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Thread: Geoffrey B. Small

  1. #821

    Default A look behind a radical new directional collection in handmade design technologies


    Thanks so much Cantara, Tabula Rasa, and Mojo1990- (I will try to
    respond to your post later in a separate post or PM)...

    and dear Lohikaarme,

    Thank you so much for your very kind and sincere reply. Apology accepted but no longer in order, and I wish to extend my own to you for getting so emotionally involved in my answer. Where do you live? If you are ever in Paris during one of the designer weeks, I would be happy to arrange a visit to our showroom and an invitation to our show for you, and meet you in person and take you through our collections myself. It is truly hard for anyone to fully understand the level of our work without viscerally seeing it, feeling it, trying it on and learning about it from someone who really knows what went into it. This a problem even among many of the world's most famous and supposedly talented and legendary retail store owners, buyers and/or journalists, who only want to buy or see "looks" and fail to see the incredibly unbalanced superficiality of their approach and their view of what we do and what we think clothing is really all about.

    And believe me this week, they were everywhere in Paris. So I can understand where you are coming from now. It is a problem with the internet that as close as we can get to communicating with each other from all parts of this planet, nuances and meanings still can be misunderstood at best. When Instagram becomes the primary information and promotional vehicle for so many once visionary hands-on store owners and buyers who now so clearly have lost their way… a new level of shallowness, vapidity, total lack of substance and yes, vision, takes over. And so I apologize to you as well, and hope that you can also understand the particular fragility of the moment at which we posted previously.

    I can tell you that the week in Paris was a game changer for many many collections and stores. You won't see or hear about it from them or in the press of course, but many things that have been selling and working very well have suddenly been slowing way down, and budgets and collections were being cut drastically everywhere except for a few very important exceptions.

    We knew about this before we came to Paris. We knew it was a time to change. That is our legacy and what someday will finally be recognized by the mass fashion spectator or student: timing, change and staying one or even 2 steps ahead of the rest of the pack for over 35 years and counting.

    When everybody is zigging, that is the time to zag.

    And this week in Paris was one of those times. So when you first posted, we were in the process of building what we call a "directional collection." Only a very, very few practioners in the game can create a directional collection, let alone a succession of them. Let me begin to try to explain why…

    First off, with a directional collection you risk everything. Everything you have and everything you have done and built up over your lifetime. It all goes on the line. A full bet at the table. Your business. Your reputation. Your skill, talent and capability as well as everyone else's with whom you are involved with.

    You must look at what everyone else including yourself is doing, and then feel, sense, and see, where they should be going next. Like the mythical hockey player Wayne Gretsky always said, "I am able see in my mind where the puck is going to be, a split-second ahead of everyone else on the ice, and that's where I go…"

    We do the same. We bet everything we have on a vision of where things are going to be next. But it is not easy. Even with our exceptionally unique and massive research, at a certain point we step off, no in fact, we leap off… a cliff which once felt of solid ground and safety- and jump out into that pure dense white fog over the abyss-- never knowing exactly if we will take flight, let alone how and where we will land -- to reach and find a new place of creative sanctuary, exploration and growth.

    Emotionally, it can be a time of extreme insecurity, vulnerability and sensitivity. To find this absolute truth, this "zen" of where the forces of direction are truly moving, we must open ourselves completely from inside the soul and inside the mind. We are naked to both ourselves and the world around us, as is necessary for any type of birth or rebirth in both physical and spiritual things. As such, we become like a raw nerve, we feel every presence, both positive and negative… and when negative energies and vibrations come within even the slightest range of our sphere of consciousness, our creative and immune systems rise immediately to the defense of our minds and spirits which must remain totally focused solely on the channeling and creation that must find, maintain and follow that singular energy source which emanates from that single solitary path and trajectory that lies ahead of us… in the fog where we are hanging… either in free fall or soaring flight.

    Any deviation or distraction particularly by negative forces and energies emanating from sources of negative power or spirits-- must be blocked and challenged swiftly and dramatically to prevent risking our loss of way on the true path and hence our own complete creative failure and destruction. Losing your path in the fog over the Abyss is not an option, no matter how much negative energy and chatter from how many voices are around you.

    This is part of the process and the path of building and launching a directional collection in the most competitive designer arena in the world, and arguably one the most brutal businesses in the world as well.

    After you have expensed every ounce of resources, thinking and soul to finally find a way to build your pieces- your prototypes,- the journey then continues through a myriad of hoops, and obstacles and traps that line the way to reach your destination. First there is your show and all that entails which I cannot yet get into in any detail for this post due to time constraint. And then your showroom, where the rubber begins to hit the road… and the new idea, the new direction, must take the first steps to get itself out into the stores where the people, and the public, will have an opportunity to see, experience and (if they decide) acquire, and begin to wear and use it in their lives.

