Meet The Client: Claudio Pt. 1

Claudio and John

Claudio and John

J: How long ago did you and Adriano meet, and how did you connect?

C: Well, I suppose the background for that story is that I’ve probably been getting suits made since early-to-mid-90’s. There used to be a place called Hemden, who Adriano knows and used to be in High Street, Armadale, and anybody who was anybody used to go to Hemden’s – or so I thought. Then I had a couple of suits made and I thought, “Ah yeah, this is alright”, but after a while and as the years progressed I was able to travel and I happened to be in Beverly Hills one year, around the early 2000’s. I was walking down Rodeo Drive and I came across this shop called Stefano Ricci, whom I hadn’t seen before, so I walked into this shop and I thought, “Wow, these are really amazing clothes!”. I then purchased a bunch of ties, probably because I’m probably more comfortable wearing a tie than not, and I think that the art of wearing a tie has gone out of men’s fashion these days, and not many people know how to do a tie anyway and they don’t really understand that a tie can accentuate an outfit in a whole lot of different ways.

And because I was fascinated with the store I went back a couple of times and I bought a double breasted charcoal suit from Stefano Ricci. So I started travelling to the US quite a bit, to Beverly Hills and at first I started buying two or three more Stefano Ricci suits, but the quality of the Stefano Ricci suits and the quality of the Hemden suits became quite questionable. The problem that I had with Hemden was that over the years I could not understand why the suits would fit differently. The pattern would change and I figured I haven’t changed that much so they must be changing something. Perhaps the pattern was never consistent. This is in contrast with Stefano Ricci, whose quality was sensational but depending on the exchange rate it could be exorbitantly expensive and you think, “there has to be a happy medium here”. So effectively I stopped buying suits for a period, because I was disappointed with what was being produced by Hemden in both suits and shirts, and I didn’t have an alternative to Stefano Ricci which was overly expensive. So I decided with Stefano Ricci I would stick with their ties and cravats because they are sensational, and also some of their leisure wear is excellent. And the other thing is because this is about being obsessive and compulsive, Stefano Ricci is my go-to place for ties, pocket handkerchiefs (usually matching) and cravats. The other thing that I always get from them are socks, because no matter how much you paid for socks here in Australia they would always fall down. So they sold over the calf socks and I’ve stuck with them ever since and they stock a huge variety. Now, my wife is an avid watcher of Postcards, the TV show. This is now going back at least 5 or 6 years, but my wife said, “there is a tailor which you walk past almost every day. Why don’t you call him and perhaps you will find he can do the things that you want?”. Funnily enough I used to see Maria and Adriano out on the footpath, you know when he used to smoke, and when I walked past they used to always say hello to me and compliment me on whatever suit I was wearing and I thought to myself that I must go in there one day. So one day I decided that if I need a new suit because some of these suits are getting a bit shabby, I’ll go in and see what he can do. So I actually walked in and I haven’t gone anywhere else for a suit. I walked in that one time and I’ve been there ever since. So if I wanted a suit, he is my go-to person. 

What I saw was that he is very passionate about what he does, so that appealed to me. He was meticulous about making sure things would fit, rather than “well, here is your suit and see you later!”. I like this passion, because if you’re going to pay that kind of money you want people to make an effort. So that’s what I did and I’ve been coming back ever since. I’ve experimented over the years, as clothes are important to me. They express personality, and I think he’s been able to capture all of that. People comment when I’m walking down the street so I figure that something has to be working and it clearly has to be his suits.

 

J: You have a very unique style of your own that people comment on favorably, often with admiration. What sort of conversations have you had?

C: I suppose I have a bit of an advantage, and the advantage is this – I make an effort to dress the way that I do, whereas not many other people make that effort anymore. So if we were to walk up and down the street we probably wouldn’t find that many people where we would say, “oh wow, that individual is dressed really nicely today”. To put it bluntly, if you are a flower in a bowl of sh**, you’ll standout .As a friend of mine used to say that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. So I suppose I’m in a time where not too many people are making an effort to dress, mostly women make an effort to dress these days, not so much the men. I was walking back and a young man in his mid 30s stopped me and said, “it’s really great to see somebody who knows how to wear a suit properly”. About 6 or 7 months ago I was doing some work in Queen Street and when I walked back, the guys construction workers came over and stopped me and said, “g’day mate, do you have a minute? We noticed you earlier when you walked past and we were talking about how great you’re looking and what you are wearing”. I was wearing one of Adriano’s suits and his pale blue overcoat. 9 out of 10 days I probably wearing one of Adriano’s suits. I like to think that it’s me but I suspect it’s the quality of what he does that just seems to work for me and people notice it. I might say that it’s probably an equal cross section whether male or female make a comment about liking what I’m wearing, or saying I look very dapper, but I was heading out of Cecconi’s restaurant in January and I happened to be exiting with three blokes at the same time. As we all stepped into the lift, one of them said to me, “hey mate I have got to tell you, that you look great the way you dress and I have got to know where you get your suits from”. I inform him that it’s from Adriano, and he says that’s the tailor in Elizabeth Street and I reply to him that that is the one! This indicates that people take notice of quality suits, however not everybody is going to say anything.

