Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Novex - Details, details, details

I picked up the completed two piece suit today and took a shot of the storefront before I left. Harold clearly takes pride in his work. The lapel has a nice belly and fullness to its shape (My sense is that he'd make a superb looking shawl collared dinner jacket). On the trousers, he adds small stitching details - what I would call 'knotted' pick stitching - on the trouser pocket edge and the flyfront face. A somewhat unusual detail or at least one that I haven't seen on other trousers. He invited me to wear the suit for a few weeks so that it can settle in and come back with any adjustments.

Novex storefront 02

A couple of additional details for those interested in trying Novex. If I order another jacket or suit, I'll request a couple of changes. First, a straight buttonhole on the lapel. He makes a keyhole button as standard but said he would accommodate my request. Second I'll ask for a slightly smaller (or shallower) notch. The notch is cut a little bit deeper into the lapel than my other jackets - a la the cran Necker notch style of the Parisian cutter Francesco Smalto. This London Lounge thread illustrates and discusses the cran Necker notch style. It's a distinctive look but I think it works better for larger framed customers.

July 2007 update: On a recent visit, I learned that Harold spent a year in Rome training with a tailor named Santorelli (back in 1969). So his grounding is in the Roman cut. Good to get confirmation of my initial impression of his cutting style, which I described as Roman/Continental. The other interesting tidbit is that he makes suits for the manager of the Beverly Hills Turnbull & Asser shop. When I visited, I was wearing a Kilgour sports coat and Harold was curious to take a closer look at it. I obliged him and he was favorably impressed with the cut (esp. the shoulders and sleeves) but pointed out the somewhat closed front quarters, which I conceded could be more open. Perhaps not surprisingly, in his opinion, the English make the best cloths, but the Italians are the better tailors.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Novex: The second fitting

I stopped by Novex today for my second fitting. All in all, the fit was extremely good - Harold breezed through the standard 'punch list' for a jacket fitting - collar fit, front and back balance, jacket length, sleeve pitch, button stance and gorge. The admirable characteristics I noted in my earlier entry remain - a touch of waist suppression, relaxed and open front quarters, a clean but full chest and a crisp, subtly concave shoulder line (with roping I should add). Actually, the cut is rather similar to Kilgour, but with less shoulder drape. To mix metaphors, Novex's house style could be described as Roman/Continental shoulder with a dash of Neapolitanism (open front quarters).

The side-tabbed trousers also turned out well, perhaps a touch loose in the stride but very comfortable and slightly tapered. I should note that there was no trouser try-on in the first fitting, so make sure you note any trouser preferences in your first appointment with Harold. In my case, I prefer a longer zipper than the one he made for me.

Harold also made a point of saying that the jacket front will stay together even without being buttoned up. This is an interesting point though I would suspect that should hold true for all properly made jackets.

I look forward to picking up the completed suit next week, which is very good turnaround - just two and a half weeks from order to completion.