    Bear also in mind, that nothing is more difficult or risky than introducing a new directional collection to buyers in Paris when the collections you have been already doing are already doing well for them. It's against human commercial nature. "Why fix it if it isn't broken, right? Let's just keep on doing the same thing. It's working." And so, buyers and designers can easily fall into the habit of staying longer and longer in a perceived comfort zone. But for any true master of this game who is in it for the long haul, that is the deadliest trap of all. Both buyer and designer get increasingly content, overly confident with themselves, and lazy. And unless the designer can increase their production numbers enormously and or move their production out to cheaper venues (which many do eventually by selling out to the system in one form or another and becoming another megabrand), basic operating and material costs and therefore, prices in this end of the game, inevitably go up over time. So, the customer who bought before comes into the store, and sees the same thing as before, but priced ever higher, and so begins to decide not to buy anymore, because honestly there is nothing to buy for him or her. Only the new customer who has not bought the same thing earlier will buy at the new higher price. In many cases, as a brand gets more exposed and more known, there are plenty of new customers out there to feed growth for both store and designer. But if for one reason or another, there are not enough new customers to make up for the lack of the old customer to continue to come back and buy, the store's business goes down- oftentimes, dramatically. They have lost their original customer. The core customer. They have lost the repeat business that is so fundamental to a retailer's long term success. Why? Because they simply have failed to move themselves forward enough to be in a position to be able to provide a sufficient reason for their older customers (and all of their friends and family members as well) to continue to buy from them. Remember the quote from David Geller: "you must always stay at least 6 months ahead of your customer." It's an old fundamental in this game. And it's still the truth today.

    So here is the rule of the game for the true creative designer. Either you keep creating and redefining yourself with all of its risks and dangers and stay ahead of the pack to guard your independence and integrity, or you get bigger fast by selling out and feeding on new customers who don't know about you yet and give up on the older ones who will eventually get bored with you and go elsewhere--or you die over time as a collection or a brand. In the last 2 cases you lose your creativity and oftentimes your integrity as well.

    We set out this season to stay ahead. Our goal was to create the most extreme hand built women's collection ever presented in Paris for ready to wear, and once again break the barriers in handmade clothing technology.

    And we did.

    Here is the place where the fabrics that launched the new collection came from,
    and the very room where all of the them were made,
    the Colombo family's authentic 18th century wooden hand-looms at Badoere di Morgano,
    where the story of our groundbreaking women's collection begins...


  2. #822

    Default (continued from above) A look behind a radical new directional collection...

    -With a new exclusive relationship with the Colombo family in Badoere di Morgano which began right off with nothing less than a revolution. You see, the Colombos don't just weave great fabric. They weave it by hand. All of it. On original 18th century looms that they have carefully kept and maintained for generations. And while it takes 2 days working on one of these looms to make enough cloth just to make a single suit, what can be done on those looms is simply another world when it comes to fabric. And as we stepped into this new world, it led us into an entirely new way of looking at things, and yes, making things, especially the prototypes for this new collection- which rises so much higher in time, skill and sartorial artistic excellence that it takes all other recent artisanal designer collections and their pieces, including our own, and simply leaves them back on the ground.

    So while the classic appearance fooled both the superficially-minded buyer and the superficially-minded journalist (there were in fact, some very good reasons to go in this direction with a classic concept)- the collection we presented in Paris was a revolutionary one. And it has set a new standard in women's classic luxury tailored clothing that now challenges any major couture house in the world. There is now something better for this customer. And way cooler. And that customer is growing. And while those so-called luxury houses are busy buying and selling each other and trying to rebrand and relaunch one bogus "heritage brand concept" after another, we are steadily and aggressively building a real new heritage brand from scratch. A real one, with a real person behind it. And one that will be one of the greatest of the 21st century because it is not run by financiers or accountants, it is run by people with one singular vision- to make the best clothes in the world possible today by human beings, bar none.

    And nothing represents that vision today more than the pieces that can be found in this new collection. They are totally new technology pieces-- the most handworked collection ever done for a Paris ready to wear collection... again starting with the fabrics which following an exclusive new agreement with the Colombo family (Tessitura La Colombina) in Badoere di Morgano, were all totally hand woven on a series of original 18th century wooden hand looms that the family has maintained for centuries. This fabric took us into totally new territory for complexity of hand technologies. For example, it took 2 days of work for a person working on the hand loom to create enough fabric for a single 2-piece suit. To achieve the extraordinary dark colors we presented in Paris, after extensive trials and testing in our workrooms, we found we had to hand dye the fabrics not just once, but twice to get the yarns to go dark enough and hit the amazing patina and softness that was finally achieved. So another 2 full days due to double-hand dye baths were needed just to dye a single suit. Because the hand loom techniques result in looser weaves than with power looms, the fabric was also very different to work with in the sartoria (tailoring rooms), cutting had to be done much more delicately and carefully or the fabric will run and yarns will unravel quickly, our initial time studies indicate 2-3 times longer to cut a suit in this type of cloth, and at its already high price and value--we cannot afford any mistakes.

    Likewise all other operations using hand and machine on this fabric are different, required more care, and far more time. Many operations could not be done with machine at all, forcing us to make these pieces some of the most hand-built pieces in our entire history. 3-4 days to make a single jacket. 2-3 days for one of the skirts. Incredible details that would be impossible to achieve by another design house on this fabric with such extreme technical demands... entirely handsewn pockets, lace and trim details all around jacket fronts-sleeves-pockets, interior hems on bodies and sleeves, buttonholes (which initially appeared impossible to achieve on the loosely woven fabric) and loops, buttons, labels, lining attachment seams all around and the exquisite interior metal chains attached to the bodice hemlines--all by our extreme skill handwork.

