Tom Mahon: An Englishcut in New York

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Montauk, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Redwoood

    Redwoood Senior member

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    The best ones are electric, so I'm afraidy knife is RTW. The design dates back to a time when pumpkins were smaller but tougher. - B
    How disappointingly plebeian.
    I use me. But only because I give me a discount.
    Do you offer CMT for yourself?
     
  2. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Honestly, I found Tom's comment about RTW patterns interesting. I don't know if it is true but I would like to know. Hearing opposing views is actually helpful.

    I would second this, actually.

    But I still think that a crackpot theory on drape and narcissism would be more entertaining.
     
  3. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    This varies from maker to maker and depends on the skill of the pattern maker. I, personally, have different bodies, or cuts, for eastern Canada and for Western Canada, as well as for the coastal US vs the midwest and the southern states. Within those different areas I will offer different cuts. I can't think off hand of exactly how many different fits I have in the system right now, but it's between 15 and 20. In each fit, or body, we will maintain all the different button, lapel, pocket and vent configurations so we are talking about massive numbers of pattern pieces. And these are all reviewed every season.

    This is extremely interesting. Please expand if you can. Do you mean that if I bought the same coat by the same brand in the same size in Montreal and in Vancouver they would be noticeably different? Do most high-end makers do this? It's hilarious when one thinks of all the SF threads in which people ask how a certain item from a certain brand fits.

    Disclosure: I haven't bought any RTW or MTM tailored clothing in three or four years (except for a polo coat from O'Connell's, come to think of it) and don't intend to start again anytime soon, so I don't have a dog in this, should it turn out to be a fight.
     
  4. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Do you mean that if I bought the same coat by the same brand in the same size in Montreal and in Vancouver they would be noticeably different? Do most high-end makers do this? It's hilarious when one thinks of all the SF threads in which people ask how a certain item from a certain brand fits.
    It would likely be branded differently, and if not, it would definitely be named differently. Every manufacturer has a stable of different brands and labels, each will be geared to a slightly different market segment. Think Zegna's Roma and Milano, Z zegna, Zegna couture etc.
     
  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I would second this, actually.

    But I still think that a crackpot theory on drape and narcissism would be more entertaining.


    Eh, anybody can cook up one of those. I speak from experience.
     
  6. Redwoood

    Redwoood Senior member

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    [...]
    It's hilarious when one thinks of all the SF threads in which people ask how a certain item from a certain brand fits.
    [...]


    Add to this the tolerances of the individual garment, e.g., try on different Brioni suits of the same model and same size, and there are still differences in fit. Not dramatic, but noticeable.
    Less handwork probably means more consistency here.

    It would likely be branded differently, and if not, it would definitely be named differently. Every manufacturer has a stable of different brands and labels, each will be geared to a slightly different market segment. Think Zegna's Roma and Milano, Z zegna, Zegna couture etc.

    Ok, that's better.

    But are the differences really as stark as between Roma and Mila?
    How viable is it for a manufacturer to sell the Milano on the east- and the Roma on the west-coast (as you suggested earlier).
    It seems to me that a regional differentiation between models or even brands would only make sense if your brand itself is rather obscure or low-level; i.e. the more brand and model recognition comes into play, the more difficult such differentiation would be, no?
     
  7. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    I use me. But only because I give me a discount.

    Is it better than my Despos Discount?


    - B
     
  8. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    How disappointingly plebeian.

    I am a river to my people.


    - B
     
  9. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    But are the differences really as stark as between Roma and Mila?


    Even more so.

    How viable is it for a manufacturer to sell the Milano on the east- and the Roma on the west-coast

    It's not that it's sold that way. It's designed that way. QuÃ[​IMG]bec men are shorter, they like a trim, low-rise trouser and a short, tight-fitting coat. The colour palette is dark and simple. I will develop a silhouette and a cloth range with this in mind, and market it under a label that I think is appropriate. Doesn't mean it won't sell on the west coast, but my primary customer- the one into whose head I am trying to get when I am developing this product, is a QuÃ[​IMG]becois.

