CIFONELLI: THE GREAT HAND MADE TROUSERS

IMG_0302I’m not particularly keen on best of lists especially when it comes to tailors. With tailoring it’s not a question of who’s the best, style aside, the question is does the tailor make his clothing in a proper way.

Essentially there is only one proper way to make a suit, and of course along the way some tailors have figured out how to cut corners. But what makes a tailor great is making a garment in a proper way, the way it’s suppose to be done and going beyond. A master tailor addresses solutions with ingenious sewing and the inevitable aesthetic follows in a natural way. Basically the details are not superfluous, or showy, they have purpose and reason.

Here is a superb example of a properly made bespoke trouser that goes to another level. The trousers are from the venerable Cifonelli, a legendary four generation tailoring family. Founded in Rome in 1880 by Giuseppe Cifonelli, and now based in Paris.

The current heads of the Cifonelli are cousins Lorenzo and Massimo. With these two gentleman Cifonelli is in great hands. Not only are they cool and stylish, but know how to cut. They’re not just frontmen.

There’s no question Cifonelli is great, I’ve seen pieces spanning 60 years and I’ve never failed to be amazed. The quality, and finish and attention to details has never veered.

Here the focus is on the Cifonelli trouser. These were made in the 1990’s. Flat front with extended tab closure. At first glance the Cifonelli trouser is not dissimilar in execution from any of the fine Italian sartorias.

It’s the unique details take these trousers to another level. The obvious features are pick stitching on the fly, the zipper set in by hand (Cifonelli does a ridiculously beautiful button-fly as well), as well as the interior double button flap, and of course the most divine hand sewn buttonholes. Then there are the most elaborate hand embroidered bar tacks, and belt loops so delicately sewn on that they seem to be floating. But the waistband and the skirting is what really struck me as making these Cifonellis so special. The upper portion of the interior waistband is in a satin herringbone, of course set in by hand, with an extension of skirting in a gauze cotton that is beautifully tacked and very comfortable on. The top of the waistband has pick stitching that goes around the circumference. A time consuming detail that is refined and gives the band more substance and form.

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