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Collateralised debt a.k.a. The Cloth Thread


terrorsquad
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Wow that is a lovely shop, definitely should plan to stop by there as I'm headed to city of light tomorrow.

 

I suggest you email or call ahead to ensure that Virgil (the young English speaking proprietor) is in store. He'll gladly chat with you, he's very passionate about cloth. We spoke for an hour and covered various topics. Around 5pm on weekdays is usually a good time since he'll be free from most of his appointments.

 

Arc,yoy should concentrate on the vintage cloths there.I would go bankrupt if I go there

 

Yes, you're quite right TS. My original intention was to focus solely on the vintage cloth, but I ended up spending an hour chatting and being shown around, so I had no real private time to go bolt by bolt. But I've given Virgil the heads up that I'll be back to do just that.

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The quantity of cloths there suggests a relatively healthy retail demand for suitings, something one would not expect of a tailor-poor city like Paris. I mean, one buys the cloth, then do what with it? Go to Cifonelli for CMT?

 

Virgil explained the following: the masses of cloth date back to his grandfather's era, where there were approximately a hundred or so tailors in Paris. Since then, the number has reduced to about ten quality institutions (CdL, Cifo, Smalto, etc.), all of whom source (I suppose to differing degrees) materials from him - be it cloth, linings, interlinings, felt, buttons, etc. Of course there are also the individual walk-ins, who do exactly what you just describe (CMT).

 

He also mentioned that his grandfather received many offers over the years to purchase the cloth at bargain bin prices since these were taking up space, but refused as he felt that these were still good bolts that were valuable in their own right. Such prescience!

 

As for the HFW book - it's funny because I recounted some not-so-good experiences I'd heard from dealing with HFW, and mentioned that I found it very surprising that HFW had done up an Italian book with such pizzazz. He responded with surprise in kind, remarked that he had always enjoyed dealing with HFW (as their distributor, I note)... And interestingly, said that the HFW folks were very receptive to new ideas and experimentation. 

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This is a cloth from 1992. Light grey POW with traces of brown and a blue overcheck. Subtle from afar, adds a touch of depth to the overall impression. Guesstimating this at a mid-300 gram weight. Dry hand and feels substantive, although not thick or overly heavy. Selvedge reads "Paris France Pur Laine (pure wool) Par EWA (by EWA)". Googled but couldn't find a maker.

 

I find this very nice and I think it could be worn in our climate (in the a/c especially), but I would be astounded if I saw someone in our region wearing this. It'd be a rare bird.

 

DSC_1181-001_zps10056e08.jpg

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Sure, I have a few others I noted down from my last run, and there will be future visits to try and catalogue more curios. 

 

I was also toying with the idea of purchasing some back for interested folks (say, in August when I'm back for summer). Unfortunately the prices aren't very competitive - I'm told most of the stock retails at around the 50-60 euro level, per metre.

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Sure, I have a few others I noted down from my last run, and there will be future visits to try and catalogue more curios.

 

I was also toying with the idea of purchasing some back for interested folks (say, in August when I'm back for summer). Unfortunately the prices aren't very competitive - I'm told most of the stock retails at around the 50-60 euro level, per metre.

Arc, Im interested. Do PM me the pictures.

 

50-60 euros is a reasonable price for vintage stuff especially at a place in Paris; those who say that its too steep shouldn't even be thinking about it in the first place.

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Okay well, I don't have time at the moment to make a trip down to LSD, so here's another couple of handphone snaps from the previous visit:

 

2 bolts of what feels like 300-ish grammed suitings, both from 1980. Selvedge reads "Lordson Selection". I googled intensively but was unable to dig up anything concerning origins. Closest result I got was a French shirting company named Lordson, which apparently used to dabble in some textile production several decades back, subsequently fell out of favor and shuttered, but was recently revived. Then again, this is not some Savile Row-esque firm, but more of a mass-production RTW outfit (in its current iteration, at least). 

 

The first is an intense shade of blue that IIRC has a slightly spongy hand. Such was the intensity of the color that this stuck out like a sore thumb from the rest of the rack. Something like a mottled nailhead... There's probably a better name for it, but then I am no expert with cloth.

 

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The second caught my eye for being something I'd expect to see in a Pitti snap - a dry-looking slightly-mottled bronze number with an equally dry hand. Again this stood out from the rest of the rack (whomever was in charge of colors for the Lordson range did a fine job!), but I'm not quite convinced as to its wearability. Nevertheless, charming in its own right.

 

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Lastly, here's a bonus snap that gives you an idea of how far back the vintages here go - a 1949 wool and mohair number, in a dirty looking olive.

 

DSC_1192_zps28b19e03.jpg

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Just returned from Crescent Trading. Good golly miss molly, it's the best. Kops from Bower Roebuck and Martin Sons & Co, will post em up soon.

 

Also bought 1.8m of a fantastic but unknown Italian linen-blend - probably too short to make up a jacket for myself (it's patterned), but perhaps someone on the forum might fit the bill. It's really nice. Porous too.

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"This place eats dick...!"

 

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A familiar face. I noticed it the moment I stepped in.

 

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The haul.

 

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Martin Sons & Co (presently under HFW to my knowledge, but there was some shadow talk of a possible Chinese buyover...?).

 

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Bower and Roebuck. Scabal's mill, so feels like a Scabal should - soft, silky, but dense. Pictured behind is a random lining scrap that I acquired.

 

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Lining for another project. I believe most of the stuff is Vanners... Silk screened so no bleached white backings!

 

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And lastly, the mystery Italian cloth. Another stunner which jumped out at me from the shelves. It's probably a linen blend given the handle - feels more substantial than a pure linen. I just wish I had more details on it (and more of it, too!).

 

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Aaaand... porousity!

 

 

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Indeed. I wonder if navic has purchased his own meterage of that by now...

 

As a sidenote, I also saw a bolt of Halstead cotton solaro going for 25 (or was it 20?) pounds per metre. It had a good heft to it (11-12oz?), not flimsy like the swatches I recently perused in the Italian books. Alas it was one of those green/red-hued ones, and not the "original" brown/red combination. I was told that Crescent recently received several rolls, but an Italian fashion house promptly swooped in and cleared most of it out.

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