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David Page Coffin's the Future of Casual Tailoring

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#1 lopez



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Posted 13 May 2019 - 05:50 AM

i just discovered David Page Coffin's SEWING SHIRTS WITH A PERFECT FIT and you know how old tailoring and sewing books give us tingles and orgasms? i had no idea this book existed or would be interesting until i faced a possible pot belly to fit on a man (if no darts, what of this grain line and billowy skirt? i don't see that answer in this book but it might be in how DPC teaches one to THINK). i bury my own lead, but i'll correct it here and now when i say:




i live in San Francisco and ANY style (and ability to afford LIFE or have fun) is all DEAD. well... look at what tech has done to the WORLD. SF is now ground zero for all that Death.


(my own tiny biz plan is simply to make basic sets of custom slopers to make sets of men's shirts for ONE man to amortize the cost of all that fitting/time/cost).


tech bro dudes are making bank pre-selling supima and merino basic unfitted tshirt production runs at luxurious prices, no one remembers what FIT is, and this is the CUSTOM gap i think WE have to set up new shop in. "shop" often being "home" because in this new rentier world where everything basic is financialized and commercial rent is insane now, we need skills that spread by word-of-mouth awe and joy, and transfer like when the Jews had to flee fast and couldn't invest in property so they flourished in skills that traveled well.


this "Draping to Fit" has to be its own SERIES (and eventual road show...there is so much DRAMA in watching fittings of real people). and i hope you fit bear men with guts in the future. this is political, too. do men get darts in front after all? i was told NO DARTS ON MEN but then the athletic men dig princess seams for fit. and i don't wanna fit to a gut... but even some of the old suits posted on this site are fit to a man's gut. some rotund king of england had his jacket curved UNDER his gut in some photo on here for "stout men." prince edward? don't remember. this isn't about him. it's about David Page Coffin's book and PHILOSOPHY and his DIRECTION being mind-blowing because you have to bring the SAME reverence history and REASONS to even a mere custom t-shirt now to make it compete with a pre-sold limited run of merino wool RTW t-shirts sold online.


my fantasy is that there will be a new underground of Drape-to-Fit artists so that folks even know to ASK for such a service. i PRAY for competition because whenever i fit anyone at the gym in front of others, many others want in. i cannot (and do not want to) service even a fraction of them.


(i focus on men regarding my custom side of things because they are not trained to be seasonal and buy fast crap. they dress in "uniform" but like quality, fine details, personalization, simplicity, and longevity)


and i can't post this review of Coffin's book on amazon even though i'd considered this book THAT important to not care about my contempt for amazon and all that it represents that is america now and exploitation as an unfettered capitalist biz model, with socialistic subsidies and chances to externalize the true costs. 


then i realized amazon readers don't CARE and wouldn't GET THIS.


but tailoring geeks? others who tingle and shiver when DPC talks about how you can't even get the truth of drawn pattern lines to come even close to the real lines of a hand stitched set in sleeve... that he finds the beauty of in its STITCHING?


oh my my my... this isn't a "shirt fit" book... it's about an aesthetic a philosophy way of living that's about reverence for the process and the moment. he doesn't even consider fit issues "problems." that's the mental thing that happens with custom anything; you realize this standardized thinking about EVERYTHING is all a crock. malarkey. there is no "problem" body part. it's just YOU.


and that's why i dug king edward's "over-fit" suit coat that tapered in UNDER his enormous belly. it made me realize he was fitting to his LEGS, which he felt proud of, like fat women who're into shoes because those sizes don't really change much. and in fitting underneath his belly, he actually does look BETTER than if he was wearing a muumuu. you don't hide anything really with much fabric. you just take up MORE space in general. and it's like seeing different bodies nude; after awhile no one's ...fat. or odd. or short. they are just are...themselves.


so king edward or whoever it was, i dug fitting to his gut. he was the king and he didn't have to hide a THING. that's what i mean about every seam is POLITICAL. mad political.


and right now men are getting hammered like hell out there, and men need to be adored and pampered and made to look beautiful and strong while maintaining the vulnerability and audacity of being ...THEMSELVES.


in Coffin's entire body of WORK, there's a reverence and attention to detail and the physics of reality that manifest true MAGIC. and that is what art is about to me at its most radical and loving...


and that's Jesus-radical kinda thinking.


but you all know this; that's why we're each HERE!


and that is in this book. it's what i've been waiting for and frankly thought some other authors would do this first. Shingo Sato is like the extreme Jimi Hendrix guitar god/Sammy Davis tap dancer of all this moulage work, but it's inaccessible to me and more like the extreme outside of what is POSSIBLE (and this is always a lonely and important adventure as an artist).


how does this stuff work PRACTICALLY? that's in this book and that's why i shudder. this is for The People because The People NEED it right now. at least i do.


i'm telling you, this book is all tingles and power and future and problem solving and "getting it" epiphanies and things you thought but didn't SAY or even DARE TO THINK because it wasn't written in a fxckin BOOK already! for shame!


but that's how i feel about so many things i figured were fine and being run one way, only to find out it's another. and no one's running anything. we're on our own. how do you strive to make it... but BEAUTIFULLY defiant and not zoned out doing 7, 12-hour days ubering while renting out your apartment on airbnb?


but this book, this ... APPROACH... oh my my my.... my eyes rolled back in my head because i finally see emerging what i've been hoping for.... and so it doesn't hurt that he looks like an elegant sea captain who might drink a single malt scotch in an episode of Columbo.


