That is the belted suede jacket I had made earlier this 12 months by Fred Nieddu, primarily based on movie and bespoke items he had made whereas cutter at Timothy Everest.
It’s fairly an uncommon fashion, however after a few months of sporting it in several permutations, I’m now fairly used to it.
Though its roots have been in a safari jacket made for The Crown, the design is healthier regarded as a belted smoking jacket, I believe, simply with a large notched lapel.
To the person on the road, it’s maybe merely a suede jacket with a belt. But it surely’s lower with a slight overlap on the entrance – as a brief gown or home coat may need – and it’s this that provides it a selected character.
Belted, the wrap offers it extra of the looks of a gown; unbelted, with the fronts left to hold, that half DB offers the entire entrance a slouchy look, with extra materials within the chest and hips.
That’s accentuated by the shoulders, which we intentionally lower a little bit extensive, as I often choose with my tailor-made jackets.
There’s additionally comparatively little construction – no shoulder pad and solely canvas within the collar, not the lapel. The suede can be comparatively heavy.
So if the jacket is solely worn open, the belt free, it appears to be like virtually shapeless. Solely the craft and construction of the collar saves it from being saggy.
I’ve discovered I would like to make use of the belt actively consequently: both to cinch the again a little bit, so the fronts are pulled again a little bit; or to wrap round and tie, maintaining the fronts overlapped.
As I stated, it’s taken a little bit time to get thus far, however that’s half the enjoyable of an uncommon design. And it’s an unique one, within the sense that Fred has by no means made this explicit design and lower earlier than.
In truth, it’s price pausing a second to mirror on the assorted uncommon tasks I’ve taken on with bespoke tailors through the years.
There have been one or two with Graham Browne, the wrap coat with Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, the suede blazer with Cifonelli, and most notably the gilet and leather-based jacket with Davide Taub at Gieves & Hawkes.
I’d say total, my success fee is lower than 50% – if we outline success as nonetheless sporting and liking a bit now, a number of years later.
That’s not nice, although proper now I believe Fred’s jacket falls into the profitable half, so far as I can inform after a few months.
However I additionally assume all of the tasks comprise the identical lesson, which is that creating one thing from scratch could be very dangerous. Significantly with somebody who’s a skilled craftsman, however not essentially a skilled designer.
That’s to not say the tailors do something mistaken. Simply that they don’t essentially understand how the ultimate result’s going to prove; and even when they do, they won’t have the ability to talk that fully. You’re in all probability even much less outfitted to think about, sketch out or talk yor imaginative and prescient.
It may be very rewarding, and it’s definitely attention-grabbing and absorbing. But it surely’s a dangerous and costly recreation to play. I really feel I can solely suggest it to readers which have that cash to play with.
However again to Fred’s jacket.
The choices we made in the course of the becoming stage – described right here – have been all appropriate I believe. It was good to take away the 2 chest pockets, good so as to add to the size and to boost the collar.
The sudden factor was the suede, which as I stated has proved fairly heavy. This make the pockets bag a little bit, and the belt extra tubular than flat. Fred was compelled to supply from a brand new tannery, which made this a bit unsure, and naturally with a suede jacket the fittings are often in a toile quite than the ultimate materials.
If anybody is contemplating making a bit like this, I might suggest looking for someplace you possibly can strive on a pattern garment first, within the closing materials. Somebody like Sartoria Melina in Naples, for example, often works with one kind of nubuck and has samples of most designs to strive (at the very least in Naples).
That is no assure – I nonetheless managed to order a surprisingly vivid shade of orange nubuck from them. But it surely does considerably cut back the dangers.
The handwork on Fred’s jacket is gorgeous, notably as a result of I understand how exhausting it’s to work in suede. Many, many due to Zoe for working by the ache.
One of many good issues about placing the collar up is that it exhibits all that handwork beneath: the swirl of machine stitching maintaining the canvas in place, after which hand stitching of the collar to the physique (as a way to create extra curve, and hug the neck).
One factor I would change is to maneuver the belt upwards, as at present it doesn’t cowl the seams on the back and front, the place the totally different panels of suede connect.
The inner tie that fastens the 2 sides, serving to the belt, has additionally proved a little bit flimsy. However each issues are straightforward to alter and I do know Fred might be greater than keen to take action.
I actually like this jacket. Typically that doesn’t come throughout in a evaluate, when you’ve listed all of the little belongings you’re going to alter, or would accomplish that if you happen to commissioned it once more.
However I do. I like how distinctive it’s, but how the dark-brown suede means it’s virtually as versatile as a bomber in the identical color.
I simply really feel compelled to warn readers pondering of enterprise an analogous mission, as a result of mine haven’t all the time labored out that nicely. It could be loads, lot safer to purchase a ready-made suede jacket, or maybe an MTO or MTM model. Even simply to have a RTW one altered.
At £2500 for a suede jacket like this, going to a bespoke tailor for one thing experimental is private, great, pleasant, however not low-cost.
Most of Fred’s work is making far more standard tailoring. Some pretty examples could be seen on our preliminary article on his work, right here. His bespoke tailoring begins at £3500 for a swimsuit, and £2400 for a jacket (together with VAT).
For the photographs, I took benefit of some studio time photographer James Holborow had, which is all the time enjoyable. James is now again within the UK, after a few years in New Zealand, and his web site is right here.
The opposite garments proven are a black Dartmoor knit, flannels by Whitcomb & Shaftesbury and Belgravia loafers by Edward Inexperienced.