 

J: You are definitely as Adriano has mentioned before, one of Melbourne’s best dressed gentlemen. 

C: See that’s become an aspiration now, and it’s a pressure point too, because you don’t want to drop your standards.

J: But the beauty of it is that you don’t try to do anything different and this is who you are, and this is the way that you like the dress. Because you do not follow fashion trends, this is something that is highly individual.

C: I have a view that fashion changes continuously and fashion is really dictated by the wim of so called “designers”. So whatever they decide is fashion this season, becomes fashion. I think the sad thing about that of course, is that existing on current fashions does not necessarily suit everyone who thinks that is the fashion and therefore they should wear it. I think that a problem arises when people confuse fashion with style. Fashion will continuously change and cycle over, but your personal style is your personal style and that should never change. I tend to gravitate towards double breasted suits, as they kind of work for me, I like them. If I have 25 suits in my wardrobe at the moments, 22 of them will be double breasted suits because they work for me. That’s my style, and that will not be dictated by fashion. Even with shoes or with accessories I tend to buy things that work for me as opposed to buying because it looks good on someone else. I kind of think part of the problem is if you are a middle aged guy, you probably should not try and replicate what a 25 year old is wearing, it just does not work. It’s important to realise as opposed to seeing some model on the runway who looks good and then believing that if you put on that same thing that you too are going to look good. If I told Adriano to make something that he doesn’t agree with, he would tell me that it would not suit me and he wouldn’t think it’s a good idea. I believe there has to be that honesty, it’s very important. He’s always said to me, “please don’t tell me to make you a white suit”. So we started experimenting, and we experimented with linen and it works for me very well, but wouldn’t necessarily work for everyone.

J: It looks fantastic on you, this linen suit. You’re right, it’s not something that I would personally choose or be able to pull off, but it looks beautiful on you!

C: So after experimenting with linen suits, I then thought I might try to get him to make me some linen shirts. The problem is you can’t necessarily go out and buy the things that you want off the shelf, because they just don’t exist. So I am fortunate that I am relatively successful so I can afford to get custom clothing. Having said that, you do not have to spend thousands to express your style. It’s like braces or suspenders, I have a large collection of braces for different feelings and for my expression of style. However this my obsessive-compulsive behavior of having things matching in my wardrobe. 

 

Stay tuned in the near future for the second half of our interview with Claudio!

The Ultimate Trouser Guide 1: Cut and Silhouette

The Ultimate Trouser Guide 1: Cut and Silhouette

Men's trousers
Trouser's present an opportunity for customization and individuality.

Where to start?

So you've decided you want to invest in some custom trousers? Bespoke, made-to-measure, made-to-order. All varieties offer you the opportunity to change the features and styling of your order. Sometimes however, the customization options can be a little daunting to narrow down. Or perhaps, you'd like to broaden your horizon and try something new and fresh with the next pair. Whichever it is, this guide hopes to help you better understand the selection process for custom trousers, and provide you a thorough overview of the choices that you can make.

First in this series will be about the cut and silhouette. The most fundamental elements of trousers is how they sit, hang, and drape. Creating the right silhouette and lines for the wearer depends on the wearer, their style and fabric choices. Understanding these factors can help you choose the right cut, which can make or break an outfit.

Straight

Straight trousers
Classic straight trousers with pleats. Source credit: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/844706473840756297/

The trusty classic straight cut, or 'loose' cut depending if you've gotten used to wearing fitted clothes. The quintessential to every wardrobe. Rightfully so, even after trends have come and go, straight trousers always remain. Easily spotted by a pant leg that descends (surprise, surprise) straight down or marginally inwards from the hips to the hem. This style has the most ease in the pant leg, meaning it can be worn by nearly anybody and still be flattering. In addition, if one opts for pleats, the ease across the pant leg allows for the pleats to drape cleanly. Often straight cut trousers are worn higher up on the waist to highlight the drape of the trouser, as well as featuring a classic 'whale-tail' rear.

The Short Version: Timeless, classic. The straight cut trouser can work for anybody and the ease in the pant leg makes them very comfortable. Perfect choice for highlighting sharp pleats and quality fabric.

