When I started this blog I didn’t expect anyone to read it… Well, my recent blog post showed me that a lot of people read my scribbles… I didn’t expect that at all. So this time I want to give the pen to one of my readers that has definitely something interesting to write! Maybe he should start writing instead:
We certainly lack a more critical journalistic approach to the bespoke scene, questioning the models, the actors behind. There’s still a wealth of subjects that nobody has written about. The background of the young and old generation of tailors respectively, how can the craft be passed on…For the full reply click here
E.g. many young tailors joined the craft after the fine bbc documentary on Savile Row from 2007-8 but many have left already and why, yes why is that?
Also, the different business models the several houses use… the bespoke scene has experienced a renewed interest from the “caffe late” or “internet generation”, but the structures are still suffering from the dark period between ca. 1980-2000 when many firms were scaling down and a generation was lost…
Also the different techniques involved, stubborn tailors claiming they use the best etc.
I’d say there’s still no feeling, nor understanding for the underlying process taking many months, many hours, many unseen stitches in order to get to a good result even before the bespeaker is standing in front of a mirror. And the last thing is the problem, as all menswear writer’s in the end focus on their own “mirror moment” and all caffe late followers focus on that as well. If it’s just all about style, about the ultimate mirror moment hmm then there’s no real need for going bespoke 😊
Bart has some interesting points to make, and I think that most (if not all) are spot on! While I can definitely object to some of his statements it’s especially interesting what he writes about the general menswear-scene. So I want to look at the bigger picture and address the last paragraph.
So the thing that Bart notices is the fact that almost no-one is talking about clothing in a critical manner. Especially for bespoke clothing, this is true. I think there are a couple of reasons for that. One of them is summed up by the fact that it’s a ‘snapshot’ (or, just for fun, in Italian: istantanea). Because how can we be objective when we get to know the tailor behind the product. For instance, my tailor made me some bad fitting dress shirts (and to be fair my first two bespoke commissions weren’t that great either). But I’m still loyal to him. Because I like him. Not to say that my recent commissions have turned out great.
The second point I want to make is money. Most if not all writers/journalist want at least some return on their investment. There are a few that only want to write out of pure joy. Ethan over at StreetxSprezza comes to mind. While I enjoy his writings immensely he doesn’t write about high-end bespoke menswear. To make that commercially viable you are ‘forced’ to shake the hand of the devil and get things sponsored to make sure that there is always something new to write about. I only commission clothing two times a year, that would be pretty boring when I want to write about bespoke clothing. You see that a lot of high-end scenes are all about sponsoring, for instance in the high-end audio scene. But the differences are obvious, something that is made for you cannot be returned and given to a new reviewer or to a customer.
So reviews are subjective. Of course, this is easily rectified by paying everything yourself and don’t accept money from the industry. But then there is the problem that money is not an unlimited resource. Most independent journalists face halted growth because they cannot write about bespoke commissions indefinitely. While I certainly want to be critical, like I did with Alden and I definitely want to write about high-end menswear and pay for everything myself. Because I want to keep my integrity and want to be independent. In the meantime, I have to find something else to write about, something that may be less exciting from my perspective. Because it’s always really exciting to write about my new clothes:). But we will get to that in my conclusion. First I have to get loads of money. Hang on… I will get there, have some patience though:)
It’s all about what I like to write about and what I think is interesting for people to read. And maybe there lays the discrepancy. Because what I think is interesting may be of little use to you the reader. So your replies (not only the one from Bart) made me realize there is definitely something new to discover and write about. While I will not stop writing about some things that I learned in my style journey at the same time I feel that I can head in a new direction. Not talking about tailoring but about tailors! That will settle the score!
CALL TO ACTION: If you are a tailor or apprentice and want to get interviewed get in contact with me: you can send me a message over at Instagram or reply under this post!