The “tailor-made” can also concern the manufacture of a single object not used to dress but corresponding to precise dimensions. In this case, there is no systematic relationship between the morphology and the result of manufacture, only the customer’s desires matter. It is customary to use the term “special order”.
In a field related to fashion, tailor-made is also practiced by malletiers such as Moynat, Louis Vuitton, the very old Goyard, or even the most recent Ephtée or Pinel & Pinel; They know how to respond to any request for dimensions and integrations of the most diverse external elements. Jewelery is also an area used to the special order realized to the wishes of the buyers (and sometimes to the morphology in the case of a ring or a bracelet). The manufacture is done by hand by a jeweler craftsman with his workshop and a stone crimper. The tailor-made begins with the choice of a stone for which the jewel will be fashioned, or from a drawing or a sketch, enabling the jewel on which the stones will be mounted later to be envisaged. The half-measure is also practiced, with jewels whose frame already exists and which the customer can adapt according to his tastes and his budget. Optics is also an area in which tailor-made products exist, such as the art-master Lunetier Christian Bonnet, who can take up to fifteen measures to manufacture spectacles. For the vast majority of these companies, the concept of Made in France is “a vital and vital guarantee,” including for selling abroad. In the mid-2000s, with the standardization of the global brands of ready-to-wear clothing and the choice to return to authenticity, the tailor-made men’s wardrobe marked a notable return to habits – measure. In a more general way, human expenditure on clothing is increasing rapidly; The IFM points out that around the year 2010, men’s clothing expenditure suffered less recession than female clothing. This period began symbolically with the arrival of Hedi Slimane in the artistic direction of Dior Homme, an event that marks a turning point with collections that met with great success.
For only a few years, or for decades, several major brands have created or perpetuated the tradition of tailoring to the image of Hermès, Lanvin, Paul Smith, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Pope in the 7th arrondissement, Starck & Sons, Dior Homme, Brioni, Francesco Smalto who is a Living Heritage Company by his know-how, or Charvet. The brand Hugo Boss, the world leader in ready-to-wear clothing, created in 2013 a semi-ready fashion department and the Italian Dolce & Gabbana offer tailor-made service not far from Savile Row and Gucci launches A collection available in half-measure. The male tailor-made market thus remains dynamic with the arrival of these many new players, sometimes coming from ready-to-wear, working in small or half-measures.
The interest of tailor-made, artisanal and local activities, most often held by artisans independent of major luxury groups, is symbolized by the acquisition of the tailor Arnys in 2012 by the world’s leading luxury group, LVMH, under the principle of “The notion of transmission of know-how”. He is a renowned tailor made since 1933 in Paris, a specialist of great size34,33. Among his clients are Jean Cocteau, François Mitterrand, Laurent Fabius, François Fillon or Pierre Bergé and many dandies. All the realizations of the house can be tailor-made9 on the first floor of the house, or ready-to-wear. Similarly, for the shirt, Charvet remains fiercely independent. The traditional tailor remains a “neutral zone”, a place of exchange where one discusses, exchanges, and confides. Each fitting, sometimes compared to “initiation rites”, lasting an hour, all subjects are approached, in all discretion. The universe of men’s tailors is exclusively male and clients are most often unaccompanied.
For the shirt, there remain in the years 2010 less than a dozen specialists in France able to manufacture to a great extent. Some brands, such as Ralph Lauren or Zilli, offer half-service services. The footwear sector also includes a number of custom-made boots, such as the London-based shoemaker John Lobb, or the art master Pierre Corthay, who says: “Our society needs roots, objects manufactured by True humans, with real matter, a history, a consistency. A pair of tailor-made shoes may require fifty hours of labor.
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Haute couture, a Parisian tradition dating symbolically from 1868, has always been totally indissociable from the feminine tailor-made, and is opposed to ready-to-wear. In the following years, we can distinguish between “petite couture”, “Medium seam”, and haute couture.
The regulations issued after the War by the Chambre Syndicale specify that haute couture models “must be reproduced on the client’s measure by the company itself … and include one or more fittings on the client or her mannequin”. Each collection of the great couturier presents several achievements, often in the state of prototype; These are then made to order, the customer can modify options like fabric, lengths, neckline.
