The coat that has a human story behind it
Via Hugh MacLeod I come to English Cut, a weblog of Thomas Mahon, "bespoke Savile Row tailor", which is a facsinating window onto a very specific practice. Apart from lots of insight on good suits and work of people who make them there are a couple of quotes that caught my attention.
On gut feeling in drafting patterns:
...we all prefer to have figures and defined points to work with. These had been obtained by a scientific method, so they had to be right, Right?
Wrong. Because what I found out 'the expensive way' was that there were times when I had drafted a pattern, checked and double-checked it, and although the measurements were exact, something still looked wrong.
I was blinded by science, not creativity.
This is something everyone in this or any other business has experienced- a gut feeling that you wanted to listen to, but logic wrongly forced you to ignore. Then sadly youíd proceed down this path, and as soon as you saw the results at the suit's first fitting, you knew your gut was right all along, and you have to kick yourself.
Often when creative matters are involved, 'practice makes imperfect'.
And another one on human touch:
OK, Iím sure youíve gathered by now I want everyone one to wear hand-made. I donít care if itís from me, from Savile Row, the guy in Chinatown or the big department store in Chicago, I'm partial and I'm biased. If enough people buy hand-made, that way we're going to keep the craft going. [...]
By choosing to buy the most humanly-touched products we can afford, or at least striving to do so, weíll not just benefit the craftsmen out there. It will give you the impassioned knowledge that someone, somewhere, has added a little of their character into your suit. No machine can imitate this. It's what makes the coat, Bespoke or otherwise, truly unique and frankly, that's what keeps the customers coming back. Yes, the fact that their coat has a human story behind it makes it seem more special to them.
Funny enough I was about to write another post, saying that I always start reading PhD dissertations from an acknowledgements page, not from introduction or conclusions - for me personal story of an author has to come first and then the rest could follow.