Thursday, November 12, 2009
Couture entertaining: House of Worth
"Worth knew how to endear himself to his clients. A perfectionist, he served pate de foie gras and Maderia wine during fittings..."
- Letita Baldridge
Your clothing is not intended to fit. Not anymore. The apparel industy has agreed on a standard which fits some of the people some of the time. But the truth of the matter is, your pants do not fit correctly because you are not a size 8 or 10, actually, you are likely not even close to what you are buying. You are, you, not a standard size. I cannot tell you how irresponsible I often felt this practice of my industry has been: Selling you a size "medium," when we knew very well it would never fit correctly unless you were our fit model.
Garments which fit, truly fit, are tailored or knit to spec. Remember that, always.
Even when you think your sewn garment fits, present it to an experienced tailor. You will know it fits when he says, as one of my great mentors once did, "It is perfect. There is nothing more I could do to this gown." As he ran his hands down the side seams and I watched the corners of his mouth curl upward. Pride in is his art; the point at which work is transcended and becomes craft.
That is the artist you seek.
It costs more, but the clothing will live better and last longer. Buy less and better.
Good tailoring should not be left to only fine menswear and dress furnishings. If you think you like the way that pencil skirt fits now, wait until an experienced pair of hands nips and tucks until it smooths and bends in all the right places.
My favorite couture and bridal salon in Boston serves champagne and cheese at fittings. Worth's old-school fittings do sound a mite better. Nevertheless, a professional salon fitting is a luxurious, constructive, and rewarding experience in any good hands and with any great garment.
When you are flipping through the style and catalog pages this year, find a splendid black pencil skirt silhouette. Have it fit. Then let it see you though the hard times during which you will never think, "I need to update everything in my closet for fall."
photo credits: v&amueseum.com, Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline