Sydney Tailors

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by sydney lawyer, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. meister

    meister Senior member

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    I think there is a generation of European tailors who Australians have sorely neglected. Certain things that Europeans brought to Australia have been taken up by the mainstream culture - often to the point that we take them for granted. However, there was a time when the Anglo-Celtic mainstream of Australians were horrified that the Italians ate "worms" (ie spaghetti) and calamari evoked similar horrified looks. Today spaghetti Bolognese is the most commonly cooked dish in Australian households. Cappuccinos were similarly unheard of.

    However, the Europeans tailors who brought with them their sartorial arts have faired rather more poorly than the cooks and bakers. Whereas Aussies of Italian descent are proud that they have inherited recipes from their grandparents, nobody has bothered to learn the art of tailoring. Who has ever heard of an Aussie of Neapolitan descent brag about knowing how to make a manica camicia? What a bloody tragedy. It pains me to think what skills have been irrevocably lost...

    I do believe that there is a small resurgence of interest in bespoke tailoring thanks to the internet. I only hope that it has not come too late. These old Italian gents who are happy to hand make garments from home or a small workshop must be found.


    Sator a very interesting and apt account of the Mediterranean tailors who came to Autralia and are still working. I am surprised how many there are around where I live on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Most survive on the alterations stuff but they also do lots of suits MTM etc.
     


  2. CatsEyes

    CatsEyes Senior member

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    Hi Sator,

    I think the difference between the reception of Italian food and tailoring in Oz isn't too hard to understand.

    Italian worker's cafe food was created in the period of the Snowey Mountains Scheme, and filled a gap in Australia for cheap, friendly places to eat out (also popular among the bohemian artists).

    Similar things happened in other English-speaking countries, creating a hybrid Italian-English-US-Oz cuisine.

    Neapolitian pizzas are competely different from the global pizza. Spaghetti Bolognese isn't an Italian dish at all, but an invented overseas one - I believe by the British. (In Italy the Bolgnese ragu was always eaten with fresh tagliatelle, and is a different sauce anyway). And capucino is rare in Italy (though at least it exists, unlike caffe latte - which is just last night's coffee reheated with milk...).

    But we've never been big clothes-wearers, as you've pointed out elsewhere. And snappy dressing died out in Oz in the 1960s and 1970s, just as migrant Italian tailors would have been in the prime of their professional lives. So no acceptable hybrid ever developed.

    A little historical tragedy...
     


  3. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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    That's ok. Apology accepted.

    Sam Disano's a nice guy. Didn't end up buying a suit from him, but I think someone else on the forum actually has. It looked pretty good, and the price seemed pretty reasonable.

    Now that I remember, there's also a tailor called Sam Hasham in Parramatta who works beside Charles Nakhle, a popular shirtmaker on this forum. According to Charles, his work is decent, and like Disano, his prices are also reasonable.

    The tailor I've used in Nth Sydney is Nick Salanitro. He works out of Salman Clothing on Wednesdays and Fridays. His work isn't bad and for a canvassed suit with working buttons in H&S or Dormueil fabric, he charges roughly $2K. Quarters are a little closed however, and if you go with him, you might want to requst open quarters so as to emphasize height.

    Best Regards
    ZegnaGent

    Thanks ZengaGent. Sam is an lovely man, genuinely humble and diplomatic yet obviously highly skilled. He measured me up while I was talking to one of his friends in the shop - I barely realized he was doing his work. He was rather reticent about giving advice on the tailoring, but after considerable coaxing and deference on my part, he did advise me about various issues. He did nto have a wide range of good fabrics. He suggested I buy direct from H&S, which is easy for me.

    Sam had just come back from Canberra, measuring up a bunch of politicians. His friend in the shop had an impressive suit made by Sam. He'd had Sam make 22 such suits in the past year (!!!!!!).

    I also saw Charles Nakhle, who was equally impressive. He immediately recognized, from a distance of two metres, that the shirt I was wearing was made by Ganton Bespoke. While explaining how he could so easily recognize the shirt, he pointed out some defects in the manufacture of the shirt, which he would be doing differently. He had some beautiful fabrics at his basic price point ($210), which is what I am sticking to for the time being (my mortgage being somewhat more important than the luxury of my clothing!).

    Thanks again to you and the others who took the time to help me, especally Sator who responded to my PM with very helpful advice. I will report further in due course.
     


  4. ZengaGent

    ZengaGent Senior member

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    Thanks ZengaGent. Sam is an lovely man, genuinely humble and diplomatic yet obviously highly skilled. He measured me up while I was talking to one of his friends in the shop - I barely realized he was doing his work. He was rather reticent about giving advice on the tailoring, but after considerable coaxing and deference on my part, he did advise me about various issues. He did nto have a wide range of good fabrics. He suggested I buy direct from H&S, which is easy for me.

    Sam had just come back from Canberra, measuring up a bunch of politicians. His friend in the shop had an impressive suit made by Sam. He'd had Sam make 22 such suits in the past year (!!!!!!).

    I also saw Charles Nakhle, who was equally impressive. He immediately recognized, from a distance of two metres, that the shirt I was wearing was made by Ganton Bespoke. While explaining how he could so easily recognize the shirt, he pointed out some defects in the manufacture of the shirt, which he would be doing differently. He had some beautiful fabrics at his basic price point ($210), which is what I am sticking to for the time being (my mortgage being somewhat more important than the luxury of my clothing!).

    Thanks again to you and the others who took the time to help me, especally Sator who responded to my PM with very helpful advice. I will report further in due course.


    Anytime, friend.

    Did you order any shirts from Charles? If so, then you have made a wise decision. I've had three shirts made up so far (the last, a lilac gingham check in Sic Tess Super 120) and I must confess, they are likely the best shirts I currently own. In terms of VFM, fit and attention to detail, I'd even put them above my one Kiton and two Borrellis. For what he charges, his shirts are simply amazing! (The Sic Tess, a beautiful 120 fabric, was only $25 higher than his basic price point, i.e. $235)

    Currently waiting on shift no. 4: a navy Bengal Stripe Alumo.
     


  5. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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    Anytime, friend.

    Did you order any shirts from Charles? If so, then you have made a wise decision. I've had three shirts made up so far (the last, a lilac gingham check in Sic Tess Super 120) and I must confess, they are likely the best shirts I currently own. In terms of VFM, fit and attention to detail, I'd even put them above my one Kiton and two Borrellis. For what he charges, his shirts are simply amazing! (The Sic Tess, a beautiful 120 fabric, was only $25 higher than his basic price point, i.e. $235)

    Currently waiting on shift no. 4: a navy Bengal Stripe Alumo.

    I ordered 4 shirts from him, but don't ask me to name them. I didn't get the names except he referred to one of them as a Georgia cloth, and I ordered a pale ice blue in that one. There was a royal blue herringbone, a new Italian white with navy and pale grey stripes and a self-striped white. My chief criterion was wear. I picked what I liked best from the hard-wearing stuff. Three of them will be straight business shirts, with normal collars. the fourth (the white) will have a soft collar with buttons underneath the collar, so I can wear it as a casual shirt or as a business short with a more casual feel.
     


  6. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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    Guys, thanks again for all your help despite my rudeness. I now have my first suit from Sam Disano, in a 10-11oz Snowy River navy with a faint teal pinstripe. Overall, it is very good and very comfortable. Much more confortable than my cheap OTR suits from Ron Bennet Big & Tall, which were a stop-gap measure while I was building up my practice. Yet also more slimming and infitely sharper and more stylish. (I am happy to photograph the coat for you, but there is no way I am putting photos of myself on the net, so don't ask.)

    My criticisms - I find the coat a bit bulky around the middle (I am pretty bulky there anyway, but a 3+ inch overlap if I close the coat is, I think a bit much.) The breast pocket seems a little low. I don't think he can do anything about the pocket, and it's no such a big deal anyway. But after I wear the suit for a week or two and garner some comments, I will be back for adjustments.

    I also now have 12 (!) shirts from Charles Nakhle. I am totally in love with them. He is a brilliant shirtmaker.

    I have just ordered three lengths of Rangoon from Hardy Minnis in Huddersfield, so Sam will be seeing me for new suits again shortly.
     


  7. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    Sam is good value. He doesn't usually cut his side pockets very high.

    The biggest problem I have with him to date is teaching him how to cut the arm scye depth correctly (to get what on internet fora are usually called "high armholes"). I tried once without much success but will keep plugging away.

    I have showed him the old fashioned tailoring manuals measure arm scye depth and he agreed with me that it shouldn't be hard to incorporate arm scye depth into his measurements. But we all need to encourage him with this by pushing hard for it. On the last attempt his arm scye was about a full inch too deep (low). I am trying to get him to err on the side of making the arm scye too small and enlarging it at the fitting. At the moment he is doing the opposite.

    In all other respects, he is a very good cutter.
     


  8. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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    Sam is good value. He doesn't usually cut his side pockets very high.

    The biggest problem I have with him to date is teaching him how to cut the arm scye depth correctly (to get what on internet fora are usually called "high armholes"). I tried once without much success but will keep plugging away.

    I have showed him the old fashioned tailoring manuals measure arm scye depth and he agreed with me that it shouldn't be hard to incorporate arm scye depth into his measurements. But we all need to encourage him with this by pushing hard for it. On the last attempt his arm scye was about a full inch too deep (low). I am trying to get him to err on the side of making the arm scye too small and enlarging it at the fitting. At the moment he is doing the opposite.

    In all other respects, he is a very good cutter.

    Sator, could you please explain this a bit more? What is a high armhole and why is it a good thing? What is a low armhole and what is wrong with it?
    Cheers
     




  9. tchoy

    tchoy Senior member

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  10. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    Sator, just saw your post. I didn't know Adamo lost his tailor.
    Adamo hasn't. I just use Sam mostly as an inexpensive tailor for alterations, as well as for bespoke odd trousers, waistcoats, overcoats and have tried him once for a lounge suit. I should also add that I think stylistically Sam Disano and Adamo Marrone are complementary opposites. Adamo's strengths are in tailoring a softer coat with graciously rounded lines. Sam, on the other hand, learned tailoring in Sydney back in the 1950's using classic West End tailoring texts. His strength is in creating a traditional, rather English, structured coat. He uses much stouter horsehair canvass - by default - and will accept nothing less. His coats are sharply contoured, with clean and crisp lines.
     


  11. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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  12. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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    So Adamo is still operating normally? Sator, do you know if he would be willing to make suits from lengths that are brought to him?
     


  13. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    I wonder if Sam can alter the armholes.

    No. Too late
     


  14. sydney lawyer

    sydney lawyer Well-Known Member

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    No. Too late
    Thanks. Next time I will know better.
     


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