Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Macau tailors (aka alfaiataria)

During my recent trip to Hong Kong, I also took a day trip to the gambling fantasy land of Macau. However, unlike most of the visitors, I wasn't so interested in the casinos. Instead, I walked around the historic area of the Largo do Senado (see picture below) and stumbled across the shops of a couple of tailors on Rua de Sao Paolo.

Largo do Senado / Senate Square

In the photo below, the tailor Man Nga is on the left (with the white and brown sign) and Meng Cheong Alfaiataria is the white storefront on the extreme right in the photo below. At Man Nga I was quoted prices from MOP$3,800 to 5,300 (or about 500 to 700 USD). At both shops I saw half a dozen or so baste fitting jackets (body only, no sleeves). In the second shop I entered (Meng Cheong) the tailor had a pattern for trousers chalked out on the fabric lying on his worktable. He also said it takes about 10 days to make a suit. Both tailors spoke limited English. I was a bit surprised to see both Western and local fabric books: Guabello, Bower Roebuck and local/regional textile mills whose names I did not recognize.

Macau tailor storefronts

Since the basted jackets I looked at had a bit of shoulder padding, the tailors here probably favor a built up chest and shoulder line. Probably not advisable to barge in and demand cut-rate copies of Neapolitan shoulder jackets. However, oddly enough, the narrow streets of the old quarter in Macau did remind me of Naples a bit.

Macau side street in old quarter

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