A Fine Man Once Said:

"Part of the 10 million I spent on gambling, part of it on booze, and part of it on women. The rest I spent foolishly."

- George Raft

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Meyer the Hatter - A New Orleans Institution

I was down in New Orleans last week for the French Quarter Festival, but kept an eye out for anything that would catch my eye, sartorially speaking. Just off of Canal Street, on the "American" side, was Meyer the Hatter, a wonderful shop that appeared to have just about any style of hat that you might be interested in, from straw boaters to fedoras to apple jacks.

Founded in 1894, the stock seemed to run the gamut quality-wise. The brands on display was a who's who of prominent names in American headwear, including Stetson, Biltmore, and Dobbs, among others.

Unfortunately, there were a lot of panamas on display, but having recently purchased a panama Borsalino for spring and summer, I didn't pull the trigger on anything. While I didn't see any Borsalino models in stock, there was a wonderful vintage Borsalino ad in the front right window display (the classic rendering of a clam opening to reveal a Borsalino instead of an oyster). In any event, if you happen to be passing through New Orleans anytime soon, you should definitely make time to check out Meyer the Hatter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Wonderful Evening with Antonio's Colors

Notes from a screening: As I mentioned last week (here), the gentlemen of The Armoury screened their new documentary on Antonio Liverano on Thursday, April 3rd, at SVA's Beatrice Theatre. It is a wonderful film (from director Gianluca Migliarotti) which lovingly displays the character and talent of a true master tailor.

G. Bruce Boyer led a discussion afterwards with Mr. Migliarotti, Mr. Liverano, and Armoury founder Mark Cho - some of the comments were quite interesting. Mr. Migliarotti was an entertaining translator (for Mr. Liverano) and an energetic panelist (despite just arriving and dealing with jet lag).
He discussed his penchant for Attolini suits and offered an amusing anecdote regarding the tailors of that house and their steadfast dedication to the ventless jacket.

From left to right: G. Bruce Boyer, Gianluca Migliarotti,
Antonio Liverano, and Mark Cho of The Armoury.

Mr. Liverano proved to be a man of few words (a quality I admire), but he (and Mr. Migliarotti) offered an interesting response to a  question regarding the ethnic diversity of his apprentices (I believe they were from Japan, Korea, and Lithuania, if I recall correctly). Essentially, younger Italians are not particularly interested in learning the craft and dedicating themselves to the years of sacrifice necessary to be successful at it. Interestingly, this outlook mirrors the concerns that other artisans have voiced in interviews with An Uptown Dandy. Riccardo Bestetti, the Italian bespoke shoe-maker (you can read that interview here), echoed a similar sentiment, as did Chay Cooper of Wildsmith when discussing the Northampton shoemaking industry in England. While the dearth of eager young Italians in these industries is certainly a shame, with films such as this one being produced to honor the craftsmanship and skill of artisans such as Mr. Liverano, one can only hope that such a trend can be reversed in time.

Overall, a lovingly created, wonderful film - highly recommended to anyone with an interest in bespoke tailoring and an appreciation for quality craftsmanship.