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my visit to Napoli & Mina @ Napoli Su Misura

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by medtech_expat, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. SpallaCamiccia

    SpallaCamiccia Senior member

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    I keep thinking that Mina may be a way to dip my feet into bespoke....... Mike
    I am gonna try to se her as I planned to travel Naples soon, I would like some shirts. The dutch guy, I agree to get the jacket collar more closed or taller for your next suit, and of course no windsor knots. and would shorten a bit the sleeves.
     


  2. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Senior member

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    The coat appears to be quite a bit longer, no?

    Actually, no. [​IMG]

    Did you make the trousers a tad roomier on this one? They look great.

    They are - but just slightly. Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    Are those lapels 4" wide?


    Sorry, am still traveling and don't recall the width offhand.


    Interim observations of a bespoke novice

    Was flooded with PMs over the weekend, asking about mods made from prior commissions and what to "ask for" when meeting Mina. So this got me to thinking about how Mina and I have worked together, and I thought I'd share my thoughts. I imagine a number of the observations apply to bespoke in general terms, but as the majority of my commissions are from Mina let's keep it specific.

    At our first meeting last June, I did what presumably many of us do and wore what I felt to be my best-fitting coat: in this case, a MTM Borrelli. As mentioned by myself and others, Mina is an exceptional fitter. But often ignored is the fact that she is also ultimately responsible for the commercial success of NSM. So while she is uncompromising when it comes to fit and construction, she is understandably more flexible when it comes to aesthetics, inquiring about the new client's likes and dislikes. Her goal is to make us happy, after all.

    My conclusion is that the first coat serves the purpose to convince the client of NSM's superior fit and 100% handmade workmanship - while at the same time remaining fairly close to the client's existing aesthetic preferences. She can do anything you want, and she will do it very well, despite not being entirely "correct" or "elegant" in her mind; at the end of the day, if we come in with fixed ideas and are pleased with the results, who is she to complain? But the grand irony here is the amount of SF obsessive-compulsiveness with all things Neapolitan, married to a curious insistence by most of us on how a Neapolitan garment should look. Mina and Sr. Antonio have more than 60 years with Matuozzo, Rubinacci, Panico and Finamore, among others - how much more Napoletano can one get? And yet she receives styling cues from her American customers?? Che cazzo sta succedeno qui??!

    This thought struck me over the weekend as we discussed the fit and style of my PoW, which I referred to earlier as "whole-hog Napoletano." Mina expressed that she wanted this style for me from the very beginning, but that if she made this up as my first commission I would be unlikely to return, given that it's such a departure from the aesthetic to which I was used - or more precisely, the aesthetic which I believed to be the most flattering for me. So she guided me over time, making minor - almost unnoticeable - tweaks over various commissions until we arrived at a place which exceeded my expectations. To be honest, I never thought I could look that good in a suit. And doesn't that say it all?

    So why the stream of consciousness? Most of my PMs are from first-time NSM clients asking for advice, despite my professed novice status. So my advice, FWIW, would be this: trust Mina. Forget about the fit since she'll get you 95% of the way there on the first try. But don't micromanage her on the details. Allow her the freedom to create something which uniquely suits your body and the way you move. Allow her the opportunity to deliver a style which is genuinely Napoletano and not our misguided, bastardized interpretation - cuz why would you go to her otherwise? I don't regret my earlier commissions, since for odd coats and trousers I still enjoy the more fitted, grintoso (aggressive) sensibility. But I now have a second set of patterns for suits, where I prefer to be more understated and elegant. The silhouette and fit of my PoW is reminiscent of pre-war sensibilities, an era for which both Mina and Sr. Antonio feel a genuine passion and respect for tailored clothing.

    FWIW, I don't give Mina any specific guidance on lapel width, gorge, etc. (and to be honest, I'm glad I don't have to remember any of that shit). Regarding the details of this particular suit relative to my previous commissions:

    1) the coat is actually shorter; I didn't quite believe it, but Mina measured. There's some visual trickery afoot!
    2) shoulders extended a touch
    3) notch has come down perhaps 1cm
    4) lapels are WIDER! yep, read it and weep [​IMG]
    5) trouser waist sits about 3cm higher, almost to my natural waist
    6) trouser legs fuller by about 1cm

    I was surprised to learn about these mods, as they didn't quite reconcile with what I understood to be the role of these elements in relation to the whole. But it's difficult to argue with the overall result.

    Next on deck: a solid dark blue 3-piece with peak lapels in Dormeuil wool/mohair [​IMG]
     


  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    This is getting slightly obnoxious.... whatever. Enjoy your true unbastardized pure napolitan abito.
     


  4. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    This is getting slightly obnoxious.... whatever. Enjoy your true unbastardized pure napolitan abito.

    Eh?
     