    All linings were done in pure silk from Como and match the blouses presented in the collection. Different from other woven fabrics, the silk raso satin from Como is also far more demanding and less forgiving a fabric to craft clothes with. Its fluidity and movement under the needle make it particularly tricky to sew accurately, seam after seam, as the piece is being constructed. Likewise in cutting, the silk has a mind of its own... it slides, it moves, like water. So to work with it you not only need to be a great technician, but you also need a special "zen" to go with the flow of the fabric as you execute your operations with it. On top of that due to the super high yarn count, superfine weave of silk, it is almost impossible to make a stitch in a silk fabric like this without making a hole with your needle. So unlike other fabrics, you cannot make a single stitching mistake on the silk. Because, like leather, if you take out the stitch you will leave a hole. On other fabrics this is not the case, stitches can be removed without making holes in the cloth. So working with the silk also requires more time and extra care when performing the work, and to match the blouses and linings and handwoven fabric, all the silks were also double-hand dyed.

    In addition to the amazing fabrics, other detail elements like the laces and trims used on the pieces are vintage Venetian linen and other specialty fibres and were very difficult to acquire and took months of time to procure prior to our own building of the collection in record time (under what would be agreed as totally impossible conditions for any other design firm in the world), to be delivered in time for our October 3rd presentation in Paris. This is a part of the design story that you will never see or hear about from the usual industry mouthpieces and media. But thanks to this forum, it is a story that I am now able to share with you directly.

    In our showroom in Paris at the legendary Espace Saint Martin, "Examen Reginae" not only set a radical new direction for Paris fashion at the avant-garde level, it also established the beginning of an entirely new area of extreme hand creation textile and clothes-making technologies that we are in the ground stages of experiencing. We have soared through the fog and have now found ourselves on the shores of a whole new world of design and artistic possibilities. And it also smashed another new all-time record for sales and order bookings as our top, and our best, visionary dealers around the world continue to understand our mission and offer the most advanced designer handmade clothes available in the world today to their growing clientele. As a result, we are now rapidly expanding our staff, human development, and workroom operations at Cavarzere Venezia in order to accommodate the new demand for our newest and perhaps most exciting work to date. For both men and women, SS2016 will be our biggest season since moving the firm to Italy over 15 years ago. And we thank everyone, from collaborator, to co-worker, to customer, whose participation and support has helped us to get this far. Including you Lohikaarme, for your interest and curiosity from far away somewhere, in what we are trying to do and have been doing now since 1979 starting in an attic, making clothes for friends.

    With many thanks to all of our clients, staff members, key suppliers and collaboration partners who supported our vision and saw the future with us on this amazing and challenging, and yet, already extremely successful, new voyage in clothing design and wardrobe creation.

    Best and warmest wishes,

    Geoffrey for everyone

    Some views by Yusuke Shiike of our showroom in Paris at the legendary Espace Saint Martin.
    "Examen Reginae" set a radical new direction for Paris fashion at the avant-garde level and
    broke a another new record for sales and order bookings as our visionary dealers continue
    to understand our aim to offer the best and most advanced designer handmade clothes available
    in the world today to a loyal and growing clientele.

    Last edited by Geoffrey B. Small; 10-24-2015 at 05:52 AM. Reason: grammar

  3. #823


    After visiting Hotoveli I have become very interested in Small's work and philosophy. Hopefully I can buy a piece or two soon, whenever I have enough money to do so.

  4. #824

    Default replies to round and Mojo1990


    1.) Dear round,
    thanks so much for your post and your interest.
    Whenever you are ready, we look forward to hearing from you.
    Best wishes, Geoffrey


    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo1990 View Post
    Hi Geoffrey,

    After having read and seen your beautiful clothing, it is an absolute pleasure to be able to contact you so directly via this open forum. Thank you for sharing your passion and craftsmanship to the world.

    I am currently In talks via email with Hotoveli for a pair of Super 150’s Emotions Wool trouser (From the AW15 collection) . I would like to know if you could perhaps share some pictures of the trousers, or if you have any runway pictures that would be ideal.

    2.) Dear Mojo1990,

    Thanks again for your inquiry and your patience.
    Concerning your request about the OCP04N Fratelli Piacenza Super 150's Emotions 16-micron wool handmade trouser,
    I have now been able to dig up some pages on the design from the Hotoveli AW15 collection storybook we made for the
    store, as well as a shot from the "Witness" collection show in Paris this past January (photo: G. Barbagelata).
    Hope this is helpful, please ask the guys at Hotoveli for any further assistance.
    Thanks again for your interest and post.

    Best wishes,
    Geoffrey & the Team


  5. #825



    Thank you so much for yet another set of very detailed posts. If I'm ever in Paris during the designer weeks, I'll let you know. I'm in a tiny town in the US's Midwest. Sadly I have to travel a little bit to even get to a J Crew

    Also, sorry for the very late reply... I had to read your posts a couple times.

    Those fabrics (and the pieces as a whole, of course), are quite beautiful. I'll have to see if I can find some of your pieces in real life. The looms and fabrics truly are something special. Your risk taking is also quite spectacular (wrt direction, fabric choice) though it certainly seems to pay off. The silk especially sounds quite dangerous (and perhaps therefore all the more enticing).

