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Unfunded Liabilities: a/k/a The Cloth Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. dimitrioup

    dimitrioup Well-Known Member

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    Both from Caccioppoli (barberis canonico made exclusively for cacciopoli) (sorry bout the extra stuff it's the rest of the stuff I got in my florence/naples trip)[​IMG]
     
  2. bespokenfor

    bespokenfor Active Member

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    The design of a cloth is hardly intellectual property. Please remind yourself that Alden himself took inspiration from somewhere. He is hardly a cloth designer.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. dimitrioup

    dimitrioup Well-Known Member

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    Never said it was. Just saying that cacciopoli had canonico barberis made for them (they claim exclusively)
     
  4. mactire

    mactire Senior member

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    I'll update the thread when I know more. I think it will be a plain weave flannel in a 400g-ish weight in lots of shades,
    I imagine they won't have final details on the weight under the weaving is done and the bolts are weighed.
     
  5. bespokenfor

    bespokenfor Active Member

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    sorry, this post was in response to a previous slewfoot post.
     
  6. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    I didn't mean intellectual property in a legal sense. Yes, I am well aware where Alden gets all of his designs from. I'm basically just saying that if one person is making a fabric that can be purchased it's kind of a dick move to just go ahead and copy it to save yourself a bit of cash. If it's worth it for some to go through the whole organizational process of making a cloth run happen more power to them. I just don't have the time so I'm happy to pay for the convenience while knowing I am getting a stellar product. As we get older with kids and homes and careers, isn't paying for convenience much of what drives our spending? It is for me at least.
     
    5 people like this.
  7. bespokenfor

    bespokenfor Active Member

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    got it, he does get a premium for his cloth but let nobody be confused the LL is a business. it is a bit much with the sartorial vacations etc. though.
     
  8. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    While I agree with Slew that simply copying someone else's designs is wrong (and I am certainly opposed to emailing Lovat an existing LL reproduction and asking them to just copy that at a lower cost), it's worth nothing that the majority of LL cloths are simply reissues of existing Lovat designs that sell for 35 gbp / meter.

    A friend visited the Lovat mill and sent me pics of several of their stock cloths. Lo and behold, the much vaunted LL Agnelli tweed, first issued in the 1970s under a different name, was available from their stock collection for a fraction of the LL price (same weight and quality of make). The same held true for several other pics that I saw. And I'm sure that some of you already know that Fox sells 18oz. flannels (same weight and make as the LL flannels) for 48 gbp / meter.

    The notion that Alden commissioned these cloths after examining AA illustrations from the 1930s, and forcing mills to improve their techniques to match those from earlier in the 20th century, is a bit of adman genius.

    If you like an LL cloth, buy it by all means. I do admire and respect Alden for all he has done to popularize the more obscure mills (Lovat and Molloy to name two) and for nudging us all towards heavier cloths. But just don't buy into the marketing spiel to justify the 2.0-2.5x upcharge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
    3 people like this.
  9. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Where do you get Fox flannel for 48 GBP/m? Do you have your own source? That's not the standard retail price any more.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Slickman

    Slickman Senior member

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    I can attest to the annoyance in coordinating a group cloth purchase, but most of the LL cloths are not available outside of the LL subscriptions unless you can organize another group buy. I think their shetlands and hopsacks are very nice cloth and worth the upcharge since you can't really find them elsewhere, but the Fox flannel stuff kind of irritates me as Fox did not sell its flannel at 100gbp/m before Alden came around, and the designs were all in Fox's vintage recipe books
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  11. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Would also be interested in this.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Michael Ay329

    Michael Ay329 Senior member

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    Grammaton Cleric, thank you for your information and I look forward to learning more about how to acquire older LL/Lovat cloths (as I could use making a spare trousers on a couple of cloths)

    Fox does sell some 18oz flannels, but not in the combo of patterns and colors offered in the LL book, and not for double or 2.5 the price.

    Off Fox's web site, the single color 18oz/540gram Fox Flannels go for 92 pounds compared to 120 pounds for the LL specials. A 28 pound difference.
    http://www.themerchantfox.co.uk/cat/54/suiting-and-jacketing-lengths#&pg=4

    I am curious, Grammaton Cleric, as to where can I buy the 48 pounds heavy Fox Flannels?

    A while back the LL had the Donkey and Air Force Blue flannels made in Spain. Months later, I was able to acquire 5 other colors in the same weight range from this companies' heavyweight 500-520gram flannel book. The similar colors to Donkey and Air Force Blue flannels were in this book. But I do not have the knowledge to confirm or deny if they were the same weight or made to the same specs.

    It could be that Alden collaborated with this Spanish flannel maker to create these colors, and then they included them in their standard offerings. I do not remember the exact price as I did this 4 years ago, but the price difference was around 60 pounds for the LL flannels, compared to 60 euros for the Spanish companies standard offerings.

    It was a lot easier to pay/deal directly with Alden on this flannel project than having to establish a relationship from scratch with this company (which prefers to work with tailors, not individual consumers).
    Which is why unlike Fox or Lovat (where the I contact them directly), I dealt with Alden as to the 2 LL flannels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  13. coolpapa

    coolpapa Senior member

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    What is Alden's story any way? He's typically described as an "American financier" or the like. Does anyone know anything about him beyond that?
     
  14. Slewfoot

    Slewfoot Senior member

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    Here's an example of why I personally choose LL cloths. You look at the two photos below which are very nice tweed cloths. The first from JG Hardy and the next from Lovat.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    At first glance they kind of look like these two cloths:


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    But when you hold these cloths and the LL cloths side by side the differences become more obvious in terms of colors and textures as you can see here. These photos were taken in the exact same spot in the exact same light with no touch ups. It's that extra bit of panache the LL cloths that I admire. If one prefers the Hardy and Lovat stock ones that's fine too.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I'm not here to justify Alden's pricing and business model. It definitely is a business as was mentioned. Like with any, you can choose to partake or not. Would I prefer the prices be cheaper? Of course, but it is what it is.

    It was mentioned that the Agnelli tweed exists at Lovat already and that Alden just copied it. This is in reference to the gray with navy blue windowpane, correct? I believe I saw that swatch one time. It was similar, but not identical. Here is a photo of it below and a photo of the LL tweed below that. From what I recall in person it was flimsier and likely wouldn't drape as well. If it was the exact same thing I for one would be disappointed, but that's not my recollection. As they say in Thailand, "same, same, but different."

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  15. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    Part of the reasons why Fox an others have increased prices for te general public is Alden himself. I can understand he invest his time in doing those things, but the up charge on fabric is not justifiable IMO.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Michael Ay329

    Michael Ay329 Senior member

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    It appears he might be a transplanted Californian (of French origins), who has returned to Paris, yet spends his summers in Sicily. He has a distinct sense of style, providing a modern look while tipping his hat to classic designs and cloths from a bygone era. He controls his own forum and cloth club, and I've safely bought cloth from him for the past few years
     
  17. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    Is Gorina still in business? Their website has been dead for months.
     
  18. Michael Ay329

    Michael Ay329 Senior member

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    Sorry Roger C, have not dealt with Gorina for years

    I imagined the LL would have done more projects with them, but perhaps they are no longer available as a partner. Their prices were more competitive than Fox and I found they were of similar quality flannel.
     
  19. NewYorkIslander

    NewYorkIslander Senior member

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    Closeup of the 1927 sponged jacketing:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  20. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    Awesome find, Robb Report.

    That would be a nice coating even without the interesting story.

    Any thoughts on how the old old stuff differs from today's heavyweights, if at all?
     
    1 person likes this.

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