  5. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Did you read that rant above and the whole "Mina knows better so keep your opinions for yourselves LOL americans ROFL" takeaway? My eyes rolled twice backwards (no, I don't know how to say this in Italian)
     


  6. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    Did you read that rant above and the whole "Mina knows better so keep your opinions for yourselves LOL americans ROFL" takeaway? My eyes rolled twice backwards.

    Nope. I read it more as a reinforcement in trusting the tailor and not trying to micromanage.
     


  7. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    medtech - Awesome report all around. It's write ups like these that make Style Forum a worthwhile place and valuable source of information. Keep it up! :^)
     


  8. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Nope. I read it more as a reinforcement in trusting the tailor and not trying to micromanage.

    Greg: My intrepretation of medtech's post was the same as Trini's. I don't think medtech was trying to be condescending at all.

    By and large I agree with medtech. However, ultimately the client needs to decide for himself if the 'real' Napoli look is appropriate for his lifestyle. Personally for me, the shorter coat and tighter torso doesn't translate well for professional use, and thus, I've asked for those changes. That, however, shouldn't detract from the broader fact that Mina has a very good eye and one should trust her judgement on most fit / styling issues.
     


  9. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    Did you read that rant above and the whole "Mina knows better so keep your opinions for yourselves LOL americans ROFL" takeaway? My eyes rolled twice backwards (no, I don't know how to say this in Italian)
    Damn GDL - WTF is up with you lately?

    It's like you can't stand it when others get (positive) attention, and you're always there ready to help out in the pummelling when others get (negative) attention. It's downright silly and really, quite childish.

    He actually contributes something significant to the forum, something which you haven't done in a while.

    Your 'contributions' in this thread are doubly worthless in the sense that they have the potential to drive away someone who actually contributes to SF on the whole, yet you bitch and moan at times about how SF used to be.

    [​IMG]
     


  10. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    And FWIW, I agree with medtech - save the micromanaging for stylistically clueless cheap & cheerful Asian tailors.

    With people who actually have a defined house style - either let them work their magic, or move on if the cut isn't for you.
     


  11. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    There's no "real Napoli" look. How many times have we been through this? There's a multitude of different cuts associated with that school of tailoring (if that can even be called that).

    I am NOT a believer in buying into a tailor's aesthetic wholesale - hello, this is why we go bespoke and don't buy Tom Ford. Why should we fit into one person's image of what we should look like? When Manton, I or many others give directions to Mina (which I think is great) so that she understands our own preferences (how could she know our preferences if we don't give these cues?), I don't appreciate these being called "obsessive-compulsive", "misguided", "bastardized" or being mocked for voicing them to "a true Napolitan". Thi sis just obnoxious - if medtech wants to give all freedom to Mina, fine with me - I'm not going to use flowery adjectives such as "pu$$y", "carpet", "lack of opinion", "undecisive" or any of that stuff to qualify his attitude towards that process.

    I must be a bit sensitive today, I don't know - maybe a bad day.

    Will check in again tomorrow. I know I don't spend much time on MC any more because the place is rampant with crappy attitude, terrible dressers who took control of the forum and know-it-alls who know nothing... There's a reason so many are gone. I'm more at ease with the kids on SW&D these days.
     


  12. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    It's like you can't stand it when others get (positive) attention, and you're always there ready to help out in the pummelling when others get (negative) attention. It's downright silly and really, quite childish.
    Fuck you.
     


  13. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    I think you are taking a shades of grey situation and looking at it from a black/white perspective, which doesn't make any sense.

    Of course it's perfectly cool to communicate personal preference to your tailor, but on the other hand asking a tailor comfortable/familiar with a lean cut to do a shaped drape cut (which I have seen done, BTW) is madness.

    It's a spectrum, and honestly for people new to bespoke - you & I know that it's more often than not gonna be better for bespoke noobs to take a step back and 'contribute' less, or god-forbid, micromanage a tailor with a house style.
     


  14. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    the place is rampant with crappy attitude, terrible dressers who took control of the forum and know-it-alls who know nothing...

    You're kinda being a dick, but this is pretty accurate, and it sucks.


    I think the issue with your previous comment is that ME is addressing the many people that asked him for advice, not you, so you don't need to take it personally. And I do appreciate these bespoke threads he has started - very informative.
     


  15. fritzl

    fritzl Senior member

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    This is getting slightly obnoxious.... whatever. Enjoy your true unbastardized pure napolitan abito.
    whatever you want to play here. i had the pleasure to meet the op. what was it about? certainly not micromanaging craftsmen. e.g. today i stopped counting after ten countries, where he lived or spent veritable times. if i can say something about a guy, i spent a few hours... i'll be proud to take away the missinterpretion of yours regarding the op. if there's some truth due to our expectations of our sartorial lifestyle - don't mess up, period. it's obvious that with your "new" attitude you're more related to SW&D. it is up to you.
     


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