--erika lopez

san francisco

Edited by lopez, 13 May 2019 - 07:08 AM.

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#2 Schneiderfrei



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Posted 13 May 2019 - 09:30 AM

I don't mind a bit of hyperbole now and then :). I can see your intent is good. Yes, a lot of us care about clothing here ;)

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#3 lopez



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Posted 14 May 2019 - 01:57 AM

my Dear Schneiderfrei!---


what "hyperbole"??? the world is going to hell and i've had more than a half dozen artist friends kill themselves because there is no longer a place for us in this techno dystopian hyper capitalist time.


i was an author for awhile and Coffin's book is the worst positioned book i have ever seen in my ENTIRE life. he's onto something new percolating out in the world and has no idea because everyone thinks it's about the screens now. the world is upside down: Coffin's got the future and thinks he's selling SHIRTS while tech bros and beaurocrats all over are selling exploitation as a form of new entrepreneurialism.


(even other amazon reviewers do actually recognize Coffin's book is answering an unspoken need and direction these arts must also take to be relevant today)


and my intent is not merely "good," it is heroic and mythical! (i'm a double leo...can't you TELL?) i'm trying to fan flames of creation experimentation audacity swagger defiance and a modicum of independence.


thanks for reading, Mr Schneiderfrei.



#4 lopez



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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:53 AM

Ah... my Dear Schneiderfrei... i have been thinking about you and in true Johnny Carson intro fashion... "heeeeere's HYPERBOLE!"...


What i REALLY think is that tailors are the true architects of MEN and right now we are at a seriously messed up "lost years" time.

You hide with your false distracting humble statement, "yeah we dig clothes" (i paraphrase) because you all don't just DIG clothes... TAILORS AND DRESSMAKERS MAKE MEN AND WOMEN INTO WHO THEY ARE and thus you all helped make an earlier classier world where we used to dress up on airplanes and for each other. a world that is now dying in prosaic stretchy tubes of fleece and yoga pants tshirts and the lack of imagination respect honor magic and ROMANCE that your craft is ALL ABOUT MAKING REAL.


there's a lot of padding under some of these suits but what is mad REAL is how you make people FEEL. i've seen it. and you know the SECRETS of humanity. artists know magic is REALITY because we MAKE IT.


(how's THAT for "hyperbole" but i believe this with every fiber of my 52-year-old/been-around-the-block being, my Dear Schneiderfrei)


i had no idea you all were the real and true architects of everything... the real people behind the MAN behind the motherfxckin CURTAIN! that is true power.


and right now tigers are going extinct and so are the powers of tailors supposedly but no... i no longer think so. men are supposed to be the so-called evil patriarchy who started this global mess. but men are also the insane ones who go into the mystical extremes of BEING and tailors are the ... tailors make the WARRIORS. the people who make the world.


so it's a sign when CEOs are wearing hoodies and tshirts and don't even feign respect for humanity.


and so DPC's book is a love letter to an archaic form of thinking that rebels against all this Nothingness taking over the world. he admits draping to fit takes him LONGER...but it's a form of prayer to an individual's humanity with the best techniques and care possible.


this is powerful stuff. tailoring transmuted and hidden... because that's also what men do. you can go to extremes and know to keep it from getting cheapened, you've gotta put the students through apprenticeships. but in this world now... this is archaic.


but it's relevant and real and i dare say NECESSARY because you all here KNOW in your BONES why you'll argue days and months and years over SLEEVES or help some young buck on here get his seams right.


this is like secret society stuff but it's NATURAL to me that you've gotta shoo people away from the inner reaches of even THIS site. the internet ruins everything sacred and has and will again.


so it makes sense that Coffin would hide his book, a love letter to the very processes and philosophies of true fine tailoring, under a funny "shirt making" title.


you all deflect and say, "nothing to see here, home sewers. move along silly fluffy people."


and i agree. everything's a damn "hobby" now.


where's the obsession and hard work and insanity?


it's in David Page Coffin's work and all over this SITE. i'm saying, my Dear Schneiderfrei, you can deflect but you cannot HIDE... i see you. the real makers of Men. Men are hella lost right now. i feel 'em. i'm scared of everyone UNDER 40. they are uptight creepy and shallow. as a woman i thought the place i tell men to keep their hands at is my WAIST. women are now canceling and eradicating men who merely touched their upper back. don't get me started on my own gender. we're all messed up.


except tailors. tailors deal in reality and don't give into hyperbole --mine or any power broker's-- because you can't indulge hyperbole or life will be off-grain. you tailors are amazing no lie. a cranky bunch but cranky people are the most interesting if you can see they're shooing you to TEST you on purpose.


i met a tailor at the gym who's like a magic man who appears when i'm lost. 82 years old he is. one day after weeks of avoiding me and all this brusqueness, he sat right down on the sidewalk to draw me a dancer's sleeve. but it took me a few visits and a lot of begging shamelessly and asking the right questions to prove i was worth his time to sit down on the sidewalk and draw me a dancer's sleeve before he went in to work out.


how's that for hyperbole. just when you thought i couldn't get any WORSE!



Edited by lopez, 14 May 2019 - 07:09 AM.

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