Monday, September 9, 2013

The Power of Bespoke! Plus, ME in a tailored Jacket :) Jacket Trends in 2013-2014 + A Wild night at Pangaea + A cellphone from Louis Vuitton?

There is so much talent in our world- the imagery, vision that takes a defined form of luxury and art - that is so realistic and yet so magical! Hand-made goods made by skilled artisans have always been in demand and leading luxury brands have had started out making hand-crafted products that are today's leading luxury labels. Guccio Gucci had a vision that transformed his dream of creating luxury into one of the awesomest brands of the modern world!

Jim Thompson revitalized a cottage industry of hand-woven silk and transformed Thai Silk into a world renowned luxury brand.

Hermès is yet another example of hand-crafted luxury that continues to bedazzle our world today.

However, factory-made mass production, industrialization of luxury goods and counterfeit-ism around the world has dealt a severe blow to once thriving industry of artisanal excellence!

Luxury is not about paying for the label! We pay for the craftsmanship..the essence of owning something that is exclusive and exquisite at the same time! 

Some luxury brands are actually mass-produced and are probably replicated several times with thousand fake copies circulating around! Same applies to Designers. 

Although, Designers value hand-made - Be it bridal, couture or their pret-a-porter lines - only a bit of it has the touch of the hand! Some designers make few customizations to an old design and make "Same" look "Different" :) But, that also makes perfect business sense! Its all about the presentation.

Anyways, this post is dedicated to the art of Bespoke! I have realized the importance of tailoring! What's so special about hand-made?

Why do you think art(fine art) is so well appreciated that it's sold in millions? That's the real power of hand-made!

Hand-made has strong historical reference. Royals and elite in the old world loved hand-crafted fashion and the era gone by is a testimonial to the fact that fashion is true reflection of history!

Case in point - my local neighborhood tailor whom I fondly call "masterjee" is an artisan par excellence. He not only is an apt designer and a tailor but also a skilled embroider who learnt needlework from his father - his entire clan has been in the tailoring profession.

In fact he stitches the most lasting garments with beautiful embroidery-work that I have worn on several occasions and got appreciation!Total value for money and at fraction of the cost of an upmarket brand!

He is too shy and when I asked him to pose for a photograph, he quickly shrugged off saying he is better behind the camera than in front of it :)

Anyways, I have no such qualms :)This is me in one of his outfit: The Indian Kurta.

Perhaps the only reason I don't get much made from him is the fact that he takes his own sweet time. And I often run out of patience. Impatience is just not my problem, but a universal one! We are all fixated with immediacy of self-gratification! What I call the "I want it all RIGHT NOW" trend! :)

This is another of his creations. Needless to say, besides the perfect fit that is made-to-measured to fit me to the "T"- the Jacket is impeccably tailored. I may not be able to get the same quality and comfort in a ready-made outfit! Although, I do have suits and tux from other brands that are ready-made and customized to fit..but, the real fit is in a tailored suit!
I know now why a Savile Row tailored suit is so priceless! 

Me at the Asia Entrepreneurship Awards at Marina Bay Sands - August 2013
Me @ My office with colleagues, I'm wearing another tailored jacket

The ready-made suits and tux are also good option if the fit is perfect. If you are compromising on the fit, cut and comfort, even on the quality of the cloth and the overall style you prefer - then a tailored-to- perfection suit is your best option that is made to fit you rather you struggling to fit into it. It is important to pay attention to these nuances - bit more hand-work & detailing and nicer fabrics! And that is why I prefer a tailored suit over a ready-made customized one. 

However, I aim this year to be adorned in a Tom Ford or at the best in Zegna Couture.The price is steep when you are buying a ready-made but customized-to-fit suit from top class brands.. reason being the products will invariably be impeccably tailored. However, at a fraction of that cost, you can get your suit made from a talented seamster. The thing is you need to find one who can stitch that perfect suit for you!

Also, I Iove adorning jackets! Jacket can be the most life-saving garment in a man's wardrobe. Life-saving because a well-fitted smart-style Jacket has the capability to transform the most boring drab outfit to a stunning sartorial wonder!

