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Tailoring aesthetics : does perfection kills the coat ?


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#19 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:50 AM

I find them very interesting, as the cut is clearly a drape, soft cut. The fit is flawless.


I would also prefer to wear that example from Edwin. It isn't a "drape" (whatever that is!) cut at all - at least not when used in the sense of vertical rolls of fullness at the front of scye. Edwin has previously stated that the client in that picture prefers a somewhat more fitted cut.

#20 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:55 AM

Yet, I'd rather wear this one (and I hope Will Boekle will not mind I took him as example once again).
Posted Image

Of course, there is a lot that can be said about the cut of this coat. And many people have said it. Nevertheless, in spite of its imperfections, or maybe because of them, I actually like it better. I feel a soul, a character that "perfect" coats don't have.

I thought that maybe it was a question of style, as I'm not that fond of German style.

So now, I wonder. Is technical perfection something I must try to get ? Why is it that I fell "perfect" garments have less soul, are less attractive to my eye ?


Keep in mind too that Will seemed to say that he too noticed the horizontal drags from armscye to front waist that started to appear on the coats from this cutter around 2009 and that he has sent them back to him to have this corrected. I doubt that Will would be particularly happy if the cutter returned them uncorrected accompanied by a written lecture about the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi! If Will wanted drags like that, he could just go to the local JC Penney store and buy them at a dime a dozen. He could justify this as being "sabi" - a much higher art form than bespoke.

#21 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:04 AM

In all fairness I can appreciate Nishijin Japanese outlook on this. They believe that one can only find perfection through imperfection. When I was in japan I heard many parables of this type. Which I always thought as odd as Japanese culture is very structured. My ex-gf's mum ran a tea ceremony and I was amazed at the structure, but even in the structure one will find little hints at imperfection. Or atleast this was my western understanding of it.
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#22 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:07 AM

I don’t know this gentleman, ‘Will’ he seems a jovial chap.
Could it be that he has enjoyed some pleasant lunches since 2009?

#23 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:18 AM

BTW the so called "imperfect" bit is the "sabi" - and not the "wabi". Some think that the better translation of "sabi" is "patina".

With age and time, the most perfect bespoke garment will take on just that. Maybe "character" is the better translation here.

#24 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:19 AM

I don’t know this gentleman, ‘Will’ he seems a jovial chap.
Could it be that he has enjoyed some pleasant lunches since 2009?


I am sure he appreciates fine wine and cuisine too. However, it seems the coats from this cutter from before 2009 didn't have this problem.

#25 Charles R Bingley

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:49 AM

Another translation of wabi sabi is 'understated elegance' and 'serenity'.

It is not so much about imperfection but an understanding and appreciation of how things turn out that wasn't planned or how transitory things are.
Causam cedare non habet eo

#26 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 09:16 AM

^ Not really.

"Wabi" is related to the verb "wabu" which means to "become melancholy". The word "sabi" is related to the verb "sabu" which means "to take on a patina/ become old/mellow". When combined, the idea of "wabi-sabi" becomes a mixture of the melancholy of the passing of things, and the joy of things taking on character with time.

In tailoring a metaphor would be a well worn but perfectly fit and cut pink coat, of which one is too fond of to throw away. Why a pink coat? Because the term "pink" relates to the "pinking" that comes from wearing out a riding coat rather than due to it's colour (Thomas Pink is a fictional tailor).

Those interested should look at the following links to a kanji dictionary that goes through the meaning of the respective kanji characters for "wabi" and "sabi":

http://jisho.org/kan...nji/details/侘

http://jisho.org/kan...nji/details/寂

#27 NJS

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:59 AM

On the De Boise: the sleeves are tad short to me (I like them to touch the very first joint of the thumb); otherwise, very nice. Many of the other pictures have hands in pockets and various poses, which are bound to create wrinkles. Nothing is absolutely perfect: this is the quest; to find, the nearest as dammit, according to our own specific lights and regardless of what everybody else thinks. After all, we need, above all else, to be comfortable in our clothes. I am not sure that, if I ever wore much in the way of clothes again (and this seems, in 33'C temperatures, in a fishing village, that is 'twixt the South Atlantic Ocean and giant lagoons, a rempote possibility), that I should want to have more than a complete set of clothes from one or two tailors who really pleased me. Going for broke, with four to five commissions, at the same number of houses, all at once, would just take too much time.

