July 6, 2016 Comments Off on The Purple Prediction.
Seeing a lot of purple cloths appearing in my Dormeuil and Scabal books recently and I am glad to say it’s getting some traction amongst my clients. Now it’s not like I am making boat loads of purple suits but I will have made three (and all three-piece solid purple) in the past three months compared to zero in the past 10 years. Of course high-end cloths would not have come in colors like this as readily even a year ago. I think as soon as people started wearing “midnight blue” (which gets lighter and lighter every season) after Sky Fall, we started to see an emergence of colors outside of navy and various shades of grey for men. in fall/winter 2015 Loro Piana, Scabal and Dormeuil did a lot of Burgundy and I think this will continue for 2016 but the new emerging color to watch for 2016 will be purple.
Of course a solid purple suit is not for everyone but I have also been seeing the color used in linings and cloths as an accent color like in this very, very English flannel from Hardy Minnis I finished up recently.
Its is not just limited to more formal cloths either, it can also be found in Scabal’s “Ascona” book of brushed cottons which can be made into great moleskin trousers
and in Dormeuil’s range of very high quality cashmere that can be used for dramatic sport coats or overcoats.
Funnily enough the second bespoke suit I ever commissioned for myself 16 years ago at the age of 19 was a deep purple. It was rather over designed, 4 button fastening, two top welt pockets and gauntlet cuffs. It was a great suit to wear though, made from gaberdine it was highly resistant to beer and G and T that could be spilled on you at the student union.
I found it a very versatile color to wear as well, it went with both black or brown shoes and matched up with lots of shirts and ties but as my tastes developed I became more turned on to better and better cloths and Dormeuil or Loro Piana just weren’t doing purple (I got my purple gaberdine off Leeds market, god knows where it came from). So this color makes me feel nostalgic, and I am glad I can now scratch that purple itch.
May 17, 2016 Comments Off on Sample sale 2016
February 8, 2016 Comments Off on Scabal “Colibri” cloth Review
Colibri described by Scabal in their own words:
True to its avian namesake, the award winning Colibri collection is alive with color and energy.
Including 18 articles that each experiment with color, weave or sheen. Gun club checks, jacquard patterns and checks are just some of the designs available, with others so innovative they have not yet been named.
Such a colorful collection is ideal for the informal connoisseur who wants something different, and the fashion forward man who enjoys style experimentation.
Well….let’s dive in shall we?
This is an interesting book that unfortunately does not photograph too well on my iphone, too much color variation going on and this is a strength and a weakness of this rather flamboyant and whimsical collection, its amazing looking but ironically may not translate too well on camera.
After showing this new book to a few clients initial reaction is a little negative at first perhaps when looked at in a purely modern commercial context, but when you frame these as rather fun and retro cloths, that perhaps Johhny Carson or a 60s or 70s playboy might wear people start to see the appeal.
These are cloths which would be great for a host of a party or to wear at a fancy cocktail bar, to many this may seem like a frivolous use for bespoke tailoring but I am always of the mind that we are doing style here and style is all about who you are and your lifestyle and your choices.
I have seen (and encouraged) a real trend to not just confine bespoke tailoring to work or important meetings and events in the past few years. Usually this has meant dressing down bespoke and the utility of tweeds, moleskins and corduroys but maybe the next frontier is bringing fine(er) cloths into our leisure time as well? Maybe its about what we wear on a Friday or Saturday night and this is about refinement, sophistication but also fun and of course confidence.
My only real critisim of this book outside of its rather niche context is that it sometimes does not go far enough, we have quite a few repeat patterns here in different color ways and at 18 cloths the book is not quite the bold offering it could be but I can understand why.
Colibri is not for everyone, its rather advanced and will probably be for the client of considerable means who has his” basic” Bespoke wardrobe covered, nothing wrong with that though. I think it is great that cloth houses are taking risks with cloths like this rather than going for the safe route of the mythical all year round, fits all needs, “commercial cloth” with colors and patterns like we see everywhere else.
Colibri is 100% wool made in England and weighs in at 250 grams or 8.8 ozs
My personal rating is a solid 3 out of 5 stars, this is brought down from 4 because of the limited nature of the collection but also because there are a couple of weak patterns here design wise which bring down the overall rating and stand out especially, again, in such a small offering, still a very interesting book and worth a look.
January 13, 2016 Comments Off on Reeves .THE FALL RETROSPECTIVE.
