Tailoring: Characteristics of the French Style
ailored garments, particularly for menswear, are the most common pieces we design here at Studio 104. Tailored looks offer a formality and professionalism that will often fulfill all the requirements of a bespoke uniform for a client.
Some may assume that a suit is no more than the pairing of a jacket and trouser with not much else to it other than choosing which shade of grey or navy blue might work best. During a series of blog posts titled similarly to the above, I will explore some of the tailoring from around the world and their distinct characteristics to highlight just how varied, detailed and beautiful a suit can be.
Most recently, Studio 104 were asked to design a bespoke uniform for a client with French origins. This is where we began to divulge into the stylistics of French tailoring and what differentiates it from say classic British or Neapolitan styles. It is hard to discuss such a topic without referencing the three main players in France’s tailoring game: Cifonelli, Camp De Luca and Smalto. All based in Paris, the similarities between them can start to paint a picture as to what French tailoring is all about. First and foremost, it is the detail of finishing. Bespoke suits are infamously intricate, with hundreds of invisible hand stitching between layers of cloth and functioning hand sewn buttonholes but it is the French tailors that go on to exceed this. Their button holes are the neatest of Milanese and the number of pick stitches (hand sewn top stitching) per inch is unmatched.
“Where machine made button holes have the lapel buttonhole stitched by machine and cut afterwards, the Milanese must be cut first and then carefully hand-stitched after. It involves a piece of thread called a ‘gimp’ which is hand-stitched to surround the buttonhole.The silk threads are then wound tightly around the gimp in order to achieve this aesthetic quality.” Tracy Chow, 2018
Another precise detail shown below by Camp De Luca is a small internal pocket in a drop shape sewn into the lining of a jacket. It is often done using a magnifying glass because of its size.
The style of the jackets themselves typically feature a frog mouth notch lapel that the Parisians have made famous. It can be seen in the below image. It is technically a notch lapel though more closed than usual making it appear somewhere between a notch and a peak. You might also notice the thicker sleeve head if you were to wear one and how the jacket length is slightly shorter than most English jackets tend to be.
Another interesting feature, quite particular to Camp De Luca are the back vents. These have a large amount of overlap that is pressed back inside, making the vents look more like pleats.
After researching all these elements, we can combine it with styling details and colourways reflective of say the client’s interiors and as a result come up with a tailored look completely unique to them. It is easy to slip into seeing a suit as something universally the same but the designers at Studio 104 thrive on being more creative than simply “putting the males in a navy suit”.
Here at Studio 104 we are able to offer client's many ways to work with us. This can range from a fully bespoke, highly creative uniform collection through to a pre-designed house uniform range (104 Collection) that can meet short lead times and keener budgets. We are particular specialists in men's tailoring, exemplified in our work with some of the world's finest luxury hotels, where the male look is of utmost importance. From heritage brands such as Gleneagles, The Savoy, Fortnum & Mason and Mandarin Oriental to the modern luxury brands such as NoMad, Nobu Ibiza Bay, The Fife Arms & The Newt in Somerset.
Written by Beth - Junior Designer
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