    I look forward to hopefully seeing more images from Examen Reginae.

    I must ask though... how do your clothes take to being altered? It sounds quite nearly impossible or risky given both the fabric and construction method used (oh, those buttonholes!). Perhaps it's against your ethos?

  6. #826


    Quote Originally Posted by Lohikaarme View Post
    I must ask though... how do your clothes take to being altered? It sounds quite nearly impossible or risky given both the fabric and construction method used (oh, those buttonholes!). Perhaps it's against your ethos?
    I believe Geoffrey is very much in favor of tailoring. The garments should be suited to the wearer and forming a relationship with your local tailor is important. Any tailor that does more than simple alterations should be able to sew additional or replacement buttonholes by hand but it'll cost you.

  7. #827


    Quote Originally Posted by yubbermax View Post
    I believe Geoffrey is very much in favor of tailoring. The garments should be suited to the wearer and forming a relationship with your local tailor is important. Any tailor that does more than simple alterations should be able to sew additional or replacement buttonholes by hand but it'll cost you.
    it should not be more than 5 dollars to open a hole by machine , but by hand it would vary really. Also button placement is tricky on pre made garments so it is case by case basis, someone else can chime in on this too though just my thoughts, but it's like how GBS said sometimes it's "seemly impossible " for some fabrics
    Quote Originally Posted by unwashed View Post
    Try to use a phone camera in broad daylight or use a proper camera.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahimsa View Post
    I've found it extremely pleasant and enthralling over repeated whiffs so I would highly recommend.

  8. #828


    GBS thank you for the information! The images you provided were very helpful. :)

    I have decided on purchasing the two LMS07 Super 120's organic cotton shirts (dark and white) they have in my size (48) for the time being. I will save up some money in the mean time for next seasons collection where I hope to purchase a pair of trousers and perhaps even a jacket to compliment the aesthetics and overall look. I thought it better to purchase two of your pieces rather than one.

    I would also just like some clarification on the current AW15 menswear collection. Is it only being stocked exclusively at Hotoveli? I know Eth0s have a few SS15 pieces, but they have only small sizes left in stock (I only recently learnt about your work so had I known earlier I would have purchased a few more in my size), and I have been trying to contact Hostem in the UK without any response.

    In regards to SS16, I have received a pre order list of select items from Cruvoir, but are there other stores that will stock SS16? I am eager not to miss out this time around.

  9. #829


    Dear Mojo1990,

    Thanks for your post and purchases with Hotoveli.
    To answer as quickly as possible, our AW15 men's collection "Witness"
    is available at the following dealers:

    Hotoveli New York

    Hostem London

    Persuade Bilbao*

    Darklands Berlin*

    Eth0s, Shanghai*

    Surrender, Singapore*

    Arts&Science, Aoyama (Tokyo)

    Johnbull private labo Harajuku (Tokyo)*

    AL Select, Kichijoji (Tokyo)*

    Souterrain, Roppongi (Tokyo)

    Cathedral, Osaka*

    Provogue, Nagoya*

    Restrict, Utsunomiya*

    Liberte, Kobe*

    Johnbull private lab, Okayama

    Farenah, Sofia

    * deliveries now or still arriving

    SS2016 men's "Radicalissimmo" (to be confirmed)

    Note that SS2016 has set record orders and currently exceeds our current projected production capacity. We are reviewing the entire season's order requests and our current production operations and staffing at the moment and are unable to state exactly if all of the below will have the collection although they have all placed standing orders for it:

    Hotoveli New York
    Hostem London
    Persuade Bilbao
    Darklands Berlin
    Eth0s, Shanghai
    Surrender, Singapore
    Secret Service, Taipei
    Arts&Science, Aoyama (Tokyo)
    Super A Market, Aoyama (Tokyo)
    Land of Tomorrow, Marunouchi (Tokyo)
    AL Select, Kichijoji (Tokyo)
    Gallem, Daikanyama (Tokyo)
    Souterrain, Roppongi (Tokyo)
    Cathedral, Osaka
    Provogue, Nagoya
    Restrict, Utsunomiya
    Liberte, Kobe
    Hues, Fukuoka
    Farenah, Sofia
    IF New York
    Cruvoir, Los Angeles

    Hope this is helpful.
    p.s. I have just sent you a PM regarding your other questions.

    For Lohikaarme, Yubbermax, and Trigger Discipline...

    Thanks also for each of your posts. Regarding alterations capabilities on our pieces, I need more time to reply in depth. But for the moment I can state that very few, if any, other designer collections in the world are designed to be more suitable for alterations capability than ours. For an explanation in more detail, I will post more later on this… sorry gotta work right now on a delivery.

    Cheers and thanks to everyone,



  10. #830

    Default (continued from above)

    Some images of recent works at Persuade in Bilbao, with many thanks to
    Rosa Orrantia, Andrea Mendieta, Xabier Aguirre and the entire staff at Persuade...

  11. #831


    Everytime I see more pictures from you I fall more in love with the garments. No more procrastination, time to start saving.

  12. #832
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    New York, China, Firenze

    Default Thank you

    Hi, Geoffrey

    I just tried on the new GJ04 jacket from eth0s Shanghai. It was everything that I've dreamed of. The fabric is cashmere and silk, but it kept me warm surprisingly well during this cold day. I absolutely love the design of linings too. Here, I just have one humble question: I very much admire your courage and talent to create clothes on better standards every season. Therefore, has the GJ04, or other classic jackets of yours changed over time? Or do you keep the same method in making them?

