e.g fitting people, selling suits, etc), at which point they're going to wear their own stuff.

    I do see some tailors wearing other makers' bespoke shoes. And bespoke shoemakers wearing other companies' bespoke clothes. Some of these are traded in kind (so you make me a pair of shoes, I'll make you a suit). I think it's also done, in part, for advertising reasons, although I haven't done any big survey. When I was at an A&S fitting, all the tailors wore Cleverley. Stephen Hitchcock wears Nicholas Templeman. Templeman wears Solito and Hitchcock. Maurizio Marinella wears Formosa. Etc.

    There's that old line either about shoemakers or tailors. Something about how they're not terribly well dressed because they never have time to make something for themselves. Maybe it's also linked to that.
     

  8. Texasmade

    Texasmade Distinguished Member

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    I’d imagine it’s this reason more than anything. Most tailors and cutters don’t make lots of money. They make enough to live comfortably if they’re good so they can’t waste time ordering an expensive suit from other tailors.
     

  9. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Distinguished Member

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    I was in London for a few days and my tailor took me to an Arsenal game where I got to tailgate with some of his friends from the Row. They are pretty normal dudes who are into football and beer and could care less about titillating sartorial matters. Kind of how my profession is a means to an end. It may seem cool on the outside but I just want to get my work done and make sure my client is happy then hit the bar on friday night.
     

  10. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Distinguished Member

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    On another note. Has anyone seen Jeff Bezos' new side piece?
     

  11. Texasmade

    Texasmade Distinguished Member

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    She supposedly leaked a bunch of sexts he sent her to her friends to brag she’s getting banged by the world’s richest man.
     

  12. Bromley

    Bromley Senior Member

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    Pricing for clients is one thing, but a trade of services amongst colleagues is another. I have some music producer friends who exchanged production services they could have easily done for themselves. Their prices for clients may be high, but the cost they incurred for their own exchange was a matter of skill and hours. Same with artist friends.

    My own profession is in a craft kind of vein. People in my field frequently trade their (expensive) goods/services amongst colleagues-- goods/services that would be far out of our financial reach if we were not trading.

    To me, this is all the more reason to experience what other people are doing, how they're making things. "Style" is abstract and maybe difficult to glean anything from in an exchange. But to experience someone else's fitting process, fit, and construction methods... it seems like there would be a lot to learn from there.

    I don't mean reverse engineering/corporate espionage behavior. I'm mostly thinking about the way my brewer friend will visit a brewery. He'll notice the lighting, pay attention to the way staff interacts with him, consider menu choices, and of course, sample a bunch of beer. And because the brewing industry in my city seems supportive and fairly tight-knit, my friend is often spending his time at these other breweries with the other brewers. Nobody is worried about someone stealing a technique or recipe. They feel this kind of behavior improves the industry as a whole.

    Think of the tailors you've ordered from, how there were some things you liked about one, and some things you preferred from the other. Imagine incorporating that feedback and using it to improve your own tailoring business.

    It does seem that tailors in Naples are especially competitive and suspicious of one another (in a way there's something about that I admire, or at least it plays into my romanticization of it all). That seems deep-rooted and unlikely to change anytime soon. But what about London, or elsewhere?

    Bespoke tailoring is fundamentally old-fashioned, and the industry has always been dragged against its will into each modern era. Sewing machines were scorned, window displays shunned. But they've come around. What if a supportive, tight-knit community of bespoke tailors is the next step forward? What if tailors continued learning from each other, rather than learning everything from one person, and then working forever in that narrow way?

    I will refrain from @ing anyone, but I'd love to hear from any of the tailors who participate in these forums.
     

  13. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    I think there's some sharing of information. I don't know if you've read the book Nothing but the Best by Thomas Girtin (if you haven't, it's a wonderful book). It's about the sociology of bespoke tradespeople in and around London. One of the things that struck me is how all the tailors used to gather around the pubs. Most of these are very normal, working class folk who are just trying to relax at the pub -- like any other normal person, really. But in between the gossip and chit chat, my understanding is that a lot of information is often shared about how to improve some tailoring or cutting technique.

    The other thing I've noticed, from having just been a customer, is how different the English and Italians cut. English tailors, I find, are often more precise about the pattern drafting process. Italian tailors, on the other hand, kind of eyeball it and then figure out the rest at the fitting. In other words, there's more of an emphasis on the pattern drafting in the firs method; more emphasis on the fitting and draping at the second.

    I've also found that English tailors often enter the trade to learn one very specific skill -- they become a coat maker, trouser maker, coat cutter, trouser cutter, front of house, etc. Italian tailors, on the other hand, learn everything from start to finish, a bit of each step, but in the end focus on one stage. So a young tailor might learn his way up towards making a bespoke coat, but at some point, he just cuts and outhouses everything else (coat making, finishing, etc).

    I imagine that must create some barriers between inter-regional learning. So an English tailor will never like doing things the way a Neapolitan tailor does it. An Italian tailor might not see the point of being so exact about pattern drafting if you're going to move and adjust things anyway at the fitting.

    But locally, I assume, there's probably some sharing of knowledge through trade associations (like the one formally set up for Savile Row) or a pubs (where tailors still gather, although I hear it's less than before).
     

  14. romafan

    romafan Distinguished Member

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    They don't call it 'tailgating', do they? I assume everyone is meeting in a pub, not surreptitiously downing cans of lager in some car park...
     

  15. jefferyd

    jefferyd Distinguished Member Dubiously Honored

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    There used to be. The trade associations still exist, like the CTDA, the IACDE, Savile Row Bespoke, etc. but not a lot of sharing goes on in the meetings anymore. There used to be practical work sessions during the meetings and conventions but as the trade has shrunk people have guarded their secrets more closely. Instead, we share among friends. I was in Chicago a few weeks ago so went and hung out at Despos' new showroom and we chatted about techniques for forward-pitched shoulders and how to make canvas and stuff. There was that episode where the head tailor/designer at Boglioli liked how I got my collar to fit so we traded- he made me a coat and I made him one; he's at Brooks Brothers now so when I was in the city he took me through the store to show me what he was doing over there. The guy at Saint Andrews invited me to go over to visit them and he will come visit us, to see what we are doing in our workshops.
     

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