Tapered/Slim

Client Trouser
The slim/tapered trouser pairs well with classic styling.

For those wanting something a little more modern, with a semi-traditional silhouette. Distinguishable by a pant leg that tapers in subtly from the hips down, this silhouette can help to provide the illusion of slimmer legs in proportion to the upper body, emphasizing a V-shape. Pleats can still drape cleanly if opted for and there is still ease to allow comfort for the wearer. Of course, how far on the spectrum you like to taper your trousers will place the silhouette more towards either the straight or fitted shape.

The Short Version: Trusty, reliable. The tapered/slim trouser works well for emphasizing upper body proportions whilst still keeping a moderatly traditional silhouette. Can work with pleats and lend itself to a variety of styles.

Fitted

Fitted trouser
Fitted trousers are often accompanied by a shorter pant length to balance the proportions. Source credit: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/504825439480838768/

The utmost slimmed and shaped cut, the fitted trouser is a very modern silhouette. Identifiable by a strong taper from the hip to the hem, the fitted trouser greatly helps to slim the legs and emphasize the upper body. Pleats tend to be forgone and flatfront or darted styles become common. This is because the drape of the fabric will not be evident due to the lack of ease in the pant leg. Most commonly worn by, althought it need not be restricted to, a younger audience, this style can be great for for those looking to showcase an athletic build. Often, fabric with stretch is used here to facilitate the shape of the wearer and movements that would otherwise stress non-stretch fabrics.

The Short Version: Modern, flatters athletic builds. The fitted trouser is ideal for greatly emphasizing athletic builds. Great for flat-front and darted trousers, often accompanied by stretch fabrics for comfort.

 

Now we've covered three of the fundamental trouser silhouettes, but don't be alarmed if you're still unsure which is best for you. Explore your style and what's in your wardrobe now to get an idea of the shapes you like. Look at other trousers to see which catches your eye, and then come in to see us at Adriano Carbone, Master Tailor. Bespoke suits is our forte and we love helping guide our clients on their sartorial journey. Stay tuned for the next installments in The Ultimate Trouser Guide as we explore pockets, cloths, unique variations and more.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our Instagram for the latest updates and creations, or call us on (03) 9600 2422 to make an appointment!

What we do

What we do

What can't a Master Tailor do?

Here at Adriano Carbone, Master Tailor, we pride ourselves in quality craftsmanship and professional service. We don't stop here, however. Many people think a tailor just makes garments, but we are so much more than that. Our services span from the creation of new custom garments, through to altering existing garments and reviving them through mending and tailoring. With experience making garments for both men and women, casual and formal attire, we are confident that you'll love the garment you leave with.

 

Located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, we would like to be your first stop for quality suits and alterations for both menswear and womenswear. All our garments are cut, manufactured and fitted in-house from beginning to end. This means everything is locally made, made in Melbourne and ethically sourced. You're even welcome to visit our workshop, located directly above the showroom, and to personally meet the team behind your clothing!

Adriano Carbone, Master tailor measures and cuts all the garments in house.

Our custom garment services start with our made-to-measure service, which if you are applicable for, is a fantastic entry opportunity into the world of custom clothing. Building on from that is our tailor-made service which accounts for greater variations in body type and customization. Our most prestigious and luxurious service, bespoke-made, is the best of the best and is for the connoisseur of suits. For more information on our custom made suits, please follow the links to our Men and Women suit pages.

 

In addition to creating new garments, we perform alterations with the same precision and care to refine or mend garment. Formal and casual attire, suits, pants, shirts, overcoats, we've seen them all. Need to shorten a jacket, trouser or shirt, or taper in the fit? Not a problem. Have a coat that you want fitted or shortened? We can handle that. How about something more challenging? Want to convert a double breasted jacket to a single breasted one? We've done it, and will do it again. Our professional alterations are done on site, in-house just as our custom garments are, so you can be assured they are performed with the same quality as brand new garments are. For more information on our alteration service, please follow the link to our Alteration page.

Men's and women's garments altered professionally in-house by our team.

Simply give us a call on 0396002422 to arrange a time to come in, or send us an email using the form on our Contact page. To stay up to date on our work, follow our instagram account for all our latest updates.

Ramblings Of The Apprentice

Ramblings Of The Apprentice

Learning from a Master Tailor

By now, some of you may have seen or even met me at Adriano Carbone Master Tailor, so it's time to properly introduce myself. My name is John Cichello, and I am an apprentice tailor with Adriano Carbone. This blog post is going to be a little insight into my experiences so far in tailoring and as an apprentice to a Master Tailor. I will also share my thoughts on tailoring and give you a glimpse into what it is like to work in the industry.