    Thanks again for the inspiration and great work!

    Have a wonderful day.


  13. #833

    Default Fashion designer Vs Clothes maker

    Reading the interesting discussion about Geoffrey B. Small and Paul Harnden.

    I definitely agree that Harnden is no match of Geoffrey in terms of fashion design, but some of his clothes are good product (I am not talking about quality, but atmosphere that the clothes give off).

    Its a difference in philosophy. One goes to try and make something new and revolutionary, the other tries to perfect a certain style. Anyway I thought the argument was too one sided against PH so I chipped in. (I know how everyone is pissed with him cause of his business strategy)

    I dont know what PH is thinking but I wish it was something close to Nigel Cabourn.

    A quote from Nigel Cabourn....

    I don’t class myself as a ‘fashion designer’ as I don’t follow fashion. Everything I design comes from either a moment in history, an inspirational person or a vintage garment.

    ...which have on the whole, been created not by fashion designers but by technicians and scientists.

    For me product comes first....At the end of the day my aim with each collection or collaboration is to create timeless styles that have the quality to last, get better with age and wear and that are still relevant in years to come. Clothing that people can wear for a lifetime then pass down to their children.

    – Nigel Cabourn

    By the way I personally respect a band that changes over time far more than one that makes the same music album after album.

  14. #834
    kitsch killer Faust's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Long hard road out of hell


    I really don't see the need to compare the two at all.
    Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months - Oscar Wilde

    StyleZeitgeist Magazine

  15. #835

    Default "Fashion designer vs Clothes maker" & Our View on Alterations


    N.B. Although I had been preparing this reply several weeks ago to both Lokihaarme and zero25mg, as a result of the recent events last weekend, I have refrained from posting it until now. Our sincerest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone we know and/or work with in Paris and all of their families and friends, as well of course to all of the victims of the tragic events in the city and beyond.

    Thank you Faust. I agree. Dear zero25mg, thanks for your post and comments. I understand you are a new member and this may have been one of your first posts on SZ, so there is much to learn…

    First of all, I must really take issue with your title "fashion designer vs. clothes maker." I am a clothes maker, and have been one for almost 40 years. A real one. I can draw a design freehand, make and draft its pattern on paper without CAD, grade and modify it as needed, cut its cloth by hand with scissor single-ply or multiple, sew it together on both machine and by hand as necessary, dye and treat its cloth by machine or hand also as required, and fully hand press and finish it using board and iron or whatever equipment is available. And I am racing with every second, every moment and every penny I have left on this planet to try to teach a new generation of human beings in this world to be able to do the same and carry forward this Art before it is too late. Our track record on this kind of thing, both for myself personally, and my firm and the people I work with, as such, is unmatched. You really need to do more homework on the subject of Geoffrey B. Small and clothes-making.

    And then there's that reference to Nigel who? You have got to be kidding... That name or rather, "brand" with its phony website quote does not belong anywhere here in our thread, or in my opinion, on SZ period. It is a pure, commercial, typical "garmento" type play and belongs as far away from us, (and that includes both Paul Harnden and Geoffrey B. Small) as possible. I mean some guy (or ad copy-writer) claims to spend his life buying (oh sorry, "collecting" is the term used) old clothes, tries to get factories to copy them as best as they can… and then calls himself an "important designer" using a concept totally ripped off from others?

    For us, the word is "merchandiser." At best.

    And those types are a dime a dozen, and are everywhere these days--overrunning the business with their bullshit and their hype. Hedi and Tom Ford perfected the game and now what's his name Kanyuck? is up to the same crap with a line called Cheesy season 1 or whatever it's called. 3000 dollar plastic army parkas made in China… right, FU. And that Instagram poster with the fur and the cupcake shop is another one. The sooner these media schmoozers, fakers and bums get out of the business the better in my opinion. Nothing has damaged the creative capacity and the opportunity for noble young people to survive, grow, and prosper in this industry more than the swarm of what the great Take Hirakawa first-labeled "Fashion DJ's" and the corporate parasites, accountants and media that use them, feed off of them, and support them. And you can throw the lot at Balmain and H&M into that trashbin as well.

    But since its beginning, thanks to people like Faust, Lowrey, Fuuma, BSR, gallia, mrbeuys, shucks, zamb, surver, chinorlz, et al.,... and a long line, too many to mention, of all those who have participated, and forged it over the years, SZ has been about something a little more substantial than that, specifically with a focus on artisanal design, craft and art from the other side. The independent side that over the past decade and a half, has been the only place in the entire world were anything new of any design merit has been coming from.

    That is why it is the only forum on the planet that we take an active participatory role in.

    So Zero25mg, I respectfully ask that you understand that we are more about product than just about anyone in the game. Please do some more research, and then try to get to one of our exclusive authorized dealers and start touching and trying things on, then find someone who we made some clothes for 3 decades or so ago, and ask them if GBS is about product or not. At some point along the line, you will eventually realize that if you are going to talk about clothes maker and product, you are talking about us, not about them. Please don't mix us up. And please don't call us just a fashion designer. Frankly, there are far too many times these days, when that label makes me ill.

