Bespoke and Beyond
The Ultimate Jacket
Without question, Kiton (www.kiton.it) makes some of the best tailored clothing on the planet, and it is raising the bar even higher with the new Lasa jacket for fall. Each one is made by a single tailor from start to finish in a meticulous process that takes 40 hours—a full 15 hours longer than is required for a standard Kiton jacket. Only 10 tailors are qualified to hand-sew the Lasa, which has a concealed linen inner structure that allows the jacket to maintain its form while remaining virtually weightless on the body. The made-to-measure jackets are available by special order in ultrafine, 300-gram cashmere for $8,395. The tailors are already booked through January, so be prepared to wait until next year. —Jill Newman
Brunello Cucinelli, the Italian designer behind the luxury label (www.brunellocucinelli.it), has a knack for pairing the unexpected, such as the tailored gray blazer, cargo pants, and rugged boots he was wearing when we recently visited his headquarters in the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, Italy. We asked Cucinelli to tell us about the “Brunello” look, a way of dressing that is ageless and timeless, yet portrays a certain captivating style.
Rather than try to explain in English, Cucinelli leaped into action, enthusiastically presenting his vision on three models: two twentysomethings (one athletic, the other lanky) and a mature fortysomething. Cucinelli, 57, even put himself in the mix, demonstrating how clothing can express a man’s personality and make him appear youthful. (To see for yourself, click on the video at www.robbreport.com/Brunello-Cucinelli.)
First, Cucinelli methodically folded a pocket square and slipped it into the vest pocket of the athlete. He layered an anorak over the fortysomething’s tailored blazer, and a cashmere, down-feather vest over his own double-breasted blazer (a signature look). Then Cucinelli took off his blazer and popped it over the white button-down shirt of the lanky young model, adding instant sophistication. Bello!
Cucinelli’s distinctive way of dressing proves men can stray from the traditional tailored suit and still look professional in the boardroom or casually chic on the street. That ability to project an effortless polish is called sprezzatura, a skill many Italians seem to master with ease. Cucinelli says the key is to “make it your own.”
“I never button the buttons on my collars and always leave two to three buttons undone on my blazers to show the cuff of my shirt. It’s just a personal preference,” he says. “Small tendencies like these evoke one’s personal style and speak volumes.” —J.N.
Let It Pour
One expects a raincoat to be waterproof, but Allegri’s (www.allegri.com) new Teflon flannel jackets are super water- and stain-resistant and at the same time soft and breathable. The material is the latest technological development from the innovative 40-year-old Italian outerwear company, which uses Teflon flannel in an array of styles, priced from $500 to $1,200, including this hybrid of a sport jacket and a blazer in a wool windowpane. A bonus: The stain-resistant material also means fewer trips to the dry cleaner. —J.N.
Savile Row’s American Address
When men’s fashion executives at Saks Fifth Avenue (www.saksfifthavenue.com) recognized a newfound interest in traditional British fabrics and styling, they went across the pond in search of a partner to create a Savile Row experience in America. Their pursuit led them to Peter Johnston, a bespoke tailor from Edinburgh, Scotland. “Peter represents the future of bespoke tailoring,” says Eric Jennings, Saks’ vice president and fashion director for menswear. “He worked on Savile Row but has a fresh take on classic clothing, and we loved his fit.”
Johnston will have salons at Saks locations in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and he plans to visit each location monthly to meet with clients. After precise measurements, fabric selection, and style consultations, the $8,000 suits will be handmade on Savile Row under Johnston’s watch. —J.N.
Best Foot Forward
Anyone who has worn made-to-measure footwear can attest to the sheer bliss of donning shoes forged to the unique contours of your feet. Now John Lobb (www.johnlobb.com) has added a full-service Parisian atelier at 32 rue de Mogador to make made-to-measure service more accessible to its loyal following. The by-appointment salon is an intimate space, a door away from the office of the CEO. After clients are measured, they choose from a selection of skins and styles, and may even get a glimpse of the 15 shoemakers making custom orders in the workshop on the same floor. It takes precisely 190 steps and two months to complete each pair, whether they are classic oxfords, loafers, or Lobb’s signature ankle boots. Prices range from $6,980 to $20,000 for exotic-skin models. —J.N.
– Jill Newman