I was in Barcelona recently and visited a couple of shops that offer RTW and MTM/bespoke: Bel y Cia and Santa Eulalia.
Bel y Cia
At Bel, I met with Sebastian, the salesman I met three years ago during my last visit, for another order of their classic Teba jacket. As I described in earlier entries, the Teba jacket is a made-to-measure order. Over the last three years this has become one of my favorite go-to jackets for weekend or casual occasions.
They do have an updated set of fabrics for the Teba jacket: classic knitted jersey (a material which has a nice, easy give and stretch), more traditional worsted fabrics (cashmere and wool) and summer fabrics. The summer book contains just a couple of linens in brown and tan, tropical weight wools and wool/silk/linen blends (43% / 37% / 23% respectively). For some reason, linen is not as popular as the other summer fabrics.
My new order will be in one of the summer fabrics and will look a little bit differently than the traditional Teba. Recently, in the past winter season, Bel added a new option of rounded fronts (or quarters) like a regular sportscoat or suit jacket. The rounded front Teba will come with a normal chest dart whereas the classic Teba has squared fronts and no dart.
As before, I'm happy to report the excellent service and attention to detail by Sebastian. The current price for a Teba jacket is 745 euros (18% VAT included). For export of course, VAT is taken out and shipping added.
One more note on footwear. Bel still carry an extensive collection of Edward Green shoes. They also recently started to sell casual slip-ons with Bologna sole construction in suede (blue, camel, black) at 350 euros. The store worked with a small workshop near Rome and developed four shoe prototypes before selecting their final design. If you like casual slip-ons like driver-style moccasins, you may want to check these out.
After my visit to Bel, I walked a few blocks north up Passeig de Gracia to Santa (or Saint) Eulalia. The store is outfitted in cool, blond woods and whose rectilinear edges and shapes provide a small antidote to a city steeped in the curves of Catalan modernism. Santa Eulalia sells both men's and women's RTW as well as bespoke clothing. In men's RTW, they carry a nice selection of soft tailored suits and jackets by Boglioli, Cantarelli and Etro and Zegna KEI. Ironically, the jackets of these brands were all softer than Kiton's offering.
I also had an extended chat with Angel in the men's bespoke department. Like Liverano in Florence, Santa Eulalia makes all manner of bespoke garments including suits, shirts, ties and even boxer shorts. As of October 2010, suits start at 2,600 euros, shirts at 400 euros, ties at 100 euros and boxers at 80 euros. At the high end, a vicuna overcoat will cost 14-16,000 euros. Suiting and jacketing fabrics are sourced by the likes of Dormeuil, Scabal, Holland & Sherry and Harrisons.
Angel made the point that 3 fittings is the norm, even for repeat orders. In terms of construction, everything is handsewn except long straight seams. Annual suit production is about 800 suits per year and all garments are made on premise or through outworkers who work at home.
What do Santa Eulalia suits and jackets look like? Above is a photo of one of their bespoke morning coats. They do a natural shoulder, slight roping of the shoulders and cut a close fitting jacket and trousers. I'd also recommend going to their website, click on the bespoke section to see samples of their suits and view the bespoke video clip, featuring their head tailor Marc Munill and short interviews of their clients wearing the shop's creations. One of the clients offers up a quote on the ritual of bespoke - "The suit is like a child. You grow fond of it over time." The clip gives a glimpse of the workrooms in the basement of the store as well as the bespoke client area of the shop.
The website also has an informative text section on wedding dress options for men covering the differences between English and Catalan customs in this area.