(What's the Story) Morning Glory: The Current State of Savile Row

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Griffyndor, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. lordsuperb

    lordsuperb Senior member

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    Corduroy Suit?
     


  2. greger

    greger Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    These stitches look like basting stitches. When pulling out these temporary stitches, looks like they missed a few. When you go back take the coat and show them. A few minutes later and they will hand the coat back, finished. After a few months wear you really should take the coat back for a check up. If it settles unfavorable I'm sure they want it back for proper adjustments.
     


  3. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    I agree with your two points to a degree except on MTM certainly from my experience at Gieves they did well enough. In terms of being old fashioned I agree, the trouble is this is part of the draw as well.

    I don't think they are nearly as wounded as you may think, they do complain about how hard it is to scale the business, about rents and how they don't make good margins and this gives the wrong impression and is really counterproductive. Likely this stems from the bigger companies like Gieves wanting to be a major global fashion player, like Prada or Armani, the directors also went to schools with friends that now run oil companies so from that perspective you get a lot of feelings of inadequacy or "cries of poverty".

    In my experience they do well enough with bespoke, as well as could be expected anyway. For the most part they are at capacity with year round turnarounds, they almost don't need or want more bespoke clients, what they want to do is wholesale, or do MTM because this is scalable. I think bespoke is actually scalable myself, history shows us that Savile row workrooms on site were once huge but to regenerate that kind of workforce in London, well the task is just too expensive and daunting for people to attempt.

    In terms of marketing I they are losing out by going for big ticket conventional marketing that is relatively small as opposed to grass roots or viral marketing where they would have bigger clout, this is just them being behind the times. Its a funny thing Marketing and PR, its just really about that perception, if you aren't visible people think you are dead in the water or even out of business and perhaps is perhaps some peoples perception here, in reality you may just be too busy doing the business to do the marketing or be overlooking it.

    I can't speak for all the houses on the row, though I imagine some of them are quite sickly, perhaps a lot more than others, this is just me talking about my own experiences with the houses I know well. Its a funny thing, some of the smaller ones really seemed mysterious, impenetrable and sometimes even odd. When I was working at Richard James I still had friends at Gieves and some staff from RJ had friends at Kilgour (during the carlo era) so we would hang out socially and have a drink every day after work at the masons arms. We all knew each other very well, but on the other hand I had no idea what anyone on the rest of the street was really doing, of course rumors were always rife but a lot of time people really kept to themselves, it was a small street but there was a real gulf between certain firms.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016


  4. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Good point. Lemme check tonight to see if I can confirm, thanks
     


  5. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    I'm going to hold off for now but if I were going forward I would definitely go with the flat, set in shoulders either in a prince of wales or pinstripe medium weight wool.
     


  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Sure, but tailors are not, AFAIK, also personal trainers.
     


  7. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    Not sure if I agree with all this talk about Italian tailoring being at pole position now. To be clear, Italian tailoring is more popular on SF (within the very small sample set of people on this forum who actually order high-priced bespoke). As a whole, Savile Row is far larger than Italian bespoke houses. The Rake contends (and I have no reason to doubt them) that Rubinacci is the largest Italian bespoke house, and makes 800 suits / year. That's 30% smaller than A&S and Poole, and comparable in output to a Dege or Davies. After Rubinacci and Caraceni, I'm guessing the others are meaningfully smaller, while SR has 12+ tailors who punch out 300+ suits a year.

    From my own experience, when I first started on SF I was (like everyone else here) fascinated by the Italians and believed that everything coming out of the Row was ill-fitting, poorly-made junk. I proceeded to try many top Italian tailors (Rubinacci, Liverano, NSM, Pirozzi), and now give all my business to two tailors on the Row (every now and then, I also order from Gordon Yao in HK).

