Monday, September 22, 2014

Mr. Lauren, Please!

This week the Sunday Style magazine in the New York Times was devoted to men's clothing, clothing worn by men with stunning looks and come hither gazes. Hmmmm, this was going to fun to look at. The coveted inside cover and first and second page were plummed up by Armani, beautiful clothing and men. The next two pages were devoted to a Ralph Lauren advertisement. A man about as handsome as handsome can get is in a classic power suit with hands evenly placed on what one would imagine is the board room table. Then it took my breath away.


OK, first, please forgive these pics. If you can get your hands on this Sunday's NYTimes Style magazine, you will have much better photos to see than what I could take here. I took pics of the glossy pages as best possible. While not good, they still make my point so I decided to publish them anyway. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way..............

What's up with this suit? Here's what I see:

* the roll line on the left facing lapel is like, where? The lapel appears to be just one big folded over flap. The right lapel looks fine.

* Is that lumpy fusible in that left lapel? It sure looks like it. It is far more evident in the actual magazine photo.

*The right shoulder appears Ok but that left one ----a little droopy?

* Wrinkles  where the chest shield would/should be?  Maybe that's why the left lapel is folded over so far!

* What do you see? Am I imagining, being too critical of probably my favorite American designer, a man whose clothing I would love to wear every day? What do you think?


Now, if you keep turning pages in this mag dedicated to the peacock in every male you will see Burberry, Gucci, etc...... There garments all fit exquisitely and are beautifully tailored by comparison. Here is some Gucci for you:


See the difference?

And here's a Botega Vanetta coat with gorgeous tailoring.


I think the difference in quality, fit and tailoring is near embarassing, Mr. Lauren. What happened here?  Who had editorial control? And if a little old sewist in the boonies notices these things, is there something deliberately being fed to the readers of Style NYT? I am just so surprised at what I see.

If you continue throughout the magazine it is page after page of exquisitely tailored, beautifully dressed men, none of whom are photographed in less than perfect, albeit photoshopped (?) perfection.  Every designer imaginable is represented. The Lauren suit fell far short. I am disappointed. I love Ralph Lauren's esthetic, his all American signature style. His garments are classy, tasteful and so very American. I even think this power suit is beautiful but the fit and technique are surprising me. Sigh,,,,,,,

Again, these photos were the best of many I took and to really appreciate this try to pick up the Style magazine from Sunday's New York Times. Anxious to hear your opinions.......Bunny

28 comments:

  1. I agree that the Lauren suit does not look well made. The other suits by comparison are exquisite. I wonder what the price points are...

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  2. OMG, you are so right! I can't imagine how Mr Lauren let this get published. Is the American public so ignorant of good tailoring? And, after all, aren't all the garments made in far east factories anyway? Obviously Mr. Armani has better connections and/or is willing to pay more.

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  3. I don't think you're being too critical! I agree it's a lousy fit. I can't see the lumpy interfacing, but I see the badly rolled lapel, and I see shoulders that are cut too wide- like they made them reach out to the width the sleeve cap should be covering. It's too big in the chest, which could be the result of the too-wide shoulders, and, judging by the gaping, too small at the stomach/hips. I wonder if the model it was made for couldn't make the photo shoot and they had to do a sub?

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  4. I am interested to know the subtitles and captions under the Lauren suit. I can only say that, if it isn't fusible thats causing the problem then, it would be the sign of bad pad stitching that plucked through the shell fabric. I know when I do such an enormous amount of pad stitching, it is extremely difficult not to have the stitches show through. It takes masterful skill for that much hand stitching not to show, or at least the patience of Job, an I have neither.

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    1. It's an advertisement with only the picture, no words other than Ralph Lauren on the facing page. It could be the pad stitching but even still, it should not look like this.

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  5. Have you seen the documentary, Men of the Cloth? Talk about incredible tailoring! Sadly, there are fewer and fewer who are actually tailoring at that level.

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    1. I haven't, Rhonda. I will have to check it out on HULU.

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  6. You are certainly not out of line. I also am rather shocked at the product: both fit & technique. I wouldn't spend $ on it.

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  7. I'm a bit confused (often my state). When you say left, do you mean the left side of the jacket or on the left side of the picture? At any rate, it doesn't compare to the others, I agree, but apparently I'm just not at the level of most, as it's not "oh my gosh I can't believe how AWFUL this is!" shocking to me. More like, "Hmmm, not the best work."

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    1. I do wonder, as Wendy above did, if this was made for another model.

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    2. It is "left" as you look at the jacket, the left side of the picture.

      This model is awfully handsome. It's hard to believe he wasn't the one that they scheduled. The rest of the magazine is filled with incredibly tailored garments.

