Why is it such that today, it is not common for tailoring shops to put their bespoke tailor or head cutter in the fore front and is it normal to do so? The answer can be found by taking a short journey back in time following the death of Alexander The Great in 323BC giving emergence to Hellenistic sculpture and lasting until the rise of Ancient Rome.
Pliny the Elder was an outspoken critic of this new decadent, lascivious style of rendering outspoken emotion from marble and bronze, lavishing praise on the preceding classical period of sculpture by exclaiming “Then art stopped.” But the appeal of Hellenistic art – expressed by twisting, gyrating limps, expressions of overt anguish, or rapture entwined with flowing drapery – is undeniable and has resulted in some of the most iconic sculptures in human history, including the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory of Samothrace now presiding over an entrance in the Louvre, and Laocoön and His Sons at the Vatican Museums.
Who is the bespoke tailor cutter?
So it is that when looking at bespoke suits or bespoke shirts, connoisseurs invariably find themselves drawn to the Hellenistic expressions in cloth: natural shoulder, chest-darted three-dimensional sculptures of cloth that evoke powerful emotive stances. And the person who brings this emotion to the clothing, the individual who unbinds the inner kinetic energy lying dormant in every bolt of fabric, is the bespoke tailor cutter.
It is the head cutter of the bespoke tailoring house who lays chisel to stone, the person who is able to translate the nuances, dimensions and particularities of your corporeal form to cloth. He is able to look inside your mind and into the furthest reaches of your imagination and bring forth that idealised vision every man has of himself. He is able to draw a pattern, merging reality and idealism; and then, through an act of glorious sartorial transubstantiation, he is able to cut out pieces of cloth, and steam, stretch and bend them to his will, creating from this a bespoke suit or a handcrafted tailored shirt that is the answer to your desires and transforms you from who you are to who you want to be.
What to Expect When entering a Tailoring House?
It is hence of utmost importance that you not only meet the head cutter of the bespoke tailoring house when you commission your bespoke suit or tailored shirt but also insist that he take your measurements as having your image fresh in the mind of the head cutter while cutting the handcrafted suit is what allows you to feel completely normal and natural while wearing it. This is because the bespoke tailor is aware of your body posture, mannerisms and movements that ensure the bespoke suit is cut in a manner that doesn’t obstruct it, rather helps you to conduct it in a more smooth and confident manner.
A well-cut hand tailored suit allows you to put it on forget about it because you feel so normal and natural in it. The only time you remember about it again is when someone compliments you on how good your tailored suit is looking. The entire magic and magnetism of a tailored suit lie completely in the cut. We would take a step further and add that not only is a tailored suit as good as its cutter but an entire bespoke tailoring house is only as good as its head cutter since he also supervises the crafting of the bespoke suit from start to finish.
Back in the day, you would never need to even ask, leave alone insist on meeting the head cutter while commissioning a suit since it was part the tradition of bespoke tailors, “the hands that measure are the hands that cut”. Today if the norm has evolved, and you need to ask to meet and be measured by the head cutter, you should certainly do so and if you need to insist, then you are probably in the wrong place and should go to another bespoke tailoring house.