In the last few weeks, I have been happily spotting a few gentlemen in Paris whose accoutrement was particularly well assembled.
I must admit that trying to spot bespoke suits in the wild has become a habit, borderlining obsession. Nevertheless, even in the best weeks, I rarely see more than 4 or 5 men in bespoke… and I can assure you that I probably don’t miss that many. Indeed, telling a pagoda shoulder from a spalla con rollino, or recognizing worked button holes and perfectly adjusted double breasted jackets has become second nature to yours truly.
Last week, in one single day (!), I ran into two gents wearing very beautiful bespoke suits. Although I immediately recognized them as Neapolitan (the shoulders were easily identifiable to anyone with the slightest awareness on the subject), I was unable to tell, to my greatest dismay, the workshop where they had been made. The men wearing the suits (who had spotted the shoulder construction of my Cifonelli's DB jacket in a nice 130′s Holland And Sherry glen plaid), revealed that their magnificent suits had been made by labels which PG is following from a distance, namely Antonio Panico and Gennaro Solito.
Both Neapolitan tailors make high tradition suits. While Panico clearly favours a decidedly natural shoulder construction (sloping shoulder), Solito’s are predominantly con rollino (slightly more structured Neapolitan shoulder with puckering). Personally, I am much keener on Panico’s work, although it’s only a question of taste, as Solito’s work is of equally high quality.
Here are a few images of both. Antonio Panico (who insiders know was the star cutter for Rubinacci in the 90s, before opening his own workshop), despite his old age, remains a paragon of elegance and style, as shown on the following photo (from last june's Men’s ex).
You will also enjoy a preview of Solito’s production, an excellent workshop, including a typical example of the spalla con rollino (second images), so treasured by the label.
Naples will always be Naples…