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  8. Something is definitely up with that suit jacket, I agree with you on all points. It's crazy that they actually published that photo, whatever happened to quality control? All the others are spectacular.

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  9. OH my - I'm just working on a tailored, hand-padded jacket for my jacket class in October, and man on man, you are so right on. I'm so proud of my ROLL LINE - it's NOT flat - it ROLLS and it looks magnificent, even though it's in a silk jacket weight, not a 120's wool, but you're right this look like it's been put through a mangle, and the press job doesn't look very good. Testament to what good pressing can do when tailoring!

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    1. Getting a good roll line on silk, that's a challenge!. Wool is so accommodating. While worsteds are one of the more difficult fabrics to sew they can be beautifully tailored by those who do this for a living. I worked, fresh from college, in a factory that turned out 100 to 150 thousand mens suits per week. Nothing looked like this and those went to Sears, Penny's, etc.
      Aside" Calvin Klein was the designer at the factory next to ours "Puritan Forever Young" before he became famous. Those factories all went off shore eventually.

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  10. Thanks Bunny! That helps, as I was focusing on the left side of the jacket, not the left side of the photo. :)

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  11. You are definitely not being too critical. So sad to see poor workmanship - particularly when it is featured with outstanding workmanship. I wouldn't pay $$$ for that either. Ugh! He should be embarrassed to have this shoddy example next to the rest of them. It makes me wonder if he even sees the ads.

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  12. There is so much stress on that button that it is not allowing the jacket to drop lower on the body. If he had a larger size, the front would lay flatter and maybe even the lower half of the jacket hang straight enough to close as well. The sleeves have creases and wrinkles as well and they look like they are too tight. Just under the cap is a drag line pointing to the armscye and then the drag line reverses and points to the outer bicep. You could draw a "V' on it's side along those 2 drag lines. Maybe the shirt sleeve is bunched up inside but all the other jackets look divine. Maybe if they took that rag out of his breast pocket it would look better too...none of the others have a hankie either. The Bottega takes my breath away!

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  13. As ever Bunny you are right..............I could quite clearly see what you were getting at and if you hadn't pointed them out.........well, you can't miss them.

    It is rather a shame that Mr Lauren's jacket does look like the poor relation when you see the other examples which are exquisite.

    As an aside, you must take a peep at Men of Cloth...............wonderful. If only I could have my time again I would love to train as a tailor/ess!!

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  14. Interesting, Bunny. I don't usually look twice at men's garments, but it's interesting to "see" with your careful eye.

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  15. The lumpiness in the collar may be an artifact of the printing process, since it doesn't appear on the website:
    http://www.ralphlauren.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=24162686&page=purplelabel&view=99&AB=en_US_MLP_Men_Polo_slot_9_LearnMore
    But given that it is advertising the Purple Label made-to-measure collection, it's inexcusable that the fit is so bad on the model. Then again, Ralph Lauren (nee Lifshitz) was never a designer. He's a business guy, and a savvy one at that. I can't say that he's hired very good people, though.

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  16. PS, the lack of lumpiness on the website photo could also be the result of Photoshop.

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    1. Thanks for your perspective, Ann.

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    2. Just checked out the suit on the website and it is so much better, different model. The closeup of the pocket showing the prick stitching/topstitching and the buttonhole are really exquisite. I guess something bad may have happened at the magazine photo shoot. It's hard to tell they are the same jacket.

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  17. The whole left side looks wonky - the pinstripes look like they are curving in a lot at the waist on the left, and it looks like it's pulling at the button too. Even the pinstripes on the left sleeve seem off somehow.
    I wonder if there was a fit problem with the model, and everyone assumed it would be fixed in Photoshop?

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  18. Bunny,

    Do you watch Masterpiece? Ralph Lauren runs ads at the beginning of the program, going on about how he likes to source out fine craftsman, what a joy it is to work with them, etc, and then bring them to the "World of Ralph Lauren". My comment back to him is...Do you seek out fine craftsmen/women to produce them when you bring that item to the "World of Ralph Lauren", or do you just get it done in some massive factory somewhere?

    I think the picture of the suit says it all.

    Also, compared to the Gucci suits, the RL suit looks heavy, like it's wearing the model rather than the model wearing the suit...

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    1. I had that thought as well but I think it may be the fabric used. Those Gucci suits look like really fine worsted with tailoring that looks deceivingly light but I suspect is the exact opposite.

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  19. This suit retails for 1150.00.

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  20. Right on target. So on target that you should really consider editing it so that you can send it as a NYT letter to the editor. No kidding. Someone at his company needs have their awareness heightened. Lauren has always crafted his company's image in a way that conveys "you to can look bespoke, at a RTW price point".

    BTW, cannot thank you enough for your Tutorial section. What a lifesaver.

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