A bit about me

I never grew up with sewing, or in a family of tailors. I don't have a lineage of suits and manufacturing. Instead, I have a passion for this industry that fortunately ignited early enough for me to be able to pursue it wholeheartedly. I am actually an IT professional by academic background, who started learning sewing and pattern-making from the internet, books and an incredible amount of trial and error. In 2017, after a number of pivotal events, I quit my job and started studying pattern-making and tailoring at Istituto Di Moda Burgo, which took me to Jakarta, Indonesia and Milano, Italy for almost two years. During this time I got to see different ends of the spectrum regarding production and manufacturing. In Indonesia I witnessed fast fashion and scaled production in a number of different environments that gave me my first impressions as to what would it be like to work in the fashion industry. I realised, however, amidst all the glam, prestige and luxury that the fashion industry is known for, there was something uneasy about feeding an industry that had values and basic principles that I didn't align with. In addition, I want to bring back local production and support the growth of independent designers and brands, not to work for a large label to churn out endless replicas of garments just for the sake of a passing trend. With this revelation in mind, I decided to tailor (pardon the pun) my focus towards bespoke garments because this style of clothing celebrates unique garments and appreciating products made for a person's individual style. When a client feels comfortable, loves the design and they appear confident, it is a satisfaction like no other. Working personally with a client, getting to know them and what they want the clothing to portray on them, is a relationship that no faceless production order can offer me. At the end of the day, to create something that is worn on the person and is an expression of their identity, acting like a second skin conveying what they want to convey is a satisfaction that is unparalleled.

My early experimentation into alternative cutting methods.

Walking through the front door

Adriano Carbone Master Tailor was one place that immediately upon walking inside and up into the workshop I knew this is where I wanted to be. I saw the methods of tailoring and the attitude towards innovation. There is an appreciation of authentic and traditional techniques complemented by modern engineering that I hadn’t yet seen. Instead of following something dogmatically, following tradition for the sake of tradition, I walked into a sartoria pushing the boundaries to create something that is of the upmost quality. Adriano is always seeking perfection and constantly looking to improve, similar to the Japanese practice of kaizen and my early tech days of Lean/Agile. So, at the beginning of April 2019, when I had my completed diploma and only 3 days after returning home from Milano, I spent my time shadowing, observing and watching how Adriano worked, how he interacted with clients, how our garments were made. Purely observing, trying to be as much of a sponge as possible (thanks for the constant reminders to be a sponge, Adriano) and I learnt more in 2 weeks than I had in two months of study. This however is not uncommon, nothing is a better teacher than experience and full immersion. 

When I first started, I could barely join trousers properly or make a well fitting vest on my own. Now I can make my own trousers, my own vests. I'm assisting with jackets, being involved in our business side as well, analysing the posture of our clients and learning how it can influence the pattern and the adjustments needed. I never would have guessed I’ll be doing this much in such a short time, and hell, even a year ago I would never thought this would be where I am, learning from one of the best tailors. I’m learning countless business skills and lessons that no one ever talked about it in school, and perhaps are rarely talked about in general.  A running joke is how Adriano could open up a school, not specifically for tailoring, but a school of life, with all his technical knowledge, wisdom and ramblings.

Observe, absorb, do, improve. Rinse and repeat.

Also consider this

Not everything is rainbows and roses, however. It's been an incredible journey thus far that has flown past, but it is also challenging in its own way. Any expert in a particular area with a strong passion and high standards, poses a steep learning curve for those wanting to learn from them. I imagine it’s akin to working for a renowned head chef whom expects a standard that has made them acclaimed, and as they expect this quality from themselves, they too expect it from you. When you are learning, you will make mistakes and you will learn from them, and with the right amount of pressure you learn fast from your mistakes so as not to repeat them. This work requires an internal drive, a passion and expectation for oneself to give your best possible effort, regardless of how minute the task is. From a button sewn on, through to the complexities in jackets. If I disappoint Adriano, or fail to do my best work, it takes its toll. You expect the best from yourself, to strive for perfection as much as you can and this means focusing constantly on what could be better, to constantly improve. With this said, I don't want it any other way. Adriano pushes me because he believes in me. I appreciate his honesty, and he pushes me and expects so much of me because he believes in me. I feel motivated knowing that my mentor believes I can do great things, and rightfully so he should be honest with me to get the best work possible from me. I’m a very self-motivated person and I have always demanded a lot from myself, partly due to my many years of individual competitive sports and my personality.

Step by step.

