Thursday, July 14, 2005

Two illuminating blogs for fashion geeks

The other day, I'd somehow been pointed to Richard Kuchinsky's first pullover, a great new blog about the art and craft shoemaking. Not just any shoes, but the ultra hip sneaker. Amazing example of how every thing in one's life is somehow designed, crafted, and built. Here is Kuchinsky's explaination of the blog's title:

"i am a sneakerhead, but i am also an observer. of the industry from the inside. this blog covers footwear design and development and in-situ, in process. from line planning, trend forceasting, concept design, development in asia to sample and pattern review (hence the name first pullover = a first prototype sample) its all here....

"A pullover is the name given to a first prototype sample used in the footwear industry. The first pullover is made from a designer's sketch or drawing, and is the first sample used to check the pattern, last shape, and overall look of a shoe."

This blog reminded me of another blog I had recently perused, Thomas Mahon's, english cut, about the art of bespoke tailoring. What is bespoke tailoring? Nothing less than the definition of premium, in men's suits:

"A lot of people use the terms "bespoke" and "made-to-measure" interchangeably. They are mistaken.

'"Bespoke' is actually a term which dates from the 17th century, when tailors held the full lengths of cloth in their premises.

"When a customer chose a length of material, it was said to have “been spoken for”. Hence a tailor who makes your clothes individually, to your specific personal requirements, is called "bespoke". This is unlike “made-to-measure”, which simply uses a basic, pre-existing template pattern, which is then adjusted to roughly your individual measurements.

"The first thing I'll do is discuss with you what type of suit you are looking for, and its uses. Then a cloth is chosen from the full range available today, and also which type of style and fit would be most suitable for you.

"Clothes made by me have all the hallmarks you would expect from true bespoke tailoring:

"More than 20 measurements and figuration details are taken from the customer. Then a personal pattern will be hand-drafted and cut from scratch- not the basic, adjusted template pattern, as used by so many other tailors these days.

"Using your pattern, the cloth is then cut and trimmed, along with the finest linings and silks available. A single tailor is then given the parts of the garment to sew together, from the earliest fitting stages, to the final, complete suit. Each suit is completely hand-made, even down to the button holes."

Even for a militant casual dresser like myself, this sounds pretty sweet.


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