    For almost 40 years, I have been making clothes for people. And on every single piece, we have had only one mission... to raise the Art and Science of making clothes by hand- to make the very best clothes that are humanly possible in today's world.

    For example, let's get on to Lokihaarme's last question, and take a look at alterations and our clothes.

    The beautiful NVJ18 Edwardian length super-jacket made for Eth0s in Shanghai was designed for
    maximum performance and longevity. And that requires superb and efficient alterations capability
    built-in as part of a total design concept. Our goal? : The best clothes to work on in the world bar
    none when you have to repair, alter or modify them. For example, the huge extra wide seam allowances
    in the center back seam that allow the jacket to be let out up to 2 sizes larger and the handsewn Ratti
    pure silk side lining panels that provide easy access inside to perform other changes or repairs.

    I came to Italy 16 years ago for one reason: to make the best clothes in the world, and that means alterations capability too. The new economic realities of today demand that rich or poor, every penny counts. With customers now realizing that low-prices are no guarantee of saving money in the long run, the adage of "you get what you pay for" rings more true than ever. Designers working and still producing in western industrialized countries must now really deliver... the very best money can buy.

    So we have been constantly raising the bar, and setting a new level of designer label commitment. I began many years ago with an old Singer sewing machine in 1979 by making clothes one-at-a-time for friends in the attic of my parent’s home in Newton Massachussetts. Quite a few of those clothes are still worn being worn today... every few months or so, I get an email or a letter from someone telling me that they still have a piece, or a suit, that we built for them decades ago and that amazingly they can still wear it. There is some real satisfaction in that, let me tell you.

    And you cannot achieve that kind of long-term design and wear performance in a garment without building adequate alterations capability into the product from the start.

    So, a lot of ‘designers’ are now claiming to make handmade or ‘artisan’ clothes these days. But in fact, very few really are. Our goal is to redefine the role of real tailoring in modern clothing at the designer level. We believe the ongoing crises in the global economy are a clear symptom of an industrial system that no longer cares about customers, or human talent and skill, or people in general.

    Inspite of the massive assault by corporate fashion- both cheap and luxury, to erase any form of independent human ethical and sustainable creation, production, or artistic free expression out there, we believe that now is the greatest time in the history of our race to return to the age old art of making clothes for people one-at-a-time. To rehumanizing the clothing experience to the value in our society where it properly belongs.

    We believe in offering the customer a new level of service and long term value and satisfaction. So unlike anyone else in our end of the business, we guarantee our limited edition pieces made for our dealers for one year under normal use for free parts and labor repair or replacement if purchased from and handled by them. After one year, we make our repair services available at workroom rates for parts and labor. Behind the label is not just a name, but someone who made and backs up the product and will try to help to keep it working for many years. First developed for our bespoke clientele over 30 years ago. many of whom are still wearing their pieces today, this concept starts with a level of construction way beyond normal:

    Interior view of a WSP08special trouser made for Arts & Science in Tokyo
    fully-lined in authentic Bemberg cupro, the lining offers easy access inside for
    a good tailor to make fitting alterations but also gives the owner round-the-clock
    pyjama like comfort, helps maintain the drape and shape of the seat and leg,
    and reduces wear and tear in the seat of the trouser. Instead of wearing out
    the main fabric in the seat or some other stress point, the lining will wear out
    first, at which point the linings can be replaced and the trouser can be saved for
    more years of wear.

    On most of our jackets, waistcoats, trousers and topcoats full interior linings in luxurious silk, Bemberg cupro, viscose or superlux cottons or linens give round-the-clock pyjama like comfort, help maintain the drape and shape of the seat and leg, and reduce wear and tear in the seat of the trouser, or other similar areas for jackets, vests and coats, adding significantly to the product's useful life. Rather than wearing out the main fabric in the seat or some other stress point, the lining will wear out first, at which point we can replace the linings and the save the garment for more years of wear.

  16. #836

    Default (continued from above) "Fashion designer vs Clothes maker" + Our Views on Alterations


    Designed to last for years: up to 2 sizes larger or smaller

    In addition, the massive generous 2,5 centimeter seam allowances on all major fitting seams (almost 3 times wider than the standard production allowance in designer label clothes) on most of our jackets, waistcoats, trousers and topcoats is almost unique in the entire industry- though they cost more fabric (and at almost 200 euros a meter for example in one of our pure Alashan worsted cashmere cloth, that's not insignificant)- they allow the majority of our pieces to be altered and let out or taken in a full two sizes larger or smaller than its original cut and size.

    Like almost all of our designs, this WSP08special trouser made for Arts & Science
    in Tokyo in luxurious Biella double-face worsted wool, also incorporates generous
    2.5 centimeter seam allowances on all major fitting seams to provide up to 2 sizing
    grades of alteration capability up or down in size for extra long useful garment life.

    Our experience is that people's bodies are not static. They are dynamic, they change. People get bigger and smaller over the years, most men get bigger over time. Thus, if we make a young man a pair of size 48 trousers and over the years he becomes a 50 or even a 52, the trousers can be let out to fit him, and he can still keep and use his favorite pair of trousers with all the comfort and style that were carefully built into them when they were created. That's what we call real value, and its fundamental to serious clothing. Done well, it can last you a lifetime. It's not about designing for a season or a few weeks like "fast fashion." We are designing pieces for a person over a much longer term and point of view.

