Friday, 13 January 2012

Bespoke suits in Singapore: Kevin Seah

Bespoke suits in Singapore

It excites me to find artisans who live, and work in Singapore...especially passionate young ones. I said that before. Then I was writing about Edwin Neo, and now I am writing about Kevin Seah...a comrade in arms with Edwin, so to they share the same premises together at Dominic Khoo's indescribable white space.

Talking with Kevin, I sense the passion he has for fine and beautiful particular, bespoke cloths. He carries a bewildering range of fabrics...well, like many tailors, he doesn't actually carry them as stock, but he carries the books, and can supply the cloths. From illustrious mills like Fox Brothers, W. Bill, JJ Minnis, Harrisons...these books are available for your bespoke choice.

Below a selection from the W. Bill tweed...Kevin is a big fan of I am.

He also carries Nackymade...a quirky, Japanese bespoke spectable frame house. And the magnificent Gammerelli and Mazarin socks. Shown below, Kevin's immaculately dressed foot with Cleverly shoes:

I took a quick inspection of his work..impressive! Here on his own coat. A double breasted 6x4 with very light coloured, natural horn buttons.

The back...smooth and clean, note how the collar hugs his neck.

The hand made button holes...and beautiful buttons And the shoulder line. This shoulder is a little exaggarated. For my personal taste, I would have preferred a more relaxed shoulder. But Kevin wanted to build up the shoulder to show the mini-pagoda-esque shoulder. Note pocket square.

Examining another customer's suit hanging on the show the hand work. The blind stitching of the floating chest piece as it connects to the lapel. View of the lapel inside as it is turned out.

The hand made button holes, and the roll of the lapel's belly:

The melton used in the collar...again evidence of a great deal of handwork

The interior of the suit also shows a significant amount of hand work...hand stitched seams joining the lining to the shell. I believe Kevin uses silk for linings. Many colours and patterns are available.

And for the all important sleeve...hand stitched with a stretchable silk thread. Note the wriggly and uneven stitch lines. Though this may seem to be untidy, this is evidence of handwork, and indeed allows the sleevehead to stretch and move a bit within, allowing for a more comfortable fit. And a quick look a the inside of a pair of bespoke trousers, showing the label and hand work within.

Very interesting fellow, this Kevin. Knowledgable of fabrics...even the more traditional fabrics, as he prefers English mills (hurray!!) to Italian ones. These days, many tailors are more interested to push the high tech fabrics by Zegna and Loro Piana, and neglect the magnificent mills of England, Wales and Scotland. I have a few suits made from the beautiful materials of Lovat Mills in Scotland, as with Fox Brothers flannel from England, and have had bad experiences with the expensive cloths from Loro Piana and Ermenegildo Zegna.

Fine taste. Great workmanship. I might be tempted to spring for a bespoke suit by Kevin to see how he fits. But with an active stable of probably 20 suits...many made by Gordon Yao and WW Chan, I think I might have to endure the temptation a while. Maybe my son's first bespoke suit....:-)

I will recommend those in Singapore seeking a bespoke tailor to check out Kevin and see if it works for you. As I have mentioned in this blog...working with a tailor is sometimes a lifelong relationship. The relationship blossoms after a few suits, and then if the tailor is any good...perfection. Once you reach this stage, as I have with stick to your tailor...possibly for life. Kevin Seah Kevin Seah Bespoke Dominic Khoo's 28th Fevrier 5 Jalan Kilang Mobile: 91884681

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Carmina London Lounge Oxford boots in Cordovan

I reported on these beautiful boots when I received them in 2008. Since then, I have had quite a few request to see how the boots have aged with wearing. Here are some photographs of the patinated cordovan boots.

I don't wear these boots regularly, but do wear them on some trips. I wore them in rotation with a pair of Crockett & Jones Conniston boots and another pair of Carmina cordovan double monks in SIHH 2009 in Geneva in January, and thereafter a 5 day relaxation tour of Paris. But often, these are called to duty very infrequently. I typically wear them in more dressy events.

The patina is truly beautiful, and as I have described once before, the shine of the cordovan comes from within the leather, and not reside on the surface as it tends to be with calf.