Saturday, November 18, 2006

Freddy Vandecasteele: A bespoke shirtmaker

I became aware of Freddy through an AskAndy post by Carl of Cego Shirts. Freddy is a Belgian-born shirtmaker living and working in Los Angeles (Studio City to be precise). His process is fully bespoke since he both cuts and sews the shirts himself. Freddy has diplomas from Art et Metier (Belgium) and Academie Darroux (Paris).

Freddy offers solid, good quality shirtings from Thomas Mason 100s, 120s, 140s. His shirts have pattern matching on shoulders and pockets (see photos), mother of pearl buttons, optional split yoke. The shirt is mostly machine-sewn but Freddy hand-sews the buttons into place. Pricing starts at $140.

As you can see, he loves colors and stripes but will certainly produce a dozen plain white shirts if that's your preference.

Freddy Vandecasteele shirt

Freddy Vandecasteele shirt

Freddy Vandecasteele shirt

Freddy Vandecasteele shirt

From what I have seen, Freddy's shirts represent a great value for the price and it is always enjoyable to chat with him when visiting. In addition, one of the benefits of working with Freddy is his general quickness in turning around new shirts or making adjustments. One time I dropped by and he refitted a couple of sleeves while I was looking at swatches in his workroom.

A tutorial in balance courtesy of Despos & Antongiovanni

This Ask Andy thread (also in the London Lounge) is a mini-tutorial on the notion of "balance" in tailoring by Chicago-based tailor Chris Despos and Nicholas Antongiovanni, author of The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men's Style.

"Accidental" tailoring at its best: Brian Lishak interview

Courtesy of harrybee in this AskAndy thread, I came across a brief video interview of Brian Lishak of Richard Anderson. This is a brief but wonderful introduction to what makes a successful tailor (even if you stumble into the trade by accident as Lishak did).