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  1. Arc's Experience with Iris Tailor: Part I (With apologies for how large the photos appear on-screen!) Iris tailor, as many will already know, is located on the first floor of Lucky Plaza in Singapore's Orchard Road shopping belt. For those who need better directions - from the main entrance, head towards the right and rear of the building and you'll eventually see this storefront (picture plagiarised from Gshen's SF post): The inside of Iris is a wonderful mess of Scabal, Dormeuil, H&S, Loro Piana, Ariston and VBC books, amongst others. I handled some remarkable swatches during the short period of waiting my turn - a beautiful LP linen jacketing in cream and baby blue stripes with a remarkably open weave, and a turquoise H&S linen that makes for a great summer pant come to mind. The opposite side of the premises, where even more books (I recall some Inizio jacketings and a Zegna 100% silk book) are stacked under a table laden with bastings and cloth. This is Jeffrey unearthing my baste after a good five minutes spent searching the store for my order. Nani of the funky blue hair, seen here tweaking my trouser fit. Nani strongly favors the slimmer cut, and inquired (to my mild horror, to be honest!) if I'd like my hems any slimmer in light of current fashion trends. We settled on this... For the time being. I saw further inputs as being moot until I can wear and see the second suiting baste in its entirety. Jacket (and vest, obscured) fit, with Jeffrey staring daggers into my back... I recognize that the pictures could be better proportioned - but this was Nani's maiden attempt at using the Sony Ericsson Xperia camera, so big props to her for helping me to take these photos to begin with! The unanimous in-store verdict was a serious underestimation of the bulk and width of my upper back, leading to pulling of the collar/shoulder backwards and downward - to be adjusted for next fitting. Aside from several corrections for accurate sizing, we also: lengthened the right sleeve; undid the seams of the vest to play around with the amount of "show" vis-a-vis the jacket; upped the lapel width as seen on the right chest (mental note to adjust collar shape to account for the wider lapel); and discussed if a smidge more waist suppression might be in order (this was actually Nani's suggestion; I'm ambivalent on this, we'll see how it turns out). I also wondered if the jacket might be too short, but Nani/Jeffrey advised otherwise, with Jeffrey adding that my posterior was fully obscured (as it should be). Having suspected for some time that I've got longer arms than most guys my size, I hath deferred to their judgment for the time being. Bearing in mind advice that the first fitting is for the tailor, I decided to leave queries on sleeve ripples to the next fitting. Will update once the next round takes place in a week or so. In the meantime, critical views and opinions are most welcome!
  2. Day 1 A great view from the room at Swissotel! Dressed for a dinner The dinner Lorenzo Ferrari of E. Zegna. The back doesn't clean up regardless (I walked behind him for 15 seconds). After the dinner, preparing the display jackets for the competition the next day
  3. Gentlemen, I just came back from a wonderful visit to Edwin's awesome Ed et al. showroom at Jalan Kilang, Singapore and can't wait to share with you some of the photos that I have taken from my visit to his showroom. Unfortunately I didn't bring my digital camera with me to Singapore, so I used my cellphone thinking it would be 'okay' but as it turns out, my camera is unable to capture the proper colour and detail of the shoes. (Which is also why you will not see me posting any detail shots for some really kick-ass custom/bespoke shoes that he has made for his customers - I didn't want the poor quality of the photographs to take away from how beautifully crafted the shoes are) Here's Edwin at his showroom cum mini-workshop and office on Jalan Kilang. He actually greeted me in a very nice looking single-breasted navy odd jacket made by Kevin Seah (whose place is right next to Edwin's and they both chums!) but later changed into this linen jacket made with Iris Tailor, which I also like a lot. I'll wait for Edwin to show off his navy jacket next time. Shot at 2012-03-13 Here is his little 'workspace' where he would do some finishing work and detailing on the shoes for his custom and bespoke customers. The majority of the work involved in shoe-making is made in a much larger workshop elsewhere. Shot at 2012-03-13 And being such a generous gentleman he is, he opened a bottle of 21-year-old Courvoisier Cognac which was launched earlier this year. IIRC, he mentioned that you probably won't be able to find this in airport shops or elsewhere yet but if one's really a big fan of cognac and want to give this a try, arrangements can be made. Or you can do what I did and visit him at his showroom to 'pau' a glass or two. Shot at 2012-03-13 One interesting thing about the cognac is that it's actually dated and 'timed' meaning one would actually know how many years these has sit in a cask unlike the usual selection of cognacs where XO and VSOP only represent a certain set period of years it has sat in the cask and not timed by year. Here's a detailed shot of the front of the bottle: Shot at 2012-03-13 The visit lasted for about two hours and we had a long chat on politics, shoe-making, bespoke suit-making (with Kevin) and a whole lot of other stuff. Edwin not only showed me some of his more interesting (and definitely unique) creations but also the latest line of shoes that will be introduced to his RTW line SOON. Since things are still under-wraps and not announced yet, I will not give anything away. One thing is for sure, them are some really beautiful shoes and I'm sure you folks would appreciate them. He has also kindly offered his professional advice on what sort of shoe design my next purchase should be, taking into accounts of my usual wardrobe, my expectations, occupation and personal preferences. In the end, we came to the conclusion that the next shoe for me to get is a dark brown oxford captoe as it would be 'most versatile' to dress up or down, especially in the conservative environment that I work in. I will most likely drop by Front Row, his retail space at Raffle's Shopping Arcade tomorrow and risk blowing my wallet wide open again. But apparently they are running low on the 'popular sizes'. Just want to share with all of you some of my thoughts on his shoes after finally being able to hold them in my hands. Granted I may not know anything at all about high quality custom or bespoke shoes, so I'm only sharing this from my own perspective and how I look at these things. In my opinion, you have to see his shoes for yourself and hold it in your own hands, aside from looking at the detail photos online, to be able appreciate the level of attention to detail put in by him and his team. His shoes are also very competitively priced (only SGD$250 for a pair of RTW! SGD$600 for custom made-to-order and finally, for the big timers, SGD$1500 for the bespoke service). I believe the quality of the shoes are comparable (if not better), than shoes that are much higher priced than his shoes. I've also checked out his RTW shoes made in the 'old last' and compared them to shoes made in the new last. I personally prefer the older last as I find round toes more attractive than the heavily chiseled and angular shoes made using the new last. I think it's a matter of personal preference here. I wouldn't call the older last 'blobby' but that seems to be the common perception judging from online photos and comments. One thing I really admired about Edwin's work is his passion and pride in pursuing his vision in shoe-making, and at the same time keeping in check with the realities of this business. He also takes into consideration of customer's expectations, especially with regards to choices, price level of the shoes and again the little details that makes his shoes stand out from the rest. We also discussed some future opportunities that we may be able to explore such as bringing them over to KL for a trunk show of sorts. Let's just put this question out and see if any of you would be interested to take part and pay them a visit if they did decide to come over and setup a trunk show in KL? That's pretty much all I remember for now (damn, I wish I also brought my notepad to take down some notes but ah well, was too caught up with the cognac. teehee...) Am gonna sleep early to prepare for the next day now. Also, I may very likely meet up with him again on Friday evening for something that I'm not sure if I should mention here yet.... Jeng jeng jeng!