Tailor in Melbourne Archives - Adriano Carbone

Meet The Client: Claudio Pt. 1

Meet The Client: Claudio Pt. 1

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!

How Relevant is the Construction of Tailor Made Suits

How Relevant is the Construction of Tailor Made Suits

I have been making suits for over 40 years the subject is is a fully canvased suit better than a fused suit I will let you be the judge.

Firstly, fused or canvased, they both bubble now the number one reason is excessive dry cleaning mainly the jacket. Think about it, when you take your jacket to the cleaners, the jacket goes into a big machine with other jackets in some cases up to 25 kilos. Imagine 25 kilos pounding your jacket for 45 minutes it’s basically like a tumble dryer with cleaning fluid. I’m not saying don’t dry clean your jacket but be very picky on who cleans it.

I have made thousands of suits my self personally & still made them today. From when I started in this business fusing has come a long way it comes in different weights weaves and today has a very soft feel as canvas comes different weights and weaves.

About 25 years ago I had made myself a beautiful lora piano pure cashmere jacket. The time came it had to be dry cleaned I didn’t trust any dry cleaner. I happened to be at old watering hole where I met a tailor who had a dry cleaning business who had explained to me how dry cleaning works. He invited me to see his set up so I went. The secret was instead of placing in 20 jackets in the machine he would only put in a maximum of 5.

Today we all live in a world that evolves faster than what we can keep up with – cars for example, a 66 Bentley or 2015 Bentley, which one do you want? I’ll let you be the judge.

Where a Passion for Tailoring was Born

Where a Passion for Tailoring was Born

My grandfather was a master builder, my father is a Master Tailor. I too am a Master Tailor, I guess the Mastery did not miss a generation.

We all have one thing in common – we are engineers, we all have a craft and we love what we do. This is why we all have a passion for our craft as my grandfather, my father and now myself, we are all perfectionists. We were all born to create and bring to life the material we use.

As a little boy I watched my grandfather build his home from the foundations to his dinning table. As for my father, I watch him bring a piece of cloth to life from start to finish, that is were my passion began.

At the age of six, I was standing on a milk crate cutting around chalk marks with big 13 inch shears. By the age of nine, I was making trousers, soon after that by at the age of 15 I had left high school and gone to work with my father, who had the fourth biggest suiting manufacturing company in Melbourne, this is were I started appreciating the craft.

I think I was about 6 years old at the time and my family were on our way to see my uncle in hospital. When we arrived, I split the inner thigh seam of my trousers. I started crying because I felt embarrassed. My father asked me to remove my trouser when we were in the car and by this time I was hysterical. So I removed my trouser and gave it to my father. He put his hand in his fob pocket. He removed a thimble, lifted his lapel and grabbed a sewing needle undid the hem of his trousers and used that cotton to sew up my trouser.

All I can say now when I think back at that moment in time, that is one of the qualities you need to be a Master Tailor. That is the ability and instinct to resolve a problem as quick as it arises.