Jacket is also the most versatile garment in your wardrobe that one can pair along both formals and casuals.

Obviously, a lot depends on your personal style and taste. But Jackets can come in myriad avatars. Formal jackets are typically an integral outwear part of your "Suit" / "Tux" while a casual jacket could be in any form i.e. style, may come in bright colors and fabrics including linen, leather and denim!

The styles can vary from classic 2 buttons that are perennially popular to more chic 1 button suits, single, double-breasted. There is no particular limitation on buttons as the number of buttons can go upto 6 at the most (never came across one that goes beyond 6 but there could be exceptions)!Casual jackets can come in different cuts and trims and even button-less, more zip-py than button-y.. my favorite casual jacket style is the bomber jacket, although they make me look poofier than the usual. For a trim look, I prefer adorning a biker jacket. I also like to experiment with fabrics. For one to be able to wear jackets throughout the year, buy all-weather jackets that can be worn in summer or winter (with a little help of thermals). Yes, by all means use your "suit" jacket as a stand-alone piece and pair it/ contrast it with jeans and chinos.

Since men are getting the taste of unconventional and hyper-contemporary (I call it so because of men's appetite for out-of-the-ordinary - challenging the sartorial disciplines of traditional jackets that came in "a" particular color/s and "a" particular style/s) Today's jackets come equipped with the out-of-the-ordinary tag and some of my favorite luxury brands MAKE some of the best jackets that one must lay their hands on!

Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, Emporio Armani, Brooks Brothers (possibly the oldest men's clothier) but their jackets don't lose the sense of masculinity that has traditionally been how jackets have been defined for men in the world of fashion despite of the contemporary theme inspiring this year for men in jackets i.e. - experimenting with color palette, prints and embroideries, bling, velvets and embellishments.

In the casual and party jackets segment, Topman, Marc Jacobs, 3.1 Phillip Lim take the cake. Their stuff is only getting better by the season!

Don't confuse jackets with coats like the trenches, duffle and pea varieties. Those are elegantly longer than jackets. This reminds me that I would be doing a similar write-up on trenches (Burberry trenches are my favorite) this winter.

Finally! I firmly concur - bespoke is a perfect way to go! The very idea behind this lengthy blog-post is to appreciate hand-made i.e. from a fashion perspective - tailor-made. Appreciate and applaud the talent of the tailor and the designer!  The Alchemists of the fashion industry!

Jacket Trends in 2013 - 2014

Double-breasted jackets and jackets with graphic prints will be the talk of the town this and the next year.. might as well add few pieces to your wardrobe - applies to both men and women! 

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Pic and Available at


Pangaea Singapore

Had a wild night at Pangaea! If you are in Singapore and want to party at a classy place - head straight to Pangaea! This place is electric! Kind of exclusive - you get that kick the moment you enter the place.. you have to walk up a long corridor and then a lift takes you to the deepest fathoms of ecstasy ;) I guess it's right below AVALON but right at the top at being uber-cool - thanks to a higher cover charge (in comparison to other hotpots in Singapore) - Plush to the core! It has a deadly upscale decor that screams over-the-top- at first when I entered (yup, last weekend was my first time there! I saw light fixtures aka bubbles on the ceiling and I thought it was made to resemble full blown up condoms! Hee hee!) then there are these hostesses (clad in red skimpy outfits) to keep you busy and make sure you are not seen without a glass full! Obviously hostesses are assigned to tables and those come with a solid price tag! It gets super crowded close to midnight and then the atmosphere heats up like crazy - literally! You will have  Guaranteed hic hic hurray time - dance on the scintillating music, great DJ with hot pros in action with sparklers  attached to the bottles thrown in for a bit of drama - you are bound to go wild! Just don't get too bothered up by the wannabes around gyrating a little, twerking a whole lot ;).. it's a mix crowd and necessarily good comes with the ugly :)


I took this Selfie - totally sloshed!

Here is something interesting. A cellphone from Louis Vuitton? Its a fake! LV does not make phones! Check out whats written on the box though! Have to agree with them! Sic! Pic credit, my Facebook friend who posted this on his status -

-Amit Anand

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