It's a rarity, honestly

I’m one of the first apprentices Adriano has had in a very long time and he doesn’t take on many, if any people. This is because an apprenticeship is such a  personal commitment, opening ones business, life, and trust to someone who you are investing in. Even though I don't own the business, I feel that I have a stake in it and everything I do has an impact on it. It is an amazing feeling for someone to really put their trust in you, but of course the pressure is there along with the stress as well. However, when you’re in it together and you’re working side-by-side and learning side-by-side, it’s a level of trust and respect that I've never experienced in the workplace before. I don’t want to pretend to be a great tailor just yet, I’m just doing my best every day to be better than who I am now, slowly working my way towards being a Master Tailor. It all sounds very serious and grande, but the seriousness aside, we are all good friends in the workplace and as much as I see Adriano and Maria as teachers and employers, they are also as my peers and I trust them with my personal life too. 

Every little detail works together to make a beautiful garment.

That's enough rambling, John

There’s so much today that I still have to learn, but in the short time I’ve been here since April, I feel like I have been accepted as a part of the family and trusted with a business and craftsmanship that's taken a lifetime to establish. I’ve been taught so much more in the past few months with Adriano, than I had studying overseas in a fancy college. I’m immeasurably grateful for the opportunity that Adriano and Maria have given me to learn and grow. One of the truest tragedies of history, is as a generation passes, so too does the knowledge and skills that made them great. I do feel humbled and truly appreciated that I am trusted with the honour of receiving this knowledge, to receive someone's time and commitment, to be nurtured to (hopefully) be even better than they are in the future.

So, next time you’re around, do come up and say hi because hopefully this post has shown you that there is a lot more behind us than just suits and a sartoria. We've all got our individual stories, and we'd love to get to know yours too!

 

What is a Made-To-Measure suit?

What is a Made-To-Measure suit?

What is a Made-To-Measure suit?

Hi, and welcome to how we see Made-To-Measure! My name is John Cichello and I am an apprentice for Adriano Carbone Master Tailor. In this post, I will be talking about Made-To-Measure garments and in my opinion, what you need to know when looking for a quality one. People often have difficulty trying to find a suit off the rack , because they're frequently made to fit a certain person, of a particular size, with a characteristic shape. A challenging target market to fit into, especially once you start factoring in that every persons body and shape is truly unique! Sometimes the chest may be too tight, the sleeves too long, or perhaps the style is different to what you desired. Made-To-Measure suits are the next best choice up from something straight off the rack as it allows you to make customisations, within limits, and helps you to get something that is more tailored to your body and shape.

 

Building your "profile"

Our Made-To-Measure service begins with building your profile to help us understand your body shape and requirements. This is accomplished through three basic measurements of your chest, waist, and seat along with an assessment of your physique and individual characteristics of your body. Then, a master garment is worn and reference photos are taken to provide the necessary visual information for later adjustments.

Some of the tools used in a Made-To-Measure garment.

Particular with fabrics and linings? No problem, so are we!

We stock a huge range of fabrics and linings from different milliners all over the world, including, but not limited to Scabal, Huddersfield, Laura Piana, and Dormeuil. Fabric is a flat, 2D object cut and attached in such a way so that it drapes, wraps and shapes the 3 dimensions of the wearer. Fabric forms such a crucial part of a garment, that as a foundation of any garment it should never be skimped on. So, if you’re going to spend the money to invest in a Made-To-Measure garment, invest in quality fabric. It should be one of the first and foremost things on your mind so you don’t tarnish a quality garment with a cheap cloth. 

There's no shortage of fabrics here.

Cut, sewn, and all made locally

We make our Made-To-Measure suits 100% in Melbourne, in the block arcade, in our sartoria. In addition, Adriano himself cuts each garment, individually. This allows us to create a customised garment to the individual, from scratch. Whether you have a truly unique body shape, eccentric styling preferences, or have your own unique flair, cutting each and every garment individually opens up possibilities to you as the customer. This may, for example, be something as simple as optional handstitching on the lapels, through to more complex jacket styles.

Adriano creating the collar.

Time to take your first steps into the world of custom clothing!

Now that you know what Made-To-Measure is and what to look for to indicate quality, you’re ready to invest in a garment knowing you’re buying quality. Our Made-To-Measure suits start from $1795 for a quality super 120'ss cloth (in stock) and are all half canvased with a large range of customisation's available, including, but not limited to, handstitching on the lapels and open buttonholes on the sleeves (surgeon's cuff). For more information on our Made-To-Measure service, please visit our Made-To-Measure page or give us a call on (03) 9600 2422 to arrange a time to come by.

Stay tuned for more blogs in the near future!