I really want to go to Italy this year to commission some things from a few tailors. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how bespoke tailoring is on the decline – things aren’t as good as they were a generation ago and tailoring shops are slowly being converted into ready-to-wear brands. There’s a kernel of truth in that, but there’s also a lot of new talent in the trade and inspiring work being done. I’m not as down on traditional crafts as some of my friends.
It is true, however, that the older generation is starting to retire, especially in Italy. And when they go, they’ll take with them their sense of style. Not that the younger generation is bad – the two are just different. The older generation is more inspired by 1950s fashion, while the younger generation makes things a bit flashier and, at times, more form fitting (with exceptions). I like both, but there’s something special to me about that older generation look.
I thought about this other day as I was looking through these photos of Kentaro Nakagomi, owner of the new outerwear label Coherence. Kentaro gets some of his things from Loris Vestrucci, an older Florentine tailor who was a legend of his time, but is rarely talked about online. Unfortunately, Vestrucci is semi-retired now. He’ll still make things for some of his clients, but he won’t take new customers. Trust me, I tried.
It’s disappointing because these jackets look incredible. Most readers will know Florentine style as the kind of rounded silhouette you see from Antonio Liverano, Francesco Guida, and Kotaro Miyahira. That soft, slightly padded construction with an extended shoulder, sweeping quarters, and almost concave-shaped lapels.
Vestrucci’s work is somewhat similar. You still have that broad, rounded shoulder line with a touch of extra room in the chest. The internal shoulder seam has also been pressed in a way to give the shoulder head a more natural and rounded look (compare this against most English jackets where, even if the sleeve isn’t technically roped, there’s still a bump). And like most Florentine tailors, Vestrucci makes his jackets without front dart – preferring instead to get shape out of a hidden dart under the arm. This is particularly nice on patterned fabrics since the dart won’t disrupt the pattern.
Where it differs is in the overall silhouette. The quarters aren’t as rounded; the jackets aren’t as short. The lapels, while wide and straight, don’t have the illusion of bending inwards. Overall, this feels more like an Italian take on classic English style – a bit more conservative, while still retaining that relaxed, carefree sensibility that has made the region’s tailoring famous.
It’s just a shame that Vestrucci isn’t taking new clients. In five or ten years, I imagine we’ll be saying this of many more tailors, and you won’t be able to get these kinds of jackets from anyone else. Which is why I’m hoping to make it to Italy.