After a big push by designers and cloth houses on Tweed last fall/winter, this years “fall cloth” for Reeves has been lighter weight flannel. Both Loro Piana and Scabal released new, and chunky flannel books last year and this got a lot people in the tailoring community (myself included) very excited about this cold weather cloth.
The color of choice was the ever popular ink blue or French navy blue that we have been seeing in menswear for quite some time although the blues are getting even lighter. The big surprise was the second color that was pushed by Loro Piana especially, namely burgundy or claret. Silhouettes continued to lengthen and lapels got wider at Reeves as stylistically I am feeling more and more a trend towards the late 70s and early 80s as an influence on fashion, art and design.
Tweed was still very popular and I think will be for some time to come, the versatility and ease of it is ideal for the less structured working lives we mostly all have now. The old world charm of this cloth is still very hip and I am even seeing bankers ordering full tweed suits now which is quite extraordinary.
Finally I started seeing a resurgence in pinstripes and larger stripes amongst CEOs and bankers. Its interesting to see these cloths come back to the business world and at first it seems in contrast to the tweed phenomenon at least if we look at suits and cloths using their traditional signifiers. What we are seeing is a general trend across all fields towards nostalgia but with a need to be seen as dynamic and above all successful individuals in uncertain and changing times. This attitude is pushing out the “timeless” “four season” plain navy or charcoal suit which is all about staying still and anonymity.
The leading edge are past now very dated ideas about “appropriate” for town, country, business or pleasure. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing H Lesser Chalk Stripes or Harris Tweed as long as your tailoring is of the best quality and you look great wearing it.
October 1, 2015 Comments Off on REEVES Fall campaign 2015
September 8, 2015 Comments Off on DAVID’S LAST SUMMER (2015)
It was Labor Day yesterday which means summer has drawn to a close here in the U.S.
Early birds are already ordering flannels and tweeds, and I myself am looking forward to dressing up in some new fall clothes.
Before we move into Fall/Winter, I thought I would share a little retrospective of some of the clothing I made up this past Spring/Summer.
First up we have more of a spring/early summer suit. Made from Scabal capri cloth, this lightweight wool has a natural stretch. This look is really intended for making up colorful trousers to go with summer jackets, but it works well for suits as well. The jacket is half lined and the buttons are a dark blue pearl. I was going for a rather 70’s Bryan Ferry vibe with this piece- reflected in the color and styling. As a two piece suit without the vest, though, this suit still manages to look very modern.
Next is something I have wanted to do for a long time. Its’ a three piece silk & linen suit made from Dormeuil cloth, and it is based on the suit worn by “Camp Freddy” in the 1969 film “The Italian Job”. The 1960s were drawing to a close when the film came out and we start to see more flamboyant 60s styles evolving into the 70s. Of course this is a rather crazy suit that is NSFW unless you are someone like David Bowie, but given the right context or maybe worn as a separate jacket for a garden party, this is a stunning piece.
Above, we have a silk & wool jacket made from Scabal “Acapulco” cloth. The buttons are smoked mother of pearl. This is a funny one because I was talking to a regular client of mine and wanted to make this up for him. I joked with him that if he didn’t go for it, I would. Well, he didn’t, so I did! My client instead decided on a very nice silk and linen summer jacket in a solid sky blue color. He’s happy with his, but I’m perhaps even happier.
A rather mod looking 3 button seersucker sport coat. This seersucker is rather special, as it’s 100% Zegna silk. It is unlined and has a rather soft “shirt sleeve” shoulder. Very classic. Patriotic. It’s served me well on vacation, easily thrown on with jeans, and has sparked many a conversation at parties, styled with white trousers (see below.)
BADA BING! 100% Zegna silk. This suit look like chrome and feels unbelievable. Buttons are mother of pearl. Naturally. The cloth has a faint herringbone weave, and although very delicate, is very beautiful.
Finally, another suit I have wanted to do for a long time- an iconic white linen double breasted suit. The linen is from Dormeuil. I made up two pairs of trousers to go with this jacket so as to extend the life of the suit. It’s not a practical city suit, but then that is sort of the point. The feeling of wearing a white linen suit in New York is quite extraordinary as you feel a heightened awareness of your surroundings, you move more deliberately, more carefully, and I would say more gracefully. Very old Hollywood. A martini in hand has never looked better.