In the first of a series of vintage bespoke Italian garments, I am pleased to show examples of true sartorial masterworks from different regions of Italy. Tailors that no longer exist and who’s namesake retired when they did, but rival any of the more well known names. Enigmatic tailors, who together prove that no other country had such a more prodigious output of gentleman’s tailoring in the 20th century than Italy.
What is fascinating about bespoke Italian tailoring in the 20th century is how provincial it was. A tailor was like a baker, you didn’t need to go far to get measured. Getting a suit made was not relegated to the wealthy, it was just what men did. A gentleman needed clothing and hence had it made, it’s as simple as that. The labels inside the jackets were secondary, and many times there were no labels. Was it humility? The notion of no label is quite romantic, and even mythical.
The sublime tuxedo tails comes from equally sublime city of Pisa. It is not dated but looks to be from the 1940’s, and does indeed have a label, and I’m quite grateful for this, for without it I would have pegged for perhaps being Neapolitan, but I’ll get to that later. The tailor is Sissi. A completely hand made coat. Soft, gentle shoulders that have that perhaps have the DNA of its Florentine neighbor. Virtually no padding at the shoulder and a very subtle roping to the sleeve head. The shoulder seam is closed by hand. The slope is very subtle. A higher armhole, and a tapered sleeve add to the elegance and refinement of this coat.