    Another example is this L.Parisotto silk & cotton FMJ24 waistcoat made for Journal Standard Luxe
    in Tokyo. Even though it is fully lined in Bemberg cupro, you can still see the whopping 2.5 centimeter
    seam allowances in the center back seam through the lining backlit by the sky behind it that give it
    plenty of alterations capability.

    No expense is spared at every detail:
    Alterations capability is built-in to almost every design

    As both tailors and designers, we fully understand the importance of making clothes not only incredibly beautiful and comfortable for their owners, but also amazingly serviceable and accessible for a competent tailor to efficiently perform repair, modification and fitting work on. We design with a tailor's needs in mind and aim for superb alterations capability from their perspective.

    You can see the 2-piece waistband and double belt loops at center-back of this women's WSWP01special handmade
    L.Parisotto linen & cashmere trouser made for Noodle Stories in Los Angeles. The big center-back seat seam can be
    easily and quickly accessed from the inside and goes straight up through all the pattern pieces in one continuous
    operation for fast, smooth and accurate waist size changes. The added pieces and construction time are significant over
    a 1-piece waistband used by many designers and brands, but the long-term value and ease of alteration make all the
    difference for tailors who have to work on the piece in the future. Likewise, generous hem and side seam allowances
    and handsewn blindstitch work also save time and provide critical assistance for a good tailor to let legs in or out,
    and take hems up or down expertly, and beautifully, with ease.

    Hand sewn buttonholes, buttons and lining closures , real hand sewn taped hemlines (not machined) are easier, more straightforward and faster to take down or take out and reset by a competent alterations tailor with proper handskill training. Almost all of our trousers have 2 piece waistbands and double belt loops at center-back with quick easy open accessibility for fast, smooth and accurate waist changes. It takes twice as long for us to cut and put together the trouser assembly in this way, but if you are doing a waist alteration on the pant, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Ask any experienced tailor what part of a tailored men's shirt wears out first and inevitably he or
    she will tell you it is the shirt collar around the neckline. Above, one of our 2-in-1 convertible design
    FMS07 hand made shirt with detachable removable collar not only provides extra styling value with
    different looks for the same piece, it also gives added protection and longer life to the collar
    stand and collar pieces reducing the need to alter or replace them.

    Our removable buttoned shirt collars are not only capable of providing 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 extra value with different looks for the same piece, they also give added protection and longer life to the area of a shirt that wears out the fastest. Ask any experienced tailor, nothing wears out first more than the shirt collar around the neckline area, and our removable (and replaceable) collars offer outstanding protection against this happening over time.

    A hand dyed L.Parisotto Super 120's double-twist Venezia silk and cotton WSS05special shirt created for
    Darklands in Berlin reveals beautifully finished french seam interior construction, which not only provides
    double-seam strength and clean-finished appearance, but can also be easily opened up and made capable
    of altering and modifying.

    In addition, our shirts are almost exclusively sewn using beautifully finished french seam interior constructions, which not only provide double-seam strength and clean finished appearance, but can also be easily opened up and made capable of altering and changing. We also, unlike other so-called "high quality shirtmakers" do not use excessively tiny and overly-tight stitch-length sewing on our shirts like 22 stitches to the inch seams. This practice renders the piece almost impossible for a tailor to open its seams without damaging or ripping its fabric. While it may be passed off and accepted these days as a symbol of quality-factory work, we find that 'welding' a shirt together in this manner is a pointless and wasteful objective if someday we know that maybe someone will need to be able to work on it to help maintain its longevity and usefulness to its owner. A more reasonable 12-15 stitch to the inch seam when done well, is just as beautiful to look at, and for a tailor faced with repairing, modifying or fitting it, way more beautiful to work with. Ditto for all the handsewn buttons and buttonholes that we provide on all of our shirts and blouses, unlike any other designer or luxury design house.

    Extra large belt loops that are not sewn on with automatic bar-tack machines as on this
    pure Piacenza Alashan cashmere NNP05 trouser design made for both Eth0s in Shanghai
    and Surrender in Singapore recently, are used to accommodate any width or style of belt
    and have less need for replacement.

    Likewise, we do not use automatic bar-tack machines for instance on pant fly's and belt loops which perform the same "welding" effect on fabrics that render them almost impossible to take out. Nor automatic buttonholers or button sewers (same effect). Extra large belt loops are used as much as possible to accommodate any width or style of belt and require less replacement. And no glue or fusing except in the most absolutely necessary instances.

    Both the pure Como silk lined handmade ETC01 Piacenza cashmere coat and NNJ05 Piacenza
    angora,cashmere & wool viscose lined jacket, each being made this month for Cathedral
    in Osaka have secret access seams built into them that allow a good alterations tailor to
    quickly get inside and out of the piece to make changes with no fuss or mess.

    All of our lined handmade jackets have secret access seams built into them that allow a good tailor to quickly get inside and out of the piece with no fuss or mess so that he or she can get right to the spot that needs his or her attention be it for repair, fit adjustments or modifications and then close it right back up with no wasted time or destructive seam ripping.

