There’s a lot of interesting things happening in classic tailoring in Asia, and that’s worth some attention.
Most of us look for inspiration for their style on the internet nowadays. Sure, there’s Pitti Uomo you can travel to, or get some ideas by seeing someone dressed perfectly on your way to work. But unless you travel for work, or have enough free time and money to just go to places you want to go to, the net, with its abundance of blogs and tumblrs and instagrams, will be your main way to interact with various styles, tailoring traditions, and aesthetics. At least for me it is.
So I don’t intend to pose as an authority here. I just want to share some observations made along the way.
And I’ve recently been paying some attention to Asian tailoring. I’ve written a short post on the topic before, and this is intended to be a continuation of the theme. This time: Japan.
In Poland there are not many young bespoke tailors. It appears to generally be a problem in Europe – it’s a craft that takes years to master and is difficult to learn; it’s not an easy path to riches by any means. That’s why Japan is so interesting: you can find young tailors there. And that means there’s a lot of potential.
Among those young tailors, many were trained in Italy, and mostly Naples – and this is a major influence in contemporary Japanese tailoring. Soft, three-roll-two jackets, front dart extending all the way to the hem, barchetta breast pockets – you can see them a lot. Some of these details you can even see in things from Vick Tailor, whose house style is distinctly more British than Italian: structured and clean.
Even the Italian-inspired tailors tend to somewhat diverge from the European roots. The silhouettes of the jackets are a little different, which is understandable – their typical client has a different body; it necessitates some changes in proportions – the length of the jacket and sleeves, placement of the button or breast pocket. But I like those proportions, and I like looking at works from Sartoria Ciccio or Sartoria Domenica (I love the works in heavier fabrics especially).
What is particularly impressive, is the incredible finish of those garments – all the work that goes into the details, and that may go unnoticed if you don’t pay close enough attention.
There is diversity to Japanese style, and it’s difficult to pinpoint the common themes. You see lower gorge with the seam connecting the lapel to the collar curving somewhat; you see besom hip pockets. But not every tailor does it that way; also, Japan being a rather small market forces the tailors to adapt their style to the requests of their clients.
This variability is visible outside of bespoke as well. Take Ring Jacket – many Japanese bespoke tailors worked there at some point; it itself shows southern Italian influence in its style. But there’s some more experimental stuff going on, with, for example, Camoshita and its unique, relaxed blend of Italian and American style.
Permanent Style blog has several posts on the Japanese tailors and goes into more detail about who are the people behind those clothes, so they’re very interesting read.
Looking beyond the constant feed of Pitti pictures showing the same faces over and over may lead you to find something new, fresh and inspiring. That’s what I’m trying to do, still looking for stuff which would define my own style better. And it looks like there’s abundance of inspiration to be found this way.