No, overall, I'm definitely veering towards naturism.

Edited by NJS, 20 January 2011 - 11:00 AM.

<b></b>NJS<b></b>

#28 NJS

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:02 AM

^ Not really.

"Wabi" is related to the verb "wabu" which means to "become melancholy". The word "sabi" is related to the verb "sabu" which means "to take on a patina/ become old/mellow". When combined, the idea of "wabi-sabi" becomes a mixture of the melancholy of the passing of things, and the joy of things taking on character with time.

In tailoring a metaphor would be a well worn but perfectly fit and cut pink coat, of which one is too fond of to throw away. Why a pink coat? Because the term "pink" relates to the "pinking" that comes from wearing out a riding coat rather than due to it's colour (Thomas Pink is a fictional tailor).

Those interested should look at the following links to a kanji dictionary that goes through the meaning the respective kanji characters for "wabi" and "sabi":

http://jisho.org/kan...nji/details/侘



http://jisho.org/kan...nji/details/寂



"In the pink" is, at least, Shakespearian.

Edited by Sator, 20 January 2011 - 11:05 AM.

<b></b>NJS<b></b>

#29 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:08 AM

"In the pink" is, at least, Shakespearian.


An interesting point:

Nowadays, “to be in the pink,” usually means to be in top physical condition, but in Shakespeare’s time, “pink” meant something like “epitome” or “pinnacle of perfection.”

When Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet, 1597), says ” I am the very pinke of curtesie,” he means that he is is not just courteous, but a model of courtesy.


#30 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:11 AM

Yes, Mercutio and I have something in common :D
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#31 Noble Savage

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:23 PM

WOW
I would save the natural lines for the dress of the female next to me, while keeping uniform-like correctness to myself


You deserve the first part of your name
Lg
posaune


Thank you.

Edited by Noble Savage, 20 January 2011 - 12:25 PM.


#32 greger

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:34 PM

Sator just showed some nice pictures of Mr DeBoise work on another thread.
Here's one of them.

Posted Image

I find them very interesting, as the cut is clearly a drape, soft cut. The fit is flawless. The work is excellent.

And I find this strange :
From a professional point of view, I like Mr DeBoise's coat better. I'd be glad to be certain I can consistently deliver something that good (I try to, but I'm afraid I'm not there yet). I think this is a damn good example of what bespoke should look like.
But from a personnal point of view, I'm more attracted to the "imperfect" coat of Mr Mahon.

How strange this is...


Do you think Mr DeBoise's coat has sole?

It is very nice isn't it? It is almost perfect. But somehow seems a bit sterile. Like he is trying to hard. And is the guy posing? Maybe that is the problem. In 20-30 years from now what will Mr DeBoise add that seems like he didn't add anything, and yet, be so much better. I love mysterious clothes that is hard to put a finger on why they are so much better than others. Which brings up another question; are the lines of that coat as they should be? How could you move them so the person looks better. There is fitting the person inside the body and not just fitting the body. It almost seems like he is wearing a straight jacket. He doesn't really appear comfortable. I don't get the impression that he feels at ease at all. Perhaps he needs to throw his coats against the wall.

A tailor wrote in the 1870s that he pays attention to the person in movement as to a good fit and not when they are standing. There is a video of Mr Mahon in movement which it super nice, but why is that coat so nice and some of his others, I think, are so terrible? This is another perspective of tailoring. Does the coat flow in movement? Does the cloth resist? There is a movie with Bruce Willis in it and this one suit flows with the movements of the actor superbly (maybe Leonard Logsdail made it).