    Then I may move on to my guy in Atlanta or South Carolina. He wants a 3-roll-2, longer, looser coat with a soft shoulder and a full, 2 forward pleat trouser. He likes colours and patterns and horse blankets. He enjoys life and a good meal. He may be a little older and starting to stoop a bit. I might sell a bit of this to Mark Shale in Chicago as well, but my primary focus is a southern trad guy. Obviously I won't sell this under the same label as I do the slick Montreal suit.

    It's all about knowing who your customer is, how he lives, how he is shaped, how he shops. And yes, sometimes we get it wrong.
     
  10. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Is it better than my Despos Discount?


    - B


    Well, insomuch as I actually honor it,

    yes.

    It is.
     
  11. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Well, insomuch as I actually honor it,

    yes.

    It is.


    My feeling on this matter is that since SATOR and you like my guy's work (at least on me), it cannot be true that you both insanely hate a draped jacket.

    This is because I am objective in addition to being wise.


    - B
     
  12. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is because I am objective in addition to being wise.


    - B


    That comes with age.

    Someone called you old in another thread. I am now inclined to believe that it is true.
     
  13. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    That comes with age.

    Someone called you old in another thread. I am now inclined to believe that it is true.


    I still have most of my teeth.


    - B
     
  14. greger

    greger Senior member

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    It would be interesting to see how jefferyd would make and fit a pattern simular to Toms. Give it some thought and then explain his findings.
     
  15. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    My five cents worth. The reason why I criticised Mahon remarks were because they were factually way off the mark. So much so that it is truly unbelievable coming from someone who is in the garment making business. If I criticise someone for stating that 1 + 1 = 3, you can accuse me all you like of being driven by some ulterior motive, but that still doesn't make one and one three. Keep in mind that I have more reason to side with Mahon than not. The reason is that my bias is to favour bespoke tailoring, and hope every day to see a renaissance in the trade. Even with my limited outsider's knowledge of the ready made industry I appreciate that we are up against a formidable group that is immensely sophisticated in their methods. Not only that but the RTW industry openly head hunts the best bespoke tailors. You have to be a very good cutter ("designer" in the traditional sense of the word) to be able to make patterns for quality firms. In fact, you have be able to cut to a tolerance of 1/32" to 1/64", or else the whole order worth tens of thousands made up at the factory may end up in the rubbish bin. I must personally admit having grave doubts whether Mahon would be good enough for the RTW industry to ever bother head hunting. Take a look at this PhD thesis: http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/handle/1840.16/5555 A lot of industry cutting systems are based on this sort of data. This one is unusual in that it found its way into the public domain. Most of it is industry sponsored, and remains strictly confidential. Bespoke garment makers don't have enough time or money to sponsor these sorts of studies. Not only that but industry cutters spend ages proofing and road testing their drafts. They can afford to spend immeasurably more time on that one draft than a bespoke tailor will every be able to do for one client. That means that the modern bespoke tailor has to be very good indeed to be able to complete against this. It was not always so - ready mades back in the early decades of the 20th century did pale in their quality compared to bespoke garments. No longer. These glib and ill informed remarks about modern RTW cutting being based on dated cutting methods are today simply laughable. It is infinitely more likely that bespoke tailors use vintage systems as their cutting method. Actually, even I favour vintage versions of a particular German cutting system, dating from a time when the firm was run by bespoke tailors, over the present iteration, commonly used within the RTW industry (often in the form of their CAD software). That said, the modern version (I own the September 2010 draft) could hardly be said to be more suited to a time before the horseless carriage when people allegedly stood more erect. Also a brief comment about the modern day conjecture that older systems were intended for people with a more erect stance. The idea is that we live a more sedate lifestyle and end up being more stooped. This is actually a myth that has emerged from the fact that older systems cut a more recessed minor lateral balance in order to allow more room to advance it back to the proportionate position with more intensive ironwork than has become usual since around 1950 (they also used to have a more aggressive approach to drawing in the bridle). There is a significant body of published literature from numerous different sources that all unequivocally support my position. There is no published source supporting the modern conjecture about older systems being intended for people with a more erect stance.
     

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