Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tailors, and a book review

In sheer desperation I consulted reference librarian, ADG of Maxminimus for a recommendation on a book I wanted to order. He choked at my choice, and instantly wrote that "my eyes should fall out reading such trash, read this instead." Where upon he sent me a link to Richard Anderson's book, Bespoke: Savile Row Ripped and Smoothed.

The book wasn't bad, but I don't believe it had the effect the author intended. Mr. Anderson was a long time tailor at the reknown Savile Row tailor Huntsman.

Over time Huntsman, lost their way, falling from the the top rung, to become just another shop, albeit the priciest on the Row, and that's saying something.

Anderson got out in time, and hung his own shingle, next door to his old firm, and is doing very well thank you. The point I took from the book, was most of the stuff on the Row is so-so, the big names fall, and you're most likely to leave Savile Row, down the price of a new car, for a suit that you're likely to be unhappy with.

Another voice in the wilderness is Steven Hitchcock of The Savile Row Tailor. He took over Alexander McQueen's seat when McQueen left Anderson and Sheppard. His blog often focus's on conducting a post mortem (ripping apart other tailors clothes) to see how well they are constructed. Often he is not amused.

Which is long way to get to my point.

A length of 10 ounce navy linen cloth showed up on my doorstep yesterday. Enough for a jacket, but probably not a DB. I've spent the day scrounging pieces to take to the tailor, so that he can work his alchemy.

The lining will be an old silk escape map.

The buttons from a Benson and Clegg set.

Now for the details, stealing heavily again from ADG.

One button front. This was an old Huntsman conceit. Their jackets are cut like body armour. My body is not, but I like the look.

Two button sleeves. It's all I have buttons for.

Side vents. As a right hand in my pants pocket man, I just like the way side vented coats move.

Besome pockets with ticket pocket. I keep Mrs. T's smoking supplies in there.

I haven't decided on the collar yet. If there is enough for a DB, then shawl. Otherwise, I just don't know, and am open to suggestions.

Finally, I'm torn. The material feels like it wants to soak in a tub for a couple of days before being handed off. Any ideas?

With luck, if I drop it off soon, I may get it back before the Easter bunny hits town.



Jg. for FatScribe said...

bestriding my town in such a suit would, i fear, make me a sartorial snob. but, to see your ability in pulling off such a bespoke feat, is inspiring. Toad ... you da man. i'm green, i tell ya, green with envy!

Shelley said...

Quality everywhere is somehow disappearing, isn't it? Love love love the silk printed with a map. Where ever do you find such a thing?

Anonymous said...

1) Even back in its glory days, Huntsman had its problems. (For example, Paul Mellon, who patronized several Savile Row tailors over half a century, would often complain, "Huntsman cuts short.")

2) If you have a shawl collar on something other than a dinner jacket and you like the way it looks on you, fine. Otherwise, I'd avoid it, as it does NOT have a slimming effect. (On a non-cadaverous frame, it emphasizes the ovoid.)

LPC said...

That silk map is amazing. This jacket will be killer, to paraphrase someone younger than I.

Toad said...

Shelly, the map i sknown as an escape map. The world's air forces printed them as an aid for pilots who had to make unexpected landings.

ADG said...

The Map thing makes it! The coat will be brilliant regardless of how you trick out the final details.

nanc said...

Will you be reviewing the St. Patrick's Day concert?

David said...

Thank you for the befores, I can't wait to see the after!

Giuseppe said...

Single breasted, one button peaked lapel, working two button cuff.


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