And then another theory; Does it blend in or stand out? Mr. Cain, the British actor, likes the blend in the crowd as does Mr Alden of the london lounge. There is a video of Mr. Cain about his favorite tailor going on about blend in clothes. I like clothes that are so good, perfect, that they stand out and the person wearing them can't hide. But there are times to wear something else.

Manton over the years has written much. Some comes from A&S. Lots of it I heard decades earlier. The wonders that I saw from these words decades earlier, and the disaster that Manton and some others do with the same shows how people can view the same sayings entirely different. Sometimes examples are good to see, but sometimes it is best to just hear the words.

The whole of tailoring is discy, but a good eye can save the day.

#33 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:49 PM

Do you think Mr DeBoise's coat has sole?


Coats don't have soles - whether of leather or any other variety. His shoes have soles, though.

If it's soul however, the thing that gives Will's suit more of that is the fact that you can see his face and that he is smiling, so that the charm of his personality comes through better. Plus the colour of Will's suit adds more warmth than the steely grey of Vox's suit (by DeBoise).

None of this does anything to convince me to deliberately put messy horizontal drags in a coat to give it a good leather "sole" - or even a "soul".

#34 greger

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:15 PM

You can't agree, even RoE has a foundation based upon maths and geometry. Without these foundations bespoke tailoring would look more like avant guarde design school projects with no real understanding of the human form! :Thinking:


There is the abstract to art.

As far as the math goes psychology can be full of math, but how does one use it? Mathematician have much to begin on this. If you could listen to the young of the roaring 20s you would hear the excitement they had and the strange music, clothes, makeup (on the women), hats and so on could one make more since listiening than trying to figure it out with science, math and geometry. These three -science, math and geometry- have no sole. What is the foundation of life? The spirit. The body merrily clothes the spirit. But the spirit clothes the body in its own way. Other wise there is no reason for white tie, black tie or any other kind of clothes other than to keep warm. This is why science, math and geometry don't matter. They are tools to use if one wants to. Sometimes they are a short cut to helping one to the purpose. Hooking up the cart to the horse and then forgetting why the cart is there, what good is that? Getting the cart in front of the horse isn't so bright either. And is the horse the only way to move the cart. Isn't it the cart inside that matters and not the cart or horse? The roaring 20s was all about fun and when did that ever make since? Tailoring has a different foundation - it is the human spirit. Science, math and geometry can help achieve it, but should never get in the way of it. You don't want to confuse art with its methods.

#35 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:18 PM

BTW a clean and technically perfect coat from a skilled and imaginative cutter with a good aesthetic eye can still produce things with immense character - even for real world figures like Will's (and most of us who aren't underwear models):

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There is no need to strive to make coats that look homemade just to give them some alleged "soul".

#36 Sator

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:59 PM

Another thought.

I suspect what some of you are saying is that you prefer to see cuts that look different to most RTW coats. A coat cut off an Edwardian era system will automatically look different even if all stylistic features are modernised. That will immediately make something like a Mahon look distinct from the rest of the crowd, irrespective of how well that system is used. The DeBoise coats seen here have all been made cleaner and more modern to suit the client's preferences (according to Mr DeBoise).

Here is a nice example of a three piece that has been given a bit of stylistic character by Edwin DeBoise:

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I think the results are more successful and characterful than this:

Posted Image

That said, while the character imparted by older systems might make coats look different in a way that is refreshing, I also like a plain modern cut that is totally neutral in all ways other than the perfection of its fit.

Nonetheless, I must say I generally like to take the neutral aesthetics of a coat that you get when you use a good modern system of cutting and add character so as to put my own signature on the draft. You don't need to start to use Thornton or Vincent's CPG (or use Whife drape cut draft) just to impart character to a draft.




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