    Our sleeve and leg cuffs have adequate if not downright generous hem reserves inside the hems to be let down or up. On jacket surgeon sleeve cuffs, the unique handsewn buttonholes are easily opened and taken out if needed, (although we now recently set them at even higher first position for increased flexibility on hem shortening), and can be reset and resewn by a trained tailor with proper technique.

  17. #837

    Default (continued from above) "Fashion designer vs Clothes maker" + Our Views on Alterations

    And on our unlined tailored pieces, such as the NVJ18 (shown above earlier in this post), we use a minimum of excess construction and stitching to get in the way and clutter the interior for a tailor that needs to get inside with quick, clear and understandable access to the entire garment and the specific area or point which needs to be worked on and dealt with. Broad 2.5 centimeter seam allowances and clean taped seams with easy access for alterations are used as much as possible. The result is both clean-looking and alterations-efficient.

    Hand sewn buttons and buttonholes are easier, more straightforward and faster to take
    out and reset by a competent alterations tailor with proper handstitch training, especially
    without using waxed thread as per our standard techniques (shown NNJ05 jacket, GJ02
    pure Alashan cashmere vest, Cathedral Osaka).

    To further enhance service, fit, comfort and longevity we are now starting on authorized dealer training programs where shop owners, staff and tailors can come to our workrooms at Cavarzere for beginning, intermediate and advanced training and teaching classes on how to provide better and better alterations services to customers of our pieces and our collections in their stores. We believe that full-service alterations services need to be provided to our customers at all dealer points at the retail level worldwide and are working day and night to build the training and teaching systems and infrastructure to make this a reality in the years ahead. Only in this manner, can we be able to maximize the customer's purchasing and wearing experience with our clothes and provide the most perfect fit possible with a ready to wear design piece. In an age when deskilling has reached unprecedented levels, we believe that our mission in this area is not only a smart way to further differentiate us from the competition, but also a noble and critical one to both inspire, train and employ a new generation of sartorial master craftspeople and save one of the great cultural treasures of human experience and society- making and taking care of clothes for people that really serve their needs.

    And note well that all of our top GBS tailoring people over the years, including this writer, have had extensive alterations work experience. A few of our alumni have become leading alterations super-pros in their communities including major cities with lines of loyal customers, and recognize it for the noble and lucrative profession it is when done well. And there are so few competent practitioners around these days and no training or schools anywhere. So unlike most "designers" or design school programs, we do not poo-poo or avoid alterations as something too far below us to even think about or deal with. No, it is in our blood, and pervades every part of our design philosophy, business model, and teaching and training objectives. And while I will be the first to stress that no garment is perfect, and its subsequent alterations capability will always have some limitations based on a variety of factors including the specific fabric and its weave and dyeing or finishing treatments, its particular construction aspects, and its wearer's body and fitting requirements and characteristics, and the specific task requested to be performed… alterations capability in our clothes is a fundamental element of the long-term design approach that we have been spearheading for almost 4 decades.

    So we design for maximum performance and longevity. And that requires superb and efficient alterations capability built-in as part of our total design concept. We do it for our customer and we do it for their tailors. And as we continue to grow and offer our world-leading services to both old and new clients in a myriad of ways, we do it for ourselves as well. After all, with our factory workroom services and backup guarantees, someday we may the ones that need to be able to get access inside our pieces and perform remedies on them as well. So we design it with our own tailoring needs in mind too, and with the constant goal of making GBS clothes the best clothes in the world- including for tailors to work on... when they have to open them up, repair, alter or modify them at some point during their long and useful lifetime.

    Thank you for reading, I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes,



  18. #838




    Created this season exclusively for Arts & Science in Aoyama, Tokyo:
    Handmade reproduction 1920's french atelier d-b worker's pattern coat
    in hand dyed Fratelli Piacenza 1733 superfine pure fancy coating soft twill wool.
    Piacenza hand dyed Super 180's "Ecstasy"14.5 micron pindot birdseye weave ultralux
    wool single-breasted handmade 1910's peak-lapel silk-lined suit.
    Exclusive horn button designs created by Claudio & Cinzia Fontana in Parma for GBS.
    Benchmade goodyear welt-construction Concerie "800" Toscana vegetable-tanned
    leather shoe, Giuseppe Rebesco for GBS.

    photographed at GBS Via Spalato Workrooms, Cavarzere Venezia.


  19. #839


    To Geoffrey

    I appreciate you taking your time to respond to my post (Although I have been reading Sz for nearly 7 years it was my first post!!).

    I am not a deep diver and to me its very pure. I like a piece of clothing if any gravity the garment has resonates with me. Whether it be silhouette,color, fabric, story, designers personality or manufacturer, etc. The most important parameters for me are 1. whether the garment will last, 2. whether it will age well or not and 3. whether it is timeless and simple (not too extravagant). I do think your clothes fit these categories and hence this is why I am very interested. PS. I don't really care if they are revolutionary or not.
    Reading your post I agree I am ignorant and maybe a little irresponsible as well so I will try and enlighten myself a little more reading your posts so I can enjoy what I like even more.

    Once again thanks for your time.

  20. #840

    Default stocklist ruffle collar shirt and cardi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey B. Small View Post

    Please what shop ordered this shirt with the removable collar and also the cardigan.

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