The seamstress “first workshop”, for having realized the original model, generally takes care of This command, and supervises the taking of measurements and then fittings. Tailor-made can also be done on a custom wooden dummy for clients who can not move. In the same way, some shoes have a form of wood, sort of molding of the foot, for its most prestigious clients.
For women, tailor-made for clothing, but also for shoes or handbags. The big shoes world, such as Christian Louboutin for example, offer a service sometimes large or more often small, and the leatherman Fendi offers some of its bags in small measure with various options.
The tradition of bespoke tailoring has been symbolized for two centuries by the Savile Row street in London. Faced with the predominance of ready-to-wear clothing, particularly from the 1960s, tailors installed in this street know how to perpetuate a tradition, despite a significant decline in economic activity for decades. In the early 2000s, in order to clarify the concept of tailor-made, tailors met within the Savile Row Bespoke Association and established a precise charter:
Pure bespoke, “an english and hyper-demanding variant of tailor-made clothing”, refers to a “unique piece entirely conceived according to your measurements, one notch above the custom-made”, defined by the taking of several tens of measures in order to ‘Offer’ a 100% manual production, a specific pattern for each customer, a minimum of 50 working hours, a choice of more than 2 000 fabrics and dozens of details of manufacture that sign an incomparable know-how”. This term refers more precisely to the implicit contract between the tailor and his client, which extends over several weeks or months with numerous successive fittings and the follow-up of the tailoring step by step. It is a personal relationship established between a tailor, unique, and the buyer.
Since the sewing has existed, the creation of clothes is carried out to the morphology of the customer. Historically, tailor-made products are an integral part of the clothing industry: local seamstresses perform customer requests, the relationship is directly with the manufacturer. This is also the case for tailors before they know-for some of them-an international reputation since the nineteenth century, such as Redfern. With the emergence of industrialization and the first sewing machines at the beginning of the twentieth century and then the very first beginnings of a form of ready-to-wear in the years 1920-1930, things changed: Dressmaker, established style, or brand take over at the expense of personal and local relationship. With relocation, manufacturing goes away, as does the responsibility of the customer to be involved in the design of a product that he has chosen since the very first stage, even though the latter does not yet exist.
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Tailor-made, or “custom-made” or “#bespoketailoring” means the creation of a piece of clothing (shirt, shoes, suit) to the morphology and desires of the client. According to the level of intervention of the tailor or the couturier, and sometimes of its geographical location, tailor-made can take various denominations, largely in France, bespoke in England, or su misura in Italy. Traditionally, tailor-made is opposed to ready-to-wear.
The half-measure is a predominantly industrial process. It consists in making a garment from a preexisting pattern. An available model is then used which is adjusted to measurements, morphology, customer demand. The choice of the fabric is much wider than for ready-to-wear, shapes, lining or buttons is then possible. The assembly is then done by the machine and some finishes may possibly be manual such as the sewing of the linings, buttonholes, or the inside of the collar; This assembly is most often carried out abroad, whether in Germany or Italy, in Western Europe more generally, as well as sometimes in Eastern Europe or China. The half-size piece requires only two to three appointments with the tailor, little manual work, and its selling price is about two to six times less than the large measure. Half measurement is sometimes considered as an alternative to “escape the imperfections of ready-to-wear and offers more possibilities of correction than the simple retouching of a ready-to-wear model”.
Some brands, such as Lanvin, the Frenchman John Aston, Savile House by Scabal – formerly a supplier of fabric that now works half-way – or the historic Cifonelli are famous for the creation of half-size suits Measure for some), with fabrics supplied by Dormeuil or Loro Pianan for example. The small measure is close to the half measure: use of an existing pattern and adaptation to the morphology of the client. But the making is handcrafted and is done by hand.