    Here are the reasons why -

    Style
    There's a reason why SR has existed (and thrived) for decades - it's the house style which has been refined over the years into an attractive silhouette that flatters most men. Rather than being a stilted canvas that no Instagram-hungry Pitti hero would wear, its a style that's evolved continuously and has been perfected by the Row.
    Contrast that with Florentine or Neapolitan tailors, where the excessive cutaways, high-buttoning points, and unpadded shoulders only look good on a select subsection of customers. If you're a big guy with a muscular build, or if you have sloping shoulders, or if you have large hips / seat, those cuts will almost certainly not look good on you

    Consistency
    This is a big one. My suits from my SR tailors are ALWAYS the same. There is an amazing consistency to the output - again, in stark contrast to the Italians. Suits from Italian tailors are almost always different across iterations which can be extremely frustrating, particularly if you believe you've locked in a pattern / style that works well for you.

    Customer Service
    After dealing with American customers for the past century, SR tailors have a fairly good customer-facing operation in place. Communication is strong and timely, items are delivered on schedule, and trips are planned on a consistent basis. Other than a few select Italian tailors, all the Italians are awful in this regard.
     


  8. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Nice post, GC. Thanks. Who are the tailors on the Row that you use? Any chance you would be willing to describe what you think of as their house style, and perhaps post a few pics?
     


  9. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I had a very long relationship with Dege (maybe a dozen years), that I ended when I felt the fit was slipping and William Skinner wasn't that great at fixing it. That was a pity as I liked the overall look and quality very much - two things that I think are underrated on Sf and which AGJiffy and GC have pointed out. I have since been pretty profligate in my choice of tailors, being very happy with rge coats from Davies (not so much with the trousers) and with Huntsman. My favorite overall might be Caraceni Rome and I also liked Raphael in NY though got annoyed with inconsistency. One of the A&S alums, not known by name on the forums, has also done a very good job for me, though I find that is simply not a look I love. Frankly, I would be happy going back to Dege if I had confidence that the things I could get now would look like the things Michael Skinner cut for me. Or if Davies would cut trousers that didn't turn into cat's whiskers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016


  10. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Excellent, Dopey. I know you aren't going to post pics so I won't ask, but can you describe what you think of as Dege's house style? Also, with Davis have you used the same cutter and if not how have you find the shift from cutter to cutter?
     


  11. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    You don't see a whole lot of Norton & Sons on the interwebz, but what you do you see is great. Patrick Grant, like Michael Browne or Davide Taub, is one of those Row cutters who acts as the best ambassador for the brand because of the way his is dressed:

    [​IMG]

    The style strikes me as very classic, beautifully proportioned, and almost somewhere in between soft tailoring and military tailoring.

    And then there is the best looking four-buttone double breasted ever produced:

    [​IMG]
     


  12. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Dege is classic military SR. Surprisingly little shoulder padding that is cut close. Built up, swelled chest (though less so on really light summer cloths). Shaped waist and back (I liked this then, not sure I would be as aggressive on the back shaping now) and a slightly flared skirt. Overall, it is a look I like and is, reportedly, flattering on me.

    While I had given up on Dege a few years prior, I moved to Davies when my last Dege cutter also left for Davies. There, I have always used Alan Bennett, the owner, who had also trained under Michael Skinner. I like the cut of the coats he makes very much and it is pretty similar looking. They also carried over for me a weird Dege quirk that I learned to like - lining the pocket flaps with collar melton. That has no particular point, but it is something I got used to and missed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016


  13. Griffyndor

    Griffyndor Senior member

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    Dege and Skinner, from their website, to try to illustrate Dopey's description*



    [​IMG]







    *collar melton lined pocket flaps sold separately
     


  14. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    It is tough to generalize from photos, but the cut on the right looks closest. The man on the left does a good job of showing the chest (and waist), but, at least in my experience, the shoulders looks slightly extended. In my case, they are tighter (or it might just be my shoulders).
     


  15. vida

    vida Senior member

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    Really? Then you need a better tailor...
     


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