“To a large extent, nothing exists until the customer has ordered”
The great measure, the “tailor-made,” consists of making a single copy of a garment. A shirt requires ten to twenty points of body measurement, a suit about thirty. At the end of this measurement, a pattern is realized. Fifty to seventy hours of work are then necessary for the making of the costume. The choices are wide, sometimes including several thousand fabrics, as well as many other details of pockets, lapels, or seams. The vast majority of seams are made by hand. The large measure imposes a workshop most often on site, and the presence of a tailor master. It is recognized that a suit in large measure has a much longer lifespan than in ready-to-wear, sometimes several generations.
The tailor-made measurements make it possible to improve the line of the wearer, to correct his imperfections in morphology, and to give him a much better ease. Moreover, the tailor retains the measurements of the client, the small or large measure becomes a saving of time for the realization of the next pieces, although the pattern is renewed after a few years; Despite all the expectation of the product is an integral part of the tailor-made.
The English term bespoke, or bespoke tailoring, is generally considered to be the equivalent of “tailor-made” French. However, the word comes from the English verb bespeak which means “to command”. There is thus a discrepancy between the meaning generally attributed to the term and its literal meaning, born at a time when the difference between tailor-made and half-measures did not exist and only the difference between immediate availability and Made to order. This ambiguity of the English term was highlighted by a 2008 decision of the Advertising Standard Authority. In a June 2008 ruling, the UK regulatory body, which had received a complaint concerning an advertisement for a half-tailor, describing its products as “bespoke”, considered that “(Made-to-measure) was made-to-order, to the extent that it was manufactured precisely according to the customer’s measurements and choices and not Ready-to-wear, that the client expected a bespoke suit to be made according to his / her choices and choices [and that] the majority of people do not, however, expect the costume or entirely made by hand from a pattern entirely cut from nothing”.
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In some countries, in the days of shortages on good clothes at the sewing studios there has been no lack of customers. Actually, there were plenty of them. Nowadays, there is no lack in rather high-quality (but not the best quality/fit as bespoke tailoring guarantees) fashionable clothing in the shopping malls, as there is a huge selection for every taste and budget always available online and offline. Nevertheless, the flow of customers in the sewing workshops is not dried up. However, according to the tailors, in developing countries, now they have to basically repair and adjust the finished garment. Demand for tailoring is very small.
In the past, it was difficult to be fashionable (especially in such countries as Soviet Union) and to choose a nice dress by yourself. At those times, at a much slower pace, people had more time and desire to invest their time in creating something unique, very high quality, not expensive, and individual for themselves and they opted for bespoke tailoring (which was not considered a luxury by no means). These days, the industry (China, if to be more precise, in many cases) produces clothes that are not for people, but for the “masses”. Fast fashion with low quality, but that is looking bright and fashionable. This is the modern mass market. China is definitely the king in this one.
In the past, and even these days in the majority of developing countries imported clothes have been considered de-facto fashionable and much more appreciated that the local (for example in such countries in Soviet Union and then in the 90s). Sewing studios were almost the only available opportunity for Soviet citizens to fill up their wardrobe with decent quality clothes. It was not considered a luxury in 70s, 80s, or 90s. It was the only fashion there was for the masses, but the quality one. These days, in the countries of former Soviet Union, bespoke tailoring is something out of this world for 95% of people. With Chinese fast fashion, majority do not even consider bespoke tailoring as an option. It is extremely rare in those countries (accessible only for wealthy people, or for middle class for special occasions). I am taking as an example these countries from the former Soviet Union as they show an interesting example of how something that was not very much valued but was quality and personalized (bespoke tailoring) converted to fast the option of simple Chinese fashion that is now valued even more.
Today the situation is reversed: the clothing market is one of the most rewarding (again, the Chinese effort). The proposal is perhaps even greater than the demand. Markets and shopping centers are definitely for the masses. Bespoke tailoring is a luxury that only a few can opt for. The most popular services among current customers are the correction and repair of ready-made garments. Finished things often need to be adjusted – shortened / customized, and that’s the only thing masses currently consider after the purchases.
Choice of readymade garments just seems limitless. In fact, to find something that would suit all the parameters is very difficult. Sewing custom clothing has always been more expensive than buying ready-made at the store. In general, it is what stops the masses from choosing bespoke tailoring. It is simply too expensive for the majority.
Source of images: Google